Take photos

Owner-builders should always take lots of photos (and videos, where appropriate) throughout the construction process. It’s easy, free, and you already have all the tools you need in your pocket. At minimum, it’ll be fun to look back on progress … Read More

Final demo and fresh start

We’d hoped to start rebuilding on top of the basement walls once the floor was off, but initial measurements showed that something was still wrong. By using a laser transit we found that the original framing contractor had built all … Read More


Framing documentation Address: 15540 Wind Song Drive, Anchorage, AKContractor: Dawson Development

Demolition (almost) complete

Just ten days after the decision to demolish my house, the job was more or less complete. We’d hoped to save the flooring above the basement and some of the interior framing on the main floor, but when we got … Read More

Demolishing the upper story

Once the glulam beams were lifted off by a crane and placed to the side for reuse, the crew set about demolishing the upper parts of the house. The walls were braced and cut into smaller sections, and then each … Read More

Demolishing the roof

The first task for the demo was to pull off the roof so that we could remove the big glulam beams with a crane. Now that we were doing demo instead of remediation, the poor structural quality of the framing … Read More


On June 9, 2020, we made the extremely painful decision to demolish my house. We had spent weeks attempting to save the structure, but it was an endless uphill battle. The last straw came when we pulled off the sheathing … Read More

Extremely bad framing

This small section of the house was hidden behind exterior sheathing. The framers who covered it up probably figured it would never be seen by an inspector, or by me, or by anyone else. There’s really nothing to say about … Read More

Hidden defects

Working together, we made progress. My designer re-engineered parts of the house that hadn’t been built correctly. I raced around Anchorage borrowing generators and buying demo blades and nails. And of course, Harry and his crew were hard at work … Read More

Framing before-and-after

Good work is good in so many ways. It’s stronger, more resilient, looks better, and just feels better to be around. Beyond that, good work reflects self-respect on the part of the builder and consideration for the well-being and safety … Read More

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