Caulking and Washing Windows

Good Evening,

Didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to this weekend, working on the house.  Yesterday we picked up the French Doors that will go to the Bonus Room upstairs, and 4 toilets.  I think when the toilets go in we can say we are almost ready to move in.

I caulked the trim and baseboard of two upstairs bedrooms and the hall.  I checked with Preston, my do-it-yourself-go-to-guy, and asked him if there was a good way to caulk.  The way I do it seemed so labor intensive.  So here were his instructions:  Make a small whole in the caulking tube, at an angle of course.  Have a container of water which has a edge that you can clean the caulk off of your finger.  You will put a small bead of caulk then smooth out with a wet finger and scrape any excess off your finger on the edge of the water bowl.  It works great.  I am still slow, but that is just me.  He suggested I use Spackle to fill in the tiny wholes of the finish nail gun.  I tried that but the wholes were so small that i just used excess caulk and wiped the excess with a wet cloth.

During the time in each room, I wanted to wash some of the windows as they were so dirty from before the house was closed up tight.  That was only accomplished this past July when we hired the contractor.  Then everything was closed up and no more birds could come inside and build their nests and poop all over everything.  Thank you, Thank you S & K Mountain Construction.

While washing the windows, I had time to reflect on when we ordered the windows and purchased them from Home Depot.  They are Jeld Wen windows.  They are vinyl or plastic clad.  With the front of the house getting so much weather out of the south, wood windows were not a good choice.  It is really hard to keep a finish on the wood.  We are known for getting lots of wind and it reeks havoc on painted wood finishes.

One of the reasons we chose Jeld Wen Windows was because they were affordable and they came double-hung so that the upstairs windows could tip-in for cleaning.  There is a total of 44 windows in the whole house.  We purchased the lower windows first and installed them.  A couple of years later we went to purchase the windows for the upstairs.  That is when we had a problem.  I had picked up a brochure which touted the double-hung windows that would tip-in for cleaning, but when I went to purchase them, they said they were not available on the west coast only in the east and midwest.  I was not a happy camper.  That was the reason that I went with Jeld Wen Windows.  The clerk at Home Depot took my number and said the Rep would be on Monday and would give me a call.  The Rep did call me and he then spoke to the home office and explained the situation and they shipped a special order of double-hung windows to complete the upstairs.  Now it doesn’t get much better than that.  They were courteous and helpful.  They kept in touch and delivered them without shipping costs.  What an upstanding company.  I would do business with them again.

Also when washing the windows, it struck me that we, Lynn and I, have really worked at the house.  Kinda like an inch-worm these last few years, but we installed the windows.  We used the bucket truck to install the upstairs windows.  So the bucket truck did come in handy, but once it was broke, it was really broke.

Now for some of the pictures:

Master Bath Vanity
Master Bath Vanity
My Jeld Wen Metal French Doors that lead onto the upper deck.
My Jeld Wen Metal French Doors that lead onto the upper deck.
North Bedroom with the two closets.  All caulked and ready to paint
North Bedroom with the two closets. All caulked and ready to paint
By Pass Doors for one of the closets.  Oh and they are Jeld Wen also.
By Pass Doors for one of the closets. Oh and they are Jeld Wen also.
South East front bedroom.  My Jeld Wen windows.  The double-hung ones.  There are bigger double-hung windows in the South West front bedroom, but I didn't get that far today.
South East front bedroom. My Jeld Wen windows. The double-hung ones. There are bigger double-hung windows in the South West front bedroom, but I didn’t get that far today.
Toilets for the 3 baths.  2 upstairs and one off the utility room.
Toilets for the 3 baths. 2 upstairs and one off the utility room.
The Master Bath Throne.
The Master Bath Throne.
The interior French Doors (the glass is covered with plywood)  That may be Jeld Wen, but I'm not sure of that.
The interior French Doors (the glass is covered with plywood) That may be Jeld Wen, but I’m not sure of that.

It has been a busy weekend.  Started packing up some things also in the dining room.  Next on my schedule is to get an estimate from a mover.  I don’t think we will make it into the house until after the first of the year.  I am trying to get some of the trim caulked and painted before the carpet goes in.  I will be on vacation during Thanksgiving week so I should be able to get more accomplished, either packing or working on the house.

Oh, I almost forgot we went shopping at Sears for the appliances.  Delivery is tomorrow.  We did get a water heater that works in conjunction with the heat pump.  That is more efficient that a regular hot water heater.  Bonus, Pacific Power and Light gives us a $600 rebate so the actual cost will be approximately $300.  We need every savings we can get as I am already making my banker nervous.

Annie, The Caulking, Window Washing Queen.

I Made a Gate!!

