After the drywall went up in about a week, we spent the next few days cleaning, priming, and painting. Once the walls and ceilings were thorough white, we cleaned the concrete and used a chemical etcher to get it ready for paint. We selected a high gloss, deep charcoal paint for the floors to allow them to recede visually and to hide the imperfections in the unfinished slab. 

After letting the paint dry, with the opening only about two weeks away, we put the pedal to the metal and began installing baseboards, fixtures, and cabinets, some of which had to be custom built according to standards of accessibility. 

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.

With the house enclosed and roofed, it was time to install plumbing and electrical. With the help of Steve Long, in charge of plumbing, and Johnny Parker and Mackenzie Stagg, in charge of wiring, we were able to get everything from flexpipe to dryer exhaust ducts to breaker boxes in the walls in a little over a week, insulating as we went to save time and be ready for drywall as soon as possible. 

While we had help on the interior of the house from staff, we were able to focus our attention on putting up the corrugated metal siding. Beginning with the eastern elevation, we worked our way around the back of the house, being careful to always think several steps ahead and conserve our limited siding. On the gable ends, we of course had to cut the panels to the slope of the roof, but the pressure to saw them perfectly was significantly lessened thanks to our fascia detail; the panels simply slid between the fascia and the house, hiding the potentially nasty cuts. 

We continued to focus on the exterior, specifically the porches, in the week that followed, since it was finally time for drywall. Tanner focused his attention on the front porch trim and benches which are suspended between the columns, providing both seating and privacy. Meanwhile, Whitney, Caleb, and Samuel went to work on painting and installing the soffit on the porches and the back eave. 

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.

After sheathing and tar papering the roof, we were ready to install our fascia boards. We worked our way around the perimeter of the roof, fastening first 2 x 6’s and then 2 x 10’s, to the house. After the fascia boards were in place, we began putting up the actual fascia metal, including drip edges, in layers under the tar paper to protect against water infiltration. Soon after the fascia was completely up and installed, we were hit with a rain storm, which allowed us to see our drip edges at work.   

Next to do after the fascia was roofing. We were graced by the help of the one and only Andrew Freear, who helped us expediently roof the back half of Idella’s House in just a morning. Over the next few days, we tackled the front half of the roof and topped it off with the ridge cap.

With the roof in place and the house enclosed we were able to begin siding the porches and installing the electric and insulation

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.