Tag Archives: construction

Oh no, not again.

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I walked into the barn this morning to find my husband working on a template.

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And yes, I cringed.

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Having finished one side of the strapping on the ceiling and running out of that particular wood, he decided it was time to trim the windows.

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And while I applauded the fact he was actually going to corner them properly, I knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing.

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One day.

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One entire day to frame two windows … because he added quarter round.

Why did he add quarter round you ask?

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Because when he first built this barn to be a… you know, barn? …there were giant gaps around the windows and nothing was air tight. Who was going to complain…. the lawn mowers?

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But now that’s it morphed into a palatial man cave, gaps must be sealed.

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And live ordinance moved.

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Framing on the outside, quarter round on the inside, and extra quarter round on the top corners…. all because he didn’t install the windows correctly the first time.

Jesus wept.

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But two windows were framed…

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And the giant bullet is back home.

To be continued…. unfortunately.

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I’m ready to cry Uncle.

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First it was not at all temporary temporary doors. Then insulation and a ceiling and new light fixtures and floor moulding and quarter round.

Now?

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The husband is installing strapping to cover the plywood ceiling seams.

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Technically this is finish work. And we all know that is not where his talents lie.

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Was the strapping straight?

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Not so much.

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Of course when I helpfully pointed that out, I got booted from the barn/man cave/Maine Taj Mahal.

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When I went back 2 hours later? He informed me the strapping wasn’t right and needed to be redone.

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Hmm. Why didn’t I think of that?

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Cutting and more cutting.

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Cutting around the light fixtures I tried to tell him to center 2 weeks ago.

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But all the cutting resulted in straighter lines.

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Aggravating? No doubt.

But…

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We did have gorgeous fall foliage in the background so I’ll call it a win.

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Moulding obstacle course.

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Next up on the big barn beautification series?

Floor moulding.

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Which, ironically was cut on the floor… because there was too much crap on the tables.

But parts of it were looking good.

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Other parts were… questionable.

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And when it came time to move the 2 ton safe?

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No one was happy.

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I looked for the owner of that scythe. But he wears black, and could have been hiding anywhere….

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When moulding had to be installed here… under the pile of extremely heavy boards?

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It was like a ballet.

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And because it’s a building designed and constructed by my husband?

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The east wall turned out to be slightly longer than the west. 36 feet…. and one inch. Not what you want to find when you’re running the last piece of trim.

The search for perfection.

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So now the husband wants to add floor moulding in his big barn… and you know what that means.

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An entire afternoon picking through more wood than I thought humanly possible.

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Granted, even I would reject that baby.

But come on…..

If he would take half as much time installing it as he does picking it out I might not mind. But nothing is going to be perfectly cornered or angled or mitered so why bother!

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Our afternoon trip ended here.

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With the moon rising and me refusing to cook the pork roast dinner I had planned.

You want perfect wood? You have to pay the piper.

Or in this case, the pizza place.

Because nothing ever goes smoothly.

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Another day,  another section stuffed.

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Plywood ceiling sections were fitted.

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And the end was in sight.

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As were those corner shelves I told you the husband built for his speakers.

Although from this angle, they’re a lot less shelf like than I thought.

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Late in the afternoon things started to go downhill.

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And pieces had to be gently persuaded to fit in their allotted space.

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When all else fails, bang it with a hammer.

This works for almost anything, although I wouldn’t recommend it for dealing with recalcitrant family members. Bail bonds are expensive these days, and orange is not a flattering color.

Shortly after I took that picture someone hit a pole down the road from our house. Power was out for the whole road and they had to call it a day.

Which is probably a good thing. Remodeling by hammer strike rarely ends well.

A little more stuffing.

 

There’s stuffing everywhere.

 

 

But one side of the ceiling was finished, complete with new light fixtures.

 

 

Were they properly measured and equally spaced?

 

 

They were not… which drives me to distraction every time I look at them. But no one was fried to a crisp and they actually work, so we’ll take our blessings where we find them.

 

 

Stuffing then moved to the other side.

 

 

And things started piling up on my porch, which will not be tolerated.

 

 

Wires for the other side were moved.

 

 

And strung amongst the stuff.

Yes, there are 5 doors leaning up against the wall.

Do we need 5 extra doors?

I think you know the answer to that by now…..

 

 

Let there be light….

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Bright and early Sunday morning the husband and his friend were hard at it.

Removing the stuffing they’d previously stuffed and drilling holes for the continuous feed wires to slip through.

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This, as you can imagine…. was a royal pain in the  *ss.

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But finally,  it was ready for a light fixture.

And my husband used the pool table as an auxiliary ladder.

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Viola.

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A light fixture.

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Which receives the husband’s very technical and OSHA approved tug test.

Just kidding, OSHA reps run screaming in horror from any project my husband oversees.

