Monthly Archives: November 2011

We got window…

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That’s right, just one. But progress is progress, and my shiny window installed with adequate surrounding space can progress with the best of ’em. My dad came up with a different approach to widening our narrow openings called curfing which we spent most of the day attempting. The theory is to use the skilsaw to make horizontal, 1/4″ deep cuts all along the sides which are then chiseled out between them. I’m not going to say it was a bad idea, but it was time consuming and left the window hole we tried it on looking like something out of a house construction version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 

Using the skilsaw to vertically cut 1/4″ off each side was a much better method and the whole operation took around 10 minutes. We also ascertained that we could save ourselves a bundle of house-sawing by cutting out the 2×4’s at the top of each window and replacing them higher so we only have to alter 2 sides instead of 4. 

I have noticed from the framing stage that the window positioning is a little lower than I’d find useful (being tall as I am) so as things are already getting changed in this department, I have decided to stick in another 2×4 at the bottom of each one as well which will make them all 1 1/2″ higher on the wall. Though it doesn’t seem like much it has actually made a difference I am really happy with. 

Even just the one window on is pretty exciting and I’m quite looking forward to having the rest in. Of course in order to have them in, one must first get them in which is a whole other kettle of unpleasant fish. Smelly ones. Probably pilchards… 

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Plywood roof sheathing finished…

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Plywood.

I hate it. I hate it like I hate the end of the toothpaste tube and having left important things in the car. I hate the very thought of it and even worse, the ridiculous hurdles we have gone through to cover my house’s bones…In any case, it’s done. My dad and I bought the last two pieces we’d need for the roof the other day and put it on this afternoon to general delight and joviality. 

While at the hardware store, I investigated the process of ordering roofing and believe I’ll follow through with it at some point tomorrow. I had originally planned on a dark red of sorts but the ‘Rustic Red’ color offered by the metal roofing company looked a little light for my taste, so I have just about decided on a lovely dark purple referred to as ‘Blackberry’. I have never seen anything with a purple roof before but what the heck, I think it’ll work.

After our end of-the-plywood accomplishment, it’s quite exciting that Little Yellow is beginning to look rather satisfyingly like a house. It has four walls and is no longer see through in any unintentional place. How splendid 🙂

More plywood on more rafters…

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In an attempt to preserve our sanity, my dad and I opted to avoid any and all things window related today and instead put our efforts towards getting plywood on the rafters. It snowed 6 or so inches throughout the day yesterday so there was a fair bit of shoveling just to get to my house, but the sun was blindingly warm and melted a lot this afternoon. Thankfully, the plastic wrap we have covering it all seems to be doing a dandy job and everything inside has remained dry.

I would say we got ‘only’ 4 sheets on, but then I remember  fighting them up there after far more preparation than anticipated and I feel quite pleased with our 4 sheet progress. One issue to be addressed in the preparations is that a trailer is only legally allowed to be 102″ wide without a special permit. The house is within the limits, but when we took the original measurements for the rafter length I forgot about the facia board that is supposed to go on over them and inadvertently made all 22 too long to accommodate. 

There goes 3/4″ from each end. But hey, what’s one more thing to saw off my house? 

Of window openings and much sanding…

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I have encountered another bump in my road today. This one involves the windows and, more specifically, the window holes which I now know are supposed to be slightly larger than the sizes of the windows themselves. Well my friends, this is not the case.

They are actually exactly the same size as the openings and refuse to fit inside. As it turns out, windows need a little wiggle room when you install them so that any expansion of the surrounding wood (or the ricketing, house shaking rigors of booking down the freeway at 60 mph) won’t cause the glass to break.

In the plans, the sizes for the windows themselves are identical to the dimensions for the window openings in the framing section. The only difference are the letters R.O. (rough opening) that reside in the little drawing of these openings and apparently, they are much more important than we’d realized.

I am left to assume that if I were a window-researched carpenter, I would have either known that the holes would have to be larger to accommodate the windows and would have adjusted the measurements accordingly or ordered slightly smaller windows. As may have been gathered, I am neither a carpenter nor am I researched in windows and this presents us with the problem at hand.

