Tag Archives: construction

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.

And then there was wood.

But you probably guessed that from the first picture.

 

More specifically it was 16 foot long boards that weighed a ton and had to be dragged out of the big barn and across the lawn with yours truly trying my best not to drop them on her toes.

 

 

Of course it would have been too easy if they’d fit in the 16 foot long spaces. Where’s the fun in that? No… each one had to be measured and cut around the wonky interior frame.

 

 

After tar paper was laid out.

Why tar paper? Because the husband wanted a moisture barrier… but more importantly, because he already had two ancient rolls buried in the garage.

 

 

What was holding down the tar paper as we attempted to fit the boards you ask?

Absolutely nothing.

Good times.

 

 

Was it hot?

A mere 92 degrees in the shade.

 

 

Vintage tools and make shift tables?

Check.

 

 

Did he have enough boards?

Not really.

 

 

Were they all the same width?

Of course not.

 

 

Did he care?

I seriously doubt it.

 

I thought we were done!

 

The baby barn.

It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Like venereal disease, but with splinters.

As you know, the baby barn had a hard packed dirt floor when we remodeled it. It had a hard packed dirt floor when we moved here 18 years ago and it had a hard packed dirt floor when it was originally built sometime in the mid 1970’s …

 

 

And for some inexplicable reason, the husband removed some of that hard packed dirt when he was redoing the frame.

 

 

So for the last few months there’s been a decided drop off at the far end.

 

 

I’ve said repeatedly he needed to back fill that section and level it off, but no.

 

 

I walked out there the other day and found him busy with a shovel instead.

 

 

Removing 26 years worth of hard packed dirt.

 

 

Why?

I’ll let him tell you…

 

 

Good grief Charlie Brown!

The man is a sucker for punishment.

 

 

22 wheelbarrow loads full of dirt dumped on the outer edges of our property line later….

 

 

He had a smooth playing field…. and an aching back.

And I was called in to assist.

 

Slow and steady wins the race.

 

But it doesn’t get your deck railing project finished any sooner.

We were back at it and it was still hot.

 

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Unfortunately the heat wave coincided with an extended dry spell and our lawn was starting to crunch.

 

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But old railings were torn down.

 

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And rusty nails exposed.

 

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I stained the new wood we had to waste almost 2 hours going to get that morning because someone… I won’t mention who… cut the other pieces incorrectly.

 

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And then that someone  (oops, my bad)  discovered a sander in the barn and wanted to play.

 

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He was fine on the flat surfaces, but scared me to death when he started trying to sand in between. That thing would hit a beam, jump out of his hand and spin wildly across the deck. It happened a dozen times but I could never quite catch it on film.

 

 

In between his legs.

Close to the power cord.

I knew something was gonna give, and it did.

 

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That thing jumped up and sliced his jeans right open. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt, but at that point I said no more sanding!

 

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Which he completely ignored and kept sanding.

 

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After sanding, and almost slicing his leg off?

He hammered nails.

 

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And swept the same portion of deck I had just swept.

Apparently I didn’t do it right.

We did manage to get a few pieces of wood installed before dinner.

With some gentle persuasion.

 

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So this was basically it.

 

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For a whole days work.

Good thing no one is paying us by the hour……

 

 

 

 

Behold the majesty.

 

The majesty  (and the God damn miracle I’m not divorced)  that is the completed baby barn remodel.

And yes even though it’s as small as a shed, there was a horse living in it before we moved in, so it’s a barn.

A baby barn.

And I have the hay holder thingies to prove it.

 

 

Please note ‘hay holder thingies’ may not be the correct equine term, but I was born in Jersey. The only thing I know about horses is who placed in the fourth at Belmont.

We started with this….

 

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And finished with this….

 

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Looks a little better than before, eh?

No comments on the empty garden bed, that has yet to be redone.

Before….

 

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After…

 

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Before….

 

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After….

 

 

And to think it only took us a 10 mere months.

 

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Which shouldn’t be a surprise.

We started it’s larger father in 2012…. and haven’t really finished that yet either.

 

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Yup.

That’s our motto.

 

I needed a holiday from the holiday.

 

Our last day of the long Memorial Day weekend meant a morning of yard work.

 

 

Tag team mowing with the husband on his new toy and me slogging along with the old push mower.

It was a gorgeous day.

 

 

The pear tree was blooming.

 

 

The mallows I’d planted were thriving.

 

 

And everything had finally turned green.

 

 

Except the baby barn which I decided to start painting that afternoon.

Let me preface this by saying I used to love to paint.

I used to.

Until I had to use an artist’s tiny brush around all the nooks, corners, flashing and crooked angles on that beast.

 

 

 

Did I wear some paint, get covered in dirt, rip my pants, tumble off a ladder and work until almost 8:00 at night?

Yes I did.

 

 

But paint was applied.

 

 

And covered a multitude of sins.

 

 

Three sides done, one to go!

Back to work.

 

At what I believe is the slowest pace humanly possible.

We started on Memorial Day weekend Friday by attacking the baby barn again.

 

 

Trimming the window at a glacially slow pace because as we’ve previously established…. geometry is not our friend.

