The Drywall

Hanging drywall was rewarding, but very, very tiring. Each room came alive as we kept adding another sheet of drywall. The house also started to brighten up as we added the drywall.

As you can see, the house is taking shape.


The Interior


Hello there! I now want to invite you inside the house so you can see what is going on.

During Thanksgiving break we were able to start installing insulation. The insulation that goes under the house was done my husband. He also did the roof and the ceilings. I worked on the insulation in the walls. As we insulated, the house became quieter and much warmer.

Overall, insulation was an icthy, nasty mess. Fortunately, the process went by quickly because my husband worked fast to get the job done.

Once the insulation was done and we passed our inspection, we moved on to drywall. This is when the house starts to come together. The house also became a lot brighter with the drywall hung.




Burgh is ready to move in…


The Exterior

I have not posted about the house since September! As we bring 2016 to a close it is amazing to reflect back on all the progress we have made on the house. The last time I posted about the house, the house looked somewhat like this…


In this picture you can see that my husband and father have roofed the house. My husband is standing at the top of the house showing off his amazing work. The roof is multicolored shingles.

I am so excited to share the progress with the house with you today. To begin with, we had to wrap the house in Tyvek house wrap. This is a weather barrier for the house.


My father invested in pump jacks in order to work on the second floor. The pump jacks are the tall post you see in the front of the house. In this picture they are bolted onto the side of the house, but later on you will see that they are mounted to the top of the house so that they do not block any portion of the house.

Here is a close up of the Tyvek wrap, window, and grey trim work. That is my mother in the picture, who made sure that all of the windows were installed straight.


This day we had a whole palette of hardie board delivered to the house. This is what we used for the siding on the house.



In order to make life easier, we painted the siding on that palette as it was hung. So the green color you see is not primer, it is the actual color of the house.




Here are the first few pieces of siding that we hung!


As I took a break and went to take in all the hard we had accomplished, my mom snapped this awesome picture. I am sitting on the rock and Matt is sitting on the pump jack scaffolding.


Here is the sunset to the end of the perfect day…




This is the day I decided to try to get on the pump jacks. I lasted about a whole 5 minutes…


This is my husband sitting at the back of the house.



Here is the house from afar at a high point on the property.


Here is my husband, dog, and myself on Christmas Day in front of the closed up house!




The Plumbing, Electrical, and Air Ducts

With the house completely framed, we are on the downhill ride of building this house. While there have been many challenging weekends, it will soon all pay off. Building the house and getting to this point has taken dedication, perseverance, and trust in God’s plan. I must say I questioned Him a lot through this process. Why are we doing this? Why is it so hard? Will it ever be done?! As I reflect back onto stacking those cynder blocks, in that freezing cold weather, I am very grateful for where we are today.

The weather is starting to cool off and I had to dig my overall pants back out. After this very hot summer, I was glad to be back in pants. Let me show you how the house is shaping up. These pictures are from the inside of the house and you can start to see the layout of the future house.

In this picture, I am on the first floor looking forwards the kitchen. You can see plumbing running up the wall. That plumbing is for the upstairs bathroom and the upstairs laundry room.


In the next image, I am looking up at the ceiling from the same spot as the previous picture. Here you can see the air ducts.


When you head upstairs, you walk into an upstairs living space. In that space you get a peak at our amazing view through a 4×4 window.


When you turn around you see the laundry room. Right now we have medium ladder in it. As you can see it will be a nice size laundry room.


Off of the upstairs living area, you will find my master bedroom. Here is my dad working in the master bedroom on the air ducts he was installing. My dad build the air duct system himself.


Here are some pictures of the master bath. We are going to have tub on one side and a stand up shower on the other side. You can see the red and blue pex plumbing lines. These are for the hot and cold water.


In the next two pictures you can see the air ducts in the rafters. You can also see white electrical and blue light boxes. All of the electrical installation was done by me. My mom went through and made sure the wires were ready for hook up. She had to strip them and tie them together.


Here is Matt and I working on Labor Day weekend. We started building the house one year ago. We are getting near the end of our construction project and can’t wait to see it all come together. The next steps are to add roofing, siding, and windows.


