There is now a relatively safe platform to work from to finish the soffit and house wrap at the end wall peak on the river side of the house. Building an upper deck rather than a roof was a good decision. The added glass in the upper door changes the view from the bedroom and allows us to step out onto a grand vista of the back bay. The upper deck has a one inch rise over an 8 foot run which should drain quite easily. The upper deck is also a foot longer than the lower deck allowing for a little more protection from the elements below. Moving the footings well beneath the coverage of the main floor deck should help to keep them dry and stable. The next steps on the exterior are to get some railings on the decks and strap the walls in preparation for siding.
Adding additional fill along both sides of the house will have to wait until the spring. Drainage around the house appears to be working well. After record rainfall levels this summer everything looks dry and the clay dug from the deck footing excavation was fairly hard with low moisture content. We will be watching for movement or shifting this winter, but we expect that heat from hydronics in the pad will ensure that there is no frost beneath the footings.
Things look a little different with the addition of a second level above the main floor deck. The beam and roof/deck was put together over a weekend. In this picture you can see temporary supports used to get the beam in place and hold up the structure before the 6x6 posts are added. This temporary 2x4 support system worked really well for getting the main deck structure in place. This system was refined a bit for the raising the second level beam and worked really well to stabilize it was raised into position. The next step is to get the permanent support timbers installed.