Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Roof Completed, Interior Walls Done

Bill, Brad, and Tim finished up the metal roof yesterday and it looks great. There is a thin layer of foam insulation laid under the metal roof panels to minimize the amount of condensation that will form. All the corners and trim were installed with enough space to allow Donna and I to put on the trim boards after we get the siding completed.

Here's a finished picture of the house.

Here are a couple of pictures showing the interior walls after the roofing was done. First one is standing at the outside wall of the dining/living area looking back to towards the bedrooms. We had to make some changes to the original floor plan concept as I didn't leave enough room for the hallway to be 36" wide. You can see we've installed the bedroom doors on an angled wall and then we made the utility closet a bit smaller. There should still be enough room for a stackable washer/dryer unit, the hot water heater and a chase for the HVAC return.

This picture is from the front corner of the house looking back to the kitchen/dining area. You can see the patio door which will exit out to a small deck area with steps to the driveway. Hoping to be able to bring the driveway to the back side of the house so that the patio door will be convenient for carrying things in to the kitchen area. The sink will be in front of the small, square window and the stove and refrigerator will be on the wall to the right. Kitchen will be an L shape and we have a 10'x10' area to work with. 

Plan today is to start the rough in for the electric. They will first set the meter socket and main electrical panel and then start running the individual circuits. I met with the HVAC guy this week and he hopes to be able to install his equipment the week after next. The drywaller installer/finisher is due here on Monday to finalize his estimate, barring some great price increase, we plan to use a professional for that because my skills in finishing drywall leave a lot to be desired!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Metal Roof Started!

Just before lunch today, the first piece of metal for the roof was placed! Roofing might be complete by the end of the day. Color is burgundy.

Here's a close up of the roofing before it's put up.

Roof Trusses In Place for Guesthouse

A crane arrived to help lift the roof trusses in to place, they're all ready now to start placing the metal on the roof. Here are some pictures of the work in progress.

Last truss going in to place.

Exterior view.

View from inside before the interior walls were built.

Guesthouse Interior Walls

All of the interior walls for the guesthouse were constructed and the windows were installed, lot's of progress.

First interior wall

Looking towards the bedrooms and bath before the windows were set.

Looking to the kitche/dining area with the windows and patio door in place. Window on the right will be over the kitchen sink.

Towards the living area on the front of the house.

That's Brad adding the hurricane bracing where the ceiling joists meet the walls.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Can You Spot the Visitor?

Can you find him?

He was laying just by the bottom fence board on the right about half way up. Could barely see this toad all hunkered down in the rocks after all the rain yesterday.

Sourdough Bread from the Wood Fired Oven (WFO)

We made pizza on Saturday night and the oven was fully saturated and reached over 900 degrees. On Sunday morning, I baked a loaf of sourdough bread that I made on Saturday afternoon- I refrigerated it over night after it had raised for an hour or two. Oven was near 500 degrees. Bread was baked inside a terra cotta covered dish and really turned out well. Here's a picture of the loaf while it was cooling.

Crusty Sourdough

For breakfast, we toasted a couple of the slices in the oven covered with smoked cheese. It was cool here so we lit the outdoor fireplace and had our coffee and toast sitting outside. After all the rain we had on Saturday (cooked our pizzas in the rain!), Sunday turned out beautiful.

Here's the cheese toast.

Cheese toast ready for the oven

Ready to eat, two more for the oven

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Roof Trusses Arrive

The trusses for the roof arrived early this morning and were off loaded with a crane. There are 19 of the trusses and the plan is to have another crane here on Monday to get them installed on the house. The trusses are very near the same shape as the ones used on the workshop and should give a nice look.

Trusses on truck

All the trusses were lifted at once and set on the ground at the end of the house.

On their way!

The front porch end is to the right in the picture above. Porch roof will extend out 8' over the concrete front porch and then there is about another 12-18" of overhang all the way around the house.

The two shower and shower/tub units are supposed to be delivered on Friday so they will be here when the interior stud partitions for all the rooms are constructed. This will ensure they are inside the bathrooms before the walls go up as they won't fit through the doors.

Metal for the roof should be delivered on Tuesday so with good weather, we should have a roof over the house by mid next week. The ends of the house will need to be enclosed, etc. but when the crew is here, they really make progress. Not sure exactly when the windows and doors will arrive but that may be next week as well.

So far, we've been very impressed by the construction team. We're acting as our own general contractor but they have been more than willing to offer advice and guidance on other vendors we'll use and on timing for the various steps in the construction.

Last bit of news for the day is that the board and batten siding has been ordered- should be delivered late next week or early the following week. At that point, Donna and I will have to get really busy getting this in place and painted.