The Completed Framing

July was a heat-waved, sweaty, clear sky month. As of this week we completed framing the house. Last time I left off, the house looked like this:



We are far beyond that now. From this point, my husband and father started cutting and building rafters. They started in bedroom two at the front of the house. Cutting rafters was a job left to my dad. It must be done in a particular way and it must be exact. There are also a lot of angle cuts that can be dangerous with a power saw. He created himself a pattern and cut every rafter off of that pattern. There were three different types of patterns to make in all. The ones on the left side of the house, the ones on the right side of the house over the master bedroom and then the ones that prop out in front of the garage.



This is the view from the shed.


Once the rafters were all installed, they had to do a plywood base. This plywood base took about 3 days for them to complete. One day, our buddy came to help and they got a lot done.


Here I am painting the eves. They were attached to the outriggers of the rafters. They are pieces of the wood that stick straight out to create the eves of the roof. We picked a gray.


Here they are installing the painted eves.



These are the outriggers that the painted eves are attached to.


Here is a close up of the rafters from down below.


Here are some photos from around the house.

So, the house is completely framed and we will be moving on to the guts of the house. The next steps are to wire the power and lights, add rough plumbing, and air ducts for the heater and air conditioner. We have started the basics of all these steps, but they are next on the list to officially complete.

Here are my parents, who are making this all possible!



The Second Floor

I have been out of school for 3 weeks now. My mother, husband, and I have been working on the house nearly everyday. Some days have been very hot, but the payoff of standing a wall is worth it. It only took about 2 weeks for us three to frame the entire upstairs. We really had a good system down and we stood roughly 20 walls. The reason the number is so high is because the upstairs has bedrooms, closets and bathrooms. My fathers goal before we got out of school was to finish the plywood on the actual floor. We nearly met that goal but we had some pieces to finish when we got out of school.

Here is a photo from the second floor. I am sitting on a chair overlooking the view. At this point, we were still in school and we had only laid plywood in the front room. The large open gap on the right is the stairwell.


I can’t wait to watch that sunset every single night!

Sometimes we take our dogs Buster and Burgh to the property. We take them on days we know they will be safe. Buster is on the left and Burgh is on the right.


Here is the first wall we stood on the second floor. This wall is a 2×6 wall. This means the studs are larger and the wall is a bit heavier. We built this wall in two pieces in order to be able to lift it safely. The reason it is larger is because it will have plumbing running through it. Matt and Dad are making sure the wall is secure, while mom and I frame the second half. When we frame a wall we first draw out where all the studs will go. The studs have to be 16 inches on center, every 16 inches.


After we framed that wall we started to work our way to the front of the house. Here is the view from the shed.





Here is mom standing a wall all by herself! She was building the hallway closet.



This is the master bedroom. At this point, only the exterior walls are built. IMG_0867.JPG

My mom is standing in the now complete master bedroom looking out into the upstairs living space.


This is the view looking down the hallway next to the stair well.


This is our nearly completed second story. In this photo we had not built all the closets and bathrooms yet.


The First Floor

The moment many of you (and my family) have been waiting for is here….

The first floor of the house has been built! Our construction project has been in full swing! Every single weekend we work on the house. We have been building the house since September 2015, when we got our permit. My father has been teaching everything he knows to my husband, Matt, and he has been learning so much!



This was the first official wall we stood! It was a long, rainy day, but we did not let that stop us. We had just finished laying all the plywood flooring and we didn’t want to go home without standing our first wall. We were all tired, wet, and cold. While we were cranky as we built it, we were all very happy once we stood it.


Matt and I with the first wall we built together.


The next day, we were able to get more work done. We built the walls for the kitchen.


If you look to the right of the photo below you will see rebar on the ground in a grid. One weekend Matt and I cut and tied all that rebar. Matt will be pouring more concrete and we will have a concrete foundation in the garage.


The next wall we built was the one separating the kitchen from the living room. Then we built the wall that runs down the length of the house. 20160418_073120.jpgIMG_0828.JPGIMG_0829.JPG

Another amazing sunset at Camp Neypes.


The view from the kitchen window.


Here is the entire first floor framed.


Mom, Dad, and I built a really neat pantry. It has an angled wall and is not a boring rectangle. I can’t wait to see it all done with a cute, little glass door.


Unfortunately, we had to continue more concrete work. We didn’t take any pictures of Matt pouring concrete, but here I am finishing the concrete Matt poured.


The house from street view.



