Tuesday, September 14, 2010

She's Got Me Higher And Higher

 We had family visiting for a few days which is always a treat. Our neighbor Mike very generously took Dan and Ed out on his boat to do some fishing. Dan came home with a real beauty of a salmon. After the fish was filleted, we took the carcass up into the woods for the raccoons to enjoy. The visit was way too short, and before we knew it, everyone was packed in the car and on their way.

 All too soon Ed was back to work. The current drive is to get the exterior secured for the winter. That means shingles on, gutters and downspouts in place, doors and windows secured. The gutters are up. Ed has the stuff for the downspouts. Shingles are being stapled up at a furious pace. We're still waiting for Milgard to correct errors with the windows. The front door was supposed to arrive last week. Door locks are on order and should be here in a few days.
 The rows of shingles have to match, from side to side. Ed and Rick up to the top of the windows in the front, then moved to the weather side of the house. This side faces west and takes the brunt of the wind, rain , and if we ever get any, sun. It also happens to be the tallest and largest. The maze of ladders and scaffolding makes me dizzy...and I'm on the ground!
  Ed also finished making all the outlooks (lookouts?)  which are made from cedar 4x4s. It's too bad that this will be the least visible side of the house, because it's really pretty.
   They just keep working their way up, shingle after shingle. At some point they have to stop, move the scaffolding, and start over. It's a lot of trips up and down that ladder. And it's really far down to the ground.

  They both seem to feel secure on that scaffolding, although it scares me to death. I'll be really glad when they are done with this part. That should be some time around noon today, but who's counting?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fit and Trim

   The push is on to get the exterior of the house secured before winter. Since we didn't have much of a summer this year, we expect winter to hit early.
    Ed has been working like crazy to get the felt paper on the house. Up the ladder, down the ladder, move the ladder.

   In a perfect world, Ed would be able to get the shingling done in record time, with no interruptions, no hassles. He would have all the staples (stainless steel) he needed on-site, and just exactly the perfect number of squares of shingles.
    Ask yourself, is this a perfect world?
    In spite of those imperfections, Ed is giving it all he's got...and that's a lot. He and Rick have gone through 5,000 staples in three days. Every shingle that  edges a window, or a door, or a corner must be custom cut and fit.
    If his luck holds, he has seven more weeks of good weather. Subtract a day here and there for the unforeseen circumstances that accompany a building project, and the timeline shrinks at an alarming pace. He'll do the best he can, and it'll have to be good enough.

   Just prior to starting the shingles, Ed and Rick cut all the cedar trim for the doors and windows. After priming and painting, the trim went up pretty fast. All the trim needed to go on before the shingles because the shingles had to be cut precisely to fit against it.

   We use Sherwin Williams paint for the trim. The color is Shade Tree, which is actually a stain color, but we have them mix it into the exterior paint instead.
It's really beautiful against the cedar shingles.

   I love the tapered lines of the trim. It mimics the lines of the front and back columns (once they're done), subtle but gentle on the eyes.

  The Entek HVAC crew is finishing up. I mentioned before that the house plans didn't provide for space for the necessary mechanical ducting, so we had to carve it out of available space. In this case, we lost a closet, moved the small guest powder room, and will still have an odd soffit coming down into the powder room ceiling. Every house needs some little quirky something. This one is ours. We'll make it work.

   Tim, from Simplex Grinnell is finishing up the fire sprinkler system. That orange pipe could mean the difference between replacing some sheetrock and a few mattresses, or losing everything. The volunteer fire department here has an enormous amount of dedication, heart, and courage. That means it's our job to do everything we can to make sure we don't put them needlessly at risk.

   We are miles from almost everything, and there are no fire hydrants to be had. This system includes a 400 gallon water tank in the basement, which we hope and pray we'll never need.

   Last night after the work was done, Ed was so tired he could hardly move. I stepped outside to put the chickens in, and spotted a herd of elk moving into our west pasture. They were led by a magnificent bull elk, masterfully in charge of a herd of 25 cows and calves.

This is why we live here, why Ed works so hard. After five years, we are still in awe of the beauty of this place.