Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Friday, April 30, 2010

Future Deck View

Let's not talk about how I got these pictures but here are some shots from where the edge of the deck will be looking out in to the woods. It's a bit higher up there than I thought it would be but with the sturdy railings that are going to surround the deck, it should be great! The pictures are from about 10' out from the wall of the house.

Friday Morning Views

I stayed over Thursday night and had a nice quiet morning at the site. It was near 40 degrees so had my coffee outside with a nice fire. The birds were out in force and of course, I could hear but not see the turkeys. It's turkey hunting season so hope they're being extra careful. I took a walk as well and added a picture of the house through the trees from the approach road. I also startled a large group of deer as I walked around the road, if you click on the picture of the road, you might be able to see the tails of the deer as they ran away. The deer in WV are not at all like the deer in northern Virginia, they run for the hills at the first sound of someone, the deer here sometimes just stand and stare.

Tongue & Groove Roofing Details

Here are some pictures of the tongue and groove joints used to construct the first layer of the roof. One picture shows a close up of the material itself to show how it joins to make a tight seal and then the view inside the house after it's up- wow! You can really start to see how the house will look when completed. The beams will be given a second coat of stain in place and the logs will be sealed but left their natural color. Some trim will also be stained the darker color to add some contrast through the house.

BTW, don't forget, you can click on any picture and be taken to a larger view of the same photo.

Roofing First Layer

Another busy week at the Romney site- the first layer of the roof was completed late on Thursday. I wasn't able to get to the site while the roof was being nailed but did get some shots before it was covered. The first layer is made from 2x6 white pines joined together with a tongue and groove joint, the next post will show some details but here's the roof after being nailed to the rafters and a weather proof sheeting to cover the wood. Thanks to the whole team for staying late to get the roof covered since this layer is what is seen inside the house, they didn't want to get water stains on the inside to have to deal with if we get some rain. The entire roof consists of the 2x6 layer, the first weather vapor barrier, two 4 1/2" layers of rigid foam (total of 9"), then 2x4 purlins that are applied atop the foam with screws through to the first layer of 2x6. Then, there is a 1/2" sheeting to enclose the foam followed by roofing felt and then the shingles. Quite a process! Here are the pictures. Note the picture of the peak of the roof where the 2x6's are being cut to match the roof prow edge.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More Roof Beams & Rafters

Donna and I spent the day at the house on Saturday, a bit wet and cloudy but a chance for her to check out the progress. A couple more of the rafters had been added, these are the beams on the end of the house. Pictures show the new beams- note the ones on the window end of the house extend a bit further out over what will be the deck and angle back towards the house (they're not just crooked!). Some of the short logs that fill in between the rafters are also being placed although I didn't get any pictures of these. All in all, another nice day, took a hike for about an hour hoping to find some morel mushrooms that others have told might be around this time of year, no luck so far.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kitchen Cabinet Sample

We're looking at having our kitchen cabinets done by a local WV cabinet maker, yesterday a prototype of the cabinet we're looking at was delivered. The picture shows a cabinet and drawer front. It's birch and we really want to have a lot of contrast in the wood that is used for the cabinets. The doors are an inset style and we haven't decided on hardware colors or handles as yet. The theme of more decisions continues! Take a look and see what you think, when finished, the contrast in the wood should be much more apparent.

Big Progress, Gables & Heavy Timber Beams

There was great progress on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Dave, Doc, and Larry spent time setting the well pump and getting the water and electric lines laid and buried. The well is ready for the final electric hook ups and the pressure tank inside. You can see the utility panel in the basement with the hole that was drilled for the well connections to be brought inside. The panel above that hole is the automatic transfer switch for the whole house generator. A temporary connection is also being made in order to use the pump to fill the water tanks on the travel trailers on site- no more hauling water!

The gable logs for the window wall were completed on Monday in preparation for lifting the heavy timber roof beams in to place on Tuesday. One picture shows a view looking out through the window wall from what will be the second floor loft- should be a great way to see the distant mountains. The big mountain you see on the left is Romney Mountain, btw. There are also pictures of the beams and rafters being lifted and secured using a crane. Note that the beams ans rafters have been pre-stained before being installed. We're using a Sikkens product, color is Dark Oak for portions of the house inside (mainly beams and window trim) and we'll use the same color for the outside. The White Pine main log walls on the inside of the house will be protected but left their natural color. There is very little drywall inside the house on some interior walls, we haven't decided what color we'll paint this- another choice to make, lol.

There was an amazing amount of coordination and teamwork between the crane operator, the people on the ground getting the timbers ready to lift, and the crew on both ends of the beams as they were set in place and secured. Our thanks to Mike/Matt/Ryan/Douglas for all their efforts so far. We're really impressed by the professionalism all have showed so far during this project.

The final shot is looking from the road on the way to the property- you can seen the house sticking up through the pine trees.

