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The First Truss

April 13, 2012 |

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We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

posted by Ana White

Momplex Stats

Money Spent So Far: 
$59,000 + Cost of Property

Last fall, it was tough to walk away from this pile of trusses.

The First Truss

I felt like we had not only failed ourselves, but that we had failed the Moms and failed you who have supported us and cheered us on.

I was disappointed.

I was disheartened.

I was sad.

But today, as we set these trusses, I am thankful we waited.

And today, this day only a few months delayed, I am happy.

The sun is shining, the mountains are out.  There is not ice covering the trusses or bone chilling wind.  We are not encumbered by layers of down gear or wearing thick always in the way gloves. The sun won't go down in a few hours, shutting our job site down.  

It was wise to wait for spring.

The blocking is cut, we are prepped and ready to go.  

Today, we set trusses!

The First Truss

When we built our house, it was just me and the Ram and his dad on truss day. We tied a rope around each truss, and one at a time, we pulled each truss on top of the house. Then we moved each truss by hand in place. It was tough work. And those trusses were half the length and height of these trusses. And our house is only one story, not built into a hill.

For the Momplex, we have to hire a boom truck.

The trusses are huge. The Momplex is tall. And there's alot of them.

The First Truss

The boom truck first sets up in front of the garages, between the Momplex and trusses. Then we quickly check to make sure the boom can reach far enough.

Just barely.

The First Truss

It will be a little tricky lifting the trusses up over the side of the Momplex and into position. But we want to avoid moving the boom truck too many times.

Time is money.

The First Truss

The boom truck has a hook on the end for lifting, but we will need rigging to attach the trusses to the hook.

The First Truss

The first truss is looped in two places with heavy straps

The First Truss

And then the straps are looped into the hook.

That's Uncle Bill and Grandpa Tim helping us today. They are my favorites.

The First Truss

Once the truss is secured to the hook, Uncle Bill gives the signal.

Up.

The First Truss

And the boom truck slowly lifts the very first truss off of the stack.

This is a gable end truss. It is shorter than the common trusses, and features studs every 24" so nailing plywood on later reduces waste. Also, the center is open to allow for an access vent.

The First Truss

When the first truss clears the pile, I can't really believe it is happening. Over the winter, I've lost hope, felt overwhelmed, asked myself, have we taken on more than we can do????

But today, as I see this truss moving, I feel newly enthusiastic and optimistic about the Momplex. Yes, our family can DIY this Momplex. We can do it!

The First Truss

The truss is every so slowly brought around.

They are fragile and there is a little wind today.

The First Truss

Around the side of the Momplex it comes. It is huge.

The First Truss

And then the truss starts to go up ...

The First Truss

Up top the Ram waits for it.

This takes forever as the boom extends, then the truss drops to allow for the boom extension. Then it extends and rotates, drops, and so on.

The First Truss

Finally, the boom has the first truss in the right position

And the Ram grabs it.  

It takes a bit of maneuvering to get the truss placed just right with the correct overhangs, involving pushing the 48 foot long truss down a foot or so

But finally the hammers come out and the first truss in nailed to the top plates.  

On the inside, supports are screwed directly to the inside walls

And then cross supports to attach trusses to the supports.  

We are not just supporting the first truss. 

We are setting it in place perfectly level and straight.  If it is off, even the tiniest bit, the next 44 feet of trusses will slowly get more and more off, and before we know it, we'll have a Momplex with a very whimsical looking roof.  

And as much as Grace would love for both Grandma's to be living in a crooked house, it's just not happening.  Even if it takes a long, long time to get this first truss right.

And finally, the nail gun comes out to further secure the first truss in place.

The truss is released from the hook

And our first truss sits on top of the Momplex!!!!

22 to go.

It is going to be a long long day.

clips
dmcarwin's picture

Wow!

Wow! I am so dang impressed with you and your family! I think the momplex is a beautiful wonderful act of love and service. Your mom's must feel like the most special ladies in the world! Thanks for the inspiration!

Mindi@ http://mylove2create.blogspot.com/

posted by dmcarwin | on Fri, 2012-04-13 12:10

YAHOO! That is a beautiful

YAHOO! That is a beautiful sight to see.

posted by Jenn W (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-04-13 12:49
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Ana White's picture

Thank you for reading and

Thank you for reading and commenting and encouraging!!! You keep us going and we appreciate you!

posted by Ana White | on Fri, 2012-04-13 12:54

Keep it up Anna... you are

Keep it up Anna... you are such an inspiration.

I do have a question out of curiousity... you all often do the work during the day, during the week. Does Ram or the family that come help work outside of the home at all?

posted by Jodi G (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-04-13 13:37
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Ana White's picture

Hi Jodi, you are so

Hi Jodi, you are so observant!!!

