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.

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 pain-free weekend and the posts are up.

No accidents with the hammer or with the pipe clamp, so things are definitely looking up.  This working on the porch is a young persons job, and I’m not that young.  So needless to say, my back has suffered for the last 2-3 weeks.  Finally, yesterday was pain free, and I totally enjoyed it.  Even Lynn didn’t have much pain yesterday.  Today is a different story for Lynn.  I’m still pain free and I hope it last because I need to catch-up on my walking.  Having to undergo some physical therapy so I have one appointment this week then twice a week after that.  I refuse to wallow in the pain.  There is just too much to  do.  Because it keeps you young if you can keep moving.  At least that’s what works for me.  Plus there are blackberries along the path that need picking.  Then I can make some blackberry cobbler.  Yum. 🙂

Yesterday, we went to Home Depot and picked up the crown molding we will be using on the outside.  It comes in 16′ lengths so we had to take in the flat-bed trailer for that little bitty load.  Felt like we should have loaded it up with more lumber, but I think we have all we will need to complete the job.  Came home and I primed both sides to keep moisture at bay.  They come preprimed, but it is a cheap primer and I want the  paint to stay on and do its job.  The only primer I buy is Kilz Premium Primer.  It costs a little bit more, but is really worth the added expense.  I learned that the had way.   You need a good foundation for the paint.  I’ve tried the paints that have the primer in them, and I am not a big fan of that either.

Today, I put one coat of paint on the crown molding and then Lynn said he needed help repairing another water line in the pasture.  So spent some time digging and repairing the pipe.  It never ends when you have acreages and animals.  We don’t have but 1 horse now and 2 llamas, but will be getting a weanling colt in a couple of weeks so I will need to do some work in the paddock to get it youngster proof, and Lynn has to finish the floor in the horse trailer.

Back to the porch.  Lynn had enough energy to put in the 4 posts and put the headers on top.  He did the cutting and I helped provide the muscle and got to use the handy dandy palm nailer.  I just love that thing.  I got it for him about 6 or 7 years ago for Christmas, but I’m the one that has the most fun with it.  It sure makes the job easier.

The next thing we need to do is start putting up that crown molding and and then the roof joists will go up along with the ceiling joists.  Probably won’t do any more until next weekend.  I’m sure if Lynn feels like it he will be working on his horse trailer this week.  But for now I am a happy camper, cause I’m seeing some progress.  Maybe it will get done yet.

Annie, the feeling good novice carpenter.

Crown Molding, primer and first coat of paint
Crown Molding, primer and first coat of paint
A closer look at the crown molding
A closer look at the crown molding
The posts are up and level for the moment.
The posts are up and level for the moment.
Love the decking.  This ones for you Jodi
Love the decking. This ones for you Jodi

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.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend – Now for shopping

It is Sunday and tomorrow is Memorial Day.  On this Memorial Day my thoughts are out there for all those that served in the military so that we could enjoy our holidays and this Country of Freedom.  My thoughts are also on all those that are away from their families in a foreign country fighting for injustice around the world.  May God go with you all.

Maybe we will get the chance to BBQ out tomorrow, if I can tear myself away from working on the porch.  We did a little shopping just so I wouldn’t run out of things to do.  Hehe.

Spent a couple of hours in Home Depot.  I will post a picture of Lynn’s cart and My cart.  We got 10 bags of cement for our footings and we no sooner got them home and transferred them to a cart, and two bags busted.  Of course it has been sprinkling out and so I had the foresight to also buy a tarp.  So now they are sitting on a cart, covered with a tarp, until I can get the wholes dug.  That would be my job.  And a mighty tough job it will be as that ground is pretty dry and hard.  so I guess I will be putting some water to it.  Why make it harder than it needs to be, that’s what I always say.

Yesterday, Lynn was out there with the saws-all and took down all the roof rafters and ceiling joists.  He wants to make the ceiling higher than it was so that means the pitch will be a little less, but since I have decided on putting on a tin roof, it will be fine.  We have to compromise on some things, I guess! 🙂

This afternoon, if it doesn’t rain too much, I will start taking off some of the old decking.  Someday it will be all demolished and the building can begin.  I hope that “someday” will be this weekend.