Hopefully, Doug will get his truck fixed soon but weather forecast isn't that great over the next week or so but will keep everyone up to date.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gable Walls Going Up

The gable wall at one end of the house was completed this week and everything is ready to complete the other gable early next week. Plans are to get these completed and to start on the heavy timber roof. Here are the latest pictures. It was a very windy and cool day in Romney- we took Deago with us for the first time. He enjoyed a long walk in the woods near the roads and driveway.

We've decided to call our property, Hidden Bend Retreat, thought it should have a name. More pictures later this week when the roof works starts.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Well Drilling Completed

Our well was drilled on Monday/Tuesday and we're glad to have this behind us. This was one item where we knew the costs were really not in our control since we couldn't be sure what we'd come up against or how deep we'd need to go. Miller Well Drilling did a fine job getting the work completed, a very professional crew. The driller, Bobby, took the time to explain just what he was doing, what to expect, and the options for us to consider.

The well ended up being 422 feet deep with 80 foot of casing. Casing is the steel pipe that keeps the drill hole open until the hole reaches solid rock. Our casing is steel but PVC is also used. Water flow is 3 gallons per minute (GPM) with a static pressure of 350 feet. This means that we will have 350 feet of water (about 350 gallons) standing in the well above the pump when it is suspended in the well. As water is used, it will be replenished at the rate of 3 GPM or about 180 gallons per hour. This rate should be more than adequate for household use, we won't be able to do any large scale irrigation or anything but weren't planning for that anyway. The driller also recommended that we install a 4" liner in the well as well because they had noticed some larger chunks of rock being brought up by the drill. This means that the rock/wall of the hole might crumble at some point and if enough rock fell on top of the pump, the pump wouldn't be able to be removed if needed and the well would have to be abandoned. We ended up spending about twice the amount of our well allowance because of all these factors, well depth, lining, and increased pump size because of the well but it's done and we're on the way to having our own water supply. If any well experts are reading this, feel free to let me know if anything doesn't make sense as this is the first well we've ever had.

The nice thing about having the well done is that we'll soon have a water supply for our trailer on site so we won't have to haul in water anymore! Here are some pictures of the well drilling.

A YouTube video is at:


More Interior Views

Here are a couple more pictures of the inside poles and beams. One shot is looking from the great room in to the kitchen area where you can see the angled loft that will hang out in to the great room area. The other shot is looking from the kitchen back towards the master bedroom, powder room, and office area.

Outside Walls Construction Continues

These are some pictures of the outside walls going up for the bump out where the kitchen will be, the view through the window is from the kitchen window. If you enlarge the kitchen view picture, you'll see one of the many Redbud trees that are in bloom. House is really looking good and moving quickly in the good weather!

The next pictures show the poles and beams that hold up the second floor being installed on the interior of the house. Great care was taken with the fitting for these pieces and it took a lot of teamwork to get these all in place.

There are some videos on YouTube of some of the work to get the beams in place. Here's a link:


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We had a Visitor

We spent Saturday night at the house, beautiful night after a very warm day. Clouds came in late afternoon so didn't get a chance to see much with the binoculars. Sunday morning we saw this guy out and about. He's a Northern Fence Lizard from what I can tell, about 6 or 7 inches long.

No work going on at the property this week but will resume again in earnest next week. Some of the rafter beams are being stained at the builder's shop in Hedgesville. Word is also that the well will be drilled on Monday so should be a big week.

Will post some updates next week.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More Progress on Log Walls

75% of the first floor walls have been set, great progress for the week. Here's a view of the overall site followed by a series of pictures from outside the house.

The next shots are from inside the house along with one of the team working to set one of the logs in the window wall. You can see that on the back wall of the house, the bump out where the kitchen will be has only a couple of courses of logs, this has been kept open to allow easy access with getting the other logs inside the house but should catch up next week.

The weather for the week was great. I (dave) stayed overnight at the site on Thursday, after a warm day, temperatures dropped after dusk to the mid 40's making it a perfect night. The night sky is great, can't wait to get a telescope set up. Friday morning, heard a number of wild turkeys wandering around but didn't spot them on a long walk. Sound really carries so they were probably not as close as they seemed- plenty of evidence they have been in the area though.

We hope to finalize our pick for the stone on the chimney this week and have requested a prototype cabinet door from a custom cabinet maker recommended by our builder- these would be from natural birch. We're really looking forward to seeing the prototype as all the pictures we've seen in log home magazines really seem nice- we've picked birch because we like the natural variation in the wood.

We had also talked about having a metal roof installed but have decided to stay with architectural shingles, it was quite an upgrade in cost for the metal so we decided that money could be used elsewhere (retirement, lol!).

I also talked with a number of suppliers about material for the shop/garage- we're probably going to have that building framed and finished to weather tight by a real builder, then Donna and I will complete the siding and other finish work. We found some really nice looking board and batten siding for that building at a local sawmill.

All in all, a great week for progress, Donna and I hope to spend Easter weekend on the property as the weather continues to be perfect, sunny and 70's. Final comment, we think we should have a name for our new home and have a few ideas, feel free to comment if you'd like but we're thinking about "Hidden Bend Retreat (or Lodge)". The last picture is from early Friday morning during the turkey hunt.