I thought this blog post was aptly named since our last one was titled Jim and Barb Go on a Hike. But before I get into the house building I want to take you back a couple years, 5+ years actually when Barb and I were both working and living in western Wisconsin. We long had a dream of moving out to the Black Hills of South Dakota. We also had a good friend Kevin who had the same dream so two years ago we both started looking for property out here.
The Black Hills area, containing Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave, Custer State Park and Devil Tower, are actually a lot bigger than most people think. Stretching over 100 miles north to south from Spearfish to Hot Springs and east to west almost 80 miles from Rapid City to near Sundance Wyoming. So what were the odds that we would find property near each other? Pretty good actually since being within ½ hour of Kevin was part of our search criteria. In the end we ended up within 15 minutes of each other when Kevin found 22 acres just east of Pringle and we found 45 acres just south of Pringle.
We both decided to build what some call a Shouse (Shed/House) and others call a Barndominium defined as a type of house that includes living space attached to either a workshop or a large garage. Some are constructed with large poles like pole buildings and others are stick-built like conventional houses. We both decided on the stick-built option. So maybe I should have titled this post Jim and Barb Build a Barndominium.
But since Kevin builds houses for a living perhaps it should be titled Kevin Builds another House. But I think a more appropriate title is Kevin Builds a House while Jim and Barb do What Kevin Tells Them to do. Kevin’s wife, Cheryl will of course be part of the crew as well but could not make it out this trip. Whatever you call it, the four of us (and anyone who makes the mistake of stopping by) will be building two houses this spring and summer.
Day one included clearing the snow off the concrete foundation we poured last fall. Then it was on to snapping lines to square and layout the building. After two days several of the outside walls were up. Progress appears to go fast when constructing walls as it goes from nothing to a partial building.
A good start but a long way to go!
|View out the kitchen window|
|We used a propane torch to dry off the boards|
|Barb attaching sill seal to the bottom plate|
|Bathroom wall going up|
|Bathroom all done!|
The building itself has an 18' center living area with outside sidewalls at 9'. The "shed" part of the building is actually 1/2 horse stalls and 1/2 garage with the same heights as the house.
|18' gable end going up|
|Standing up in place|
Then it was onto the mudroom and kitchen walls....
We cannot complete all the outside walls yet as we need the skid loader to lift the upstairs walls and a few beams in place. For the smaller posts and beams we are hand carrying these 200# beasts up scaffolding and ladders.
|Setting the first post in place|
|The first 8x8 beam|
|The 2nd 8x8 beam|
|First set of beams in place!|
It is hard to visualize from these pictures but in the coming weeks I will continue to post pictures of our progress and it will all make sense.
Speaking of our place, Barb picked up the building permit yesterday. A whole $350, a fraction of the price we would have paid in Wisconsin. Plus the clerk helped her fill out the paperwork and handed her the permit right over the counter. Gotta love small towns with no red tape!