top of page

We've Been Framed!

In February, Marty's Desert Sunrise Construction crew built the stick structure portion of our house. It's high time we shared that work with you!


Here Marty shows a few of his many "hats" with the various logos on his gear! He is also showing off his killer smize -- he's always smiling, even behind his mask, and he's just been a pleasure to work with. Chip got out in a blizzard to staple the wire mesh onto the bale where the wall would attach before the crew got out to start the framing!

Above is one of countless sketches I did to lay out the front wall openings. Of course in the final version I handed off to Marty I got the dimensions wrong and wrote "4x3" on the clerestory windows instead of the intended 4x2... Once we saw the framed wall we ended up going with the bigger size, and were able to change the window order, which was already in the works -- I think we'll appreciate the extra light.


Below is a 40 second stop-motion clip from our trail cam that gives you a glimpse of 19 days of Desert Sunrise Construction at work!



When the front wall was framed we got a sneak peek at our future views! From the loft we'll be able to see the Zuni Mountains and our tipi camp.

The skeletal wall looked fragile up there, braced by a few 2x4s. It was time to get the rest of the structure in place to tie it all together!


These big LVL beams go across the whole house half way back to support the rafters' midpoints. The guys beveled the top edge to match the roof pitch, and then hoisted them up onto the support posts.

Then they installed the BCI joist rafters, tying together the bearing wall, central support beam, and concrete bond beam. Another step sturdier!

With every addition, we are better able to imagine our house. Below I'm standing in the back corner pantry, looking out. The opposite corner will have the bathroom on the bottom, with a loft above it.

Once they skinned the front wall and cut out the lower openings, we got yet another perspective. At the center of the front face is our big opening -- a 16-foot sliding door in the living room.


To the right is the kitchen. We'll have a little cabin kitchen with its own door, and a peninsula / breakfast bar under the window separating the kitchen from the living room.


Then they put on the roof sheating and soffits, and installed the metal roof.

We have seven clerestory windows framed, but only purchased and installed three so far... we are unsure about the heat and light balance in our attempts at passive solar temperature control.

We had them install the three upper windows, but we will leave the bottom ones out until later in the construction so we don't risk smashing glass!


We've still a long way to go,

but now at least we have a roof over our heads!

Recent Posts

See All

7 Comments


Kimi BrownKawa
Kimi BrownKawa
Jul 30, 2021

Thanks Jenny!


Ugh... gardening. Yeah, Chip & I sat down when the framing was done and had a reckoning. Much of the rest of the build is dependent on our labor, so now that we are past dependence on contractors' schedules, we realized we need to laser-focus on the house! So "farming" has really taken a back seat. We've done a tinier garden than we had in our front yard in Wisconsin... maybe 10% of the greenhouse planted, and threw cover crop seeds on the outdoor garden. 🙄 Oh well, there's always next year!


I've started a monsoon post, so that topic will be answered soon... hopefully it will take me less than 5 months to get it written and…

Like

Looking Good! I can imagine how pleased you guys are to have gotten to this stage. How is the gardening going? Are you getting much monsoonal moisture? I hope the catchment tanks are filling. Best Wishes Jenny

Like

Kimi BrownKawa
Kimi BrownKawa
Jul 30, 2021

Thanks, all!


Yes, Jim, we will be happy when we are buttoned up, even if we still have a lot left to do! Our center LVL beam is in three pieces -- two 30-footers, and a 16-foot beam inside the house. Did you have one full-length beam? We will definitely have to visit each others' houses one day!


Ross, your comment doesn't make sense to me, but don't feel bad because it is maybe the most common suggestion we get, so it must make sense to everyone else! So it's worth answering fully... We have the 10" concrete stem wall supporting the front bearing wall, so we'd have to make a ramp to roll the camper up and over that…


Like

Ross Ishikawa
Ross Ishikawa
Jul 30, 2021

Looking great! Can you roll your camper inside for the winter?

Like

jgagnepain
jgagnepain
Jul 29, 2021

It's looking a lot like our place. You're going to love it. You will be so happy, once you get "dried in", with insulation in place. That master horizontal beam looks like a beast. We had to use a crane to drop ours in, while the carpenters secured it. Thanks for sharing the experience!

Like
bottom of page