Labor Day Progress on the Porch

Looked forward to making some progress on this 3 day weekend.   I am happy to say that we did make some noticeable progress.  Still a little bit more before we can start sheeting the roof and put the shingles on.  Sprinkling when we stopped working.  Looks like it might rain on Wednesday, but we will not get to the roofing part until a week or two.  Need to set up the scaffolding to be able to have easier access to the roof.  Neither of us bounce anymore and doing it from a ladder, isn’t going to do it.

Saturday I did a little bit of painting to areas I knew I wouldn’t be able to reach when the roof starts going up.

Sunday, Lynn put up the roof rafters and I began putting on the clips.  There were two rafters that had a twist in them so they are not battened down just yet, but when the scaffolding is put up we can tackle that job.  It was hard on Lynn, but he managed to do them with a lot of resting in between.  I am so proud of him.  I know he doesn’t feel good, but he will not let me hire it done.  He doesn’t want to hire anyone to do what he feels he can do.

Today, I spent the morning putting up the ceiling joists while Lynn used the nail gun on them.  We stopped around1:30 as we were both tuckered out.  This is all that will get done this weekend.

Tomorrow, Lynn has a consultation with the doctor that will be placing his pace maker.  I hope all goes well at that meeting as they have been unable to regulate his heartbeat with medication.    His heartbeat is always racing 110 to 140+ beats per minute, and that is the resting heart rate.  No wonder he feels exhausted all the time.  This has been happening over an extended period of time, so he hasn’t felt well in a long long time.

Things left to do are, sheeting and roofing, building the balusters, and making gates or doors.  Then a little more painting.  After that I need to finish taking off and replacing the crown molding and fascia on the side of the house, that needs to be done before winter.  Then I will be moving inside for the winter.  I can work outside in the heat, but I hate the cold.

Now for the pictures.

Annie, palm-nailing queen.

Ready to put the scaffolding up
Ready to put the scaffolding up
A little detail of the roof rafters and ceiling joists
A little detail of the roof rafters and ceiling joists
Kinzie waiting on the roof to her dog house, eh, I mean our porch
Kinzie waiting on the roof to her dog house, eh, I mean our porch
Side view.  Not to bad for a novice carpenter.
Side view. Not to bad for a novice carpenter.

A short Saturday post

Saturdays we don’t usually get very much accomplished on the porch.  But today I was pleasantly surprised as Lynn felt up to cutting a few boards.  I intended on getting some painting done, but decided to put on some of the joist hangers for the ceiling joists of the porch.  A little painting came later.

All the boards for the roof rafters and the spacers are cut and ready to be nailed up tomorrow.  While Lynn was doing that, I began to put the ceiling joists hangers on a 2×6, actually 2 2×6’s so far.  I knew I could do this with my handy dandy palm nailer, so that was my designated job.  With Lynn’s suggestion, it was a lot easier than how I was thinking of doing it.  That’s why I keep him around, for his wonderful, intelligent, winning disposition.  🙂  Well the first two for sure.

He said I should put the hangers on before we nailed the 2×6’s up on the wall.  Good idea, I can do that.  So I made sure I had the end hanger in the right place then centered the rest 16 inches apart.  Worked wonderfully.  Then we put up a chalk line and put up the first two board.  There is about 3 feet more to put up, but we have to do a little revising on that first.

After that, Lynn was done in, but I had a little more energy, so I decided to caulk some holes and put some primer on the eves and down one side to make ready for the two coats of green.  By that time, I was done for today.  Tomorrow the plan is to put up all the roof rafters and possibly some of the ceiling joist, plus put on the two coats of paint before I don’t have access to that area.  We would like to get up the sheeting on, but that is just too much to hope for.

So stay tuned for tomorrow’s update.

Annie, the happy weekend warrior.

Coming along.  See all the roof rafters stacked on the deck?  The will be on top tomorrow
Coming along. See all the roof rafters stacked on the deck? They will be on top tomorrow.
A little bright white primer on the corner, and it appears I will be painting some of the house this year.  Ugh.
A little bright white primer on the corner, and it appears I will be painting some of the house this year. Ugh.

