The T-House has now been re-named 20Kv16 Michele’s House and, since that time, a lot has happened! Lately, we’ve been focusing on the interior finished in Michele’s House. After the drywall was completed, we’ve painted, installed cabinets, trimmed out windows & doors and put in the electrical fixtures. Stay tuned for more photos; the porches have also gotten some love as of late.

Interior finishes are now almost complete, with only a few touch ups to go! Cabinets and countertops have now been installed with shelving above for extra storage.  For the shelves, we used left over 2x10’s, sanded and coated with sealant.  Thank you to Schaeffer’s Chapel United Methodist Church of Columbus, MS for donating the oven and fridge!

Window and base trim have been installed and painted.  We used 1x4’s for base trim and thin molding around the windows with 1x8’s as the sill.  Also, lighting fixtures and fans have been installed and we now have power.  Only a few things remain and everything is quickly coming to a close at Sylvia’s house!

The exterior of Sylvia’s House is now complete with the addition of porch cladding and handrails.  With drywall finished, we were also able to get a couple coats of paint on the walls and floor.  While doing so, we also installed interior doors and receptacles.

Rather than the typical pine 1x4’s which have been used in past 20Ks, we decided to try out spruce 1x6’s which cost close to the same as pine and are much straighter boards, making gaps easier to deal with.  We used clear sealant to protect the wood from weathering and bring out the grain of the wood. 

The handrail design is composed of vertical 2x2’s, horizontal 1x2’s, and 2x4’s running across the top.  The 2x2’s are doubled up to give more strength to the few vertical pieces.  We wanted to continue the horizontal effect of the metal siding onto the porches.  The 1x2’s are spaced in a way which complies to code while keeping the enclosure light enough to not over impose on the open corners.

Over the past two weeks, metal siding has gone up, drywall has been hung, and stairs have been added to the porches.  

We decided to run the corrugated metal horizontally in order to create more texture on the facade through shadow.  The challenge of this was fitting each long piece between window and corner flashing.  This typically is not an issue because vertical pieces only have to fit in one j-channel at the top, while sitting on top of a drip edge at the bottom.  Wide j-channels on windows and corners allowed us to slide and push each piece into place.

Shane Price has been installing drywall the past few weeks.  We are excited to see how each space we have created actually feels.  We will soon be able to put our focus on interior finishes.

We now have stairs on both porches, which makes moving around the porches much easier.  We are now in the process of designing the handrails and installing porch finishes.

This week Shane Price, our drywall guy, came out and was able to put up the first round of drywall.  We are happy with the amount of light that comes into the space and how each of the rooms feel.  While Shane was working on the interior, we were working on the exterior putting up our white corrugated metal siding.  

This is the first time that any of the 20K houses have used horizontal metal in some time and we were curious the differences between vertical and horizontal metal. The main differences are that horizontal metal requires battens to screw into (for drainage) and that you have to be conscious how you overlap the metal on the top and the sides (vertical you just have to overlap the sides). All in all, we are very happy with our choice to use horizontal metal and how corresponds to our big ideas. 

A big thanks to Johnny Parker who helped us dig a trench for our plumbing, and setting up our electrical box!

Round two of building the roof began by putting up the front porch beam. We used scaffolding to support it temporarily so that we could make minor adjustments and level it more easily. Once we were satisfied with the beam’s placement, we secured it with some additional temporary supports and ran three strings from the ridge to batter boards on the ground to get the slope right. After all the strings checked out alright, we nailed the precut porch rafters to the front knee wall and fixed them to the beam with hurricane ties. 

Next we installed the columns. With scaffolding still in place, we built the 4-ply, 2-by columns around the beam and, using off-the-shelf L-brackets, marked on the slab where to hammer drill holes to connect the brackets to the concrete. We drilled the holes, filled them with epoxy, and mucked in threaded rod. Once the epoxy set, we securely tied the columns, metal footings, and slab together with washers and nuts. We also installed the horizontal supports for the benches in the outer bays. We similarly installed the back beam, column, and rafters after the front porch was done. Once all the roof rafters were up, we sheathed the roof in OSB and tar paper. 

Using just 1/2” B-C sanded plywood and a few coats of white paint, we have added a soffit to the overhangs.  The white soffit and high set windows allow daylight to be reflected inside to brighten the interior spaces.  Because the eaves have not been left open, like in past 20K houses, a small gap in the flashing around the eave keeps air flowing through the roof and out the ridge vent, helping to keep the house cool.

With the help of Mackenzie, Cameron, and Steve, we have also begun preparing the interior for drywall with electrical and plumbing.

The next step was to fully prepare for drywall. We built the “mini stud wall” for the kitchen island to allow for the installation of plumbing and electrical. Mackenzie Stagg, Cameron Acheson, and Steve Long dealt with the plumbing and electrical while we figured out the dryer vent, bathroom vent, and insulation. We used R-19 insulation in the walls and floor and R-30 in the ceiling. While the house is being dry walled we will work on the exterior wall metal. 

We also added a new opening in our wall for an air conditioning unit. Bobby owns a large unit that will be able to cool the entire living area. We talked to him and instead of using a window, we have created an opening along the back façade that will be framed out like other openings.  We believe this is a good option because it will still allow for light and cross ventilation.

Around mid-June, after all walls were up and in place, we were almost ready top off Idella’s House with our long debated and much awaited transitional pitch roof. But before we got started on that, we had a few tasks to complete. First on the list was installing the beam over the vestibule and laundry room, followed by sistering and nailing in place ceiling joists over the living room. We also took time to begin tar papering over the OSB sheathing to help protect it in the meantime. 

Once we had ceiling joists to walk on, we built the knee walls at the front porch and under the roof transition. These were followed by securing the ridge beam into place. After that, we simply lifted and nailed our precut rafters to the ridge beam and the ledger boards at the knee walls. The back rafters went up shortly after. They were nailed above the rear knee wall, resting on and extending past the bedroom wall to create our southern eave.

We were very lucky to have Jeff’s dad, Mark Bak, come down to Hale County for a week and help us out. We were able to sheath the soffit, put up battons, and stain and attach wood on the front porch. We chose a honey gold color for the stain to protect the wood and give it a brighter color.