Hambels On Strike

Hambels On Strike

At least from blogging. There was no point in blogging one more day on demolition, and I was soooo over it. So, I refused to write anything until I could open a new chapter in this blog…Specifically “Framing”.

If you noticed from some of the recent pics, a little bit of framing has already taken place. The new front entry is built. Where the stairs are going to be is in place. However, there was still a whole lot of old stuff that had to be removed to make way for the new stuff (and yes, stuff has become the technical term).

Though there are still a few tiny scraps of drywall that will eventually need to be torn down, I refuse to address them anymore, because now we are building people!

Trusses are up! And we are so grateful for all of our friends who showed up and helped lift them into place. No matter what was going on in their lives (just got back from the dentist with a half numb face or on his way out of town for a week) they dropped it all.

Then at the end of the day, as the sun began to set over our house we enjoyed a nice long beer break with the people that matter most in our lives.

This very act made me remember how it must’ve been 60+ years ago when Mike’s Grandpa added a second story to his house and all his neighbors were the only subcontractors who helped him do it. It’s a great feeling.

trusses6_second_story_addition trusses5_second_story_addition
trusses2_second_story_addition trusses3_second_story_addition trusses4_second_story_addition

Weather Forcast: Bright and Sunny, no clouds


Demo day eight-hundred million, six-hundred and fifty-four thousand, five-hundred and eighty.

Not really, but it seriously feels like it.

When we will stop demoing? I am ready for a new blog category!


I’ve got this sneaking suspicion that this is what hell may be like. Demoing with no end in sight. Not a breath of cool breeze. Never ending thirst, 100+°F weather with the sun radiating directly down on me without even a hair of shade, while the drywall and sawdust clings to my sweat covered skin.

If you want to know what it feels like, even for a second, turn your oven to high broil, wait a good 15 minutes for it to arrive at desired temp, open oven door, insert head…or just let the heat billow out onto you. It’s #painfulunbearableabsolutelyhorrible. And we have no water.

Thank God for the saving grace of neighbors who don’t mind us turning on their sprinklers and hoses and dancing in their front yards like banshees.

Hopefully our rain dances don’t bring forth the rain.

Now for the fruit of our labor, and to help you procrastinate on whatever you need to do today: here are some pics for your enjoyment, while I hate on the fact that you are probably sitting in your favorite chair, with your favorite drink, eating your favorite snack, in your comfy, air conditioned house (with a roof), and a lovely smirk on your face.

The new entry way and area where the stairs will be built. Like that high window? That’s where the landing is going to be (well, 32″ below the windowsill because I am an OCD weirdo like that)…
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The new porch and front of house (remember this pic?)

The floor trusses that will soon be on top of the garage and bedrooms, forming the foundation for the second floor sheathing:

The garage and bedrooms where those trusses will go:
no roof8_second_story_addition

Even my lego houses have no roofs…
no roof13_second_story_additionno roof11_second_story_addition

Aren’t the similarities striking? : )

P.s. That was Mike’s panorama pic at the top….it’s a little bubbly.

The Roof is On Fire

Fire1 (1)

I wish. Then I wouldn’t have spent three days working on it. My gawd it’s awful work. I would never be a roofer. It’s hot, and I don’t mean just the air around you, but physically the asphalt shingles will burn your skin. The good news is, I got a great tan, the bad news is, well there is just waaaay too much bad news. Tan lines, broken lights, finding out the past owners connected copper to galvanized fittings, I’m sure there’s a bunch more. Plus one of our friends fell off the roof and had to go to the ER for stitches.

Basically three days of back breaking work in the (ridiculously) hot sun and we still have almost half of our trusses still on the roof that need to come down.

I feel like I should be wearing one of those shirts that says something witty like, “I’ve been to hell and back and all I got was this stupid shirt”. Because we thought it would take us one day of work to be where we are right now. And all I can say is I am so thankful that I go to work today (so does Mike). My real job suddenly feels like Christmas.

I can’t ignore that we did make some progress. Our new floor trusses get delivered this Friday and we are (mostly) ready for them. Slow progress is still progress (I read that on someone’s Facebook once – of course it was about working out at the gym).

This is a pic of the trusses over the current master bedroom that still need to come down:
no roof3_second_story_addition
(Don’t judge, that fan has to be cut out.)

Trusses over the room the girls shared that need to come down as well:
no roof6_second_story_addition

What you don’t see in the pic above is Mike. I cropped him out because the look on his face was priceless: a mashup of pain and disbelief.

Yeah, we are in the thick of it now people. There’s no turning back.

Here’s a pic showing the trusses, plywood, and plumbing we removed over the garage. In case you’re curious, all the plumbing, gas lines, ducting and electrical had to be pulled back. We will re-run all of those once the house is framed.
no roof7_second_story_addition

The first wall is up!
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The second wall is up! Can you see where my front door and window will be? Pretty exciting!!!
no roof4_second_story_addition

And for us visual learners…

The mantra I keep telling myself is this is the last of the demo. Once this is done everything else will be a straight build.

(1) http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/Portals/0/Sunnyvale/DPS/FirePrevention/Fire1.jpg

Pour Party!!!

Pour Party!!!

Guess what? We passed our footing/slab inspection! To celebrate we are having a party! Too bad I forgot to send out the invites, but you were all invited to our pour party!

It was yesterday!!!

The day began bright and early (a bit too early for this girl, which is why I did not post anything about what happened yesterday until today, I apologize, I was tired, but I took lots of pictures!!!).

I used to like to party into the early morning…but these guys like to party in the early morning. (Yeah, I’m cheesy).

How about that brown grass? Pretty classy right? It’s okay, I know you’re just jealous, it’s the middle of August and I don’t have to water my grass…winning.


To the tune of some mariachi music, they started in the inside then partied to the outside.


And these boys were absolute artists, the finish on our slab is smoother than butter. If we wanted exposed concrete floors I would be proud to show these honeys off, but exposed concrete flooring doesn’t really go with our plan.

Regardless. Matt Blaha, from Blaha construction was Mike’s sensei. He guided him through the diy part of our foundation improvements, then sent his best guys out to pour and finish our concrete. Thanks Matt! (Yes, that was a plug. He deserves it. And no, we did not pour and finish the concrete ourselves, we may be crazy but we are not stupid.) slab7_second_story_addition

And because Mike and Will (Mike’s bff – who btw hates blogging so I know I am safe to say whatever I like about him here because he refuses to read it) can’t just stand around and watch other guys work, they decided they should (quickly) build some more forms for the extra concrete.

(That’s not Mike in the pic btw, that’s Will and the pump guy – who they enlisted to help them dig. These two can talk anyone into anything.)


Now we have someplace to place our two new AC units, yay!

P.s. Today is our Raise the Roof party, and I hope you stop by! We are tearing the roof off our house.