Friday, August 29

Day 2

Funny to begin a blog with "Day 2", however one has to start somewhere.

I am finding this work to be wonderfully fulfilling and even fun. An 8 hour day of digging holes flies by so quickly that I'm sad when the sun drops too far behind the trees and the mosquitoes get so bad we have to wrap up our day of work. Yes, I've enjoyed the last two days immensely.

Here are some of our holes


We began this whole yurt-building process by meeting up with our "man", Bill, who is a general contractor and has agreed to consult with us on particulars and details. He's also a building inspector, so knows all the "right" answers. He also seems willing to bend certain ideas/rules he has in order to help us along and find our own way. We first met with him for about 1.5 hours as he explained to us how to make a foundation and deck for our yurt, and how to draft detailed plans from which we will be working and creating lumber lists.

I have to admit I had no idea where to begin before this meeting, so it was really exciting to see a plan forming in front of us. The yurt almost seems secondary at this point because there is so much work to be done before the yurt even becomes a factor in our daily plans. Also, from what I've read, the actual erection of the yurt can take only 3 days if we're properly set up, which seems like such a small percentage of the actual labor ahead of us.

So Erin and I spent Wednesday afternoon with our graph paper, calculators and pencils (and copious notes from the meeting with Bill) and drafted a plan. We started with a layout for our girters, strong support beams that run the length of the platform, and quickly decided we'd need four instead of three, due to extreme overhang of our joists on the round side of the yurt platform. Then we planned out the number of concrete piers we'd need to support the girters and decided on 22 after much moving around and contemplation of factors and fractions (real world algebra 101). After that, we decided we were ready to jump in and that the rest of the planning and counting would come later.

Day 1 Recap:

Our first day on the job donned sunny and HOT - at least 110 degrees (Mendocinian for about 85 degrees). Bill met us up there and showed us how to make batter boards so we would be able to lay straight and square lines of string above the ground. These lines show us where our girters will go, and also where the piers will be placed underneath them. We had grand plans to lay the batter boards and lines and dig all the holes on this Day 1, but alas, we barely finished the lines by 7:30pm.

It was a great day, and we also spent considerable time setting up our construction camp, complete with shade tent, small table, cool water, and every single tool we could find in our collective garages.


However dirty and sweaty we were after Day 1, we quadrulped it after today. At quitting time this evening, we were both covered from head to toe in a layer-cake coating of SPF 50 sunscreen, bug spray, dirt and concrete. We dug 22 holes, mixed 9 bags of concrete and set 6 piers. We had some logistical questions about the piers that necessitated another visit from Bill in the late afternoon, and discovered our overzealous hole-digging is going to equate to more concrete than we had originally thought. Oh well. We're learning as we go, and okaying everything with Bill.

I can't wait for next week! I'll try and post some interesting information in the sidebar for more background.


Anonymous said...

Can I be adopted into your family LAWB III? You are all so amazing, and I can't wait to come see Mama's Yurt. I love you! Kisses to Mama, Manda, Maddie, and Erin.

Anonymous said...


Just wanted to show my appreciation for your time and hard work

Angela Brumley said...

This is amazing!!!! I hope one day I can build my own. Thanks for the inspiration.

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