the high desert model home in process

linda visits the house with our 2 month old daughter
Oleana for the first time

with the structrual frame and roof complete, wood framed
walls are infilled to enclose the outdoor fireplace wall and
the mechanical equipment closet. wood nailers are also
added to the perimeter of the roof for the purposes of
attaching the finished metal fascia at the visible edges.

with the roof decking complete, I returned to attach the
stainless steel cable "X" braces. these elements are used
to resist lateral forces such as wind or earthquake. snow
is visible in this picture as white dots caught by the
camera flash.

view of the house from the driveway entrance

with three friends it took 2 days to complete the
roof decking

the pieces are then screwed down to the aluminum
beams every 4" on center, and also attached together
along the lap joints at 3' on center. The entire 1,500
sf of roof took about 1,000 screws.

the structural roof is made of 20 gauge steel decking.
Each piece in this design is 2' wide by about 18' long.
It takes three people to lift the pieces into place. the
galvanized underside surface of the steel decking will
be the finished ceiling of the completed house.

the threaded rod sticking up is the tail end of the wedge-all
anchors. They will be cut off with a grinder 1/4" above the nut.

by using come-alongs to pull the pieces into square, I was
able to come back by myself the day after assembly to
prepared the structure for attachement to the slab.

a sunset peek

the house is tucked into the hillside and just peeks
over the hill

it took 1 day with three friends to erect the entire aluminum
structural frame

2x4 rakers are placed to shore up the structure until
it is braced and secured to the slab

The structure is built upside down in parts and then tilted
up into place

The entire structural frame is made of strong but
featherweight aluminum by Bosch. Normally the Bosch
system is used for automated assembly line robots and
test-benches but we discovered that it would be perfect
as the rust-proof lightweight structural system for a
small house. Every piece can be lifted into place by
two men.

The view across the living room slab

We came back the next
morning to flood the slab with water. The more slowly the
slab dries out, the stronger it will be. It won't reach design
strength for 29 days

1,300sf of concrete slab with two outdoor courtyards
(opposite sides near center)

Steel trowel for the final finish. You know when it's
done when the trowel "screams" on the concrete surface

By the time the pour begins on the last part, the
first part has already be leveled and floated

First, fill in the footings

the manifold and pressure test gauge

the compression connections for the manifold.

all the zip ties get cut off before the concrete pour.

the tubing is held down to the rebar with zip ties

1,000 ft. of radiant tubing

The desert house radiant barrier with 24" o.c. #4 rebar in place for the pour on Saturday.

Fresh out of the box: the Rehau manifold that we'll be hooking up during the radiant tubing installation at the desert house on Wednesday.

The desert house, all set for the radiant tubing.

I finished the installation of the radiant barrier for the desert house in the dark - this was the last picture with daylight... Over the weekend, the rebar was finished and so now on Monday I'll spray paint the radiant heating pattern so it will be easy to lay in the radiant tubing with Linda during the week.

On friday I installed the radiant barrier for the desert house myself. The product is two layers of 140psi bubble wrap sandwiching a foil center. Not only does it help reflect the radiant heat back to the top of the slab, it also acts as a thermal break from the earth and as a vapor barrier.

At the desert iT house, the plumbing has been stubbed out in "chase" areas to be fully roughed-in once the cabinets are in place. This picture shows the bathroom chase right behind the lavatory.

the desert site with plumbing and electrical rough-in prior to installing the radiant/vapor/insulation barrier. Preliminary rebar is being staged in the footings.

A typical floor outlet

September 2nd

We spent the nite in the bed of the pick up truck to awake at dawn.

During the week, the concrete sub will return to finish trenching and to install the rebar cages in the footings.

We inspected the footings dug by the concrete sub and measured the locations of the plumbing waste lines to double-check the plumber's interpretation of the drawings.

I brought (a pregnant) linda to the site to see the layout of the plan on the site.

form boards are set by the concrete contractor prior to digging the footings. the picture is taken from the head of the stair leading down to the entry court through the trees.

the 2,500 gal domestic water tank installed on top of the hill above the pad. the trench is for the water supply line to the carpark where the water truck will stop to fill the tank.

this view is from the path leading from the future carpark. at the level section in the path we will install a 2,500 gal domestic water supply tank. at our site we will need to eventually drill a well about 300' deep. until then we will have to have our water hauled by truck.

from the pad down to the road, the spoils from the cut were spread out to create a temporary driveway for construction vehicles. once the building is finished, the road will be erased and access to the house will be from the carpark beyond the hill at the rear of the pad.

a good view of the cut in the hillside we made for the pad. notching the building into the hillside will help screen the building from the road and also help to minimize winter winds coming from the North (top of hill)

linda standing in the future kitchen

a view of the cut for the pad looking back towards the carpark and future water tank. the entry court is visible as an orange outline in the middle of the image

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