Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Watching the Construction

Building a house in Florida is a noisy business.  Fascinating to watch but a noisy one nonetheless.

I watched the city of Cherry Hill, NJ get built.  Mom took me through probably one of each kind of house when I was a kid in each and every neighborhood in the place.  It was her job, and she was the best in the area at that time.

I have a healthy respect for construction and the people who perform the job.  I'll even watch some of those home improvement shows when I want a little entertainment.   That is to say, when I feel like yelling at the TV saying things like "Hey Bozo! You're doing that wrong!" then hear the host of the show repeat what I just said.

Most people yell at the TV, why should I be any different?

For the last month there has been construction on the two lots across the street.   They're putting up two homes that will be sold eventually.  New neighbors in a home Mom would have called too big for the lot.

That's one thing about modern construction.   It's all about the numbers.  People look for the boxes and whether they're filled in "right" doesn't really matter.  So homes get built too close to lot lines, minimal yards are left for the people who live in them to enjoy, rooms are there but too small, and even now McMansions are built.  A Four Bedroom home sells for more than a Three Bedroom home of the same size even if that fourth bedroom is what we would have called a walk in closet.

Some of those sins are being committed across the street, but that is Per The Code.  Since I don't own the places, my opinion of a 10 by 10 or smaller bedroom isn't being solicited.

Roofing Per The Code is a different matter here.  Roofs are built like a tank.  Throw the rafters up to form a place to hammer the roof onto and it used to be done.  Now you have to strap each truss to the supporting walls, and put up a double thick roof so that it doesn't blow off in a Hurricane.

What that means is that in areas that don't conform to "Miami Dade Construction Code",  you have a much weaker roof.   They are built with one layer of plywood on the rafters, then a layer of tar paper, then the shingles or tiles and you're done.   With the code down here, thankfully, that is doubled.   Two layers of wood, interleaved with two layers of tar, then Shingles and done.  Of course I could have that wrong and they're just using thicker wood.

I haven't seen them lay down the tar paper yet, but I'm sure it is coming.  We'll know it's getting closer to completion when that happens.

Now that the sun has come out after the little break caused by a small shower, the ladder is in position for the workers to climb back on top and continue their work.  Even if there was no lightning, handling a hammer in rain on a roof in South Florida in a distant impression of Thor is a risky business.  Nobody has gotten hurt and life goes on.

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