Bitting the Bullet to Finish the House


Lynn and I have come to the decision that we are no longer able to work on the house.  His health won’t allow him, and going it alone doesn’t work for me.  Our original plan was to build it ourselves and, therefore, be mortgage free when we retired.  Best laid plans of mice and men.  Now we  just  readjustment our plans.

There are still things that I will have to do, and it is going to be a long hard summer.

We have started getting bids and I will be speaking to the bank next week.

In the meantime, I will be camping out at Home Depot and various internet sites to get the lighting, plumbing fixtures, flooring, doors and a multitude of other things we will need.  I am checking with 2 heating and cooling companies and I have a cabinet estimate that will need revising.

Then there is always the worry that I won’t qualify for the budget that will be needed to complete the house.

Stay tuned, more tomorrow.


Well since I wrote yesterday, Lynn and I spent the better part of 2 hours on Saturday and I went back alone today.  I am a bit overwhelmed.  Trying to organize and get all the estimates I need together before I go to the bank.  I think I will need to spend next week getting more organized.  After reviewing the contractor’s estimate, Lynn and I were not on the same page, so I will need to contact the contractor and get some revisions.  It is so hard for him to accept that he can’t do it all.  Nor can I.

Stay tuned, I will be updating regularly and let you know how it is going.

Annie, the overwhelmed novice carpenter.


Working Our Way Up the Porch

The railings are starting to go up.  One at least.

Lynn went to Spokane this past week for his consultation on getting a pacemaker.  He is a candidate for the modified pacemaker, but to satisfy the insurance company they have to monitor him for the next 3 months and then get another heart echo, before he is eligible.  Irregardless of the fact, that they have been trying to control his arrhythmia with medications for the last 5 years.  The doctor also changed his heart medication and that has really caused him to be extremely tired and lethargic.  Hopefully, after the pacemaker is in, and functioning well, he can get off of some of the medications he is on.   He feels he is over-medicated, but which one do you get rid of?  Alright this is a blog about DIY Building projects, just thought I would let you know that my significant other has not been able to get into this project, too good.  I am amazed at what he can do, as he will be turning 74 in a couple months.

We didn’t get the scaffolding moved like we wanted this weekend, so I had to settle for working on the railing.  I really wanted to work on the porch by the stairs leading from the side yard, but we have some other things that need to be done first and that involves the scaffolding.  Next week we will tackle that.

Our do-it-yourself center that is closest to us, is Home Depot, so that is where we buy all our paint and most other building products.  I have found that their paint is good if you use a good foundation primer.  I prefer the Kilz Premium Primer as it works the best.  It is worth the extra money if you want the finish to match.  I had primed the balustrades and the 2×4’s before putting them up, then quickly put on 1 coat of the Behr Semi-Gloss White.  It will need one more coat.  Hopefully, I can paint the whole porch before bad weather sets in.

I guess I will be in the roofing business one for time before I hang up my hammer.  We have decided to put up asphalt shingles to match the rest of the house, if we can match the color.  If not, we will get as close as we can.  I would have like to put up metal roofing, but that should be done professionally, and that isn’t in the budget.

This particular blog will be short as I am pooped.  Gotta fix supper, do sock fairy duties, take a shower and get ready for another week at the salt-minds.

Take care,

Annie, the porch wizard.

Storm rolling in from the south on 9-5
Storm rolling in from the south on 9-5
First railing goes up
First railing goes up
Kinzie the building inspector, fell asleep on the job.
Kinzie the building inspector, fell asleep on the job.

Happy 4th of July – Progress on the Porch

Happy 4th of July America.  This holiday gives you pause to count your blessings that we live in a country where we have all the freedoms we enjoy.  If you work hard you can achieve your dreams.  You know we are not wealthy, but we have our health, a roof over our head, food in our belly, and the right to worship as we choose.

Building our dream home is one our dreams.  Granted it has taken a looooong, time but we have worked hard and have enjoyed the fruits of our labor.  With a few detours.  The present one being our back porch in the little house we live in.  So now that I have led into that, here is our progress for today:

A day off work at the office, but a day of work on the back porch.  I did take some pictures as I wanted to record this project and have a look at the before and after pictures.  Today Lynn put up another trim board and cut away some of the obstacles to it laying flat.  Then he cut the deck boards to size, about 10 of them, then went in to get out of the heat and recuperate.  That is when my job began.  I drilled pilot holes so I wouldn’t split any of the boards then screwed them down with 3″ deck screws.  Love to see progress and watching the porch be transformed from something that I was ashamed of to something that I am proud to show off.

