Day 3, 4, and 5: Finishing the Stone Foundation….ughh, finally.

18 03 2009

We kept working on the foundation Sunday…then Monday…then Tuesday. It takes a long time to hand sculpt a stone foundation, especially with few or 2 people. Thanks Rick!!!! It would have been unbearable alone.

But we did it! We finished! I didn’t get any pictures Sunday or Monday…it just didn’t seem worth stopping work, cleaning my hands, and taking a picture. But I got a picture of the end product! And of Rick and his brother Steve who were my more than amazing volunteers.

I do believe this was the most grueling part of the process…mixing lots of concrete, carrying rocks, and fitting them together like puzzle pieces, while trying to get the right height and width. Man am I sore, as is everyone else who had a hand in this. But it looks amazing! I am very pleased with the foundation and am excited to build the walls on it 🙂

Steve and Rick...awesome

Steve and Rick...awesome

Steve, Rick, Jana

Steve, Rick, Jana

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Day 2: Whoa…building the footing and foundation

15 03 2009

A lot of work went into today!

I think everyone is going to be quite sore from this day.  Rick arrived at 8am as he had said.  I am impressed with Ricks punctuality and enthusiasm as a volunteer…sadly I left Rick there alone for a while cuz I had to go pick up another load of sand and so he stayed behind working on digging out the footing drain and laying the first gravel into the trench.  When I finally got back with the sand, Doug and my dad and Phil had joined Rick and they were working on cutting down the tree that we had done a good job killing off last week by cutting through all its roots! That was pretty cool to see the men bring that whole tree down and cut it up and all.  I got it on video 🙂 I will try to post it if I can figure that out.

The rest of the day we spent filling the trench with gravel, stomping around on it like a little parade, mixing cement, laying stones, jana criticizing the boys for ‘badly’ laying stones and so taking over stone laying with Molly alone (we modified that a little later and became more efficient), and to finish the day we set the screws in for the door buck.  We did a lot, and filled up the whole trench.  Now we still need to bring the mortared stone up about six inches above ground and we will be ready to move on.  Hopefully we will be able to do that tomorrow! We will see.

Take a look at today’s progress below!

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Day 1: Digging the trench footing!

9 03 2009

My first day went surprisingly perfectly according to plan. We cleaned leftovers from demolition, and we dug the trench for the rubble footing. It is an 11’x11′ square trench 20″ wide and 20″ deep. Thanks to my Mom, Dad, & BrotherBen, Darin & Shannon & Noel, Phil & Ileen, Paul & Mol, and Noe, all of whom helped! It definitely wouldn’t of been much of a trench without all of them. Check out today’s work and the day’s final product below…

The men tearing apart metal, haha

The men tearing apart metal, haha

marked to dig

marked to dig

Jana breaking ground!

Jana breaking ground!

digging

digging

Dad and Phil hard at work

Dad and Phil hard at work

diggin...shannon's foot :)

diggin...shannon's foot

Darin workin on the footing drain

Darin workin on the footing drain

group pic with the trench

group pic with the trench





Demolition!! … No More old tin shed

5 03 2009

We tore down the old metal shed today to prepare for breaking ground this Saturday! Saturday I will be digging the trench for the footing and need all the help I can get. So if you’re not busy Saturday, come by and dig with us. Below are the pictures from today’s demolition work!

Phil and Ileen Beard starting to take apart emptied shed

Phil and Ileen Beard starting to take apart emptied shed

Phil working on unscrewing inside walls

Phil working on unscrewing inside walls

Ileen cutting overgrown vines to make access to side of shed

Ileen cutting overgrown vines to make access to side of shed

yeah demolition! Phil and Jana with the fallen roof

yeah demolition! Phil and Jana with the fallen roof

No more old tin shed :)

No more old tin shed 🙂





The Old Shed

26 02 2009

Here is a picture of what currently stands in the Beard’s backyard.  This is the future site of my straw bale shed.

The Beard's tin shed that I will be replacing.

The Beard's tin shed





I’m building a shed!

24 02 2009

Hi everyone,

This is the start to my blog, thanks to my cuz Nathan for prompting me to start one, to track the progress of the straw bale shed I am going to be building mid March, mostly during the week of KU spring break March 16-20. That is less than a month from now! I am super excited because it is my first construction project and I hope the start to more.

If you are interested, you should browse this site. If not, that is cool too, you don’t need to read all the mumbo jumbo, but you should still look at the photos, which give an idea of what it is all going to look like!

*NOTE, if you are interested in doing photography for my project take a look at the Get Involved link for more info.

So….What am I doing exactly?

Since summer I have been researching an interest in ‘sustainable’ architecture. I discovered straw bale construction and after reading a book about it and studying various websites on the subject, I am completely sold and ready to try my hand at it. I currently live at Phil and Ilene Beard’s house in Lawrence. Phil has an old rusted 7×9 tin shed out back that he had told me last summer he planned to replace. I kept that in mind as I learned about straw bale building and decided building a shed would be the perfect start up project to learn the basics of this building technique. Phil agreed to fund my enthusiasm as I will produce for him a sturdy luxurious shed compared to his decaying metal one

How easy is it going to be?

Thats what I am going to find out soon enough, but it is presented as an ‘anyone can do it’ construction technique! So hopefully I fall into the category of ‘anyone’. Make sure to check out the Get Involved tab to see how you can help with my project too!