Tag Archives: construction

This is not what you want to find when rebuilding….

 

Our old baby barn/shed has a dirt floor with heavy duty rubber mats on top. Due to numerous woodchuck holes and tunnels, we had to drag all the mats out. That sounded easy enough until I realized each one of them weighed the equivalent of an African elephant…

 

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Seriously.

A pregnant, morbidly obese African elephant carrying a suitcase I packed for an overnight trip.

 

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Did I mention they were all covered in pounds of dirt as well?

 

 

So as we’re moving the next to last mat…..

 

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This.

 

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A chipmunk burrow with tiny scraps of paper, plastic and leaves.

Upon further examination…

 

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A maze of tunnels, which I thought was pretty cool, until… it moved.

 

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Do you see the leg?

 

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Yeah.

 

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Not a tunnel.

A nursery…

 

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Which means we had to find the other end of the tunnel and relocate them. Not an easy task.

Five minutes after we found them?

Momma found us.

 

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And she wasn’t happy.

She ran around squawking and chirping and looking for her babies.

 

 

After a while I think she found them, because she stopped searching and started stuffing.

Stuffing her little cheek pouches full of all those little scraps of paper….

 

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And scurrying back for more.

Within minutes she’d cleaned up the whole lot.

Watch her cram a dried leaf that’s almost bigger than she is below.

(And please pardon my husband’s cursing. Things were not going well with the rebuild at this point…)

 

 

After we wasted time relocating chipmunks, we realized we had to relocate a bird’s nest as well.

 

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So many evictions.

I felt like an evil slumlord.

 

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Back to work…. and things did not go well.

Which was completely the husband’s fault.

 

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He had the crazy idea he could square the building properly  (After 40 plus years of Maine frost heaves? Madness!)  and changed the original footprint….. which in turn threw everything off kilter.

More good times.

 

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Did I mention he uses tools from the 1950’s picked up at a yard sale or the dump?

This little jewel feels like it weighs 50 lbs.

 

But he has the original box… and vintage lube.

So it’s special.

 

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P.S.  For those of you who pay attention, this post is actually out of sequence. That back wall is gone now. Apparently my blog scheduling has run amok.

 

 

 

Another weekend, another wall.

 

Work on the baby barn project graduated from glacially slow to slow as molasses last weekend…. and we managed to frame a wall in 3 days.

 

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Though to be fair, ripping off that old rotted pressboard is like Chinese water torture.

 

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It literally shreds in your hands.

But slowly… we saw daylight.

 

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And by Saturday afternoon we had open space and a center post that was barely hanging on.

And by barely?

 

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I mean barely.

 

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The husband did the usual dirt shuffle in his ongoing attempt to level the building. A pipe dream at best as it was built in the mid 70’s… and it’s Maine.

Frost heave central.

 

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Measuring is fun.

 

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Ripping out posts that were nailed in with spikes?

Not so much.

 

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Pardon the sun glare and bad manicure… but damn.

Talk about overkill.

 

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Framing started Sunday, with a new window taking center stage.

 

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And continued when the husband decided to dig out all the dirt underneath the structure…

 

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And lay paving stones in yet another attempt to level it.

 

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Then came the rain… and a mad dash to put everything away before it got soaked.

And then?

Then… the baby barn got a rainbow.

 

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And I found my honey at the other end.

 

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Can I get an awwww?

 

 

 

And so it goes….

 

Work on the baby barn continues, albeit slowly.

 

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My husband’s master plan involves a serious amount of temporary screwing, refitting, removing and replacing. He’s not a huge fan of measuring… but he’s a man.

This is not surprising.

 

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Of course this means 3 times as much work.

 

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I think one planned demolition and rebuild would suffice…. but I’m a woman.

What do I know?

 

 

There’s also a good deal of shifting the husband’s  crap we don’t need now, nor will we ever need again   stuff from one place to another. Like the hurricane generator we bought in 1992 when we lived down south and haven’t used since.

 

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Or the wheel weights for the tractor we no longer own.

 

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Or the numerous tires for the cars we no longer own.

 

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Or the table that went with the chairs we no longer own….

 

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Right beside the small refrigerator I had no earthly idea we owned.

All of these things are heavy and filthy and must be moved over and over again because he can’t be convinced to throw them out.

Good times.

 

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There was hammering.

 

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And crowbar-ing …. and yes. A good deal of cursing because the structure is 45 years old and not exactly plumb.

There was also a good deal of displaced dirt.

 

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Thanks to numerous woodchuck tunnels…

 

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Which undermined our attempt to simply re-side and re-shingle the damned thing.

 

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Now we have to completely dig up the hard packed floor and smooth it all out.

 

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Doesn’t that sound like fun?

 

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Baby barn work continues.

 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about my husband during our long and happy marriage, it’s that he doesn’t like to rush things.

Projects that should take a day, take a week. Projects that should take a week, take a month. Projects that should take a month, well… you get the idea. He’s been working on our big barn for what seems like forever and it’s still not finished.

 

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So our baby barn/shed needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Husband decided the frame of the building and the existing wood on the roof were sound, and is attempting to tear down the rotten parts and rebuild around them.

First off is the old shingles.

 

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There’s no real reason for this picture other than the fact I love to see a man sweeping.

It’s porn for women.