Matt and I will always have these memories to look back on when we are old. Although it may feel like we are sacrificing a lot in the present, thinking of the fantastic future we will have makes it all worth it.



The Floor Joist Part 2

The previous post showed the prep work behind putting the floor joist in place. First, we had to complete a seal plate around the entire house and we had to have three beams running down the middle of the house. Once these things were completed, we got to start putting 2×6’s in place. Here is a picture from under the house in the future kitchen. Each 2×6 board has a metal bracket holding it in place.


Here is a photo afar that was taken when half the kitchen was done.




Once all the floor joist where in place we got to lay the plywood floor. The house really started to take shape at this point!


My job this day was to nail down all the plywood. We had to have a nail every 6 inches. I am getting really good at swinging the hammer again! The metal rods you see sticking up behind me are the ones that we placed in the foundation at the very beginning. We will stand the walls on these metal rods and the house will be bolted down all the way to the concrete.


My father and husband were working on the pipe that will have electrical wire in it. They needed to make sure it was in the correct position for when we stand walls.



A beautiful sunset before the plywood was laid down.Getting to this point was really something else because we had worked so hard to get this far. Watching the house come together is such an exciting feeling.

The Floor Joist

SO much has happened at the Neypes homestead these last couple of months! The last time I posted about the house it was the beginning of March and we were wrapping up the foundation work. I was beyond relieved when I knew block work would be over! After we laid all of the blocks we had to fill every SINGLE hole with concrete!! This is me half way through one of the longest walls in the house. 20160312_111251.jpg


The system of pouring concrete into every hole was tiring and tedious. I would stand on the scaffolding as my husband and dad brought me buckets of concrete. I would then pour the concrete in the hole. As you can see in the picture, the blocks in the front of the picture have concrete already poured into them. My mom had to take over for me one day because I had to go to a Teachers Pay Teachers meet up in San Diego. She finished the out cove which is the section behind me in the picture.

Once the block work was finally over, we got to start wood work!! Here is our first load of wood from Home Depot!! I was so excited to go to Home Depot and start buying something  other than concrete!



Here is my dad setting up the middle beam for the floor. This beam may appear to hold all the weight of the house, but it actually does not. It is just there as a formality. The house does not actually rely on it in any way. The weight of the house will be distributed to the block walls. 20160319_130001 2.jpg

This picture shows the beams in the dining room and living room.



These beams are known as the floor joist. They will be the base of the first story.

In this picture Matt is putting the seal plate around the entire house. This is what the floor joist will be nailed to on the outside. There is a foam piece of material underneath the wood to help prevent bugs and other things from getting under the house. 20160319_125951.jpg


Watching the wood work begin has been rewarding and long awaited.

The Foundation


Block work is so time consuming!

It’s hard to believe that we laid so many blocks in such a short amount of time. We started working on the blocks on New Year’s Day. We worked on the blocks nearly every weekend after that and we finished them in early February.

Here is one, small pile of bricks. My husband and father would buy a pallet each time we went to Home Depot. We bought a lot of pallets!!



We started lying brick in the middle of the house. This corner is the kitchen and the garage. Setting this corner was very important because it affects the rest of the foundation. This was a more time consuming day because there was a lot of measuring and double checking. Here is my dad working on the corner. 20151226_132106

Here is my husband and his father moving towards the front of the house.


Once the corner was set, I felt more comfortable getting to work. Her is my dad and I laying brick. Lying brick is a precise job. Each brick has to be leveled. If you look to the left of the picture you see a tall stick. This tall stick has a measuring tape tacked onto it and a device to help monitor whether you are level with the front of the house.



This is me with my wall! 20151227_122131


This is the back wall.



Each weekend we laid brick, we knew we were getting closer and closer to being done. It’s hard taking on such a large project such as brick work. My dad had never done a brick foundation before and he didn’t know how time consuming it would be. He had always poured concrete pads in the past. However, it is rewarding to see all of those brick perfectly stacked on top of each other.


This is my dad working on the outside of the house. If you look to right you see a gap. This gap will be used for a door. We have to have a crawl space under the house.




My husband and dad started to get tired of cold lunches and sandwiches. So they decided that they would bring a microwave to the job site. I must say, having a hot lunch makes a big difference in your motivation!


Sometimes mom would do tractor work while we laid bricks. She was busy getting the area ready for the well.


Here is the brick pile and a view of how far we would walk with the bricks.