Tag Archives: wheel wells

Small progress, more spray foam and the evolution of squirrels…

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As I appear to have recently contracted the PLAGUE, (and so has my mother) the last week has involved more couch sitting and tea drinking than house building. Not to be stifled, however, I have sniffed and sneezed my way through a few more projects nonetheless.

I got a start on the off-side cedar siding, put some new spray foam in the interior wheel well cavity and fixed a funky sliding mechanism in one of my windows that did more banging and stuttering than sliding.

For the record, the spray foam stuff I used first did not, and really did not go very well. Though it started promisingly enough, within a few days it proceeded to turn crumbly and disintegrated upon the slightest touch.

Luckily, I had two things on my side. 1, I waited to see how the first wheel well panned out before I sprayed the other, and 2, I didn’t move right on and close up the space before the disintegration occurred. To any who may think a brand called DAP might suffice in such a wheel well filling application, please think again.

Round two, aptly called ‘Great Stuff’ has proved to be much better. It is intended for window and door gaps, so it supposedly stays relatively flexible to accommodate expansion and contraction over time. I also bought and applied some fancy kind of caulk for the outside gap between the metal of the wells and the wood of the siding so any water will have to reckon with that before even getting to the spongy foam business.

For something completely different, the squirrels that frequent our porch rail feeder have evidently tired of the easy target and moved on to the so called ‘squirrel proof’ hanging bird feeder that resides just next to it.  During periods of couch sitting, my mother and I bore witness to their monumental evolutionary achievements and generally laughed our asses off. Squirrel proof? Not on this porch, buddy.

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Siding and insulating around the wheel wells…

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After my roof sitting jaunt, I wasn’t feeling incredibly inclined to do much of anything on Sunday that involved walking or moving, so my dad and I settled with just putting lath and redwood 2x4s on the near side of the house.

Monday I went to the hardware store and picked up some spray foam for the inside cavity around the wheel wells. I really hate the thought of that sort of stuff, but after wracking my brain for an alternative that would keep air, water and varmints out, I gave in and bought some.

It smelled of a sort of spray paint-y, headache inducing yuck, but it filled the largish space so there you go. It also stuck to my hair quite well, not really sure how it got there…

Today I cut and put up more cedar siding while my dad was at work. This meant dealing with the blasted wheel wells yet again, but this time I knew what they were going to throw at me and made my way around jigsaw cutting the boards to fit without frying my brain too much.

It’s just as well I was in no particular rush because it took me the better part of forever to get each one just so. I’m sure if any carpenter saw how many times I repeated my method of holding up a board, taking it back, cutting a hair off and so on they would likely be appalled, but it works for me and as long as it ends well.

The hardest part of today was the fitting, cutting and attaching of the long, 16 foot boards after the wheel wells. They started out as 20ft boards which I had to wrangle out of the stack, wrangle into the garage, cut to what I hoped was right, then wrangle onto the house. There was a lot of wrangling going on out here.

I came up with a nice system of propping a block of wood against one end while I worked on the other, and emerged with siding up to just under the windows and feeling rather pleased with the outcome.

I’m finding carpentry to be very similar to sewing (another craft I bash my way through) but with slightly more rigid fabric. Saws are the scissors, clamps are the pins, drivers or hammers are the needles and screws or nails the thread. Of course, if you suck at sewing, the worst case scenario doesn’t get much worse than sticking yourself in the anywhere with a small pointy object. Carpentry, not so much. Right, there went the fabric/wood tangent…

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