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A Tapestry is Woven

Garage Insulation
Thick batts of fiberglass insulation should keep
the garage warm even on bitter cold days
February 18th, 2007

Jake Nelson and his Arrowhead Electric crew finished wiring the garage last week. Today the insulating experts from Bioseal stopped by and covered most of the garage interior with thick, fluffy fiberglass batts. The garage will have a wood stove but will not normally be heated except by the sun. Copious windows, 6 inches of fiberglass insulation and a foot thick concrete floor are designed to retain the sun's warmth and hold it throughout the night. While it may fall to 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in mid-winter, the inside of the garage will almost always remain above freezing. My car will be happy, warm, dry and should always start easily on bitter cold mornings.

Urethane insulation protective suit
Alan Bauer dons a protective suit before
spraying urethane insulation
Urethane insulation application
"Darth Vader" Mike Murphy carefully sprays foam into
the rafters above the Master bath room
First Layer Urethane insulation foam
The first layer of urethane insulation foam
is applied to the library rafters

Mike Murphy, Alan Bauer and Terry Counts of Bioseal in Livingston, Montana professionally insulated the new house. They sprayed two, 3 inch layers of urethane foam, on to the rafters over a period of a few days. Each layer sealed the rafters against drafts, lent them greater binding strength, added a thick insulating layer and provided a vapor barrier between the roof and interior. We used normal fiberglass batts for the walls so the house could still breath effectively while retaining warmth.

Contact Bioseal at (406)222-1331
Write to:
Bioseal, 191 Canyon View Drive
PO Box 1125, Livingston, MT 59047

Urethane Foam application
The first layer of urethane insulating foam
bonds to the rafters and roof sheeting
Alan Bauer
Alan Bauer helps Mike Murphy spray foam into
the south pediment roof cavity
Residential Electrical Panel
The main electrical panel slowly grows new circuits

Igrew up in a house that was built before electricity was invented. When our home was wired in the early 1900's it contained two circuits and two, 15 amp screw in fuses, for the entire house. All of the room wiring branched off the original two circuits. We blew more than a few fuses and finally in the 1970's my Mom and Dad had the house rewired.
Modern houses use multiple, individual circuits that start at the main panel. Each circuit contains an easily resettable breaker and its own wiring. Individual circuits provide greater safety, convenience and more electricity. The entire house will not go dark if you overload one circuit.

Jake Nelson and his professional crew at Arrowhead Electric meticulously wired the house for electrical, TV, Internet and telephone service.
E-mail Jake Nelson at Arrowhead Electric or call him at (406)333-4166

Attic Insulation
The fully foamed attic is home to plumbing vent pipes, heating
and cooling ducts, satellite TV, Internet and electrical wiring
Attic Wiring
Time to think about installing sheet rock...
Temporary Terminus
Modern plumbing starts with a manifold system

Plumbing has come a long way in the last 100 years. In the old days one set of hot and cold water intake pipes usually served an entire house. Today many people are choosing a manifold system which uses separate hot and cold water circuits for every fixture in the house. The number of intermediate connections and thus possibility of leaks is dramatically reduced. If a sink or toilet does develop a leak, they can be shut off at the manifold, and the other fixtures will still work fine. Water pressure is more even throughout the house so scalding showers when a toilet flushes are an experience of the past. The cross-linked polyethylene tubing (PEX) is flexible, easy to install and has a super smooth interior that allows water to flow quickly with less friction and chance of mineral scale buildup. Best of all, manifold systems generally cost less to install than traditional copper plumbing.

A multitude of hot (red tubing), cold (blue tubing) and exterior hose bib (white tubing) circuits are temporarily joined in the photo to your right. Eventually a wall mounted copper manifold with individual valves will host every water line.

The experts at D.W. Burns Plumbing professionally designed and installed our manifold plumbing system.
E-mail D.W. Burns Plumbing or call them at (406)333-4868

Tubing Plates
Steel plates protect water and plumbing pipes from nails
and screws used by sheet rockers and home owners
PEX Tubing Installation
Five cold and four hot water manifold pipes lead to the second floor
bath to service two sinks, a tub, a separate shower and a toilet
Tapestry Enclosed
A beautiful tapestry is encased by wood and walls
February 20th, 2007

The expertly crafted heating ducts and perfectly spaced, manifold PEX tubing are slowly encased with wood and sheet rock. The bath and furnace rooms are insulated completely for soundproofing while all the exterior walls are insulated with thick batts of fiberglass for maximum heat retention.
Mike Foley and Micah Magnus, expert sheet rockers, stop by to analyze the house. They expect that in two weeks they will be able to professionally sheet rock every wall and ceiling; over 18,000 square feet.