The weekend started out slow as I really didn’t want to work on the porch yesterday after grocery shopping and going to Home Depot for 2×4’s, and to two different pharmacies for pills for Lynn.  But I managed to move the big ladder and put up a post and one railing which actually took me all afternoon.  So I planned to get up early Sunday and try to make a gate, now that I knew the size of the opening.  I had Lynn give me detailed instructions last night on how to figure the angles.  He is still under the weather, but hopefully Wednesday he will be better.

Sunday – Today – I got up, ate a little breakfast, put on some warm clothes and ventured out to the porch.  I worked this all out in my head last night.  You know I don’t use skill saws and Lynn is not able to help, so I decided that I could use the chop saw to get what I needed done.  I’m not afraid of a chop saw or radial arm saw, just the skill saw.  Also, I will needed to use the band saw on some of the long angles.

First I laid out the rails and stiles to make a square, and I needed to check it for “square.”  Norm Abrams taught me that.  I watch the Yankee Workshop!!  So the first picture is of me making it square 🙂

Checking for Square.  59" on each angle.  Not too bad.
Checking for Square. 59″ on each angle. Not too bad.

In doing this, Lynn wanted me to use some wood screws with the slotted heads.  That’s not what I wanted to use, but I deferred to his decision, at least for some of the project.  It took trying to drill pilot holes first and I tried 3 different sizes of bits before I found the right one.  I still don’t think I got it big enough because I had to really work the driver and put my weight behind it.  Hehe.

This is the thing, the chop saw was in the house that we are building and I had to make several (lots really) trips to get the boards the right size.  Measure once and cut a bazillion times.  It is about 200 ft.  so I got lots of exercise.

Drills and drills are not created equal.  I bought Lynn this 90 degree drill or Christmas one year and I love the way it feels in my hands as it “fits” my delicate palms.  But it is not a variable speed and does not like the bigger drill bits.  So I had to bring out the heavy duty variable speed drill/driver.  That baby worked, but it meant changing out the bits all the time from drill to driver.  Nothing is ever easy.  Ugh!

Drill not strong enough, have to get the heavy one with more torque, and variable speed.  Ugh.
Drill not strong enough, have to get the heavy one with more torque, and variable speed. Ugh.

Still hating these heavy slotted wood screws, but making do for now.  But I will be changing to the deck screws which are easier to handle and I won’t need to drill a pilot whole.  More better 🙂

Now for the angles.  I picked out the pattern from some gates that Lynn made for the horse paddocks but I needed to adapt it for a porch gate.  Put the diamond pattern in next, and that is where the angles came in.  That is where the chop saw came in.  The angle that worked for me was 35 degrees.  Love the chop saw, but I need a new sharper blade, but that isn’t my job. At the moment anyway.  So here is the Skil chop saw, I think I bought that one Christmas, for Lynn, but can’t remember when.  I know he has another saw that is still in the box.  That man and his toys.

Chop saw.
Chop saw.

Again I made a multitude of trips to the house to cut and re-cut the boards and get the angles just right.

Then, was the time to fill in the holes with yet another angled board, had to use a handy dandy little angle thingy to figure it out.  Forgot to take a picture of that.  By this time Lynn made it out to the back porch to see what was going on and lend some of his wisdom to the project and show me how to use that angle thingy.  Don’t ask me what angle, because I haven’t a clue, it just fits.  Now this is where the band saw came in.  I had never used a band saw before, but no time like the present to learn.  I just had to find the on and off switch and put the wood through really slowly as I am not real good at following a straight line.  But I did it.  Made 1 board to fit and then cut 3 more just like it.  I can rock that band saw!!

Sears Band Saw, Lynn bought in the 60's.  Still going strong.
Sears Band Saw, Lynn bought in the 60’s. Still going strong.

Now for the reveal.  Of course, I couldn’t wait to hang it.  I really should have primed it and painted it first, but I have been wanting this done for 5 or 6 months.  I hated that big board up there keeping Kinzie from guarding her fiefdom.  Now she can see every cat that saunters by.

Gate from the inside
Gate from the inside

This is from the porch side.  This is the birds-eye-view Kinzie will be guarding.

Gate from the outside.
Gate from the outside.

This is the one from the outside.  I know, I should have waited until after it was painted, but a little blue tape will mask it off and all is good.  How do you like the heavy hinges and latch?  I put those on too.  Now I just have to caulk all the mistakes and prime and paint it.  2 more side balustrades and that part of the porch is done.

Lynn will handle putting in the light by the door, the ceiling fan and the flood light for the driveway.  Just a couple of weekends more and I will be closing this project down for the year.  When I get some painting done, I will post the before and after pictures.

Thanks for following my blog.

Annie, master of the band saw 🙂

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.

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