Tag Archives: DIY

How many tables does one man need?

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After the Barn Mahal clean out… there was open space. Glorious, uncluttered open space. I knew it wouldn’t last, but I appreciated it all the same.

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And when I looked around? There was a table and chairs.

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Okay, we’re building a bar for that… but whatever.

The next day?

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There was another table and chairs.

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The day after that 3 more tables had migrated their way in. WTH? Is the husband planning on opening a cafe….

Which is exactly what I asked him during our inaugural beer.

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No, it wasn’t our first time on the nectar of the gods merry go round, but it was the first time we drank inside the barn, seated at a table, with heat.

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I never did get an answer to my why do you need 5 fricking tables question… but we did manage to get that stupid mobility scooter we wasted $850 on last year up and running again.

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We purchased it second hand for his brother, who swore he needed it… until we gave it to him free of charge, when he decided he didn’t want it after all. 😡

We tried selling it last year but didn’t have any luck. Now the husband wants it gone so I’m going to list it again… for half what we paid, damn it…. and see what happens.

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Note to self? It’s probably not a good idea to drink beer for hours and then fully charge a scooter.

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The following day I figured if I couldn’t beat the too many tables paradigm, I’d join it… and hung a little something of my own for flavor.

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Perfect!

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The transformation has begun.

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The pool table was uncovered, brushed and racked.

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A hat and coat rack was hung by the door.

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And a few vintage WWII propaganda posters from 1943 I’ve been meaning to frame were framed and displayed.

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It was during this time we decided the ugly bracing pole in the middle of the room… which was never supposed to be there but was deemed necessary when we noticed the top floor bounced when we walked on it during the original construction…. needed to be spruced up.

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The (now lovely) wood walls and trimmed windows demanded it.

I expected to blog about the normal nightmare of measuring and cutting and cursing but things went remarkably well.

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Maybe we’re finally getting the hang of it.

So…. the before.

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And the after.

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Please don’t ask why he put my porch barrels on the loveseat. I have no reasonable explanation for that.

The end is in sight. I think…

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A few more windows needed trimming…

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Which meant a lot more measuring, cutting and cursing…

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Why the cursing?

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Because the last window was not what you… or any semi sober person… would call square.

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Oops.

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Cover the gap with quarter round, trim…. then call it good and move on to the porch door.

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Yes, the porch is my domain … so the porch door has a seasonally appropriate wreath. Man cave be damned.

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Trimming this slapped together frame for a door that came from the dump proved challenging.

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And yes, the language got as colorful as the wreath.

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But it was only when the husband looked down…

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And realized the floor moulding should meet the vertical door trim… not the other way around… that he knew he had some tinkering to do.

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But viola!

Adjustments were made and everything that needed to be trimmed was finally trimmed.

Is this the end of the Barn Mahal interior construction?

Only time will tell.

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Back in the barn.

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The husband was back at it this past weekend.

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Finishing up the (not so) temporary (not so) easy access heat blocker to the upstairs.

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By the time I walked in he had the insulation board attached to the zip siding board …

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Had rigged up small pieces of insulation board on the top step..

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And was busy stuffing Roxul in the small holes.

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And the even smaller small holes.

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Our old doe was munching under the apple trees…

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And Mike Pence was still where no one wanted him to be.

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So much stuffing.

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Please remember… when this barn was built it was not meant to be an airtight and heated space, so there’s a lot of scrambling required to make it one now.

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So when all else fails?

Caulk.

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And then, for the man who didn’t want to use insulation board?

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Another piece of insulation board.

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So yes, there’s insulation board, on top of insulation board, on top of zip siding.

I dare the hot air to seep through that!

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When that was finished and blocked off, it was time to tackle weatherstripping the porch door.

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You know, the free one he brought home from the dump. The one without a frame or threshold. The non standard size nightmare that has gaps all the way around it and at least a two inch above the floor clearance.

Good times.

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Truer words have ne’er been spoke.

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Why does he make everything twice as difficult as it has to be?

