June 11 Construction Update

The main action right now involves alley and the windows. If you live near to the alley, you are well aware that it’s in full construction mode right now. This past week Redford Cement finished removing the cement and grading both the alley and the back of our property. Classic Landscape stepped in next to apply the sub-base. First they laid down a permeable geo-textile material that looks like a tarp. It will allow water to filter through but will prevent the stones from becoming embedded into the clay.

Geo-textile

Next, Classic Landscape had to move this pile of stones into the alley….

Pile_of_rocks

using this little front-end loader.

Hauling_stones

By Friday morning, the alley looked like this:

Smoothing out alley

Smaller stones came next. This is a good spot to mention that this is back-breaking work for these crews. Most of the initial shoveling and spreading was done by hand, as shown below.

Smaller stones

When this layer is completed, Redford Cement will be back to lay the cement portions of the alley, and then Classic returns to lay down the historic bricks. This will be followed by the permeable pavers, and finally the compost for the gardens. If you have forgotten what the ally design will look like, here’s a cross-section done by Woody Melcher of Woodbury Associates.

Alley section
Regarding the windows, we now have almost all of the windows in except for the historic front windows. The first western-facing windows went into the annex this week.

Annex front windows

Next Friday at noon we will begin removing the bricks from the beautiful arched windows out front, and we will have a gathering to commemorate the occasion. Anyone is welcome to attend.

In other news, we have contracted with a wood smith from Troy named Lon Ullman to develop the wood for our floors. Lon has a network of tree operators who confiscate fallen trees and cut them on site with their portable sawmill. The wood is dried in his solar kiln (drying wood prevents it from buckling and developing gaps after installation). We’ll be using a variety of woods for our floor, but the majority will be ash. Below, Lon is showing us a sample during our Friday meeting.

Lon ullman

In our quest to find used materials, Kirsten found a great source for 2×6 boards (8 ft long) on Craigslist. We need quite a number of these boards for framing, and she located a shipping company in Brownstown Twsp. that collects these regularly from their shipments. They usually go to a landfill, but now they are saving them for us. They will cost us $1.50 apiece (regular price: $3-$4). Kirsten makes weekly trips with Joe’s truck to pick them up.

One last picture of the stair risers going in….

Stair risers

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