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Building a Dream House: Trussed Up

Hi! I’m Melissa. I write about food, family, and farm life at Lulu the Baker. My family and I are about to fulfill one of those good, old-fashioned life-long dreams: we’re building our Dream House.

I mentioned in my last post that I am quite astonished every month when I sit down to write this column and realize all of the progress that’s been made on the Dream House since I last wrote. I don’t think words can accurately convey that feeling! Even though I know I’m going to experience it every time I write another Dream House post, I’m practically speechless when it happens. The first thing I do when I get ready to write another post is go through the photos on my phone and scroll back until I find the last picture I used in my previous post. That’s really the only way I can keep track of time in these photos, the only way I know where we left off last month and where to begin this month. And while I’m scrolling and passing pictures, I just keeping thinking, “No way! The garage and porch hadn’t been poured yet?? None of the interior walls were even up??” And that makes me so excited to see what great things will happen after today! When it’s time for me to write my Dream House post for April, what milestones will we have passed between now and then, I wonder.

One of the first things to happen this month was pouring two more major concrete pads–the garage floor and the porch. My husband tells me that the company doing our concrete (not the concrete in the walls, but the concrete you see and walk on) has a reputation in the area for being the best in the biz. The other workmen say the concrete guys are artists, and ooh and aah over their expert expansion joints and exquisite exposed aggregate.

About that same time, the framers started working on the interior walls of the main floor. Our contractor is really good about telling us when fun things are happening, things that involves huge trucks and really heavy machinery. He gave us a heads-up the day the massive support beams in the ceiling were being placed, and even though it was a little drizzly, we had fun watching the crane lift and place those massive pieces of wood and steel. Right after they placed all of the big beams, they installed all of the decking for the top floor. The framers also pretty much built the whole garage in one day! It was as though one minute there was no garage, and then all of a sudden it appeared out of thin air. Our workmen are magicians!

And then everything got really exciting and started moving like greased lightning! Two of the three sets of stairs were put in–the set going down to the basement and the set going up to the second floor from the entry way–which means no more climbing on ladders, hallelujah! All of the interior and exterior walls on the top floor were framed, which means we can see how big the rooms are and what the layout is like up there. It also means we can see what our view will be from the upstairs windows, something we’ve only been able to guess about for the past 7 years. And it’s stunning!

The trusses for the garage were not only delivered, but also installed, which means that our house is actually starting to look like a house instead of a big, strange series of boxes. Some dear friends visited us over the weekend, and we all went out to the Dream House for a picnic and a tour. The sun was shining and the air was warm. We ate and talked and played, climbed dirt piles, threw frisbees, and started not only imagining what life will be like out there in the fresh, country air, but enjoying it. It’s so close, I can feel it!

Milestones for the upcoming month include installation of the trusses on the rest of the house, building out dormers, decks, and patios, and installing the roof. The actual, factual roof! I’m so excited for our project to start looking like the home we’ve dreamed of, and I think the installation of the roof will be a huge part of that. And we, the family, have an important to-do list for the next few weeks as well. We have to choose roofing shingles and exterior stone (which will probably also go on the fireplace), and figure out what paint colors to use on walls, ceilings, cabinetry, and trim. And we need to once and for all decide what material to put on those kitchen counters! It’s crunch time, so we can’t put off the decision any longer!

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