Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Hot Tin Roof

Perhaps one of our more adventurous cats will find him or herself on this hot tin roof someday, but for now, we're just happy to see it! By the way, did you know Tom Williams (you may know him as "Tennessee") attended the University of Iowa. It's true!

Leon and crew made great progress today, and anticipate finishing attaching the standing seam metal roof to the Yum Yum Farm house tomorrow, save for some trim pieces. This type of roof is a more expensive option than the more common asphalt shingles, but judging from all the old standing seam roofs on old houses in Iowa City, it should have a very long lifespan. It also works very well aesthetically, which you will see when the siding is attached to the house. We are asked frequently if this will be noisy in the rain. While this is definitely the case in pole buildings with metal roofing attached to steel purlins, ours is attached over a thick plywood substrate, which is over a thick layer of insulation, which will be enclosed by drywall, and finished with maple plywood. Don't think we'll be hearing many raindrops.

Here is an excellent view (if I do say so myself) of the method by which the standing seam roof is attached to the building. I think it speaks for itself. Nevertheless, I'll keep commenting. The manner by which the panels interlock and conceal the seams makes a very durable and long lasting seal. It will not require maintenance for a very long time, and should not require replacement in our lifetimes. Unless there are some very significant medical breakthroughs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Great Cover Up

We've been cautioned throughout the entire building process that when the drywall goes up, the house will feel smaller. Au contraire! (I think that's how it's spelled) The Yum Yum Farm house feels bigger to us, and we think it has to do with the various spaces being partially obscured, but still apparent enough to know they're there. When we were able to see the entire building, it felt spacious, but we could see everything. Now the spaces are defined, and you need to move around to see them, and when you do, you find yourself having a very different perspective. This is a view from just inside the front door, looking to the southeast. We're not sure if the steel structure on the left is permanent, or not. Plenty of room for our music collection, I suppose.
This photo is taken from the point of view of the kitchen sink. Do you suppose a kitchen sink could actually have a point of view? If it does, we hope it enjoys its perspective on the living room and loft areas. The loft will soon be encircled by a built in desk and bookshelves, which will be the office area. The sloped ceiling area is to be finished with maple plywood, in a beautiful pattern which will speak for itself in an upcoming post. The remaining un-drywalled area is the bedroom, which will have its own special wall treatment, also to appear in an upcoming post. The suspense is killing you, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shelter From the Storm

One of the most dramatic elements of the Yum Yum Farm is the view of the sky. Since it sits at a high point in the area, there is a dramatic view of all things celestial. On clear nights, the Milky Way looks close enough to touch, and deer scatter when Orion the Hunter comes into view. This evening a warm front and a cold front were doing an energetic dance over the farm, but fortunately, it fizzled out into a cool breeze. Certainly, it's obvious that we are gushing about this project, but when we get to experience the interaction between the land and the heavens, it's truly transcendent. It makes us feel like giants and atoms at the same time!
Now we're really having fun! This is where the Modern part of the Yum Yum Farm house is becoming apparent. This picture is taken from the kitchen, looking west and up toward the loft, and the small storage area to the north of the loft. Soon, the ceiling will be finished with beautiful maple plywood, with slight reveals reminiscent of a barn roof. We anticipate drywall to be finished tomorrow (except for taping), with the standing seam metal roof being installed concurrently. This is getting so exciting, we need to get the blood pressure monitor out!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dems Endorse Yum Yum Farm in '08!

Indianola, Iowa-On this picturesque farm field in south central Iowa, six presidential candidates, Iowa's junior senator, and his wife pledged their enthusiastic support for the Yum Yum Farm. That's how we interpreted it anyway. We had a wonderful time at Senator Tom Harkin's 30th annual steak fry (despite our vegetarianism) with 15,000 of our closest friends. Joanna's parents (Pat and Steve, introduced in a previous post) had the opportunity to shake hands with their senator, and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. We thought it would be appropriate to make some mention of the second biggest story in Iowa, and wanted to share a photo of the six candidates with all of you. In all seriousness, we are among the many Iowans that take a great deal of pride and honor in the process of the Iowa Caucuses, and I will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of my first caucus (where I supported the late Illinois Senator Paul Simon--and his bow tie) this January. Or December. From left below: Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton, Ruth Harkin (Mrs. Harkin serves on the Iowa Board of Regents), Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Chris Dodd, former Senator John Edwards, and Senator Joe Biden. We think they should be campaigning at the Yum Yum Farm. If you agree, please let them know your vote depends on it! And we'll be careful what we wish for!

Start Spreadin' the News...

Ok, I know that song refers to New York City, but Joanna's family is from the same state, so, close enough! We were delighted to have our New York (Syracuse) relatives pay a visit to the Yum Yum Farm. Our nephew Gerard enjoyed his first visit to Iowa, which included a visit to historic Kinnick Stadium, where his team, the Orange (shouldn't it be the Oranges? Or perhaps something that you might actually find in Syracuse?), found themselves down 35 to 0 at the end of the game. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all. Enjoying a picnic dinner below are, from left to right, Steve, Joanna, Geoff, Gerard (now a Cubs fan, apparently), David, and Pat. Note the installed windows, and east deck, which has already been the site of many toasts to the Yum Yum Farm house, now entering the detail stage!

Here's an interesting detail. This is looking up toward the roof from the entry porch. We know this as the bluegrass porch, 'cause it looks like the kind of place where a jug band might sit around playing bluegrass music. If any bluegrass bands out there would like to play on our porch, please let us know! The dark gray things that are situated between the insulation and the plywood create channels where air can circulate and keep the space dry. Brilliant!

Here's the view through the east window from the loft. The corn is beginning to dry, and will be harvested very soon. We've seen a whole corn growing season on the blog now, and it looks like a record harvest this year. The growing season for the Yum Yum Farm house is a little bit longer, but this week, drywall and the standing seam metal roof are under way. It won't be long now!