Doing the Most Post-Roast

It’s been a busy month on site at the C.H.O.I.C.E. House. Read ahead to see how we are stepping up and rocking on in our push to the finish. 

 As always, we wrapped up the academic year earlier this summer with a Pig Roast toast. We spent the day celebrating the graduating students and sharing our progress with friends, family, and visitors, far and wide. After a few fireworks and some much-appreciated words of encouragement, we got right back to it, kicking off our second Hale County summer. We’ve broken up our days into inside and outside tasks, starting our mornings outside and working our way in to beat the heat.

The first order of business outside was to build and pour the concrete for our steps. The cascading steps have concrete bookending both sides, and the first step is concrete as well. Like all previous pours, this process included building formwork, setting it, and layering up a sandwich of dirt, gravel, vapor barrier, rebar, and mesh.  

Next, we braced ourselves to climb up into the porch trusses and finish our porch bracing strategy. The goal here was to create a triangle of 2x4s that tied the porch trusses to each other and then back to the units. 

Meanwhile inside, a local contractor hung our drywall over the course of a week, setting us up to jump right in to painting and finishes in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, we met with civil engineer and friend, Adele Schirmer. Working with her, we developed a strategy for directing water away from the units and towards an existing drainage ditch.

Continuing our slate of meetings, engineering consultant Joe Burns stopped by our site to confirm some final structural questions, while our professors, Andrew and Steve, along with David Hill (APLA Associate Professor and Graduate Landscape Architecture Chair), helped us talk through some landscape questions that arose in response to our civil engineering conversations with Adele.

Between meetings (and summer thunderstorms), we installed metal siding. Save for a few front porch fixtures, our exterior envelope is complete!

Back inside, the units are painted and ready for trim and fixtures.

As our opening fast approaches, we’re calling in all the help we can get. Meet the team’s newest member and resident morale booster: Miss Cauliflower!

very cute kitten wearing overalls

How does it feel to be this close to the finish line? Ask Davis.

davis looks unnervingly happy