Walls come along

It’s been a while folks! Remember what I was saying about making a detailed record of each and every step I make in this house building project? Yeah, that’s not happening. At the end of each day I’m completely knackered and lucky if my brain is still working reasonably well. I blame the sharp increase in numbers and mathematical equations for which it is now responsible. (Well, partially responsible – along with my phone’s calculator. Ok let’s be honest, mostly my phone’s calculator is now responsible.) On more than one (very hot-temperatured) occasion, my brain has felt quite a bit like mush, a formless mass of numbers bleeding into one another. While marking and placing members, it required me to go inside to the air conditioning and stare at a wall while drinking icy water.

Mathematics and steamy summers aside, (was anyone else raised on rods?!?! C’mon!) the wall construction and I are getting along famously. My dad fills in as the occasional (and very essential) third wheel as needed. Since I stopped worrying about deadlines and time frames I have been floating along on a gentle framing cloud, completely satisfied with the rate of my progress, each building session stepping back like, “wow, I made this”.

It’s all just measurements and numbers, really. Sitting down with the plans to figure out specific cuts and then marking the top and bottom plates (builders lingo up in here!) takes me way longer than actually cutting and attaching everything. I’d say my favorite parts are of course the fast ones, the ones where you see physical progress (cutting/laying things out/nailing).

I took a week off between the floor and starting the walls, mostly due to family events but partly due to a little hint of inertia. It took a bit of gumption to start a new phase, with the floor so…. flat…. and sealed….. Visually-mentally not a very good nudge to keep going. So I had to visualize some walls! Once I got started of course it was like a wonderful breeze compared to that frustration-infused floor work. What a dream! I’m just guessing that the roof will not be so dreamy, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts. Framing is a lot of fun, and it’s true that it goes quite quickly provided you take your time to be mindful and double-check everything.

I have the smallest and last wall section to do (the front!) and then they will all be ready for assembly, provided I can find the tension ties recommended for the corners. I’m still quite excited about WINDOWS for some reason, and can’t wait to put them into the walls! (I know, that doesn’t come for a little while…) I’m trying to decide what to do about siding, i.e. pine vs. cedar and stained vs. painted. Which also means turquoise window trim vs. stain vs. ? My initial vision, of course, was to do a board & batten cedar stained siding with turquoise window trim…. But my window trim is fairly wide (I liked the way it looked) which might mean too much turquoise… and I’ve also seen some painted houses that looked really cute, so I’m no longer certain about the b&b au naturel. I also like the way narrow flush cedar siding looks, like this. I’ll have to ruminate a little longer… Thoughts, anyone?

At the same time, my parents are gutting our kitchen and the baby returns from her first airplane trip tomorrow – two happenings I predict will be in conflicting interests. Should be amusing and/or completely hair-raising.


Michael Janzen has continued to be an amazing support, patiently answering all of my semi-neurotic questions and providing additional pictures/measurements for the framing to help me feel confident in what I’m doing. Thinking back to the Tumbleweed designs, I have no idea how I, a pre-novice, would have built the house from those plans (Props to Ella and others!!!)… They were crazy undetailed and they weren’t very interested in clarifying them. I still think I got a malfunctioned download from them, they were so nondescript. But I looked at their website the other day and they were advertising their drawings to include stud-by-stud placement, so perhaps they have changed. I’m really grateful that my experience with Tumbleweed kept me searching though, otherwise I may not have been led to work with Michael; He’s a gem!

Two side notes: 1., for those of you who don’t know, Casita Bella has a Facebook page! I’ve been posting more regular snippets there, so please feel welcome to go check it out and “like” it so you can stay ultra connected on the interwebs. 2., I apologize for the lack of detailed photo journaling in this post, as my beloved 5-year-old super-duper point-and-shoot has finally said ciao as it was fatally choked last Sunday by sand. (I put it down on a sand dune last summer in West Texas while driving x-country to take some self-portraits and it has been struggling to open its lens every time since then… it was worth it, as the portraits turned out pretty cool.) I am left depending once again on my phone to provide for this project. Too bad all the new point-and-shoots looks so weird and digital…. Maybe I should go back to 35 MM for this project, what a hoot that would be!



6 thoughts on “Walls come along

  1. Pix,
    I know what you mean about the windows, I was so excited the day Ian and I put windows in the tiny barn… it’s also one of those wonderfully quick processes, “provided you take your time to be mindful and double-check everything.”
    As far as the paint vs. stain debate I’ll say this, I’m stripping/sanding many incarnations of paint from some old doors for my sister now (only to paint them, what appears to my apparently rudimentary eye, the SAME color?!?!). I will never willingly paint anything again… but I’m sure turquoise would look FAB with the narrow-cedar-look you were admiring.
    good luck with the decisions and the heat, as a great person once said, you are bound to be successful!!
    peace love happiness

    • Joe, thank you for sharing that bit on windows… maybe they are also so great because they are our indoor connection to our outdoor eye candy. Paint definitely sucks to strip…. but color is so lovely to be surrounded by, so we’ll see what unfolds…. And yes, color hues are *very* subtle (and personal) 😉

  2. Your walls are looking great! As far as the siding goes, I love the look of natural wood, but I also have really been enjoying looking at other’s tiny houses that are painted. They just look so cute! Whatever you do, I really think turquoise would look awesome. I am obsessed with that color right now. I’m really excited to see what you decide!

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