Manifold Plumbing Tubing
Hot and cold water tubing thread their way
through the basement overhead joists
Sherwin William Paint
Once the sheet rock is installed we can paint every room.
How will I choose from all these colors?
Sheetrock Loading
Unloading sheetrock from the truck is easy...

The most physically demanding job when building a house is the unloading and stacking of sheet rock inside the home. Each set of two pieces must be individually carried and gently placed in the room where it will be used. Sheet rock comes taped together as two pieces. A normal 4 foot by 8 foot pack weighs about 120 pounds and is easily handled by two people. The tough part comes when the sheets grow to 5 by 10 or even 12 feet long. Those weigh over 200 pounds and are extremely difficult to lift and carry into the house. Sheet rock is fragile and will easily crack if mishandled or dropped. Keith, Chuck, Kim and I unloaded every piece of sheet rock and carefully stored it in selected spots on the three floors. Fortunately everyone else was stronger than I, otherwise we would not have stowed every piece, as well as we did.

Mike Foley
Mike Foley precisely installs a sheet rock ceiling
Micah Magnus
Micah Magnus carries a custom cut, sheet rock panel

Garage Construction Continues

Bridger Door
The professionals from Bridger Door quickly
and precisely installed the overhead garage door
Carriage Doors
When painted, these should look like two swinging carriage
doors rather than a single, roll-up, garage door
Garage Work
Aaron and Justin prepare the garage roof for tile
March 1st, 2007

Justin and Aaron, the extraordinary carpenters who meticulously framed the garage and house, are back to install a tile roof. Everyone watches in anticipation as the two carpenters prepare the roof deck for the first tiles. Battens are carefully placed, the fascia and soffit boards affixed and weatherproof striping is laid down. Aaron carefully installs the copper drip edge and gable/pediment trim. Finally, towards the end of the day, the first Van de Hey Raleigh tiles are placed on a corner of the garage roof. Aaron likens installing the tiles to "nailing a flower pot". They are delicate under a hammer but should last for a century or more of normal use.

The pros from Bridger Garage Door installed the overhead garage door and automatic opener in less than 3 hours!
E-mail Lori at Bridger Door, call her at (406)763-3667 or visit www.bridgerdoor.com web site by clicking on the underlined text.

Vande Hey Roofing Tile
The first tiles are carefully installed on the garage roof
Vande Hey Roofing Tile
Light dances on the Vande Hey Roofing Tile tiles and battens
Absaroka mountain sunrise - it will be a beautiful day

Photos from my recent road trip...

Colorado Coal Train
A coal laden train winds through a Colorado red rock valley
A massive rock pinnacle along the back roads of northern Colorado
Wagon Trail Ruts
Wagon trails ruts created in 1862
are still visible in Wyoming's prairie
February 23rd, 2007

TThe Overland Trail was established in 1862 and used by tens of thousands of westward emigrants until the Trans-Continental railroad was completed in 1869. The light snow highlights the twin tracks left by thousands of horse drawn wagons.

Further north in Wyoming, on the Oregon trail a natural feature called "Split Rock" guided emigrants for several days travel. It is the cleft you see below in the middle of the Rattlesnake mountains. Nearby Independence Rock derived its name because timely westward travelers planned to arrive there for the annual July 4th Independence Day party. Arriving by the 4th assured them of not getting caught in early winter snows closer to California.

Split Rock
"Split Rock" a U shaped notch in the center of the photo,
splits a peak in the Rattlesnake mountains
Independence Rock Oregon Trail
Independence Rock on the Oregon Trail in southern Wyoming
Wind River Canyon
The Wind River Canyon south of Thermopolis, Wyoming
Visit Page 6 of the Travel section to see more photos
Chugwater Formation
A cold sun rises over the Wind River and a red rock
embankment near Thermopolis, Wyoming

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