Saturday, September 08, 2007

The return of extreme heat and humidity on Friday didn’t slow down the framing crew one bit. As you can see, all the joists and plywood sheathing are now finished on the roof, and the crane dropped the copper-topped cupola onto it late Friday morning.

This is the view from the southeast, taken at the end of the workday yesterday, In the middle of the picture is the first part of the great room's side walls to be framed.

And here's the "profile" view, taken from the east. In the foreground, the bedroom/exercise room/sauna wing has most of its rafters in place and framing for its roof should begin this coming week.

This view inside the pyramidal roof shows what will be our main—and very generous--storage space. If you look through the open stud wall on the right, you’ll see the framed rectangle in the exterior roof joists that will support the skylight once the plywood is cut out of the frame.

We’re now two weeks away from having the windows installed. Roofers are expected on Monday or Tuesday to shingle the big roof, which will make the two story central pavilion of the house essentially weatherproof, thereby providing the framers with a secure place to work even if it should rain.

Rain—something we need desperately. Soil has gone the consistency of dust here and everything’s beginning to droop (well not EVERYTHING—there’s been some very pleasant wake-up sex recently but you know what I mean). No permits are being issued for burning by the local fire stations and I think there’s very little hope for the next Sweat Lodge gathering that‘s scheduled for a week from today.

I got blindsided by this. It's the electric meter for the house and one of the most ugly things I've ever seen. Worse, it's going to be about the first thing people visiting us see as they come up the final part of the road leading up to the house. Efficiency, 10. Taste and style, -5. Something's going to have to be done, and I think it'll involve adding some trellis panels and a climbing ornamental vine--a very dense vine. I'm open to suggestions from my faithful readers.


In case anyone thinks of me as a suave urban type, I got up this morning, put a shoe from one pair on my right foot and a shoe from a different pair on my left foot. I then went out happily into the world. At least they were approximately the same color.

I would put the mailbox right next to the electric meter (if that's feasible), and box them both into a mini-shed with a roof echoing the one on the main house.
Jim, I like the idea of the roof echoing the one on the house. The mailbox has been in use for a couple of months but it's down on the public road, route 102, because that's the postal route.
I've been starting some wisteria from seed in my office. They've been bred up here, so they'll survive the winters. They wouldn't make it through the winter this season, but should be ready for outdoor planting next year. They aren't expected to flower for 4 years or so, but they are still attractive.

At our place, the only space I have for them are in pots.

The house seems to be coming along quite nicely. I am pretty sure I know right around where you guys must be; I've explored quite a bit of that area on my bike. I'll keep an eye out for ugly electric meters... :-0
Wake up sex? What's that?
As for covering up the electrical panel..... the trellis is a great idea. What about a tall, slender sign....your name on it, a saying, favorite piece of poem/poetry, etching, carving, or even a piece of metal artwork.
Vines might work for the summer, but there are few vines that will cover in the winter. Perhaps a pair of faux columns, covered in cedar shingles, one on each side of the drive, would work as an entrance "gate" and hide the hideous meter at the same time?
Or a giant holly bush, if the meter is far enough back from the road to allow something evergreen to grow in front of it? And you could derive some satisfaction if occasionally the meter reader gets stuck with a thorn or two... ;-)
You can always paint the meter boxes a more natural color to blend them in. A couple of small boulders and a shrub or two in front would do the trick and not be as tawdry as a trellis. You want to trick the eye, not draw attention to it, right? Ah well...

The house looks grand!!
Guys, I love some of these suggestions.

Skip, I already plan to use holly--which I like enormously--as a screen to conceal the plase we've picked for parking cars. I don't want to look out of the house's huge south-facing windows and see cars, but a holly hedge framed by a clump of white birch on one side and a clump of shagbark hickory on the other will work splendidly and be in leaf and berry all throughout the year.

Lewis, my son, have I taught you nothing over the years? ;-) Wake up sex is sex that which you have when you wake up in the morning. A beautiful way to start the day.

Alan, the meter is right out there, almost crowding the edge of the road. Concealment is going to be a bit of a challenge but concealed it will have to be. Painting the conduit pipe is a great idea--thanks.
Wow, the house is happening so fast! The cupola looks a little like a small bell-tower ... so cool!

As for the electric meter, maybe you could erect a house sign right in front of it ... in carved wood and designed to curve slightly, with the name of your abode and maybe something symbolic as well ... a kind of totem.

My baby boy put on two different shoes yetesrday as well. :)
Cooper--that's a GREAT idea--turn it into a piece of art. I'm going to see a local sculptor who creates art out of old farm equipment and tools soon to see about something for one of the house's garden areas and perhaps she could even create something specifically for this particular application.

Thanks for the idea!
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