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Chronicles of the Design & Construction of Two Waterfront Hurricane Proof Dry Stack Modular Green Custom Homes
1. Villa Lagoon, Wilder Italian Style Home
2. Nasello Italian Style Home


Backfill Concrete Pour

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Today the house site is a bee hive of activity. Wonderful weather is a big plus too.

Dan has his carpentry crew here and they are framing some inside walls and hanging the joists for the top floor.

adding third floor to house temporary stairs in garage to foyer
building a two story dacart house huge wood bean to go around walls inside
box of metal galvanized joist hangers

A huge wood band goes all around the inside perimeter. It is bolted to the wall with huge (expensive) stainless bolts. The metal joist-hangers are attached to the wood band and dropped into place from above. In the photos above the Latino workers are attaching the big band that goes along the garage walls at the top of the garage space. Above the garage will be the master bedroom. I always wonder about that name... master bedroom. Kinda weird. I wonder if they use that term in Asian countries or other places. I guess they don't in Tibet, cause round yurts don't have separate bedrooms with baths. Teepees don't either.  Anyway, it will be my bedroom, master or not.  We could call it 'Princess Bedroom', makes just about as much sense as calling it 'master bedroom' ...and speaking of princess. Once when we visited a new church that we eventually joined, a woman originally from Arizona came over to be friendly and asked me what I 'did' (like raising two boys wasn't enough)... anyway, I told her "nothing, I am a princess".  She was amazed, but seemed to believe me.

how to make a second floor in a concrete house lifting a wood beam
installing engineered floor joists Cutting engineered floor joists

Meanwhile, Dan's crew was buzzing and hammering away on the inside walls and cutting and placing joists and laminated beams. They are fast. Extension cords and ladders were everywhere.

Where they are working in the photos above is the foyer. It is pretty big. Should be large enough for a nice reading chair. The foyer has a window that will get good afternoon light and I plan to put a lot of bookcases on the west wall. A good place to come in with the mail and flop down to go thru it and look at catalogs before they get tossed. I better look for a big, nice looking wastebasket for that room.

Dan Zehentner's carpenter crew at work carpenter shane in gulf shores alabama

Dan's carpenter, Shane, really enjoys unusual projects. He makes frequent trips to Europe and is very familiar with substantial architecture. He is recently back from Paris.

inside construction of dacart concrete house

This is the guest bedroom which has a nice porch through French doors.

floor joists in concrete block house.

Detail of the Georgia-Pacific engineered joists.

gulf shores orange beach carpenter

This carpenter is named Shane also. I asked him if that got confusing, he said no.

framing carpenter

I believe this is Jason, I'll ck with Dan to be sure.

using joist hangers in concrete house construction

Meanwhile, you can see the wood band now in place on the garage west wall.

measuring ceiling and floor joists. ceiling joists, georgia pacific

We discovered that we had been sent some joists of the wrong size, Swift's Building Materials came and picked them up and brought the right length. But the BIGGEST surprise was that it was discovered that the location of the window on the west wall in what will be my bathroom, was drawn in different places on different pages of the plans. On the elevation drawing, it was lined up vertically directly above the first floor window under it. But on the floor plan page, if you re-drew it where it was suppose to be, it was smack dab over the sinks, and not evenly spaced between then even.

Mike came to talk to me with plans and pencil in hand. Some people suggested that I eliminate the window... nah, I wouldn't agree to that. I really don't like bathrooms without a functioning window. It is such a pleasure to get out of the shower with the Gulf Breeze blowing you dry. So, we decided to move the bathroom wall 2 ft. into the bedroom. But then because of the bedroom ceiling, we had to move the other closet, the one that will be on the other side of the bedroom entry door. That added two feet to the little office. I'm OK with that.

What all this wall moving did was create a small space about 2 ft x 2 ft in the corner of the bedroom between closet and west wall, behind some built in shelves. This is great since Dan and Mike were trying to figure out how we were gonna get all the AC up into the bedroom ceiling space. It is over the garage , is wider, and has a totally different height than the rest of the house running south.

Mike went over to Mobile today to Ted Dial's office, so I am sure he mentioned this wall moving to them so in case anyone knows any reason not to make this change they can say so. If you have custom plans drawn, you just can't go over them too much to be sure things line up as expected. Dan likes to have them printed on acetate so you can over-lay them to be sure things are going to work out come construction time.  We didn't do that. If we had, we'd have caught this mistake earlier.

dacart blocks workers trucks carpenters trucks

I am lucky to have a utility easement that runs between my official property line and the road. Some very high power lines run along thru it. This gives everyone (including me) a place to park with out completely ruining the yard and grass. But, after all the recent rain, the yard has been very soft, and wouldn't you know it, even after I had talked to all our regular guys about staying off the 'yard', I wasn't here with the pumper truck pulled out on Friday... and he backed onto the formerly grassy area and made a big mess. I could shoot him. He made huge ruts. My guys or Dan, not sure who, but someone put up a red plastic ribbon across the 'stay off' area. It was so very dry all summer that it was a non-issue. but after the rain this winter, it is a biggie. Sod and grading costs a fortune. Plus you work like crazy keeping it watered for about 6 weeks till it is well rooted in your sandy soil.

Muddy job site, truck barrier

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

garage of a dacart building system house

Don and Roxie at the top of the stairs from garage to foyer. Garage will have a nice, tall ceiling height.

Latino construction worker

One of our Latino workers in the front door opening.

Standing in the guestrom looking toward foyer area.

Tomorrow is suppose to be another big day with the temp staircase getting built and all the subflooring put on the joists. Hopefully, I will be able to take photos of the final view towards the Gulf this very week.

construction debris.


We are getting another little pile of wood scraps. I will go to the Gulf Shores Fire Dept and get a permit to burn them if it is nice weather this weekend. It is a wonderful thing to have so little waste when you build a DAC-ART house. We still have managed to not have to get an expensive dumpster for the project.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Guys still working on securing the bolts and wood band that holds joists, not decking yet. Mike says Dan's carpenters will be coming in the morning and working for about two hrs.

Mike says he had to repair the accelerator on the crane. A part broke and the accelerator was fully opened and not controllable. That is fixed now (it is great that Mike can fix so much of the crane himself) so as soon as Dan's carpentry crew do their thing, then Monday, Mike will start stacking blocks. He has then all tagged and laid out near the house , ready to go. He also said that my BIG panels that go on all three sides of the master bedroom ...err... princess bedroom... are going to be delivered next week. That will be really exciting.

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