Thursday, January 18, 2007


Here is the latest from Wimberley, showing the start of Tyvek building wrap installation. This stuff keeps out water and air while not allowing mold growth. Oddly, it is also the stuff used to make a lot of those large shipping envelopes you sometimes get things like FedEx shipments in.

A major ice storm has ensured that no progress was made on the place this week, which is frustrating after finally getting started on the framing. So, it will be another week until I can post some photos showing the second floor underway.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Here is the view looking into the living room, framed by the large glu-lam timber columns and beam, which will be left exposed. The galvanized doo-dads near the top of the beam are hangers which will support the second floor I-joists, and those joists will also be left exposed. The living room floor has standing water because it is recessed for installation of a bamboo wood flooring later on.

Here are a few definitions for those of you not in the design and construction field:

1- Glu-lam: Short for glue laminated, in this case a bunch of finger-jointed 2x6 fir which has been glued together under high pressure. This enables the designer to achieve an appearance similar to the huge old beams of yesteryear, without destroying old growth forests.

2- Doo-dad: A thingy, widget, thingamajig, whatchacallit.

3- I-joist. When viewed from the end, these joists look like a capital letter "I". The ones being used here have 2x4 flanges top and bottom, and the web is 1/2" OSB (Oriented Strand Board). They are 16" deep so they can clear span 22 feet, and can house the necessary heating and cooling duct. The idea is to create a very stiff and strong second floor, and like with glu-lam, use less natural resources.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Wet wet wet

The Wimberley area got tons of rain this weekend, and is still getting it as I write this. The roar of rushing water from the normally near-dry little creek on our property was amazing. It was seeing the most action since its good old days, before water wells lowered the aquifer level.

Mother nature brings both the bad and the good, and this rain was both. The storms caused lots of erosion and even generated a nearby tornado, but they did bring needed water to the aquifer. They even swept away a bunch of old logs I had piled up in the creek bed 3 years ago, which are probably floating in the Gulf of Mexico right about now. So, this Spring I'll post some more creek photos which will likely show an almost pristine, quiet, green little creek, with no hint of the storm waters or the trash that they washed away.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Up we go!

Now THAT is a cool feeling. Walking through this space which previously existed only on paper. Seeing the window views I had planned, framed in living color. I got back from taking these pictures in Wimberley yesterday, and am still a little tingly!

This photo was taken from down the hill at sunset. The closest corner is the living room. The empty space up top in the middle is where the small second floor will be located.

Here is the view out through the opening which will contain the living room windows.

Here my security guard is checking visitors at the entry.

And finally, we now actually have a mailbox! Having one after all these years reminds me of Steve Martin in "The Jerk", when he saw his name in the phone directory for the first time. Remember him jumping up and down with joy with that simple achievement?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Neighborly love

Ken is one of our Wimberley neighbors. Something wonderful happens when neighbors really get to know each other. Before automatic garage door openers and hired-out lawn care, some of that neighborly contact just happened naturally. Thank goodness in Wimberley I'll need neither of those. Here Ken is pictured helping me out with a little earth moving work which would have taken me many hours to perform by hand. And so, I'm now itching to figure out some way to help him out too, even if I don't own a Bobcat.