 

 

After more hours than I care to admit, we moved around to the door trim.

 

 

Which the husband insisted be wider than the other trim.

 

 

Did this work out well?

 

 

Not really. But neither has anything else in this remodel and he refused to do it over, so it is what it is.

 

 

The night before, we took a trip to Lowe’s for door hardware. I argued for 6 inch hinges, because well…. I’m a woman.

You know we love our 6 inches.

But the husband was having none of it and went with 4 inch hinges, trying to prove size doesn’t matter.

As we started to assemble the doors?

 

 

He realized in some instances, size does matter…. and sent yours truly back to Lowes for 6 inches.

Hinges!

I’m talking about hinges!

 

 

I won’t even describe the nightmare that was Lowe’s on Memorial Day weekend.

 

 

By the time I got back the day was done and we got virtually nothing accomplished.

Yay us.

Baby barn progress.

 

So work continued on our project from Hell.

 

 

Trim completed, we started shingling the back half of the roof….. and if you know anything about the baby barn?

You know it wasn’t going to cooperate.

 

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Oh, the first row was perfectly level.

 

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Unfortunately…. it was also 5/8ths of an inch short.

If you’ve ever done roofing, you know what a nightmare this is. Tiny little strips of shingles had to be cut for every row and you can’t put them at the end. No, that would be too easy. They had to be tucked somewhere in the middle so it didn’t screw up the pattern… which meant cutting one other shingle on every row as well.

Time consuming? You could say that.

 

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It literally took us all friggin’ day to do the back half of this little roof.

Okay, so the fact that the husband bought the wrong size flashing at Home Depot the night before   (because he went without me and therefore to the wrong store)  and then had to go back to Home Depot to return it the next day and get the right size flashing  (again without telling me and therefore to the wrong store )  and because Home Depot doesn’t sell the right size flashing  ( we’d bought the right size flashing across town at Lowes a month ago  )  he  also had to take a trip to Lowes.

The moral of that lengthy run on sentence? Tell your wife before you go somewhere so she can tell you you’re wrong. It will save you time and aggravation….. and she’ll thoroughly enjoy it.

No, that ridiculous waste of time didn’t help.

Of course, yours truly telling the husband he should have checked with me first didn’t help either…. but you know I had to.

 

 

Needless to say I put some physical distance between us after that comment.

 

 

I’m not sure the big barn porch was far enough, but at least it was out of hammer strike range.

 

 

So progress was slow, but it was progress.

 

 

And here’s a picture of a spider carrying off a dead fly….

Just for variety’s sake.

 

 

And then finally it was done.

But I didn’t get a picture because I was inside cooking dinner.

Hey, you’ve seen one crooked baby barn roof, you’ve seen them all.

 

 

And we’re back.

 

Baby barn work commences…. again.

And I have to ask – are we the only ones who take a year to remodel what is in essence a small shed?

On second thought, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.

 

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So we’ve moved around to the back half to finish our utterly favorite part…..and by that I mean the hellish nightmare that is angled trim work. I believe we’ve established we suck at this and not wanting to break tradition, we still do.

 

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How badly do we suck?

I’m glad you asked.

 

 

Badly enough to require shaving corners with less than modern tools if you’re my other half.

 

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What….

You mean 1940’s saws aren’t still viable members of the tool arsenal?

 

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Yes, that’s always my reaction as well….

But the husband says it still has life left in it.

 

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Corners were turned…

 

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Though not all of them where they should be…

As the poppa barn ( who’s still screaming for paint and agrees with River how wonderful he would look in a nice rusty red with white trim ) looked on in horror.

 

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To be continued.

 

 

Here we go again.

 

We love our large back yard.

 

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Specifically because there’s nothing to see except grass and the occasional 4 legged visitor.

It’s quiet, peaceful and far away from other houses.

 

 

Remember a while back when I complained about the neighbor behind us who parked his motor home right next to our property line instead of on any of his other 10 acres?

Grrrr.

Well, the other day as I was reading on the couch, I heard banging.

Do you see it?

 

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How about now?

 

 

The neighbor’s house isn’t visible from our place, and they have a good 12 acres worth of property, if not more. Some is cleared, some wooded… and it goes right down to the water.

So what did they do?

 

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They started construction of a tree house…… right next to our property line.

Grass? Ours. Brush? Theirs.

Maybe 6 feet between the end of our grass and their tree house frame.

12 acres plus… more than 522,720 square feet! But they had to pick the only spot on our common border that’s open to viewing from our side.

I’d like to bitch… but we love these neighbors, and have always had a good relationship.  The owner lost her husband to Parkinsons a few years ago and it broke all our hearts. The home is large and was too much for her to handle alone so her daughter and family  moved in to help. Two granddaughters and two step grandsons are now also in residence, hence the tree house.

Which technically it isn’t, since it’s merely tree adjacent.

 

 

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I don’t mean to sound anti children, but damn. We’re on the other side of the life spectrum and relish our peace and quiet.

But there it is, looming over our backyard.

The perfect spying platform.

 

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Did I mention it’s strategically placed on the only break of the tree line?

 

12 plus acres…. and they had to put it there!