The Weekend Warrior is Back on the Porch, Ye-haw

After a few weeks doing other stuff, I am finally back on the porch.  Time is running out before we start getting the fall rain, so we have to get it done.  Lynn hates working on it, so it is like pulling hen’s teeth to get him to work on it.  He says I am working him to death.  I have resorted to bribery.  He would do most anything for waffles.  Not to be mislead, he has some real health issues, and if all things work out he will be having a pace-maker inserted in in early October.  I hope that makes him feel much better.

Yesterday, we did our grocery shopping.  Creatures of habit, plus the dog and cats needed food.  When we got back home, I did some painting and repairing and putting up tin to repair some of the fascia and made it critter proof.  Didn’t work on it too hard.

Sunday, I got up with a plan.  I was going to get some of the crown molding up and calked and more painting.  Wow, did it turn out good, even if I do have to say so myself.  It’s wonderful when you are able to see the vision in your head actually coming out the way you envisioned it.  Also, lets talk about caulking.  It’s a painter’s best friend and can cover up a multitude of mistakes.  The crown molding went up just how I planned.  Whew, I’m glad it did because I didn’t have a backup plan.

We were able to get 3 roof rafters up (that’s where the bribery came in).  We are putting them up with blocking instead of joist hangers.  Then we will have to do blocking along the end of the rafters too.  The boards are twisting.  We got kiln dried, but they still twisted.  Very frustrating.  It will take clamping and muscles to get them where we want them.

I need Lynn’s help with the nailing because, the darn nail gun weighs a ton.  I wish Bostitch or Porter Cable or Makita would make a nail gun with the power of the big ones, but that a woman could handle.  It is all I can do to take it off and on the porch.  It’s awkward and heavy.  Oh, did I mention, I am the tool packer, I pack to the porch and then pack it back into the house when we are done for the day.  I see that as my contribution and my aerobic workout.  Tonight I added moving about 30 2x6x8’s and 2x6x10’s from the side yard to the back yard.  On my feet for 8 hours straight and I am tuckered out.

Doing this porch has been a challenge from the beginning, but so rewarding to see the fruits of my labors.  I have to keep reminding myself why I am doing this project… and that is the porch was going to fall in on our heads.  Maybe it will last for another 100 years.

Now for the pictures.

Annie, the weekend warrior back at it.

The crown molding's looking good
The crown molding’s looking good
A problem corner, had to do some creative patch work.
A problem corner, had to do some creative patch work.
Crown molding from the distance
Crown molding from the distance
The building inspector, aka Kinzie.
The building inspector, aka Kinzie.
Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade
First Porch rafters.
First Porch rafters.
1 - 2 - 3 roof rafters.  More next week
1 – 2 – 3 roof rafters. More next week

Happy Father’s Day – Porch Progress

First of all I want to wish my Husband a wonderful Father’s Day.  Also, happy Father’s Day to all those out there in Blogville, and I hope yours was special.

Usually, I always have upbeat posts and try to be positive, but this week really sucked.  There just isn’t any other word that quite fits.

I try real hard to be patient and roll with the punches, but I have found this past week particularly challenging.  On Wednesday I ended up coming home and taking my husband into the emergency room.  His degenerative back disease has been getting progressively worse.  There really wasn’t much that they could do to alleviate the pain.  He is scheduled for injections this week and I pray they give him some relief.  That is pretty much why I am the muscle and he is the brains.  But I have become increasingly aware of my limitations.  Having used power tools, some I am comfortable with and others I tend to be a little leery of.  Skill saws and table saws are not my favorite.  Try building a deck without either one.  Ugh.  Though, I do love the palm nailer.  That thing is awesome.  I took a picture of that little gizmo.

Trying to learn from my husband when his fuse it short, is not fun for me.  We end up arguing and the deck still doesn’t get done.  Frustrating for us both.  The dream house is setting next door and I feel like I am running out of time and afraid I won’t get to work on it this summer.  I am stuck on this damn porch!!

This blog is suppose to keep me on track and encourage me.  If I write it down, and know that I plan to write it down, I am more motivated to get things done.  This week it isn’t working.  I did take pictures of some of the progress, but not nearly as much as I would have liked.  Oh, I am really throwing a pity party now.  Anyway, this is where we are now:

We got the front 2×8 on the posts and have a good start on that, then put in some crossbars.  We are almost ready to put on some of the 2×6’s that we will be using for the decking.  I wanted to get at least this half of the porch done so we can move the freezer over and work on the other half.  Usually a patient person, I am almost ready to throw in the towel.  Finishing this half would have given me the inspiration to keep going.  Add to that I have a tooth ache, and my knee is swollen (haven’t a clue what that is from).  Oh, and the “sock fairy” hasn’t finished the laundry or gotten anything else a domestic diva is supposed to do, done.  Thank God for work tomorrow, I can escape into that world where I can master the things I need to.

Have to get back my positive attitude, so I will tell you what I plan to do next weekend.  The plan is to get the porch deck framed ( like a picture frame) and get about 8 feet or so of the 2×6’s down and get the freezer moved over there.  If I manage to get any of the old decking demolished, that will be a bonus.  My 2 week porch has turned in to 2 months so far.  Now do you understand why my blog is “15 years and counting dream house!!”

Annie, a very frustrated novice carpenter

Not a very complementary photo, those are part of the clothes I intend to burn when this is done.  Using the palm nailer.  Love that thing.
Not a very complementary photo, those are part of the clothes I intend to burn when this is done. Using the palm nailer. Love that thing.
Some of the power tools
Some of the power tools
Palm nailer.
Palm nailer.
Front board of the deack
Front board of the deck
McKinzie, tolerating us ruining her porch.
McKinzie, tolerating us ruining her porch.
A little bit done.
A little bit done.

Porch Progress – Moving Slow and Steady

Lynn reluctantly spending his Sunday, working on the porch.  McKinzie staying close.
Lynn reluctantly spending his Sunday, working on the porch. McKinzie staying close.
April is supervising the operation.
April is supervising the operation.
Another detour.  Fixing a leak
Another detour. Fixing a leak
Love the smell of raw wood.
Love the smell of raw wood.
Staining the boards Rubicon Red.  2X6
Staining the boards Rubicon Red. 2X6

I get a little anxious when the weekend comes around as I want to go gun-ho on the porch.  I don’t want to do any of the other things I have to do, I just want to focus on the porch.  Maybe a little OCD?  But Lynn tempers that side of me.  He says groceries first and then we are both pooped by the time we get home.  Well, I have a plan for that…. We go to town (20 miles away) and get the groceries, come home and unpack the groceries and put them away, quickly…. Get in his truck and go to Home Depot (20 miles away) and pick up some lumber and other building materials, because tomorrow is going to be a totally “get it done” day.  We come home and we are doubly pooped.

Then he breaks the news to me, there is a pipe in the horse pasture that is leaking water and that needs to be taken care of before the porch.  Ugh.  Double ugh!!  Okay, I got to rethink this.  If we turn the well pump off Saturday night, the ground will be soft but dig-gable in the morning.  We can do that first thing as that is when the shade is in that area.

Sunday morning, up bright and early and ready to dig and get that out of the way.  I am the chief-whole-digger as I can get down and into it.  (sometimes it doesn’t pay to be healthy)  The whole is dug and the leak is found and the repair is made.  Let the glue set-up and wait a few hours and test it.  In the meantime, back to the porch.  🙂 This is me smiling.

Staining the lumber first with Architect Series Semi-Transparent Wood Stain – Rubicon Red (It is a redwood color).  This is an oil stain and I really like the color.  It is just what I wanted.  I am staining the top and sides so when it is put down, all I will have to do is some touch-up.  Besides its easier to stain standing up (wood on the saw horses) than for me to crawl around on the floor.  I get down okay, its the getting up that is a challenge.