More stuffing, more plywood.

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Light fixture number two was not at all cooperative, and adjustments I don’t even want to contemplate were made.

This might be a good time to mention the time my husband installed a ceiling fan in our living room in North Carolina.

It took an electrician 2 hours to undo that mess.

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But after an hour of tinkering, and some oh so colorful language…

Fixture two was up.

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Were the proper amount of decorative screws used?  They were not.

Was it in perfect alignment with the first light fixture?  It was not.

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But since this simple job took them over 5 hours?

I doubt they cared.

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  • For informational purposes only – the husband can not decide whether he wants to put ceiling fans in between the lights or just another light, hence the open middle space.

And we’re stuffing again.

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Work continued on the big barn ceiling insulation project and one corner was finished.

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And as I knew would happen, the covered pool table became a repository for stuff.

(Not to be confused with a suppository for stuff, because no one wants the husband’s stuff there.)

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On this day I was given the task of hauling more  useless crap  treasure upstairs.

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In case you were wondering…. the answer to the question how much stuff is too much stuff?  has yet to be determined.

Christ, there’s even stuff hanging from the rafters.

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Antique collectibles…. or torture chamber implements?

Tough call.

But downstairs, stuffing progress was made.

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And yes, there’s a bathroom sink on the love seat.

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I think it looks quite comfortable, don’t you.

Was it our sink? No.

Did we need an ugly ass shell shaped sink from the 1970’s? No.

But we have it all the same, because….

Say it with me now:

It was free!

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One side of the ceiling was fully stuffed when the husband realized he had a problem.

I would tell you his problem was not listening to me 5 years ago when he insisted on putting these ugly, bright as the surface of the sun, fluorescent lights in…

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And running them on one electrical line with no junction boxes, but I doubt he would admit it…. because, you know. Men.

But now that he’s outfitting his man cave with a heat pump, insulation and a ceiling …. he’s changed his mind about those ugly ass lights and wants to put up these more attractive, appropriately rustic fixtures instead.

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Which is great, except there are no junction boxes and they’re all on the same line.

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Not being an electrician, he’s been pondering this predicament for a while…. and was forced to set up temporary lighting. (Which throws an equivalent BTU level as the bonfire at Burning Man. I swear our electric meter was spinning so fast there was smoke…. and the stock holders of Central Maine Power were chortling with glee.)

If he figures this all out without electrocuting himself and/ or burning down the barn, I’ll be sure to let you know.

It’s a miracle.

 

We started building our big barn in 2012.

It was a daunting task made all the more so by the fact we only worked on it nights and weekends.

 

 

It was a lot of work…. and though the husband is still actively working on the inside, he’s pretty much had it with the outside.

But the windows, porch door and corners were never trimmed out, and no soffit was put under the eaves.

So…. miracle of all miracles?

I finally talked him into letting me hire the job out.

 

 

Yes. It’s true.

Maybe he was feeling guilty. Maybe he had a stroke.

Either way,  when miracles happen you have to jump on board… so I’m getting estimates for it to be stained barn red with white trim as well. I’ve wanted it painted since day 1, but it’s been an ongoing battle.  Now…. because it’s weathering unevenly and is turning black in spots, I think I won.

 

 

Why don’t I paint it myself you ask?

Because big barn is too frickin’ big.

 

 

This was the apparatus needed to put the siding on years ago.

 

 

Ladder to staging to another ladder?

Oh hells no. Not this chick.

I know all this work is going to cost a fortune, but I’m past the point of caring and just want it done.

 

 

I’m going to keep the porch natural though, and put a lightly tinted sheer stain on that myself.

Yay!

And to think it only took 8 years to talk him into it.

And then there was a floor.

 

Life got in the way of the baby barn floor project for a while, but as soon as the temperatures reached the 90’s again? The husband dragged me back out there.

 

 

Zip boards were laid.

 

 

Walked on.

 

 

Pondered over.

 

 

And taken back up.

 

 

But you’ll be happy to know no toads were hurt during this process.

 

 

The pondering continued for quite a while.

 

 

And yes, coverage was less than perfect.

 

 

But the jigsaw puzzle neared completion.

 

 

And mowers were returned to their home…

 

 

As was the generator we bought 30 years ago, used twice and costs us more than it’s worth to repair every few years because someone just knows we’ll need it eventually.

 

 

Of course the installation of said floor raised the level above ground a wee bit.

 

 

So dirt that was hauled to the far reaches of the property had to be returned.

 

 

But by the end of the day it was done and items were stored away.

Until the husband realized he’d forgotten to lay the rubber mats.

We had 4.

I told him we needed at least 4 more and they’d have to be cut to fit.

 

 

Which is when he took everything out of the barn, laid 4 mats in the middle and called it good.

 

 

King of half assed projects, that’s my man.