Walls In Place

Plans changed a bit and the construction crew decided to wait until Monday for more work on the guest house. They will finish up a couple of other jobs and then return here with a full crew for a few days. Here are a few more pictures of the exterior walls. Windows cutouts are still covered by the house wrap so not obvious in the pictures.

Front View

Bedroom side

Back patio door and kitchen side

Rear view
Eventually, the plan is to have a small deck off the back patio door with a couple of steps down to where the driveway will be. This should make it easy to use this door to bring in groceries or suitcases.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guesthouse Walls

Crew was here today and were able to get the main walls for the guesthouse completed and raised in place. Interesting process, each wall was framed laying on the subfloor to include the sheathing and house wrap, then lifted in to place. I helped a bit and the two long walls were heavy! Here are some pictures.

This is the front wall just before it was lifted upright- the sheeting over the windows and doors will be cut out later.

Here's the wall after it has been put in place and braced.

Here are a couple of pictures with all the walls in place.

Plans are to get the interior walls in place tomorrow, then on Monday, a crane will be here to set the roof trusses in place. From there, the roof is finished and then the windows and final work to get the house dried in will take place.

Donna and I will be able to start the siding as early as next week, I'll be putting together the material list in the next couple of days to get our board and batten siding ready for delivery.

Two really good days of progress.

Guesthouse Subfloor Completed

Bill and Tim were here on Tuesday and finished the subfloor for the guesthouse. Ready for the walls on Wednesday. Here are a couple of pictures, first one shows the joists and band boards in place.

This one shows the actual subfloor nearly completed.

All in all, a full days work.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Guesthouse Crawlspace Completed

The builders finished up the crawlspace on Friday and it's ready for inspection. First picture shows the completed build including the main middle beam to support the floor joists. The joists and sub floor material are on site and plan is to get the floor completed next week.

Here's a picture showing the trench on the outside of the wall There is 4" plastic pipe all the way around the crawlspace for drainage. The pipe is covered with gravel and then a woven material to allow water to seep down to the pipes.

This is the front wall of the house and you can see the concrete block footers that will support a 8' wide covered front porch that will extend across the entire front of the house. This should be a nice area to sit and watch the critters go by once the house is done.

Pizza Oven Cookware

We found some terracotta cookware to use in our pizza oven. They are supposed to be able to stand up to the 700 or 800 degree temps so will see how it works. Should be great for vegetables and the pot with the cover should be great for bread or a roast chicken!

Here's a picture.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Guesthouse Foundation Progress

Although it turned really hot here this week, a lot of progress on the foundation for the guesthouse. There is about 1/3 of one wall remaining to be blocked and then the support for the front porch. Once the foundation is complete, it will need to be inspected. After that, framing will start which should move quickly.

Here are some pictures of the work in progress.

Ready for blocks

Blocks delivered
First course on back of house
Billy & Tim setting block
Looks like there is about a half day left to finish the blocks. Once the blocks are done, a footer plate of pressure treated lumber is laid on top of the block connected by bolts to the foundation. Drain pipes have to be laid around the bottom of the walls for drainage and a waterproof coating applied to all areas which will be underground. Once the foundation is completed and inspected, we can back fill around the walls and then the subfloor and framing work can begin.

At that point, the trenches for the electric and water service can also be completed so we can get those in place.

More as we make progress.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Last night, Chris and one of his friends were here for the day and stayed for dinner. We cooked chicken on the grill but I decided to try a few side dishes in the outdoor oven. Made some roasted green beans, rosemary and garlic potatoes, and roasted red and orange bell peppers. All turned out well but didn't get any pictures.

After dinner had settled a bit, we decided to use the oven to make smores and did get a few pictures of that fun. Oven was still at 400 degrees the next morning so baked a can of cinnamon rolls and oven was still over 300 degrees at 3pm the next day.

Ready to go

Going to need a bigger glove, too hot!

15 seconds later

Finished Product

Pizza Oven Counter

Just realized I didn't blog any pictures of the finished oven and the preparation counter that we added. I finished all the epoxy grout on the oven and it came out really nice- then built a counter next to the oven and used the same tile for the counter top. Here's a picture.


Made our first serious pizza on Friday night. Turned out great. We made our own sauce from canned tomatoes. Plan was to make tomato paste but since we didn't drain all the liquid from the tomatoes, consistency was more like sauce than paste but the flavor was great- would be a good pasta sauce as well.

Here they are in the oven.

Turning them after about 45 seconds.

And here they are! Donna had hers with fresh mozzerella, olives, a bit of sausage and pepperoni.

And this one is mine, pepperoni, beef, and candian bacon.

A third pie was lost on the transfer from the peel to the oven, the dough had set too long and not enough flour on the peel for it to slide off easily, will do better next time.