July 16th & 17th - Carbondale Construction

The format for this post is a little funky since it's a cross-post from sc2sc15.WordPress.com. I'll go back and keep writing articles from the 4th forward, but wanted to put this up today. Apologies for falling so far behind; we had a few hosts with no internet and some long riding days. I'll probably keep pushing pictures here after the trip ends till I've covered everything. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming. 

We just wrapped up 2 days of building in Carbondale. As yesterday's author mentioned, our lovely hosts arranged for gondola rides in Aspen. Their pampering only improved as the build days passed.

We arrived in Carbondale to all of the host families waiting, holding valet-style signs. They took our bags and most of us rode our bikes to their houses. After we were all settled in and showered, we retuned to a central house for a marvelous potluck dinner. We also passed around a sign up sheet for various onsite jobs at the two sites: drywall, building a shed, framing a porch, sheeting, and a few more.

But this entry is supposed to be about the build days.

DSC04313We woke up a little later than usual. The Carbondale crew mostly biked or walked to their site, while my group met back at the ranch house to take the van to Basalt.

The Basalt house is unusual in that it's two stories tall. Most of the houses a built in the South were a relatively large single floor. This house had a smaller footprint but two floors (plus an almost full-height basement as a byproduct of excavation issues). 


WhenDSC04324 we arrived, the first floor was entirely framed and partially sheeted. The Habitat employees set us on three main jobs: sheeting the house with OSB (oriented strand board, basically the same as plywood), surveying and building the back porch, and installing joists and underlay for the second story.

DSC04334DSC04357Here's Paul working on installing hangers for the joists. These hangers provide the mechanical support the joists need, holding them from underneath. Two days later, all the joists were installed and half of the flooring was in place. In the photo on the right, we're paying up plywood to form the second floor's underlay. 

DSC04328IDSC04358 worked on the porch. We started with a pair of concrete anchors in the backyard and managed to frame the entire porch. The initial positioning is difficult because the pillars need to be square to each other and the house, but they're eight feet away from everything. The left photo shows the sill plate of the house, where we had to start by stripping away some fiberglass insulation to make room for a 2x12 plate. Next, we located the two corner posts, set concrete anchors, aligned them, and tacked them plumb with some temporary supports. On the right side, Helen is applying the finishing touches to the framing. 

DSC04373I don't have pictures of the sheeting, but Andrew and Alex both did a great job of running around the house closing up the walls. 

As a bit of an add-on project we also made two sets of staircases: this one that descends into the basement and another that rises to the second floor. In short, the ten of us finished a ton of work in our two days. We also had two splendid catered dinners, visited the hot springs at Glenwood Springs, and met some very welcoming hosts.