Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Building a life #11. ‘Raise high the roof beams!’

                                               The cabin without its lid.

Spring is just around the corner, and the cabin walls are up. The original little 20x30 foot plywood platform now looks big with its log walls containing the space that we will live in by the Fall. The next step is the roof and for that I have some long logs set aside to make the ridge pole. One clear dark night I take the hurricane lantern up to the building site and contemplate the splendor of it all: the shadowy walls, dark overarching fir trees and brilliant star filled sky. This may be simply a construction project, but for me it is a form of art that I am making here: it`s called architecture and, having designed the cabin on paper, I am now making it real.

                                              On a cold clear winter`s night.

As I raise the center post and its cross beams I am paying special attention to the world above the cabin, the birds, the swoosh of the wind in the trees and the first slight smell of Spring in the air. Soon, if all goes well I`ll be raising the rafters, nailing down the cedar shakes and enclosing this open-air space that I have occupied during the winter months. I will miss it.

Raising the ridge poles goes smoothly with the help of my powerful neighbour John Bok who walks up the ladder with the end of each 20` log on his shoulder and places them on top of their posts. The rafters and strapping are a cinch - anything that simply involves dimensional lumber seems so simple after all the picky work with logs and chainsaw.

While preparing for the roofing project I am also reading ahead to plan for the electricity and plumbing. I have had to pre-drill all the holes in the log walls for the electrical wires and outlets as I went along. The water line from the well is already under the house, the electrical wires loop above the hillside from the utility pole to a temporary pole. There are a lot of interlocking elements in construction and I have to plan and co-ordinate all these even as I am doing the repetitive log building work. Thank goodness all the necessary information lies in books and these are very straight forward to learn from. This is exciting!

No comments: