Ruckus Ridge Farm
 Irene, South Dakota


Building a Home
The Original Section
In with the New

So here we are, 01-03-2007 and time to get back to work.  I forgot to mentioned the cables before didn't I?  You can't really see them very well in this photo.  We had to put them in before we could take out the old floor joists.  Otherwise the weight of the roof could end up pushing the outer walls out.  And if that happened the entire structure would collapse.  Needless to say, we did not want to take that chance.  These old story and a half type farm houses were built using balloon framing.  The wall studs went from floor all the way to the roof with nothing in between.  That one cross piece you see that runs horizontally across the middle of the photo is the only thing left of the old floor.  It is just nailed onto the wall studs and it will have to come out too before we can add some the additional framing.


The first thing we needed to do was to remove the upper window and re-frame it for the octagon window. Then we had to straighten the wall.  It had bowed outward a bit in the center.  We found a 

couple of the old cottonwood floor joists that had a slight bow and placed them up against the existing studs at either side of the windows making sure that the bow of the new studs faced opposite to the bow of the wall. After we attached them top and bottom, I used the bucket of the bobcat to gently push against the wall from the outside. When the two sets of studs lined up,  John screwed them together using 3-1/2 torx screws.  And when I
finally let the pressure off, the reverse curve of the new studs pretty much straightened the wall.  We knew that once the new floor joists were installed, that would keep the wall from bowing again.

Then we continued around the interior walls adding additional studs and re-framing all the windows and the doorway.  The existing studs were pretty wide apart. About 36" on center.

With the new framing in place, we could now go ahead and install the new interior support walls and ceiling/floor joists.

We had a tough time trying to decide on the new layout.  We wanted it to be as open as possible, but we also need to make sure that it was as strong as possible structurally.  We finally decided on the hallway with large open doorways.  That gave us two walls to help support the second story floor, and to help support the outer walls and keep them straight.
Of course this meant splicing the joists but it was doable.

Here you get a better view of the cables that I was talking about earlier.  At this point we have started putting in the decking for the second floor.

OK, now that the new floor is in, we can go up to the second floor and start working on the dormer.
I will not go into great detail on this part.  I am sure that you have had enough of that already.  But before I start, I want to show you something that we almost missed.  Something that we thought was worth saving so I took photos.

We had run across the first piece (the one that John is holding) when we cut out the section of roof for the new dormer. Apparently the  mill had written their company name and address on the bundle of sheathing that was was used on the exterior. We had already saved that one because it was a little piece of history.  But the really neat part is the section that we almost missed.  Look closely at the section above the piece John is holding.  It says "Sioux Falls, DT"  The DT stands for Dakota Territory so now we know that the roof was put on before South Dakota became a state which was November 2, 1889.  

                      So now for the dormer. . . . .
          Here are exterior photos of the work in stages.







                 John took this picture

Yes, that really is me up there laying shingles.

The door frame finally arrived so we got it installed along with a storm door.  The oak door will have to wait till we can get it stained and varnished.

We've been working on the siding a little at a time.  The dormer is the last of it.

Last of the siding is up and primed.

Finally got one coat of paint on. However, it turned out to be a lot more intense than we had expected. Before we put another coat on, we are going to add some white to it to tone it down.  But for now at least it looks pretty good from the road. And you can't miss it! ;D

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