Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

Building a new home

6. March 2009 08:00 by Rick Glos in

I’ve been not keeping up with some of what we’ve been up to lately.  We’re building a new home.

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I know it sounds weird given the current economy but we started this process about a year ago before things starting tanking and once the plans were in motion, there really was no holding back.

We met with a builder about a year ago, then moved forward.  Why?  Well our current home was about 766 square feet.  No garage, no shed, no basement.  We told ourselves, “This will just keep us from acquiring things we don’t really need”, and mostly that worked.  It was the other inconveniences began to wear us down.  Like ...

  • Electrical issues – run the toaster oven and microwave at the same time and the fuse would blow
  • Water pressure – only one faucet at a time could run – so no taking showers and doing dishes or laundry at the same time etc
  • No HVAC – the old floorboard heaters were kaput so we were using electric room heaters
  • No insulation in the walls

Besides that it was a nice little love nest and it is incredibly close to the city with 6 different bus lines only two blocks away and right next to a little shopping area with groceries, wine shop, bakery, barber shop, etc.

So we love the location, just not the physical house itself.  We decided since the land was worth 2x as much as the house, we would demo the house and put up something we liked.

The journey has not been without frustration.

Getting permits to build with the city of Portland was an exercise in government ineptitude.  It’s also nothing short of legalized extortion in permit fees.

And dealing with the banks has been an interesting ride – as the process was going along over the summer, the rules kept changing and things were getting more difficult.  Almost to the point where we were ready to give up.

Anyway, papers were signed and construction was started at the end of November.  After a bit of snow that slowed them down, they have made some good progress.

First came the demolition – the old house was reduced to a pile of rubble in just 1 1/2 days.


Next came excavation, it was definitely muddy.


The solution to that was to try and cover ground to dry it up abit so they could start on the foundation.


The weather dried up and they started moving really fast.  Next came the forms.


Then footings were poured.


Then more forms for foundation walls (or whatever it’s called as I really have no clue about this stuff).


Next the framing began, first with the unfinished walk out basement.


You can start to see the garage take shape on the right.


Then the main floor.


Followed by the second floor.


When I stopped by earlier this week they were taking delivery of the trusses and said the roof would be going on end of the week.


It’s amazing how fast they are moving.

More to come.