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It Takes a Team to Build a House

Vande Hey Raleigh Tiles
The Vande Hey Raleigh Roofing Tiles Arrive
January 22nd, 2007

On a bitter cold and windy day 50,000 pounds of roofing tiles arrived at the base of our mountain. The 48 foot, extra long trailer was too big to negotiate our narrow mountain road with hairpin corners. The big rig also lacked a sturdy set of chains so it could not venture off pavement. Rich Spallone, a builder who often goes above and beyond, sized up the situation and immediately took charge. He called a buddy who sent Jeremy and a CAT Grade All forklift to unload the main trailer. Then Rich and Chuck chained up all four wheels on his truck and attached a 6,000 pound, 26 foot construction trailer.
Our Rivera style, fine roofing tiles came from Vande Hey Raleigh.

Visit the Vande Hey Raleigh site at vrmtile.com/ by clicking on the underlined text.

CAT Grade All
A long days journey begins...
Tile Trailer
First run up the mountain
Jeremy, Rich and 8,000 pounds of roofing tile
More Tiles
Almost time for our cross country tile haulers to go home

Despite the bone chilling cold and 50 mile an hour winds, Jeremy guided his Cat Grade All as deftly as Michael Jordan shoots hoops. Within an hour the tile was neatly stacked in the parking area off route 89 and our cross country drivers were headed back home to their families in Minnesota and North Carolina. All afternoon and into the early evening we loaded skids of roofing tile on to Rich's trailer and ferried it up the winding and snow packed, gravel mountain road. Bone cold, tired and hungry we carefully unloaded the last 4,000 pound pallets as a million stars rose in the clear night sky.

Hairpin turns
Rich negotiates hairpin turns and switchbacks while
hauling 12,000 pounds of roofing tile
Jeremy, our skillful and chilled CAT Grade All operator calls it a day
Gallatin Mountain Range
The Gallatin Mountains loom majestically in my back yard
January 25th, 2007

Abright, warm and beautiful day. Previous fierce winter winds and more recent, above freezing temperatures have swept the grassy mountain foothills bare. A little past noon I step off Everett Johnston's back porch and head towards the nearby Gallatin peaks. Slowly I climb the rock strewn and moderately steep knolls. Occasionally I stop, catch my breath and admire the sublime scenery. The length and breadth of Paradise valley spreads to the east until it abuts Emigrant Peak and the Absaroka mountains. Just to the west the craggy peaks of the Gallatin range loom above the horizon. A bald eagle skims the hill above me. Mule deer and elk tracks crisscross the high mountain meadows behind me.

Windswept Mountain Foothills
Wind swept knolls give way to tree studded
foothills and waist deep snow
Brockett Mountain Home
My growing home is surrounded
by spacious front, side and back yards
Volcanic Ash Butte
Volcanic ash formed this rocky knob when
the Yellowstone caldera exploded
Emigrant Peak Montana
Emigrant Peak and Paradise Valley seen
from my back yard in January of 2007
Johnston Mountain Cabin
Everett Johnston's high mountain cabin and my temporary home

Last September, my neighbor Everett Johnston graciously offered his mountain cabin for my use until my new home was completed. Rich Spallone and his crew carefully constructed Everett's warm and cozy cabin just about a year before the devastating Big Creek forest fire roared through. Everett lost his garage which Rich quickly rebuilt. Unfortunately many of the trees were killed but the view is more expansive than ever.

Jesse Lasater and Dave Whitesitt
Jesse Lasater and Dave Whitesitt from Bare's Stove and Spa
carefully install the living room, wood burning, fireplace insert
Vande Hey Raleigh Tiles
25 tons of Vande Hey Raleigh
Roofing Tiles rest in the side yard
Randy Randall
Randy Randall smoothes a PVC pipe
prior to chemically welding it in place
January 31st, 2007

Aaron and Justin are busy putting the finishing touches on their months long task of framing. They started with a concrete lined basement and meticulously built two floors, a roof and a full garage. They will be back in two to three weeks to install the tile roofing, build porticos, balconies and finally a greenhouse. Now that all the rooms are framed, the plumbers, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) crew and electricians can begin to turn a carefully composed, collection of timbers into a warm, cozy and comfortable house.
E-mail D.W. Burns Plumbing or call them at (406)333-4868

Todd Wagner
Todd Wegner from D.W. Burns Plumbing and Heating
precisely cuts a PVC drain pipe
Rich Spallone confers with Master Plumber
Dave Burns and Tinner Rob Harris
Jake Nelson
Rich discusses wiring with Jake Nelson of Arrowhead Electric.
E-mail Jake Nelson at Arrowhead Electric or
call him at (406)333-4166

The temperature inside the house is a frosty 5 degrees above zero Fahrenheit. An electric heater warms the concrete basement to a balmy 35 degrees. Rich carefully guides each group of sub-contractors through the house and explains what needs to be accomplished. It is critical that each team work in perfect coordination with the other teams. Drain pipes cannot block heating and cooling ducts. Electrical wiring must steer clear of plumbing or heating pipes while providing needed power to fixtures. Everyone takes notes and places marks on floor plans as we slowly move from room to room in the frosty cold air. More than a few toes are numb when we reach the last room on the top floor. Everyone is marching in step though and understands what needs to be done to efficiently turn raw timbers into a warm, cozy and well lighted house.

Fireplace Chase
Aaron puts the finishing touches on the living room fireplace chase
Milgard Windows
Milgard windows adorn the Master bedroom north wall
Keeping busy in my spare time...
February 3rd, 2007

Last November Rich and I were elected to the Glastonbury Landowner's Association (GLA) Board of Directors. We co-chair the Project Review committee which oversees well drilling, home building and sanitation issues. Rich also co-chairs the Roads committee which is responsible for road maintenance and plowing. We work with 10 other volunteer directors who give graciously of their time and expertise.

On February 3rd several directors and friends gathered at Neil Kremer's guest cabin. We prepared a community wide mailing for an upcoming vote on our recently completed Master Plan.

Visit the Glastonbury Landowner's web site by clicking on the underlined text.

Neil Kremer
Neil Kremer - GLA Master Plan Chairman
Charlene and Tim Murphy
GLA Treasurer Charlene Murphy with her husband Tim
Jake and Pat
Jake and Pat review basement wiring plans
February 9th, 2007

The house hummed with activity as the week wore on. Jake and his crew carefully placed the electrical outlet and switch boxes while the plumbing team from D.W. Burns artfully wove PVC drain pipes through joists, floors and studs. Master Tinner Rob Harris experimented with three different furnace positions before he found the perfect place. His team meticulously positioned ducts between joists and in hidden hallway ceilings. I collaborated with Jake and Pat to design a cutting edge and reasonably priced Insteon "smart" electrical system. Every switch and outlet is connected to each other via a wired and wireless network. Computer software and strategically placed keypad switches can control any switch, light or appliance in the house, garage or greenhouse.
Visit the Insteon "smart" home web site by clicking on the underlined text.

Ty Molhzan
Ty Molhzan of D.W. Burns Plumbing precisely cuts a drain pipe hole
Rob Harris
Master Tinner, Rob Harris, brings two decades
of expertise to our HVAC installation
Atmospheric Inversion
A cold and clear atmospheric inversion overrides warm, moist air trapped in Paradise Valley

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