drywall

The Start of the Home Stretch

Welcome back to the 18×18 House blog, summer edition!

Meagan and Julie with Detyrick

Temperatures have officially risen in Hale County, and the 18×18 House team has had several milestones in the past month. Drywall was installed, trees were planted, siding is going up, paint is on the walls…

First, at the start of the summer, the team had to say “See you later” to Naomi, who traveled back home to South Africa. But this isn’t goodbye! We hope to see her back before the project opening.

18x18 Team

Digging the Groundwork

Then Jake, Julie, and Meagan got going on planting trees around the house, which was more work than you might think! They needed holes much larger and deeper than their containers, and plenty of water to protect them from the summer heat. Thanks for the beautiful trees goes to Plantation Tree Company near Selma, who donated all four!

And some shenanigans were involved, as usual.

Jake watering tree

We also had a visitor this month! Thanks to Jake’s sister Ella, we were able to set and cover the French drains on site, to help control water flow around the house. French drain systems include perforated pipes that are buried with gravel, to keep water from pooling around the property. Ours will funnel water away from the eaves of the house and from the porch. And after we put her to work shoveling gravel in the summer heat, Ella will never come to see us again.

Siding! And a porch!

We also wrapped all four sides in battens and purlins, to which the siding will be attached. The strips of wood are going to hold the upper portions of our siding a couple inches out from the house, to make a shadow line and hide refrigerant lines from the air conditioning system. The eastern façade is the first one completed, and isn’t it satisfying?

Soon, the steel porch roof will be installed, which was fabricated for the team by Superior Metal Works in Newbern, and delivered to site. It’s a big part of the exterior of the house, so we were eagerly awaiting its delivery!

DRYWALL!!!!

Amongst all the work outside, the most exciting part of the month was the drywall installation! There’s a huge difference inside the house now, and we’re so happy to see how light fills the spaces. Painting started right away so that interior finish work can begin soon. That means taping a LOT of corners and using very long extension rollers to get to that double-height ceiling.

The light in the house with drywall installed is better and brighter than we could have hoped. How ’bout them windows?

The summer is passing in a whirlwind at the 18×18 House, and the opening is in sight! We’re going full speed ahead with finishes, inside and outside. Stay tuned to see the end of our story!

Starting the Summer at the 18×18 House

The 18×18 House team has been BUSY! The end of the spring semester came fast, bringing a big ol’ Pig Roast celebration with it. Dozens of family members, friends, and alumni crowded around the house to see what this project is all about. We had a great time sharing the work, and figured out just how many guests can fit onto two parking spaces…

Post-Roast Tasks: Roofing

After the fun of Pig Roast, the “18s” hit the ground (or the scaffolding?) running to get the roof installed. Without a watertight roof, the team couldn’t install insulation or drywall, so it was the priority. The first step was laying rigid insulation over the roof sheathing, then attaching purlins across the top. These purlins will be what the metal panels are screwed into later.

Then all the corners and edges got metal flashing installed on them. The whole roof was outlined in metal profiles to keep water OUT!

The team laid the metal roof panels across the length of the house, attaching them one by one. The back side of the roof was the easy part, but then it was time for the dormer…

Before installing the metal on the front, the team had to install the roof and the siding panels on the dormer. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be a way to reach the dormer walls later. Meagan and Jake did some tricky flashing work from the scaffolding to install everything over the purlins and insulation. And then, a finished dormer emerged!

The rest of the panels went on smoothly after that. And isn’t it pretty? After it was finally done, Meagan took a break.

Insulation Nation

But no time to stop! As soon as the roof was finished, it was time to insulate. The 18s stuffed the house full of hemp wool and mineral wool batts. And then some more mineral wool. And then some more… Let’s just say there was plenty to do. Meagan had to take another break.

Closing in the Walls

The last step before drywall can be installed was to hang cement board in the bathroom. Cement board is a water-resistant substitute for drywall in showers and other wet areas of a house. The team will be tiling the walls of the shower later on, and this will provide a sturdy base for it. Julie and Meagan measured each panel, scored them with a utility knife, and broke them along the scored edges. Then Meagan took a break, again.

And drywall was delivered to the house this month! We watched as the sheets were lifted into the house through upstairs windows. It all fit inside just fine, and the house is once again crowded with materials. All that’s left now is to hang it up!

We aren’t the only ones eager to see what will come next at the 18×18 House. Watch out to see what happens as summer goes on!

Kitten in doorway
Awwwwww