Monday, April 30, 2007


The first section of wall framing arrives via crane. The building of the units was done at their shop in Shortsville and delivered to the site.

The south facade takes shape as one of the window frame sections is dropped into place.

The south side assumes final dimension. The door and window openings are in place and allow ample viewing from either in or out.

The tall west wall section joins to the base plate. 2 x 4 studs, the ever-present pink insulation, and oriented strand board make up each part of the wall.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Timber framing - part 4

The completed structure from the south side:
There will be a large glass patio door in the center opening and matching window sets on either side. Nothing fancy, but we are also considering a pergola covering the entire length and extending out 10 feet or so.

The timber framers pack up to go home. The actual raising only took them one day. They have much experience, and all the fancy angle cuts and dimensional lengths are completed before they come to the site.

The view from the north side (see architectural rendering at the top left). The bank of nine windows and the tongue and groove ceiling will give a spectacular road-side view at night.

The horses relax after a long day on guard. They were not sure about the crane and the lifting of timber pieces -- might be a horse-eating monster, you know!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Timber framing - part 3

A beginning sense of the volume of the new room starts to show. We wanted vertical space along with length and width, but didn't want to overpower the utilitarian nature of the studio. We think architect Ty Allen achieved a good balance.

The fourth truss goes into place. The space between the timber frame and the existing house will be taken up with a full bathroom and a hallway to the "great room."

The structure takes shape, and Tad displays his balancing skills as he proceeds down the rafters to tighten up the USB connectors on top of the frame. The green straps and the come-alongs are still needed at this juncture.
Ty is sawing off the connecting pegs, and Tad is busy on the phone. If you double click (which you can do on all these pictures) and scroll right, you can see 2007 inscribed on the corner truss. This will be above the corner office space with built-in cabinetry.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 27, 2007

Timber framing - part 2

The second truss arrives via overhead crane. The green strapping and come-along holds things together until pegging can take place. A spline on top of pole #2 holds the material steady.

Paul and Tad straddle trusses while attaching cross members of the structure. The chamfered lower edge of the second truss clearly shows in this picture. This feature, along with the curved braces, adds nice contrast to the straight lines of the frame.

Paul Plane, the "champion" of the timber frame project, uses a chisel to square off a mortise before inserting the correct tenon. Ty Allen, the architect designer, lends a hand.

Paul guides the third truss into place. In a "new age" gesture, his title of Champion suggests both competence and responsibility in the manufacturing and installation process. It seems effective, as others on the job deferred to his leadership, and this made for an orderly, efficient completion of the task.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Timber framing - part 1

The timber framers came today. No limo... But a central casting crew with 2 grizzled veterans with brush cuts, and one with a chaw, the design architect who turned helper for the project and a "newbie" as gopher.

The closet framing goes into place along the north wall. Five closets will be served by sliding doors on rails. The model will be the barn door entrance popular among pole barns.

The first corner frame, brace, and top assembly goes up along the south wall. The joinery begins with fitting and leveling. Project supervisor, Tad, joins in with his usual helpful contributions for the day's work.

The first truss is placed for the west outside wall. The trusses were assembled yesterday at the shop and transported on the truck with the crane.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One day til framing...

Tad installed the joists around the perimeter of the new addition today preparatory to the timber framers arrival... (Due tomorrow despite still waiting for a part?) They are the "rock stars" of New Energy Works, and it will be fun to watch them work. Maybe they will show up in a limo...!

Another one of our gardens:
This is a maze composed of 250 arborvitae (now 12' tall) with blooming forsythia and picket fence marking the entrances. The circular form is borrowed from a 15th century Italian berry patch. Come visit us and try to find your way to the middle!

The burned-down double tear-drop shaped perennial display:
Each Spring we flame away last year's growth. In a few weeks time, the area will be covered by a variety of grasses of varying height, texture, and color. Nature's regenerative powers never cease to amaze...!

Our 40-year old raspberry plants await new growth. They reliably produce annually and are used gratefully on breakfast cereal and in a number of tasty desserts!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Timber framing soon

The concrete pad is curing. The timber framers were here today to take measurements. The plan is that the raising will take place Thursday, as the final timbers are still being prepared.

A nice stand of daffodils in a corner behind the horse barn:
A bush rose prepares its greenery, and a clementis is barely visible around the corner.

An attempt to duplicate the trylon and perisphere concept as an entrance to our herbal garden:
These global and pyramidal images personify the 1939-40 New York World's Fair.

Our grape vines are ready to bud at the left of the picture.

Another Zen garden:
The blue rug juniper plants are beginning to waken from their winter rest. The center island mugo pine and dwarf blue spruce add verticality, and the Harry Lauder walking stick bush to the left contributes wonderful contorted branches.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pouring the concrete

The north wall is opened at the web to receive the reinforcing concrete. Steel rods are placed on the interior block prior to the pouring.

Final layer of insulation (pink again) is placed around the perimeter. Tad reports the color pink is proprietory to Dow Chemical, the manufacturer.

The concrete for the wall arrives through the sleeve on the cement truck conveyer -- a lot easier than the old wheelbarrow method!

The floor is spread with Tad lifting the steel mesh and radiant tubing to insure complete coverage. The wooden box at the base of the sleeve contains the electric floor plugs installed prior to pouring.

The portable, vibrating, large float does the initial smoothing with just a few quick passes. This handy machine is another advance that makes the whole process more efficient.

The edging is still managed by hand on bended knee. The human touch and good eye are still hallmarks of craftmanship!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Quiet Sunday

Another garden awaits spring clean up. This is the entrance to the gazebo Zen-design garden. We are pleased to see many honeybees hard at work in the heather in the foreground. There is much discussion locally of a destructive virus that has severely diminished their supply and activity. We need them to pollinate our flowers, fruit, and vegetables.

It is so nice to have our deck ponds clean and the waterfall connecting the upper and lower ponds humming away. The gentle sound of cascading water is surely one of nature's most pleasant gifts. Now we have to work hard to keep the various types of algae under control.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Busy Saturday

A beautiful warm day found Fella, our 30 year-old gelding, enjoying the sun. As a senior citizen, he often lies down on the small rise in his pasture.

Our friend and art quilter, Pat Berardi, works on the long-arm quilting machine. She is completing work on a couple of creations to be entered in Perinton Quilt Club show.

The men from Clearly Aquatics have drained the cobblestone pond off our deck and are cleaning the rocks, prior to replacing the resident fish and frogs and refilling with fresh water.

Our water lilly plants in another pond are being fertilized by Dave Young from Clearly Aquatics. They will bloom profusely in the warm months ahead.
Posted by Picasa