Framing Completion

With the porch roof in place the remainder of the west wall was framed. This completed the exterior framing. Except for some small items the interior framing was also completed. Exterior and interior views are shown in the Framing Completion Gallery. One of the challenges of this house design was to create an interesting roof design for a single story house. Our architect, Nathan Cooprider, addressed this challenge by inserting non-aligned roof ridges. The roof ridge for the great room and the garage are non-aligned as well as the roof ridges for the master bedroom and entry/office. This creates interesting intersections and avoids large stretches of straight roof.

Installing the Roof Trusses

The framers had one week to frame the house to the point that the roof trusses could be attached. If the truss delivery date had not been met delivery would have been delayed for six weeks. The truss delivery flatbed includes a crane to place the trusses atop the house. After the trusses are attached to the house frame plywood is nailed to the trusses. The Roof Truss Gallery contains pictures.

Framing the House

The concrete slab was poured on a Saturday and framing the house started the next Monday. Winsome Construction uses advanced stick framing as a means to improve the energy performance of the house. Advanced stick framing includes the use of staggered studs. The studs do not touch both the outside and inside of the exterior wall preventing a thermal bridge and the loss of heat. The increased space in the wall cavity allows for more insulation which further increases the energy efficiency of the house. After the studs are in place plywood sheets are nailed to the framed walls. Check out the Framing Gallery for pictures.

Pouring the Slab

It was a perfect day for pouring the concrete slab; overcast in the morning for pouring followed by rain later in the afternoon which aids the curing process.IMG_1645 With the radiant floor heating coils in place and the porch and backyard patio staked the pouring can begin. The pouring process requires the coordination of everyone involved from the person who remotely controls the flow of concrete to the persons who spread and level the concrete. It requires strength and coordination to deliver a finished product especially when on your hands and knees for the final leveling. Pictures are in the Slab Pour Gallery.

Underslab Plumbing & Radiant Floor Heating

Before the slab can be poured the various underslab tasks must be completed. The various hot and cold water lines are laid in and pressure tested.

The heat source for the house is radiant floor heating. Underslab #13Water, heated by a boiler, circulates through tubing under the slab turning the slab into a radiator. Compared to furnace heating the temperature obtained with radiant floor heating is more constant and totally silent. The tubing is held in place during the slab pouring by tying the tubing to a metal mesh. The wire mesh sits on styrofoam which is on top of a poly vapor barrier to restrict moisture vapor from coming up through the concrete slab. More pictures are in the Underslab Gallery.

Laying the Foundation

With the initial excavation complete the pre-foundation work begins. Staking and putting wooden framing in place proceeds the concrete pouring.IMG_1577 The finished product is shown in the Foundation Gallery. Gravel is used to fill inside the foundation. The gravel is compacted and leveled even though the next step is to dig into it for the underslab plumbing.


Staking the property was done on a foggy morning on April 1. This provides the footprint of the house so that the excavator knows where to dig for the foundation. IMG_1539I was surprised to see laser technology used to set corner points of the house and the slope grading. In the picture to the left, laser hardware is on the tripod. The following day excavation started. The Excavation Gallery shows photos of the groundbreaking.



Welcome to Construction Corner

In February 2014 I retired from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory after 39 years. A week later my wife, Denise, and I were on the road for our long planned move to McMinnville, Oregon. McMinnville is about one hour south of Portland in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country. We first started seriously thinking of McMinnville as our retirement location in 2008. In 2010 we purchased a half-acre lot west of town. It was the ideal location for us with beautiful views to the west of hills and trees.

IMG_1201 The development location was formerly pastureland so our lot is fairly flat. The lot is a corner lot as reflected in the blog title.

In 2011 Denise started the house design process using a program off the internet. A year later in the spring of 2012 we enlisted the services of Nathan Cooprider, a Portland based architect, to help us bring the design to completion. Along with our builder, Shan Stassons of Winsome Construction it was a two year process to achieve the final design that is currently under construction.

Our house plan was driven by a desire to capture the views to the west. Therefore a wrap-around porch and a great DIEHL-3room (living room, dining room, kitchen) and is located on the west side of the house with lots of windows. The master bedroom and bath is located on the south side of the house for privacy from the street leaving the other two bedrooms to be located on the north side. For some architect generated views of the house check out the House Plan Gallery.

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