Got out all the power tools set up for the hubby.  Skill saw; palm nailer; nail gun; compressor; hammer; wreaking bar; pry bar; and a multitude of other tools to accomplish the job.  Now to get Lynn (the hubby) out there to do some of the intricate detailed foundation of the porch work.  Some of the floor joists we are keeping as they are sound and oversized compared to the lumber of today.  Some old, and some new.

If you haven’t figured it out by now I am the energetic gopher of this project.  I get the ideas in my head and try to explain them to Lynn, and he does the magic of figuring how to make my visions come true.  He does tend to get a little frustrated at how my visions keep getting modified and more detailed.  They start out simple and evolve, while he stands there and shakes his head.

Took a break from the porch, to turn the well back on, check the leak, and refill the whole.  That job is done until the next leak.  Nothing stays fixed on a Ranch/Mini Farm.  Always something to fix.

Well I got to get back to work, there’s still daylight.

Annie, the energetic gopher  🙂

Let’s do November

Busy week at work, and life goes on.  Some weeks are better than others.  Had a Fall Poker Walk at work which was lots of fun walking through the City’s beautiful cemetery with all the vibrant fall colors.  Getting out and exercising in the brisk fall weather.  Loved that part.  Drove back to the office, unloaded the bottled water, and took it in the office.  Somewhere between my car and my office I lost my keys.  That was on Wednesday, Halloween, and many trick or treat kids walking through the parking lot.  I locked the doors so they had to have been in my hand on the way to the elevator.  Searched and searched, and just can’t figure out where I lost them.  Now for some sticker shock, it will costs me about $60 to replace just the car key.  Something about a chip inside.  Ugh.

Friday, up at 5:30 and ready to head to work.  Drive about 400 feet and realize the car just doesn’t sound or feel right (a girl thing), so I do a u-turn and head home.  It is just breaking dawn and I can’t really see outside, but by touch I realized I have a flat tire, passenger rear.  Back into the house and call the van to tell them I won’t be riding this morning, then a call to work to tell them I will be a little bit late.  Sleepy Lynn wakes up hearing me talking on the phone, and gets enlisted to change the tire.  We talk about putting on the spare, but decide to put one of the winter stud tires on instead.  Have to take the tire and drop it off at the Les Schwab to get it fixed.  Too focused on getting to work, with no coffee running through my veins yet, I’m not thinking too logically.  Should have loaded-up the other three studs in the car and get them changed out as it is November.  Didn’t think of that until I drove into the tire store.  Ugh, that means I have to take the other three in on Monday to get them all changed out.  What a way to finish out a week.  Still no keys.

Here is the work we got done this weekend.  Lynn put in a new mail box.  One that is mounted on a railroad-tie, and he just dares the snow plow to knock this one over!!  Then he had to replace a fence post that our lovely horse, April, leaned against and broke.  Gotta love the animals.  Especially, the big furry ones.  Work never ends on 7 acres.  That’s two things checked off the list.  The repair on the 3rd post continues.  Have 3 sides glued up, one more side and we move to the Bondo stage.  Beautiful weekend, but doesn’t look like it will last, after all it IS November in the great northwest.

Now for some reflecting.  We are looking at 1999-2000.  Have the floor joists and pony walls in with OSB flooring on the first floor.  Winter arrives and we lay down black plastic to protect the floor.  Doesn’t work!!!  We have created a nightmare.  We spend the winter and spring using shop brooms to sweep the water off the floor, and burn up one shop vac sucking the water off the floor.  Lynn just sees the dollar signs with reference to loosing that floor.  Finally, the spring rains have let up and the dry summer begins.  We strip off the plastic and try to let it dry out.  Our summers get really dry so we hoped that would save the floor.

