BCMC Build Recap: The Rain Can't Dampen Our Spirits

Originally published by: BCMC

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This BCMC week, get day-by-day updates from our man-in-the-field, Jess Lohse, President of Rocky Mountain Truss Co. in Havre MT.

September 19, 2011 — Wow, I can't imagine a better way to start off BCMC week than with a great group of people working on two BCMC Build homes! We started Monday morning before the sun was up, in rainy, muddy conditions. It must be something about BCMC Builds that makes Mother Nature challenge our industry professionals in every way imaginable. The wet weather and sticky mud didn’t hamper our spirits or our progress. In no time flat, the crew on the two-story house had the floor panels in place and was standing trusses. Wait, what about the walls you ask? Carl Schoening and Jason Blenker with his crew from Blenker Building Systems threw a curve at the volunteers and wanted to stand the trusses directly above the floor system for simplicity and safety. This plan worked great and allowed more volunteers to work in and around the trusses throughout the day. As one of the guys nailing the sheathing near the peak of a 12/12 attic truss, I appreciated being as close to the ground as possible!

A block down the street, Steve Stroder's crew took advantage of an afternoon break in the rain and was able to stand the walls, set the trusses and sheet the roof, all but finishing the project the first day for the single-story house. I wandered down to their location to steal some lunch and look things over. I was particularly impressed with the Smart Components I’ve heard so much about and got to see them in place as part of the structure. I’m looking forward to seeing all the video footage from their build and exactly how it all fit together. 

Throughout the day, the homeowners were on site and available to talk with volunteers about the project, its process and their new homes. They were very appreciative of the BCMC Build volunteers' efforts and always had a cold Gatorade or water available when we took a break from the action. While I personally feel great about giving back to the individual homeowners, neighborhood and Indianapolis as the BCMC host city, another side of me can’t believe just how much fun I’m having. Despite the rain, I had an awesome time working with components I’ve only heard about or seen in magazine articles. I was able to see floor panels hoisted and placed in a real-life setting by professionals who do it on a regular basis. I also saw how an attic truss system can utilize floor trusses, efficiently creating a two-story scenario. As a component manufacturer who only builds roof trusses, this gave me invaluable insight into additional product lines and knowledge I can take home and use to make honest business decisions in the months and years to come. 

This BCMC Build, much like last year's Build in Charlotte, will be known for the rain and the mud. It may have slowed us up a little bit, but it will not keep us from realizing our goals and completing these homes for the deserving families. For me, the mud and the Lego-like components brought out my inner-kid and fueled my enthusiasm for the project throughout the day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and working with all the great people who are part of the BCMC Build project. Together, we’ll complete two houses in two days!

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