Uncle Bill and Grandpa Tim are retired, and help out quite a bit. They are awesome. My husband now works from home, so can devote more time to working on the Momplex with a more flexible schedule. It is a blessing to be able to lock in blocks of time for working on this massive project. This certainly wasn't the case with my house ... and that's probably why it's 1/4 the size :)

posted by Ana White | on Fri, 2012-04-13 13:50

ahhh...i often wondered about

ahhh...i often wondered about RAM's employment and how he could spend so much time at the momplex :) can you imagine how much longer this project would take if his schedule wasn't so flexible?!

posted by kim k (not verified) | on Sun, 2012-04-15 20:51
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tracysmith's picture

Oh Happy Day!!!

I'm SOOO excited to see those trusses go up. I was pretty excited to see ours go up too when we were building a house. I am glad the weather is better for you so you can keep working and posting on your progress. I look forward to checking out the site everyday for what's new and of course I always look for new posts on the Mom-Plex. Keep up the great work!!!!

http://www.simply-designed.us/blog

posted by tracysmith | on Fri, 2012-04-13 13:40
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Ana White's picture

Hi Tracy!!!! Thanks for

Hi Tracy!!!! Thanks for being there from the start!!! You're positiveness and encouragement are much appreciated! A big thank you to you and your family!

posted by Ana White | on Fri, 2012-04-13 13:51

So cool, I am so happy for

So cool, I am so happy for you guys and love seeing the Momplex progress!
Praying for nice weather up there:)

posted by Sue O'Halloran (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-04-13 13:51
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i'm impressed!

Wow your labor of love is coming together!! Sometimes taking time to make it right is worth it! Well I guess, that should be most of the time! What an amazing project ... and now I'm headed out to the shop to work on another of your projects :) (doll beds for the grand-girls today)

Bless you!!

posted by sueslager | on Fri, 2012-04-13 14:04

So excited

I have been waiting all winter for you guys to start the building again. You guys make the best reality show. Real life. Also, super glad you stayed inside this winter, safe and sound.

posted by melanie dahlan (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-04-13 14:12
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Way to go Ana and family!

Love your awesome Momplex posts! So exciting!

posted by JoanneS | on Fri, 2012-04-13 14:42
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Good explanation

thanks for explaining why you are being so "picky" about all the leveling and measuring. It helps people understand why something that looks like a "pick and plop" takes so long.

posted by Tsu Dho Nimh | on Fri, 2012-04-13 14:56

Your name on the truss!

Ana so happy you're finally getting the roof on, but even better is your name written on that first truss. Priceless! And you're forever leaving your mark, hidden in the roof for all time. Can't wait to see the full deal with all 23 lined up.

posted by Jaime Costiglio (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-04-13 17:36

Congrats!

Congratulations on getting the trusses up. And I'm sorry if I sound like a spoilsport, but with enormous trusses moving around on a boom truck in potentially windy weather, WHY IS NO ONE WEARING A HARD HAT?????????? Seems like common sense to me. A good gust could have made the Momplex into someone's grave.

posted by NikkiS (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-04-13 18:57

Awesome!

Congrats to you all! And may I say, what a beautiful view out the Momplex window!! I count my blessing to get to live in a place like Montana, but Alaska....it takes my breath away!

So happy to see this going so well, Ana!!

posted by Danielle Z. (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-04-13 22:54
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YankeeBelle's picture

How Exciting!

It's exciting to see you all back to work on the MOMplex!! That view of the mountains is amazing. A home built with so much love is sure to hold a lifetime of joy within its walls.
Tsu, your comment "pick and plop" cracked me up!! LOL!
Good luck Anna, Ram, Grace and Moms!!

posted by YankeeBelle | on Sat, 2012-04-14 06:30

WAY TO GO!! Your on a roll

WAY TO GO!! Your on a roll now! It was sooo worth the wait. And Thanks for letting us watch!!

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Sat, 2012-04-14 22:36

YAY!!!!

What an inspiration you are!!! I felt so proud of you as I watched the pictures of the first truss going up. And I'm not even there to witness what an amazing thing this is. For someone who doesn't own a home yet, I keep thinking, maybe I can? I am so inspired by you and your family. Keep up the great work. And also, for someone who has lived in a very cold and windy place (not as bad as Alaska, but bad enough to know what your nose hairs freezing feels like), I am glad you waited. Working in bitter cold isn't fun at all. I think waiting for the sun is a great thing!! I can't wait to keep seeing the progress on this home. Thank you so much for updating us!!

posted by Shasta (not verified) | on Mon, 2012-04-16 07:44
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Neighbors

Hi Ana & crew!
I live just below you on Nistler Rd. I heard a lot going on this past weekend and knew you were busy in the great weather! Love hearing the progress going on up there! :)

Gayle

posted by stitchak | on Tue, 2012-04-24 17:49
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This looks so easy in

This looks so easy in pictures, I am sure you had a lot of work to this project but apparently you've also found the quickest solutions to build this duplex. I am impressed! You made this look more like an weekend project than an actual home construction project.

posted by kally | on Tue, 2012-05-29 10:55

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