Lynn starts taking time-off from the hardware store to work on the house.  He is framing the front walls to the house with all the angles of the bays.  He loves this part of the job, and he is good at it.  But, alas, he puts a nail through the meaty part of his left palm.  Luckily, he didn’t nail himself to the floor or the wall, but none the less, it hurt and required a trip to the emergency room to have it removed.  No bones were hit, so that was a good thing.

Then came the winds, unusually strong, and as they say in The 3 Little Pigs, it huffed and it puffed and it “blew the little house down.”

Getting ready to put the walls back up, he was walking on the floor and realized that there were some spongy spots.  Hmm, that is not good.  His remedy, buy some more OSB flooring and lay it right on top.  The bottom was dry, at least we thought so.  Know where this is going?  Unbelievable.  We put down more flooring, get walls up with Troy’s help.  Lynn’s son.  He works on it through the winter and gets the first floor done.  Gets the 2 iron claw-foot tubs lifted onto the 2nd floor with the aid of the infamous bucket truck now we are ready for the 2nd floor walls.  In the spring Troy has to go back to the road paving job in California.  By this time we are into probably 2000 or 2001.  Lynn decides he will get a local contractor to frame the rest of the walls on the second floor and frame the roof.  The walls were sheeted and house wrap, and we installed most of the 44 windows.

The roof is complicated and high off the ground.  The house is still unprotected from the elements and more water seeps through the 2nd floor down to the first floor.  Then in 2001, we finally hire a roofing company, Palmer Roofing, to roof the entire house.  They were awesome and took about 3-4 days and $11,000, and the roof was done.

We have a house wrapped and roofed and what is next on the agenda?  We are going into 2002.  More surprises to come.

Stay tuned for more reflections.

Annie, the reluctant carpenter.

Photo taken 2005 House is wrapped and roof is on
Dated 7-7-1998 The floor and some walls that didn’t get blown down
8-16-1997 is the date on

Last day of a working vacation

Last full day of vacation. Lynn and I worked until about 3:30 for Lynn and I put in another hour.

Lynn spent about 4 hours in the lift painstakingly cutting and fitting all the acorn cedar shakes one at a time. I think we are going to run out before we get this one side done. Lynn thought that he would finish that side today but didn’t happen. Ran out of energy before he could finish. I’m sure he will be up there tomorrow while I’m at work.

The last thing we did was remove another post and put the finished one in its place. Oh, it sure is an improvement. Now post #3 is sitting on my back deck waiting for me to take it apart and start working on it.

In the meantime, I have to paint some more cedar shakes. We have 42 cut and ready to paint. I put the primer on the edge then on the top surface. Tomorrow I will add the red which has to be two coats then two coats of the sage green. Looks like I will only have about an hour of work after I get home each day this week. I guess it will be Lynn’s night to cook tomorrow.

I have been taking pictures each step of the way.  Every year I take photos that I have taken during the year and make a calendar to send to the kids.  This year’s calendar will the be “The Year of the Dream Home.”  I am thrilled that we have got done as much as we have.  We waited rather late in the year to get out there and get started.  We had a wet spring, and I thought we were going to hire some work done as Lynn just wasn’t feeling very well.  But in the end, I just made an executive decision.   Oh, Lynn hates those.  Decided that I had waited long enough, and I went and rented the lift.  He thought we should have fixed the “bucket truck.”  Oh that is a whole other story.  I’ll fill you in on that in another reflection post.  Anyway, he thought it would just cost too much.  Well, it did cost a lot, but it has been worth every penny.  For one thing it has forced he and I both to focus on getting as much as we can get done while we have it.  Also, he is doing the work which is always a good thing, because he is a real craftsman and does a wonderful job.

I probably will not be doing too much on my blog until next weekend as I have to go to my real job and earn money so I can pay my bill collectors.  Ho hum.  Now for the photos.

Annie, back to the real world for the working girl

Lynn cutting each shingle one-by-one

Where we stopped today

Another view

42 more shakes to prime and paint

Edges primed

Post #3 awaiting my attention.