Today was a good day despite the heat. At least there was a breeze and there had been a light shower the night before to knock down the dust. Today was paint day and siding day. Some volunteers painted the interior with the first coat and others began putting on the siding.
This is a picture of Joi, our future homeowner.
Click here for the slideshow of 44 pictures from today’s build, or click on Joi’s picture.
This picture was taken during a break. The background is the supply trailer.
In the slideshow there is a picture of a house being roofed. That is not this house, but since I was not able to be on site when the roofing was going on, I thought I would put that in from a nearby house (taken this morning) to show what it looks like when volunteers are on the roof. It is fun if done early enough in the morning, pure torture if done too late.
There is another picture of a house across the street, almost finished. The rest are from this house and the industrious volunteers. You can click at the link above the slideshow and view the individual pictures. If you click on one you can select various sizes and download anything you want. Enjoy!
When we arrived, the drywall was already in, ready for painting. The electrical and the air conditioning is roughed in, but the only power on the site is from the temporary power pole, so there are power cords running everywhere and constantly being expanded on and moved around, shared even.
This is the first year that our volunteers have been allowed to use nail guns on the roofing and the first year we have used nail guns on the hardi-plank siding. I’ve included pictures of some of the tools we have used this year, including the shears used to cut the hardi-plank and the lesser desired saw blade made for cutting the masonry boards. The skill saw blade is noisy and a lot of silica dust is generated, calling for face masks and ear plugs. The shears make almost no noise and create almost no dust. It is very efficient even for difficult cuts around windows and doors, for example. Here is a link to the manufacturer of the shears and a demo video. Cost is about $220 for the 404.
Hardi-plank is a concrete base siding where multiple layers of fabric are embedded in concrete to make a durable “50 year” non flammable, tough, weather resistant siding made out of a concrete product. It is flexible and fairly heavy, but easy to use.
If you have the shears, cutting is quick, simple and safe and there is almost no dust. Another method is the score and snap method where you simply score a line on the siding with a box knife and then break it along the line by bending over an edge. It can also be cut with a special skill saw blade with very few teeth (reduces the dust a little) and can be cut with a saber saw. Some of the crew used the shears and some the skill saw and saber saw. Long cuts and cross cuts with the skill saw. Short cuts for electrical boxes and corner cuts around boxes are best left to the saber saw to clean out the corners.
We had been using vinyl siding all these years but so many local city and county governments have raised the bar on construction techniques that zoning in many areas have prohibited vinyl. Beginning a couple of years ago, all Habitat houses in this area have gone to the cement fiber board – Hardi-plank. It is a good change. Vinyl can be cracked and a brush fire can melt or burn it. We had one home where a tenat put a barbeque grill on a porch too close and the heat melted a wide area – it drooped and ran.
The only drawback is the Hardi-plank siding has to be caulked and painted, whereas the vinyl did not require those steps. The paint is supposedly good for 15 years and the siding for 50.
It was a good day and the interior received its first coat of paint and we sided about 30 percent of the outside. The nail gun was a great help. One change from last year was the use of wood trim boards whereas we had used the masonry trim boards in the past. Masonry trim boards are very dense, very thick, very heavy, and require pre drilling the material before putting it up. Wood boards are much easier to work with. Good choice.
Monday through Saturday of next week is blitz week for the Presbyterian Coalition volunteers. 6 straight days of home building. More painting, more siding, interior door installation, trim work (baseboards for example). Fascia installation and shingles above the front porch. Little stuff mostly.
See you there? Look for the Presbyterian Coalition link on the right for directions. Work starts at 8 AM and finishes whenever it gets too hot or we reach a stopping place. Today we knocked off at 3:30 and began cleaning up and putting away.
Note: There are links in previous posts to the Habitat “Dinner on the Slab” and to the first day of build, both slideshows and narrative description. If you click on the link to the right “All Habitat for Humanity Articles.” Or just look around. You might find things that will suprise you.