Saturday, October 4, 2014

Barn: delays and trusses arrived...

Barn: delays and trusses arrived...  This week has seen little work done on the barn, mainly because of rain and mud.  Over the past weekend and into the early week, we had intermittent rain and overcast days (so no drying out).  The storm total was well over 2 inches of rain, and the fields are gloppy muddy.  Yesterday (Friday) was the first entire day that we had sunshine, clear skies, and low humidity, so the drying process could begin.  Hopefully by Monday conditions will be good again.

The builders did get some work done this week: they sheathed the last wall on the second floor, and did some layout work in anticipation of the arrival of the factory-built trusses.  These trusses were engineered for this building, and built in a factory near Salt Lake City.  Yesterday afternoon the truck with our piles of trusses arrived – but unloading that truck proved much more challenging than we expected.

The challenge came from the combination of mud and subtle topology.  The access road through our property to the barn is very slightly lower in elevation (about 8") in a spot near the paved road.  In the middle photo below, you can see the truss delivery truck sitting in exactly this spot.  Between where I stood to take that photo, and the spot where the truck is, there is a very gentle slope – nearly imperceptible to the eye.  In that low spot, naturally, the rainwater collected into a nice big mud-puddle.  And the surface of the road was nice and muddy – and as slick as ice.  When the truck backed in off the paved road, it got stuck in that low spot – if it tried to go forward or backward, it could only move a few feet before its tires started spinning futilely.  Our builder saved the day by using his loader to scoop up about a cubic yard of gravel (from a pile scavenged from our driveway) and scattering it under the wheels of the truck.  With that assistance, the truck was able to back in to deliver our trusses (last photo), and zipped right back out to the paved road.  The driver looked quite relieved at this bit of success :)

The weather has also kept me from working outside.  My flagpole base still needs a bit of work, restoring the soil and turf around the giant concrete cube I now have in my back yard.  I've been working mostly indoors, putting up the last of the fixtures in our bathroom (meaning that I spent a lot of time drilling holes through porcelain tiles).  The paving crew and the roofers were both delayed, most likely at least through the middle of next week.  Our flagpole didn't arrive on time, though I don't know if that's because of the weather or for some other reason.  And the rock for our fireplace was also delayed, as their production was delayed by the rain...

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