the Tire Bale house project


garage sill plate

May 2008 -

Steve built the doorway into the garage first, then we started working on the garage sill plate.


garage framing


The sill plate and stub walls are ready for I-joists. The stub wall on the left is on the north side of the house.



joists in place

June 2008 -

Kathy lifted the joists up to the top of the garage using the skid steer loader and our neighbor, Mike, gave us a hand putting the garage joists in place.



window framingJuly 2008 -

Right after we finished the garage sheathing we started on the window framing on the house. We want the windows sloped like in most earthships for maximum solar gain. The angle proved a little tricky but it turned out really well.

We felt a bit uneasy about the possibility of the sloped window frames sliding forward and, even though the plans did not call for them, we decided to install additional support in the form of Simpson ties at the bottom of the large vertical microlam boards The vertical 2x4's are temporary support.


window framing doneAugust 2008 -

Next, we cut 4x6 boards to the angle that the roof will be. Steve set up guides on the table to get the angle right. This is the board that the roof I-joists will sit on.

In this picture, the angle boards are in place over the window framing and on the north side top plate. Next are the roof I-joists


joist rollers


Mike gave us a hand with the I-joists and came up with a terrific system for placing them. He fastened old casters to some wood so we could just set the joists on top and roll them along the top plates into position.



joist rollers2


The front dolly was a little more complex with a caster in front and one in back of the top plate and two casters to ride on the top. We were able to roll three I-joists at a time. It really worked great. Thanks Mike!



joists done






roof doneDecember 2008 -

We added the roof sheathing, west wall and parapet, and were able to install the metal roof in early December. We've covered the parapet walls and are planning on covering the rest of the exterior walls with AlphaProtector fabric to protect them from the winter snow. AlphaProtector (now called Rex) is the grey fabric you can see on the west end wall.





The windows were installed by the end of January 2009 in spite of several snowstorms and a lot of mud. The upper window framework is by Santa Fe Windows & Doors, and the operable lower windows are a commercial window made by Gerkin. No leaks as yet, even on the lower operable awning windows.


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