well, i think it’s safe to say that the word for the first seven or so days of the construction phase of our house is this one: DRAMA.
on monday we got scaffolding–a long line of it all across the front facade of the house–dramatic in and of itself simply because now there can be no mistaking that we are, indeed, underway. the other big sign of progress is that we’ve started to rebuild one of the walls in the front that we were forced to take out last summer because it was leaning.
the crew has also been busy digging out the dirt bottoms of all of our rooms (which they have to do, yes, by hand with shovels) in preparation for filling them with the sand and aggregate that will help form a base for our new flooring materials.
the only trouble with the digging is that it can destabilize the walls, and that’s exactly what happened with one of the walls in what will be our tiny library. sean, the site supervisor, said he was in another part of the house when he heard it give way. they ran to look and saw that half of one side of the wall was on the ground. opps. the only upside to this is that it happened to be the only wall in the house that for some reason wasn’t made of adobe, but fired bricks. since the rest of the wall was bulging, we decided to just take the whole thing out. we’ll rebuild it with adobes, and then the entire structure will be adobe through and through.
up top, meanwhile, they’ve been removing the roof. the entire process of re-doing the roof–currently a top priority–will take a couple of months. first, they have to take off the old, sheet metal and all of the old beams that to which the metal was attached. then, they’ll take about two feet of adobes off the front facade of the house–which is higher than the back–and put what’s known as a bond beam all around the top perimeter in order to tie the structure together. after that, they’ll build all of the adobe back up over the bond beam in order to restore the parapet. then, once that is done, they can frame out the new roof.
what this means, of course, is that currently we have no covering on our house. which is made of historic, mud adobe bricks. which means, as i’m sure you can guess (and as you know, if you live in tucson) that it is currently raining. a LOT. it started last night and it’s supposed to keep on through tomorrow. as i write these words, it’s pouring.
so yesterday afternoon, after the excitement of taking the roof off earlier in the week, we got the excitement of four hours of attempting to tarp the entire thing. i went by this morning, and things were looking okay, but i have all of my fingers and toes crossed that all of this water(we’re supposed to get another inch) won’t cause too much damage. ack!