Aerial Photos and First Floor Walls Finished

Happy Thanksgiving. Two days ago the first floor walls were poured finally. So ICF is a really long construction process, really, really, long. There is a ton of residential construction going on where I live right now and I’m forever jealous of these stick frame homes I see go up in a week or two, literally from a foundation to a fully framed home in a week or two, whereas my home is taking 8 weeks a floor.

ICF is still superior, far superior. It is essentially a double walled cooler with a large thermal mass inside, the energy efficiency of the walls is amazing. Additionally, concrete building is the safest building you can do. Who remembers major hurricanes or tornadoes where house after house is destroyed, and then you come across one that is barely damaged – that home is usually concrete. It is more expensive, but I knew that going in, I didn’t realize how much longer it would take. ICF is really slow. Perhaps we need a larger crew working on it? That would help.

But finally the 1st floor blocks were up and so two days ago they poured the concrete in them. Also on that day I happened to have a helicopter flight I won at a charity auction so I’m sure you can guess where I wanted to fly to.

It will take two weeks to set the steel and subfloor system for the 2nd floor. This is another thing that takes longer than a stick frame house. Steel just takes longer, but here it really was the only option. We have large clear spans inside. I wanted the castle to look very authentic from the outside, and the 1st floor of the inside I wanted it to have very appropriate decor and finishing details, but one area where we are definitely not traditional is the size of our rooms. The first floor is basically one big open floor plan, huge rooms, big clear spans, like any other modern house we don’t really have much in the way of walls separating areas of the first floor. An actual castle would have had relatively small rooms simply because they lacked the engineering for the big spans. But with steel I beams and engineered trusses we can do that sort of thing.

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So, I’m told around December 14th we’ll start the 2nd floor walls. Hopefully things speed up a little, I wanted to get the roof on by Valentine’s Day but unless things speed up that won’t happen. The floors should get easier as they go up, there is a little less material in each floor. At the rate things have been going they might only be starting the 3rd floor walls around Valentines day.

I want to thank Rock Creek Aviation for the helicopter ride. I will have to go up again when the castle is finished.

Comments

  1. That is awesome!!! You definitely have to go up again when the castle is finished. Great pics! Happy Thanksgiving and Happy or Merry whatever holiday you celebrate next ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. It’s looking so good now! It’s got that classic castle shape. Going up in the helicopter once again when it’s done is a great idea, we’d love to see what it looks like all finished.

    It’s so exciting to watch this dream castle being built!

  3. Please contact me about the safety of your beautiful castle. My husband started working there yesterday. Not sure how to contact you other than here, so giving this a try. We have a suggestion that is very important and we feel needs done immediately. I don’t want to post information here but I can if your scared to contact me. I’m not sure if you have a castle Facebook page, I will try to contact you there also.

  4. Julia Tolbert says:

    I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion my previous comment might have caused. It was not a safety issue. I used the wrong word. It was just a suggestion for a beautiful castle and family home. It was a personal concern of mine about putting up a gate , nothing more. I am a nurse and sometimes I care too much. My husband really takes pride in working on this castle. We wish nothing but a speedy, beautiful finish for you. Please feel free to delete my post. Again I sincerely apologize.

  5. Thanks for the inspiration! I have been planning to build a castle myself for some time now. Your ideas, incites, and experience during the process have been a big help in my own preparations. Hopefully within five years I’ll be sending you a link to a website documenting my castle rising from the earth.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with us.

    Justin

  6. Hello new castle builder.

    I am 62 years old with a young wife that I promised 20 years ago that I would build her a castle one day . I don’t think you are ever too old to fulfill a dream . I have been looking at docs on the modern-day castles. I have some ideas of my own but also need guidance may be an architect to draw up some nice plans. It would be greatly appreciated if you could give me some ideas of who I could contact when I get ready to get started . Soon I hope . I am glad to have the opportunity to read your column on what to expect in certain situations. When it’s finished, it will be a dream come true.

  7. Just awesome seeing this castle and i love all the humor on this website so funny. We’ll happy building looks great

  8. Mom is from Scotland so itโ€™s exciting to see someone appreciate beauty like this! Maybe you can hide a very important family heirloom in the house somewhere and pass that tidbit of info down to your kids grands. ๐Ÿ˜œ. Itโ€™s a sweet treasure hidden in the lovely mtns I enjoyed as a child. Enjoy your home. These kind of peices of architect add to our already beautiful state.

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