Well the building madness has begun.

Last week wifey and LE left for Kansas. So for three weeks I am a bachelor. What shall I do with my newfound freedom? Why, build something of course!

Undeterred by 109-degree highs in midtown Tucson I started building our pumphouse, which is the first structure (other than the Potty House) to rise from our homestead. It’s a simple post-and-beam shed of about 96 square feet. But it’s more than a shed. Inspired by Tumbleweed Tiny Houses and photos of similar structures on Tinyhouses.net, I decided our little pumphouse was going to resemble a real house, just in miniature.

It’s actually a pretty multi-purpose structure. First it will serve as a shed for storing tools and materials on-site, and provide a place to crash. When we get a water tank on the property, it will be a pumphouse…housing the pump and filters so we can have clean, safe, pressurized water. Finally, after the main house is finished, I plan to beef up the insulation and convert it into a home office and guest space.

Don\'t try this with YOUR tailgate...All last week I would get up at 5:30 a.m. when it’s in the low 70s and work, cutting and chiseling beams and rafters out of recycled 2x stock we received from a friend about a year ago. I’d go to my day job at 9 and work till 6, then in the evening (when it’s dipping into the 90s) I’d work a couple more hours on beams and rafters. Thursday night I went to Home Depot and bought lots of lumber, a plywood floor, and some rigid foam insulation. Friday morning I got up at 5, loaded the truck, and headed to Benson…all the while wondering if the tailgate would hold up to such a huge load on a washboarded dirt road. I got there at 8:30, coffee and cheese danish in hand.

The week or so prior I had our friendly neighborhood excavator cut our driveway and he dug the post footings for us. I had already placed the precast piers in their proper locations, so when I arrived this past Friday the foundation work was basically done.

Daniel bashing nailsSo I got to work raising posts and assembling the floor. That afternoon my buddy Daniel stopped by to pound some nails…this after he had been camping in Sells for a week working with youth in 108-degree afternoons. Clearly Daniel is not entirely human. I think he is actually an android or an alien, maybe even a superhero (albeit a very reserved one). I’ll get this figured out someday.

We got the floor framed by Friday evening and had fajitas, beer, and a gorgeous starry display as our just reward. Then we camped overnight.

Pumphouse after the second weekend.

We got up early Saturday morning and busted out the rest of the floor and put up the beams and rafters. By 2pm we were getting pretty light-headed and queasy from the heat, but we got it done! And it was just in time, too… it had been clear, sunny, and hot until about noon when some clouds showed up, and by 2 it was starting to rain. (It cooled off and the rain felt great!) It never rained much but the monsoon season is coming quick!

Next week it’s the roof… or maybe siding. I am a little concerned about a roof without walls basically turning the little house into a large sail or parachute. We get some big gusts with storms starting to brew…

There are more pics on my Facebook photo album. Enjoy!

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