Unless you have personally dug 32 holes in the ground and filled them with concrete that you’ve mixed with your own shovel, you cannot fully appreciate the joy of working above ground, with wood, on work you can see. But I’m sure you can imagine J.’s elation to be cutting wood with his chainsaw again, day by day seeing the progress he makes.
The first layer on top of the cement piers is the platform on which we will build the house. The legs for this platform will be our own white oak (which has some rot-resistance, so it’s perfect if you need some wood near the ground). We’re using odd bits of wood that are too short for the beams of the house, and they’re beautiful chunks, rough-hewn and wacky. They support the more staid horizontal beams, which are pine 8 x 8s from the local lumber mill. Rather than load you up with a wordy description of what we did, I think our progress will be evident by photo:
Because of the slope on the site (although about as flat as our woods had to offer), the posts on the east side of the house are about four and a half feet high. No, we’re not expecting flooding on our gravelly hill in Wisconsin, but I can’t deny the similarity between our house and a shack off the beach in the Philippines. Someday it’ll be bike- and garden-storage. For now, the children love playing under the beams, and we’ve been picnicking on them, swinging our legs, happy as clams.