I did get some pictures of my iris’, though not weeded yet this year, they are breathtaking.  I love plants that manage to thrive on neglect.  I did manage to buy a few plants for my planters and flower beds.  Just had to do something I love, working in the flower beds.  Mix a little fun with the work.  Work is Fun, Work is Fun, Work is Fun.  Still not convinced!!

Now, I wish you all a beautiful and relaxing Memorial Day.

Annie, novice porch builder.

Iris' Memorial Day 2013.  In need of weeding.
Iris’ Memorial Day 2013. In need of weeding.
Lynn counting the joist hangers
Lynn counting the joist hangers
Ann's Cart
Ann’s Cart
Lynn's Cart.  Lots of work there.
Lynn’s Cart. Lots of work there.
Blue Iris, Memorial Day 2013
Blue Iris, Memorial Day 2013

Good days work, dog ass tired.

Up and ready to go by 8:00. Had a bowl of cereal and out the door. On a mission to get lots done on the shop (aka Lynn’s dog house). At least it will be if we ever get moved into the house. Luxury dog house at that.

First thing I did was sand and get the post ready for bondo. Put Bondo on one side so it could be drying while I was painting on the shop. Put another coat of Premium Kilz Primer on all the weathered wood on the shop. I can’t sing the praises of this primer enough. I had put it on the side of the shop last year. That was as high as I would go on the ladder. Then 2 coats of Behr Semi Gloss Exterior Paint. The color is Cream. Which is a creamy yellow. It held up real good through the winter. The siding doesn’t seem to have a problem holding paint. The bare wood is another thing. So two coats of primer on it.

After I put the second coat of primer on the bare wood, I had to caulk all the cracks and joints.  It is very important to put caulking on.  It is better to put it on before the finish coat of paint because, even if you use clear, it gets dirty.  I put on the primer first then the caulking, then two finish coats of paint.  Then it look like a job done by a pro, not a sixty-plus (my son’s name for me) grandma.

While I was up there painting, I decided to get some pictures of the view. God I love this place. It is wonderful working for the American Dream, my Dream. Not afraid to work, just wish I could work faster. I am a picky painter, as I am with most things. Not a perfectionist, just picky.

Put the Cream on a big part of the Shop before I had to stop for the evening.  It was 5:30 and I was pooped.  Went out on the back porch and worked on the post, sanded then put more Bondo on.  Oh, the photo I have included in this blog, is what “not to do” to a post.  At some point, in the past, when trying to squeeze the posts together, I hit it with a hammer that looked like a meat tenderizer.  It was a hammer Steven, my son, sent to Lynn from Japan.  What possessed me to do that I don’t know.  Now I gotta fix it.  No problem, I got Bondo.

For the next 4 days, I will be skipping work, unless it gets to be bad weather.  Only have another 3 weeks to get oodles of work done.  Lynn may be giving me lessons to fix the front of the house.  I have been his apprentice for 24 years now.  I have learned a lot and still learning.  I am amazed at all the things he can do.  The amazing thing is he taught himself as he was raised by a single mom.  All you have to do is not be afraid to work.  That is truly the key.

One of the pictures is of the garage and the kitchen side of the house.  It really looks bad there, but that will be done this year too.   The weeds are really high around the house, that darn gardener has been playing in the lift.  I guess I am going to have to talk to her.

When I am not working on the house/shop then I am proofing my favorite author’s (Shanna Hatefield’s) books, working on a quilt, hand quilting, or playing on my Facebook page.  I have neglected all my flower beds so that is something I am going to need to prepare for winter too.  Well for now, I am just going to end this post and see y’all tomorrow.
Annie, the novice shop and post painter.

Kitchen side of the house

Pot with hammer marks

Primer is on

View of the front pasture and my neighbors across the highway

Mooney the llama & April the paint.

Out of paint in the roller pan, means it time to call the quits for the night.

Done for the night.