My two week project has turned into March, April, May, June & July, maybe August project.  Not regretting doing it.  Just sometimes get impatient with myself that it takes me and Lynn so long to do any project.  We always envision the projects going much faster and smoother.  I guess it teaches us patience.  I should be about finished with learning patience, and I am ready to graduate.

Lynn managed to mow the weed infested back yard on Tuesday.  Looks so much better.  It is dried out weeds, but at least they are all the same height, so it doesn’t look so bad.  Looking at the back yard and front yard, just lets me know what other areas of this house have been neglected.  My wish is that someone stops me the next time I am in Home Depot and offers to do a yard makeover.  I want a rich luscious green lawn with underground sprinklers on a timer and well groomed flower beds with beautiful butterfly bushes and humming bird feeders.  Weeded and no fox-tails in the lawn as they burrow under Kinzie’s fur.   I absolutely hate fox-tails.

Nodded off for a minute in dreamland, but I’m now back awake.  Well maybe someday that wish will come true, but I don’t think it will happen this summer.  Ho hum.  I will just have to settle for a beautiful porch.

Our plan for this weekend is to finish up the deck of the porch and begin the railing.  Back to Home Depot to get the railing material and I will then get out my trusty paint brush and begin more painting.  Oh, I can’t wait.  But for tomorrow I am back to work at being a paralegal and loving that job too.

Take care and thanks for reading my little blog 🙂

Annie, the tired patriot porch builder

This is looking from the back kitchen door out toward the yard.
This is looking from the back kitchen door out toward the yard.
Doesn't that look so much better?
Doesn’t that look so much better?
Porch Deck about 3/4 done.  Then the railing and roof.
Porch Deck about 3/4 done. Then the railing and roof.
Finally got the dryer vent put together and it will stay that way with little screws.
Finally got the dryer vent put together and it will stay that way with little screws.
Next to the stump, not able to dig, so we improvised.
Next to the stump, not able to dig, so we improvised.
We get to remove the 4x8 sheet of plywood and get some more done.
We get to remove the 4×8 sheet of plywood and get some more done.

One more weekend left with the lift

Ever have one of those days? Yeah, one of those days, when you shouldn’t touch anything electronic or anything that can in any way hurt you. Ugh. I took Saturday off and rested a little and thought I would get lots done today. Well, I don’t usually get all that I envision done, but today was pretty pitiful.

I did finish painting the 42 shakes that we had cut. So I can draw a line through that on my list.  It will at least finish the one dormer. Through the winter we should get the others cut and I can start painting in the spring.   Only about 200 more.

Now for post #3. You would think after I had done two of these it would get easier. Didn’t happen. This one was a son-of-a-gun. I thought I was being really careful, but I managed to really bungle this one up. Not a total loss as I can fix it, but still not easy. The bad part is, in prying it apart I dropped the one side (the heavy side) right on my baby toe. It is broke. I don’t need a Dr. to tell me that, but there just isn’t anything that you can do, but try not to aggravate it. Needless to say it slowed me down a little.

Lynn was snapping and snarling the whole day too.  Got to love it, can’t wait until I retire and we get to enjoy each others’ company 24/7.  He did manage to get up in the lift and put some of the metal around the fascia.  We are using metal as the wood will not hold a paint finish of any kind on the front which is the weather side.    Getting ready to add more siding or work on the other dormer.  Next weekend we will try to put the other stain glass window up.  Anyway that is the plan.

I am back to work now and won’t be able to keep dogging Lynn, but hopefully he will try to get some more done before we take the lift back a week from Monday.  So next weekend with be a busy one.  Then it will be clean-up time and take all the paint and glues and all things that can’t freeze into our storage closet, so they can make it through our cold winters.

The plans for next spring are to get started earlier and maybe rent the lift for a couple of months.  The bad part about spring is we tend to get more rain and the weather isn’t quite as predictable.  We haven’t had any measurable rain for about 3 months now.  But it feels like it may be a cold winter.

I did take a few pictures and hope to have a picture of the completed dormer next weekend.  With all my grumbling today, I really love working on this dream house and can’t wait to see it completed so I can get started on a potting shed, maybe a chicken coop, paint and clean up the horse paddocks and on and on and on……

Boy my little pinky hurts and it is turning black and blue.  Looks like I will be wearing flip-flops a few more weeks.

Annie, the clumsy novice carpenter.

House wrapped before the porch was put on

House with the porch added this was the end of 2011

10-7 progress

1st finished post

Working on the posts on the front porch

Just a little more and the dormer is finished