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We have a barn that really isn’t a barn. What started out as storage space for motorcycles and lawn mowers has morphed into a custom built man cave… and now that the man cave has a heat pump? The upstairs has to be temporarily blocked off for winter before the staircase turns into a chimney.

This should have been a simple project.

I told the husband – cut a piece of insulation foam. The heat pump installer told the husband – cut a piece of insulation foam. The friend that helps him now and then told the husband – cut a piece of insulation foam.

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Which is why the husband made a hinged door out of zip siding.

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Did I mention the husband doesn’t like to be told what to do?

After a laborious day of cursing and figuring and adjusting and fitting and more cursing….

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The husband came home to cut a piece of insulation foam.

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Which he wanted to attach to that hinged door of zip siding.

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This involved more measuring and cutting ..

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And fitting and pushing and removing and more measuring and cutting.

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Please note the non OSHA approved chunk of wood dismantling the saw’s safety feature.

More fitting.

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More measuring and cutting.

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More fitting.

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Halfway through the process, Mike Pence stopped by to say hello.

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And finally after I helped him measure, cut and fit for 3 hours to no avail… I snuck out.

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For the sake of my sanity…. as well as our marriage.

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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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Another project?

 

My husband surprised me the other day with new gutters.

 

 

Yes…. some women get diamonds, I get downspouts.

But these had been a long time coming and after nearly being bludgeoned by icicles from water running off the garage last winter?

 

 

It was time.

 

 

I had other things to do that day but husband asked me to help for 30 minutes because he said that’s all it would take.

Silly, silly man.

 

 

The first section went up easily.

Too easily as it turns out….

 

 

 

Which the hose test proved.

It leaked.

 

 

I was then directed to a different spot, which also leaked.

Vowing to fix it later, the husband moved on, installed 2 more sections and then needed an end cap.

 

 

Which I now believe are the work of the devil.

 

 

One of these should have fit on the end of that piece to block the water.

Please note my use of the word should.

 

 

Adjustments were made.

 

 

Then larger adjustments.

 

 

Some of them not at all subtle.

 

 

But it worked.

Of course we were still left with the leaking problem on the first section. And after much discussion, it was decided the shingles on the non leaking end…

 

 

Over hung the roof a fraction of an inch further…

 

 

Than the shingles on the leaking end. And there’s not much you can do about that.

My solution?

Caulk it!

But the husband hates caulk so we spent the next 3 hours, yes… 3 hours….. trying to find a solution.

 

 

Little pieces of white plastic were cut to sit on the top of the clips and divert the flow.

 

 

But it didn’t work.

 

 

Long pieces of clear plastic were sought.

 

 

And carefully cut into strips to tuck under the flashing.

 

 

But still, it leaked.

 

 

Numerous ladder safety warnings were ignored during this process.

 

 

And still, it leaked.

Late in the afternoon, after spending way too much time on a half hour project….

The husband surrendered.

 

 

It’s raining as I write this…. and guess what?

No leaks.

 

Project finale.

 

Railing installation on the last section of deck required measuring.

 

 

So much measuring.

 

 

I figured 16 balustrades, at 5 1/2 inches apart.

 

 

Which the husband started to implement and then chose to ignore.

 

 

Why did he change the spacing?

I have no idea.

 

 

But he continued on his path.

 

 

And shockingly, something was off.

 

 

There he is with the little level again.

Silly man, didn’t he learn anything from the baby barn?

 

 

When he reached the end? He had too much room to leave it open, but not enough room to evenly space a rail.

 

 

So he jammed one in anyway, because at that point he didn’t care.

I did, but managed to swallow my criticism. It was done, and looked a damn sight better than it used to.

Before:

 

 

After:

 

 

Before:

 

 

After:

 

 

I’m pleased with it, as long as I don’t focus on symmetry.

 

 

It’s a cleaner, more modern look.

 

 

But now I can’t decide if the white lattice panel should stay or go.

Guess that can wait till I restain the deck.

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……