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Keeping Up with the Wadsworths: Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters

An episode of Scott Wadsworth’s spec house series… with grandkids.

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off- then, I account it high time to….” –Melville

Well, Melville had his methods but my way of escaping the grim times now is to check in on Scott Wadsworth’s spec-house series up in Roseburg, Oregon. The series is now at 73 episodes and the complete playlist is at the “Let’s Build a House” series.

It’s a long video series. It showcases house building but shows you along the way what a decent man with a decent family and with decent values does when he goes to the job. This is how the world of man is built. It is built one nail and brick at a time. It is built by men who have the skill that God gave himself when He walked among us. Built by men who, in spite of everything, “keep up the good work.”

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  • ghostsniper February 16, 2020, 9:52 AM

    OSB is about as low as you can go for residential exterior sheathing, I wonder why he chose that.

  • azlibertarian February 16, 2020, 10:48 AM

    I first became acquainted with Scott on these very pages, and for that I have our host to thank. Even though I have little-to-no interest in home-building or blacksmithing, I look forward to each of his videos. And you’re right: What he is really building is a family, and from my distant perch, he is doing it very well.

  • ghostsniper February 17, 2020, 9:45 AM

    A lot of good info in this series especially if you are interested in the subject and even more so if you already have some construction education. I looked at the first epi and knew this wasn’t going to be a cheap house. Having not yet seen the last vid, I would guess at least $700k. I think this is in Oregon but I’m not sure. Personally, I wouldn’t have chosen that site. To may issues that must be corrected with deep asspockets. I don’t know about anybody else but all that rip rap and retaining walls stuff is NOT something I would want to see when looking out the windows of my new home.

    I jumped ahead in the epis to the part where the rubber hits the road, the union between the 1st and 2nd floors. This area, where the 2nd floor walls, the 2nd floor joists, and the 1st floor walls come together is a critical area that can cause problems for the future occupants.

    Ever heard of “thermal bridge”? It’s a place in an exterior wall where the outside temperature is transferred directly to the inside by way of construction process and materials. The better constructed homes try to eliminate as much thermal bridging as possible. In northern climates when the temp gets down toward zero thermal bridges become visible on the interior surfaces of the exterior walls. Hold a light close to a light colored exterior wall and you will see a darkening in the color where the studs are located in the wall. You will also see dots, the screws that attach the drywall. If you have a digital laser infrared thermometer you will see 10-20 degrees or more diff between the studs and the spaces between the studs.

    Another major place where thermal bridging occurs is in how the 2nd floor joists are connected to the exterior walls. If the floor joists sit on top of the wall with a rim joist there will be considerable thermal transfer across the entire 2nd floor cavity resulting in cold floors on the 2nd floor and cold ceilings in the 1st floor. This will cause interior heating costs to soar. It’s far better to hang the joists on the inside of the 1st floor with either a ledger board or a series of Simpson hanger anchors. If this method is used it is physically impossible for the outside temps to negatively effect the cavity’s between the floor joists for they are now inside the thermally isolated building envelope. Remember, the floor joist cavity is where ventilation ducts and water pipes are run and if that space is cold in the winter then your ductwork and hot water supply lines are compromised. There’s a saying in the industry that you can cry once or cry twice.

    Typically, in my experience, speculation homes are not the best spending of money. The builder isn’t going to live in the home and is under no monetary consequence to build it as good as it can be. He is going to cut corners. He is going to read out his warehouse of all the leftover stuff from past projects and use them on the spec house. He is under the gun to get the thing done as quickly as possible because financially he is in the hole and paying ever increasing interest payments on the construction loan WHILE still paying for all his other expenses. I’m going to skip ahead and see what the end result looks like. I am also going to take my time and look at all the other vids in this series as there is someone willing to teach interesting stuff I am an anxious learner. Your home is the most expensive thing you’ll ever be involved with and I would encourage anyone reading this with the notion they will live in a new home someday to watch them as well.

  • BJM February 19, 2020, 3:19 PM

    I’ve been following Erin and Josh as they build their home. Erin manages the farm while homeschooling and wrangling 3 kids, Josh is a full time electrician with some killer moves…or not.


  • Vanderleun February 20, 2020, 11:10 AM

    Thats a great project and a great couple.