Building the House (updated 04 July 2011)

New Website Selling "DryStacked Construction Handbook"

There are some new old movies at the bottom of this page for the Grand Children.

Aug 31 Just playing around with my new camera to see if I keep it. Click here
For some reason I can't embed this HD 1080p video, hence the link.

Day-5 - 3 July 2011 - Awaiting second piece of wainscot bending and counter tops.

Bending wainscote using water and clamps in the hot Florida sun.

Whirlpool Gold double oven range.

Door behind bar goes into the pantry.

Day-4, 2 July, 2011 - Ceiling view, base cabinet is complete except for the wainscote under the circular bar.

Day-3, 21 June 2011. Base cabinet completed.
Just need to laminate counter top and apply circular vertical wood lath panel.

Day-2 Particle board fabrication of all three components. As viewed from the cooking range.

Day-1 cardboard layout.
Kitchen pennisula to seat 3 swivel bar chairs, as viewed coming in through the French Doors.

As viewed from in front of the fridge. Lower counter top will be smaller than the cardboard.

As viewed from Great Room. Circular base will have vertical wood lath panel in Cherry wood.

Mud Sanding Completed

Sheet rock update

Sheet rock side lift device

Porches and Sidewalk Landscaping

Hauling dirt for sidewalks and porches


Sheet Rock Job in Progress


Ceiling Lift for Sheet Rock

Doors, Windows and A/C Ducting installed.

July 2009 House from Lynn Graves on Vimeo.

Wall studing and rough-in plumbing

Wall studs and Rough-in Plumbing from Lynn Graves on Vimeo.

Sample "Surface Bonding Cement" Video

Sample "How to Drystack a Block Wall" Video

Front view of front porch. A pillar will be on each side of the front porch.

Front of house faces east.

South west corner of house.

Alignment of first metal sheeting.

Cutting the metal roofing using a skill saw and metal cutting blade.

Roofing felt installed before metal roof.

Roofing felt installed before metal roof.

Front porch gable with roof sheeting.

Front porch gable before sheeting.

Front porch gable before sheeting.

Front porch gable details.

Front porch gable construction.

Back and ends of house are sheeted.

South half of back of house sheeting.

North half of back of house roof sheeting.

First row of roof sheeting.

First row of roof sheeting.

First row of roof sheeting.

South end of house.

All trusses in place.

Close-up of truss bracing.

Close-up of truss bracing.

Walls are SBC'd and the trusses are in place.

Walls are SBC'd and the trusses are in place.

Placed first wall block on 10 Apr 06. Completed all
walls, cells and bond-beam on 1 Jun 06

Front of house, walls completed. Metal straps will nail to trusses.

Outside view of front door poured header.

Left inside view of front door poured header.

Right inside view of front door poured header.

Master bedroom and front door

Great Room and Kitchen french doorways

Due to drought, reworked bottom of pond. Now has clay sides to hold water.

Front doorway forms

More front doorway forms

Front doorway forms were a little complicated

More front doorway forms

More front doorway header forms

Utility room to carport doorway.

Great room doorway headers before and after pouring.

Kitchen french doorway before forms.

Finished window header with truss straps.

Window header form. Side forms hang on wall with screws
scewed into the cross 2x4 at the top of the form. Wood clamps
which hold the side forms together not yet installed.

Window header form partially assembled. Bottom board
lies on two vertical props, and contained within side forms.

12 foot header form suspended by boom truck during installation.

Manufacture of 12 foot header form.

Front doorway awaiting header form.

Typical bond-beam view. Note that two rebar go around the entire building.

Block and rebar in place. Awaiting concrete pour.

Revised mixer platform. Now mixer, bag chute, and concrete bags are all on trailer for ease of moving.
Of course this required major modifications to the mixer height, and now a hopper chute is required.

Great room corner rebar.

Front doorway rebar.

Typical wall bracing until window cells are poured.

Doesn't look like much, but 84 bags of 80# concrete. Total weight including trailer is 7,700 lbs.

Switchbox used to control the hopper. The two house switches are safety switches which both
must be on to turn on the safety power relay. When ON, the safety power relay provides
power to all the other switches and relays. The left bottom red switch raises the boom. The middle
bottom switch raises the hopper. The right bottom switch swings the boom counter clockwise.
The top left red switch lowers the boom. The top middle switch lowers the hopper. The top right
button swings the boom clockwise. Each red switch will latch on and remain on until tapped a second
time. This can be good and bad. It allows simultaneous action of all three functions which speeds
up the job. The bad is that you have to remember which switches you have active so you can
cancel as needed. The problem is when you have the up switch latched on and you hit the down switch.
This now reverses the up/dn switch action. Now the up goes down and the down goes up. Tap both
switches twice cancels the reverse action. In tight quarters, when getting confused, just turn off one of
the safety switches which stops everything until you can figure out what is reversed. All three
functions (boom, hopper, rotation) can get reversed at the same time. Just press the wrong cancel switches.

Pouring concrete into a corner wall cell. Plastic bag in left hand protects the relay
switches which run the three boom winches (boom up/dn, hopper up/dn, swing left/right,
and 2 safety switches which run 2 safety relays which kill all power in case one of the winch
relays should get stuck ON. I had the boom up relay stick once, and once was enough for me.).

Original mixer setup. Had to manually move mixer for each cell. Notice bag hopper which
slices open the bag and chutes the concrete mix into the mixer. Trailer also holds concrete bags
required to complete that cell pour. Stop and load more bags when moving to next cell.

Wall corners stacked.

Keeping the sun off my head and neck. No more red-neck for me!

Each block (all 1,845) had to be scraped to remove excess material. Top blocks before,
bottom blocks, after. This cleaning was required to get the blocks to dry stack evenly.

Facing northwest, front of house (21Apr06), with 7th row
mortared to regain level from stacking irregularities. Next six
pictures taken from a 10 foot step ladder for a lookdown view.

Facing west, front of house.

Master bedroom, carport in foreground

Facing south, master bedroom in foreground, carport is cutout on right,
and doorway goes from carport into utility room.

The south end of the house contains two bedrooms. Front entrance on right.

Facing south, looking over the utility room. Note the 9 foot
opening on each side of the point on the right. The point is the center
of the great room with three french doors on each side of the point.
The third opening on the right is for 2 french doors into the kitchen eating area.
All these french doors should give a very outdoorsy feeling by not looking at the garage.

East wall (front) 6 blocks high (13 April 06)

North wall 6 blocks high

South wall 6 blocks high

First Row Blocks Mortered to Slab (10 Apr 06)

Mazda Pickup modified as hopper lift truck

First row of blocks mortered, nice straight South wall.

Outside View Left Side Front Door Angle
Blocks With Side Cut Out are for Rebar Inspection
Will Morter the Notch at the Angle Later

Inside View Front Door Angle
When wall is stacked, will pour rebar cells first, then pour
the angle cell last, using an outside form to close the opening.

Great Room Corner, 3 french doors each side.
When wall is stacked, will pour two outside cells first,
then pour center interlocking cell last.
Will morter outside and inside notches last.

Striking the morter, notice rounded mortor where block meets slab.
Striking is rubbing the morter with a round steel tool to make the joint waterproof.

Well Pump House

Blocks Delivered (28 March 06)

Slab Poured

Footer Dug by Hand

Bagged and Tagged (also termite treated)

Test Blocks to Ensure Forms are Correct

Forms and Plumbing

House Fill Dirt Bermed to Prevent Washout

House Fill Dirt Moved from Sand Pit

Future House Location

Sand Pit (future pond) Where House Dirt Came From

Working the sand pit


Getting Sand from Pit


Return to Florida Menu