 

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But I digress…..

 

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Shingles off the front side, tar paper off the lower half.

 

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Section of roof off… so he can remove the section of wall below.

 

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It was at this point he decided to level the building.

 

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And that involved stomping all my flowers into the dirt, which made me….

 

 

And run for a trowel.

 

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Flowers dug up…

 

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Potted and moved to the relative safety of the big barn porch.

Of course by the time I’d turned around, he’d stolen bricks and edgers from my garden beds to raise the building.

 

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Which made me….

 

 

And run to gather them up before I was left borderless.

 

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One new section of wall in place, old section of roof replaced.

 

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If you’re wondering how long this operation took?

An entire 4 day holiday weekend.

Yes, 4 friggin’ days!

Reason being, my husband is the least organized man on earth and had none of the materials he needed when he started this project and kept having to run to the store… a half an hour away. He can also never find any of his tools and spends 20 minutes cursing and kicking things over looking for them until he gives up and asks me.

Of course he also had to get a haircut, have breakfast with the boys, hit a yard sale, drive an hour to complain to the man who painted his truck last year because it’s already starting to chip, visit his brother, sharpen the lawn mower blades, stop at the pub for a beer and wash his car. Did he have to do all that while trying to rebuild the baby barn?

No. He did not.

But now you see why weekend projects take months.

Fast forward to Monday afternoon. We lay out and cut tar paper…

 

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While a storm moves in.

 

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Have you ever tried to lay tar paper on a roof in the wind and rain?

 

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It’s not fun. Yours truly was on the other ladder and had to put  her phone inside so there aren’t any pictures of me soaking wet and wind blown…. laying across the paper as it was ripping off the roof in a deluge.

Good times.

 

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At this rate, I think the project will be done by the time Elon Musk reaches Mars….

Or Richard Simmons stages a comeback.

 

 

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

So…. this is happening.

 

You may remember me posting pictures of our little red barn/shed.

We use it as a shed, but it was originally a small barn complete with horse. The horse is long gone…. and 40 odd years later?

The barn/shed is almost gone as well.

 

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Falling apart?

You could say that…

 

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Rotted wood?

 

 

The mere fact that it’s still standing never ceases to amaze me.

 

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It’s horrible. An eye sore on our otherwise lovely property. The bane of my existence for a long, long time.

It’s state of disrepair is the main reason we spent $50,000 and 7 years of nights and weekends building a new and much larger barn.

 

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The plan? All the mowers and weed whackers, the snow blower, the tractor and assorted yard tools that were in the shed/barn were supposed to go into the new barn…. and the eyesore would be torn down.

 

 

But that never happened, and now the husband….. who has already filled the new barn with CRAP wants to rebuild the shed/barn to continue housing the mowers, tractor etc.

So this is happening.

 

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Husband deemed part of the interior framing sound, and started what I thought was deconstruction of the back half…. which needs to be completely rebuilt..

Now my idea of deconstruction consists of ripping off the roof, then the walls. The husband’s?

I’m not quite sure.

 

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He put up a new piece of wood…

 

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Ostensibly to brace the roof… though why you need to brace something you’re tearing down is beyond me.

 

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But look at the piece he’s bracing! Rotted doesn’t begin to describe it…

Then…

 

 

Yeah. He trimmed it…

The rotted piece of wood.

 

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He sawed off a section of wall… by hand, even though the chainsaw was right there.

 

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And made a bigger hole.

 

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He elongated the brace….

 

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And added wood running along the bottom.

 

 

He was supposed to be tearing it down…. so WTH?

Naturally I had to ask.

And naturally, he wouldn’t answer.

It was hot, he was cranky and I dared to question his technique.

Silly me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This literally makes me twitch.

 

A few years ago my husband built a barn.

It’s a lovely barn….

 

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Complete with a farmer’s porch for me and my late afternoon book.

Or margarita.

(Who are we kidding?

I don’t always bring the book.)

 

 

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He’d never built anything before and aside from a few minor boo boos, it turned out very well.

The first floor was meant to house the riding lawn mower, 2 motorcycles, 3  push mowers, 2 weed wackers, a snow blower and other assorted tools.

That was why we built it. Because our old barn/shed is falling apart and we have no where else to put all those things.

 

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See?

When I say falling apart… I mean literally falling.

Needless to say the barn did not go up quickly. It was worked on nights and weekends…. and from the first footer to now?

 

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7 years.

And it’s still not really finished.

Last weekend the husband was back at it, putting up interior walls.

 

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Of course there’s a problem with the construction taking that long.

It gave the husband time to fill the barn with crap.

So much crap that not only is there no room for the lawn mowers and motorcycles…

There’s now barely enough room for him to put up walls.

 

 

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And that literally makes me twitch.

 

 

Why do you see an office chair, a microwave, a water cooler, a wagon wheel, a fold up bed, 2 metal wheelchair ramps, a driftwood tree and a card table in there?

Because someone was throwing them away….

And they were free.

 

 

Not pictured are 3 front doors, 2 locked safes without combinations, a potato planter, an 8 track tape player and a scale for weighing bags of grain.

Will he be planting potatoes or weighing grain bags while listening g to 8 track tapes?

No.

Will he be replacing our front door?

Hell no.

But apparently knowing he could is enough.