cabin: framing one

The framing is starting to go in! The lower floor is framed (with the 3,000 gallon rainwater tank installed). By this time, the floor is sheathed and they've started framing the upper floor. The lower floor will be stained concrete while the upper floor will be slate: 














cabin: foundation done!


The foundation is done! The concrete blocks have been laid, the concrete floors poured, and the pooperpumper installed.

We were in Las Cruces (technically Mesilla) for Thanksgiving and, after out Thanksgiving meal, rolled the 1.5 hours to Cloudcroft to gawk at the site ourselves for about the last 15 minutes of daylight before hi-tailing back to Mesilla. 

Nothing beats seeing stuff in person. The foundation looks small (to me) in photographs, but seems HUGE in person. It's also terribly exciting to see the view and imagine sitting on the patio while a breeze tickles the pines. As The Bride says, it's going to kill us to not be out here all the time once it's finished.

We needed the pooperpumper since the lower floor is below the city's sewer line.

There's a little bit of construction improv in that the foundation and block extend under the master suite and laundry room, not envisioned on the plans. This is a good change imho in that it provides a better foundation for that part of the house and creates more storage space under the house, albeit unconditioned.

We've also been chosing toilets, plugs and switches, concrete stain, and the front door. We are in the process of choosing slate flooring, which is a challenge.

This next week they start framing. I'm going to have to roll or fly out there to see what that looks like, especially from inside the house. 



grassing the pervious driveway

 When we first installed the driveway, we seeded it with the Lady Bird mix. However, it just didn't take well with spindly Buffalo Grass that always seemed to look halfdead. We used Zoysia in a couple other places in the yard, and it has performed fantastic: looking totally bueno with no watering outside of first establishing it and no mowing (the Lady Bird required mowing). So we finally tore out the Lady Bird and replaced it with Zoysia. First, we smothered it with plastic tarps to kill the existing "turf" for about three months (probably overkill, but that Buffalo is like the zombie of grasses...) and then used Fertile Grounds Gardens (woman-owned green gardeners) to prep and install.

Hoo-boy, does it look fantastic! We are still watering it in (and using city water to do it because we don't have enough rainwater) but should be done in about a week. This is one of those things that we pinch ourselves and ask: Why didn't we do this sooner?


right after installation on November 1st

foundation 5

 The block is going in! Can get a sense of the view onto the National Forest off the back two sides of the property.


foundation qua


Concrete block delivered and to be installed over the next couple of weeks.


cabin: foundation twee


Footings poured! Can start to see what the views will be like with the cabin at an angle to the lot: trees, trees, trees!


the coming scrape


The neighbors recently sold their house as a scrape and, indeed, the scrape approaches in early December. The small houses in our neighborhood are doomed to be scraped, I fear, not only due to their small size, but also due to their build quality, particularly their foundations. According to the neighbor, it was going to cost $400,000 to address their foundation issues, so staying and remodeling was out of the picture.

Unfortunately, the neighbors illegally cut down a protected tree before they put the house up for sale. I thought it was odd that they were taking a tree down behind their house given how cheap they are. When he saw me gawking over the fence during all the chainsawing, he strode over to tell me how the tree guys says it was timely to take down the tree since it was rotten down to the base, all this while I could see a worker haul off a three-foot wide cross-section of the trunk that was solid wood (I almost intercepted it for a table for the cabin!). A week later, the house is on the market proclaiming a lot unrestricted by trees. hhhhmmmm....

The demo permit lists the owner as 6907 Daugherty Street LLC, which is not terribly helpful (although helpful, I imagine, for limiting liability), but the email address included a name: Britta Barts. Britta Barts is the owner of F&B Homes, which appears to be a relatively new development company. In a way, this is good news in that Paradisa Homes won't be the ones building next door. I find Paradisa's work somewhat decent, but we already have too much of it in our part of the hood (three just down the street). Also thankful it's not someone trying to build a Pflugerville suburban home in central Austin. Property prices may have crossed the threshold of requiring custom-built homes to be financially viable.

More excitingly, Steve Zagorski, one of my fave architects in town, is part of the F&B team. However, the F&B style (based on three homes being built in Hyde Park) leans towards "affordable" (or "maximize profit" [but increasingly boring]) farm house modern. But perhaps our house will inspire F&B to do something a but more modern (Zagorski is unquestionably capable). We shall see. I reckon design plans will appear on the city's permit site soon since they are getting after it pretty quickly, so stay tuned!



cabin: foundation too

 More progress on the foundation with progress on the footings and delivery of concrete blocks for the walls.  


we are building a cabin!

We've been talking about building a cabin for a long time and have had to overcome several setbacks, including, most recently, job uncertainty, the pandemic, the price of lumber, and, now, the price of EVERYTHING. The cost of the project has come in higher than anticipated, so we've had discussions about whether or not this was a good financial decision. Woke up one morning a month ago and said, "Screw it: we're building the damn thing." And here we are!

Early last week, the builder broke ground, and it felt good,

The plans go like this:




The work this week was about prepping the site, digging the foundation (down to rock!), and digging the footings for the foundation (which will serve as the floor for the basement/living area.