Back Down to the Ground

No sooner do we get to the top of one building, we must return to the bottom of another. Brad and Travis spent most of the day working on welding the iron pieces that must be in place before we pour the retaining walls on the main house and the guesthouse. Today was a day of frantic! Travis is taking next week off, and the following week Brad will be on a kayaking trip off Vancouver Island, so deadlines are bearing down. The barn roof and a big pour, both next week, with Travis gone and a trip to prepare for, are leaving Brad running at a wild pace.

New Windows

There's something about the windows -- completion, warmth, security -- that makes their addition to a building one of those yippee moments. It's difficult for me to remember this building actually has only two small rooms because the building itself has such a presence. As a result only three windows are needed, in the bedroom and over the sink in the bath/laundry.


The Moore Team

Golda Moore working on the electrical service panel

Lance Moore giving Ed some wiring hints

Tomorrow is our electric service inspection. We've been well served with our temporary service but it does mean extension cords running everywhere. As soon as the service panel and the box Ed's been wiring are inspected we'll have real outlets, switches and lights.

A day of Miscellaneous Tasks

Fran painting backs of carriage doors

Travis shoveling out holes in preparation for concrete pour next week

Gena, Brad and Clyde

Brad is working with Gena and Clyce on planning
a sign for Island Coffee House and Books, Building Community From the Grounds Up.

Discussing the Details...

Brad and Carl

Carl, Travis and Brad

The Red Door

The barn's laundry room/bath door.

Brad and Fran Putting up the Siding

The wood we're using for the siding is the same wood that we used for the rafters and purlins. We took it to Red Barn Millworks to have the 2x8's slit into 1x8's. The Tacoma warehouse wood is serving us well.

Ed the Electrician

It's strange how things work out. I thought for sure I'd be doing much of the electrical work, but nope, here's Ed, the real electrician in the family. His old Air Force electronics teaching background jumped out to the forefront, making him the natural. These pictures are Ed working on the box serving the barn. For basically a one-room building the wiring is surprisingly complex. There are heaters, fans, smoke alarms, lights, washer and dryer, outlets, 3-way switches, dimmers, 110, 220, GFI's, and, and, and...
Modern life is amazingly complex!

The Camera Eye of Travis

Travis picked up the camera today to give us a new look at our project. Here he captures the heart of the building project -- the shop, behind the carriage doors.

Viewing the site, main house and guesthouse from high up on the barn's roof.

The purlins on the rafters -- ready for the roofing. All recycled wood!

This small pile of wood is what remains of the huge pile once totally blocking the drive. Soon we'll be able to park in the driveway again as the pile of recycled wood is used up. This reduction in the pile has great significance to Travis as he pulled most of the nails to prepare it for reuse.

The view looking down from the deck over the shop.


Mostly Roof Today

But Electrical and Doors Too


Main House Retaining Wall Forms Go Up

Retaining wall forms for main house heat dump,
with I beam for bridge to guesthouse in

Main house forms and I beam for bridge as viewed
through wildflower meadow

The sono-tubes in the background will support
the porch roof; in the foreground they will
support the living room.



Lance Moore -- our consulting electrician working with us as needed, when needed. A Whidbey jewel!

Anticipation Grows!

As the barn building nears completion, Ed, Brad and I are experiencing greater and greater anticipation. Each day we are slightly more anxious to see the "finished" barn. Daily, we spend an increasing number of minutes standing in one location and then another imagining the completed project.
Our family's quest right now is to determine the barn's stage of completion. Ed's guessing 60%; I'm saying 70% and Brad is promising an estimate later today.
Once the roof, exterior siding, and plumbing are completed, Brad will be pretty much off the barn building and onto the main house and guesthouse. Ed and I will finish up the barn's interior, plus some exterior staining and waterproofing. All of the fixtures have been ordered -- bathtub, toilet, sink, on demand hot water heater, light fixtures -- and we're simply waiting for their arrival, plus a roof to keep out the rain, before their installation. The roofing material is due to arrive this week. We toyed with recycled roofing or corrugated roofing on this building but settled on the three buildings having matching roofs. The roofing material we selected is galvanized snaplock.
Then, once the construction mess is gone from the edges of the barn, I can begin to move in with plantings. This might be one of the few building projects with the gardens lapping so closely at the carpenters' heels.
It occurred to me just yesterday, that our design is all about living on our property as opposed to a home design that is all about living in a house. Moving from one building to another throughout the day, and sometimes during the night, in any weather, will break down the barriers between inside and out. And, having a covered porch on each building will also push the seasons for our outdoor living. We're planning to build a fireplace off the large covered porch near the kitchen for outdoor cooking and entertaining year round. When you come to visit, and the snow's on the ground, be prepared for warm blankets and hot drinks around the outdoor fire!

Neighborhood's Working Goats

Fred and Laurie move their goats to the vacant lot on Grace Lane to do a little weed control.

The Barn Roof's Other Side Takes Shape


Friends Visit

Andy and Roger Bennett tour the project...

Messin' With Kerry

"Gotta mess with people! Otherwise they will fall into a cryonic torpor." Utah Phillips


Onward and Upward

The roof goes up and the siding goes on as we
close in on the barn. It looks impossibly complex
at this stage, but the days ahead will result in
a much simplified look as it "comes together."

Ed's focused on the flashing

Brad and Travis on our roof, but looking
through you can see Dianne's sons
Austin and Dillon, on their roof.

A milestone: we passed our electrical inspection this week.


Ridge Beam Is In Place

After Annapoorne and Julie left Grace Lane today, I too left to pick up supplies for Brad -- nails, screws, bolts, caulk and the like. When I returned Brad and Travis had the ridge beam in place.

And look at the blue, blue sky. All during our picnic today it was cloudy. Shortly after 3:00 it cleared and WOW! what an outstandingly beautiful evening we've had. Ed and I wandered around town enjoying the sun and views for an hour or more.

Picnic Day!

Annapoorne and Julie inspect the project and stay for a picnic.


Source of Our Chicken Shit Wood

We've mentioned several times our nail removal and cleaning of chicken shit covered wood (See The Final Blast and Wood Recovery). Here's the source. We also gleaned some beams from this barn, long after the barn was gone and there was just a heap of posts and beams plus assorted lumber left over. Dave from ReUse said he was finished with the pile and we could pick out what we wanted before the fire was lit.

I do wonder what we're going to eat in this country when all the farms are gone. I'm pleased we can reuse this old barn wood, but so very saddened to see these beautiful old buildings demolished and the farm lands paved over.

Photos by Dave Bennick