Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Merry

Here comes a quickie holiday post.

I think it has been 3 years since I decorated  our home for the winter holidays. 

  • 3 years ago we were getting our house in Townsend ready for sale. 

  • 2 years ago we were living in a tiny place in Pepperell, and our focus was on building the house.  I did manage to get a wreath up on the partially constructed house that year. 

  • And last year, we had just moved into the house in September, and by December, I had still not located the Christmas boxes.

So this year, I finally got to do some decorating!

The center point of my holiday decorations is my collection of reindeer.  I have accumulated quite a herd.  I think they may have procreated while in storage for 3 years!

OK - so the window trim is still not painted...

I decided to go non-traditional when it came to the tree.  I collected some birch branches from the woods and stuck them in a pot of sand.  Voila!

Here's a couple more festive shots of Ms Pumpernickel.

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  Blessed Yule!  Welcome the return of the light!

Oh, and let's not forget Festivus!

And to all a good night....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Barn progress

It was our goal to get the roof on, and we did.  We then expected that snow would come and prevent us from further work until spring.  But the weather has been generally mild, and snow-free (with the exception of the October Blizzard), and so we continue to plug away at getting the barn enclosed.

At my last post, we had just completed getting the trusses in place.  From there Dean worked on finishing the sheathing.

And then we were ready for shingles.

Roof, Roof, Roofin'

Dean gets started.

I put in quite a bit of time myself, up on the roof, and boy was it tough on these middle-aged knees!

Here I am finishing the Zip tape application.

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Tragedy + time = comedy. 
We got quite a chuckle setting up this posed photo to illustrate how our builders were seen using a hammer to smooth the Zip Tape when they were applying it to the house.  No wonder there were so many bubbles!  We are finally able to start laughing about the general ineptitude of our builders.   Just saying...

Gettin' down with my double nail gun wielding, roofer-rapper, bad-ass self!

Loading the nail gun.

Dean works from the Genie.

There are a lot of cuts when you get to the end of a row.

Moving along...

At the end of the day.

  Another day - more shingling.

Hefting shingles is a great cardio & strength work out!

Digging a Trench

With the roof done, Dean got to work digging a trench to lay in the electrical conduit.

And since the weather was still cooperating, we decided to tackle the siding.

We started by putting some rigid foam insulation into the corners and sealing them with Zip Tape.  The remainder of the barn will be insulated from the inside.

We are using pine ship lap for the siding. Here is the profile looking from the end grain.  Each board overlaps the next as you put them in place.

I'm not sure which side is the "ship" and which side is the "lap", but here Dean is trimming one or the other off the first board that will go up on the corner.

So on the first side, we attached the boards directly to the purlins.

Then we saw an episode of This Old House where they applied a layer of felt paper between the siding and the structure, and so we decided to add that extra bit of wind resistance to the remaining walls.

Here I am cutting lengths of felt paper.

This was a good job for me as it involves relatively non-precision cutting.  An eight or sixteenth of an inch off is not a disaster for felt paper!

Throughout this blog, you have heard me remark about my paucity of innate skill in the construction arts.  It has been very challenging for me, and I have certainly learned a lot! 

And, I am MOST proud, when I come up with a solution - on my own - in any particular situation.  Our system of putting up the felt paper is one of my achievements.

Dean was proposing that we put it up in short sections, that would have required multiple trips up the ladder.  But I suggested that we use long lengths, start at the top, and hang it like you would curtains.  And guess what - this worked like a dream!

Our ever watchful supervisor.

Another of my duties on the project, besides cutting tar paper, was putting the boards up and holding them in place while Dean went up and down the ladder nailing them.  Here I have several boards lined up and ready to go-go-go.

We made a good team, and developed a nice rhythm of putting up a section of tar paper, then applying the siding.

Many of the boards had slight (and sometimes large) bends in them, so another of my jobs was to apply some muscle to pull the board snug.  At the bottom, I often had to sit on the ground and use my strong quadriceps muscles to push it into place.

And this is the most up-to-date photo.   As of yesterday, just this last small section needs to be finished, and we will have three walls done.  Luckily, we can use Genie on this side of the building - so this last section will go faster, and be easier on the knees than going up and down a ladder.

The front facing facade will have cedar shingles matching those we are using on the house.  We are almost done!

I wonder if we will soon shift our focus to finishing up some things on the inside of the house???  Stay tuned!