We tried using just the electric sander to widen our test window opening, but it ended up lumpy and uneven after an unreasonable amount of time spent grinding the living shit out of it. I think we’ll take a stab a using the skill saw tomorrow in hopes of hacking out a bit more wood with each go.

I did find my camera (sitting innocently on the bench outside) but there is nothing about today that has inspired me to take photographs. My dad lamented that putting in the windows should have been rather like putting on shoes, except now we have shoes that are too tight and feet which will have to get whittled to make up for it. And there are 10 feet.

Another obstacle to overcome…

A start on roof sheathing and house wrap…

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The snow hit Friday afternoon not even 5 minutes after we started the first sheet of plywood over my loft. How do you like that timing? Dedicated as we were, my dad and I plowed along and got another on before it became impractical and hysterically windy, leaving us with no choice but to retreat inside the big house to a much more sustainable temperature and a good cup of tea. I am of the mind that there are few things that tea won’t at least make a little better (including interrupted roofing). 

The rafters being about 6 feet long, it is necessary to use two and a half 4 foot sheets to cover the space. In the interest of symmety, we put up the two bottom sections in the snowstorm then finished the tops off today so the sleeping loft is entirely covered. My dad and I are debating the possibly of an overhang at the front and back of the house so we left more plwood than we need so we’ll have something to work with if we decide to take that route. I think it would look quite lovely but am a bit concerned about the wind catching it on the road and ripping my entire roof off. Well I guess I’m pretty concerned, hence the debate.

I also got help putting up house wrap on one side of the house. Armed with a hammer stapler and exacto knife (after watching an instructional youtube video on installation) we tried really hard to avoid the feared wrinkles but ended up with one fairly wonky section. Looks like we also put it on upside down…ah well, learning curve.

My camera is currently missing. I took pictures with the thing earlier but seem to have misplaced it, so I’ll endeavor to put up photographic evidence as soon as it becomes found. People tell me that things don’t get up and walk away, but I’m betting it sprouted legs and wandered off to joined the legions of other things I loose so often in silly little places I’m certain I’ve looked in before…

More rafters and the long awaited end of the plywood sheathing…

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Despite its grumpy appearance, today was kind enough to not rain and my dad and I finally put an end to the seemingly ceaseless task of plywood sheathing. We also damn securely fastened the rafters to the walls and the ridge beam with another bout of corner braces. Just when you think you’re done with them… This time I used screws instead of nails though, which made things faster, easier on the thumbs and much less of a faff to undo the cursed yet inevitable mistakes.

Getting the plywood onto the triangles was a slightly frightening process involving high ladders and terrible leverage. I can see why we put this part off for so long; if someone had casually mentionted to me this morning how it would work, I may well have postponed the thing til January. Anyway,  it didn’t go too badly.

I did sit on a very pointy corner brace and smacked my dad in the head with the T square, but considering the risk factor of this sort of job, I think that was quite mild. At least we won’t have to do it EVER AGAIN, waha! (Oh I hope I’m right) 

Of rafters and rough weather…

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Snow is beautiful. It is fluffy and exciting and I’ve always loved living somewhere it periodically occurs. It is however, also soggy and quite heavy which puts a considerable amount of stress on both my plastic covered, roofless house and my nerves. Needless to say I’m finding it rather less delightful this year as the weekend’s weather put us out of commission for work outside, but luckily the sun showed up this morning and my sister and her husband came to save the frigid day and help me get my roof going.

My brother in law was magic on the measuring tape and we had the rafter angles figured out and put up at 24″ on center in no time. There are still a few sheathing sections that haven’t gotten done since the great air compressor tragedy last week so we didn’t get all the rafters in, but it’s pretty satisfying even in its unfinished state. 

I feel a general unease that magnifies with each day my house is sans roof. With good fortune and a few more dry days, I hope this can be remedied soon so I can stop twitching at the very suggestion of forecasted bad weather and return to the skipping joys of someone whose sheep wool isn’t getting snowed on.