Walls built on the ground as a unit--very efficient.


Walls built on the ground as a unit--very efficient. Walls built on the ground as a unit–an efficient way to frame and build walls. But it does require muscle to raise them.

I have walls. Not all of them, but enough that the house is beginning to take shape “above ground.”

Here’s what Steve of SKT Construction and his crew did today:

First, Steve and Mike finished building the front and back walls right on the slab, complete with door and window openings and house wrap. The photo at right is shot from the back of the house, and that’s the back wall with its sill plate facing you. (The front wall is in the background. And beyond it, across the creek and the parking lot, is the ugly blank wall of Safeway. Not the best view, but as you’ll see, it’s not my whole view. By any means.)

On three.... On three….

When they finished those two walls, the largest as single units, Steve called for reinforcements to begin raising them.

Here’s the front wall of the house going up.

Put a little more muscle into it…



Raising 500 or 600 pounds of wall is less-fraught when the air is calm. Raising 500 or 600 pounds of wall is less-fraught when the air is calm.

A little more muscle…

Keep stretching…









And it’s up! (The wind wasn’t blowing, which was a very good thing.)

Hang onto that wall! Hang onto that wall!

Then it needs to be settled on the bolts, which go through holes in the sills. If the holes are measured correctly.

Sometimes the wall needs persuading.

Gentle persuasion, framer style.... Gentle persuasion, framer style….

With a length of 2X4.









Then comes bracing. Which has to be done very quickly, just in case .

Braced, with hands and the first cross-piece Braced, with hands and the first cross-piece

Walls like this make great sails. Not something anyone wants to see.






Once the front wall was up, the guys moved to the back wall. I took pictures and stayed out of the way. In a little more than half an hour, they had both the big walls up. The other guys headed on to other jobs, leaving Steve and Mike to start work on the smaller wall sections.

My view over Safeway with Methodist Mountain in the background on the left, and Poncha Mountain on the right. My southerly view-to-be

And me to shoot a few photos out what will be my living room windows.

(The round-backed mountain on the left is Methodist Mountain, the lower one on the right is Poncha Mountain. They’re part of the Sangre de Cristo Range, which smacks into the main stem of the Rockies out of view. I’ll see that mountain-range-junction out my west-facing living room windows.)

By the end of the day, Steve and Mike had another wall up at one end of the clerestory windows between the front and back of the house.

It's starting to look like a house now. It’s starting to look like a house.

That’s my tiny house, sitting high above Ditch Creek on the wrong side of the former railroad tracks. It’ll have a deck off the front of the house (the left side in this photo), and the side toward the street (on the right), will be terraced with boulders and colorful native plants down to the sidewalk. (There will be fill around the blue stem walls below the house walls.)

Thanks guys, for framing, sheathing and raising the walls. I can’t wait to see the rest of the place grow….