Tag Archives: projects

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.

 

We don’t need no stinkin’ downspout!

 

Or so my husband said when we were redoing the deck railings.

He took the old one down and elected not to put it back up.

Why?

Oh, he mumbled something about tearing down all the old gutters and replacing them, but honestly I think he just didn’t want to mess with it. Which was fine, until rain was in the forecast and I told him it might be a good idea to put it back up.

Life would be so much easier if he listened to me…. but no.

So, it rained.

 

 

Not a lot, but enough so we had a torrent of water flooding the garden bed and sloshing mulch and dirt everywhere.

I didn’t say a word… though I might have smirked.

I mean really. How could I not?

 

IMG_4803

 

So out he went, poor guy.

 

IMG_4804

 

And naturally the downspout didn’t pop back on as easily as it came off.

Numerous adjustments were made.

 

IMG_4805

 

With a hammer and some colorful language.

By the time he was done, he was soaked and the spout was screwed. Literally and figuratively…. because he broke a piece and had to Jerry rig it.

Now wouldn’t this have been easier…. not to mention drier…. if he had just listened to me in the first place?

Men.

You never learn.

Kitchen aerobics.

 

I’m beginning to get used to having the husband work from home.

Yes, it’s a little annoying trying to tiptoe around the house and be quiet all day long…. but there are distinct advantages.

Advantage #1?

It’s harder for him to avoid the honey do list that’s been growing exponentially since we moved in 18 years ago.

No more long commutes from the office, no more grumpy, tired of fighting I-95 traffic on the way home husband.

When he clocks out? I can grab him.

This week it was for blind installation in the kitchen.

 

 

Which in the tight space over the sink wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

 

 

He got quite a workout.

 

 

Take that Jane Fonda.

 

 

As the hours wore on ( what… you thought it would be minutes? ) the brackets wouldn’t mount properly, and when they did, the blinds wouldn’t click into place.

 

 

Serious thought went into why they crashed to the ground every time you pulled them down.

 

 

Non OSHA approved climbing apparatus was used.

 

 

And curtain rod mounts had to be removed, reinstalled, removed, repositioned, removed again and yes, cursed. Repeatedly.

Want to frustrate your husband? Forget withholding sex…. make him hang curtains.

But finally it was done.

 

 

They moved up and down and stayed there.

 

 

If you’ve never tried this kind of blind, I highly recommend them. They’re attractive and block the hot sun while allowing filtered light to shine through.

 

 

And if you need some installed? Let me know.

I’m sure the husband is anxious to do a few more.

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.

 

IMG_4662

 

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

 

IMG_4648

 

But old railings were torn down.

 

IMG_4649

 

And rusty nails exposed.

 

IMG_4650

 

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.

 

IMG_4654

 

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

 

IMG_4666

 

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.

 

IMG_4669

 

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

 

IMG_4663

 

Which he completely ignored and kept sanding.

 

IMG_4659

 

After sanding, and almost slicing his leg off?

He hammered nails.

 

IMG_4661

 

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.

 

IMG_4678

 

So this was basically it.

 

IMG_4679

 

For a whole days work.

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

 

 

 

 

Day 4… deck project.

 

Four days in and we were finally ready to start adding the balustrades.

 

 

This involved a large amount of math, which as we have previously discussed… is not our strong suit.

 

 

Measuring was required. So much measuring. The fractions, the division…

Oh! The horror.

I carefully calculated the spacing of 8 rails for each section. I checked and rechecked to make sure it was accurate.

 

 

Which meant 7 of them fit perfectly.

Am I good or what?

 

 

Okay, so there were seven instead of 8.

 

 

It still looked good and things were flowing smoothly.

 

 

Until the screw heads starting popping off.

 

 

Once they were in the railing.

Which made me cringe…. and the husband grab his all purpose fix it tool.

 

 

Have hammer, will travel.

Thankfully no harm was done and we finished 3 out of the 4 sections before calling it a day.

 

 

One more section here..

 

 

Then we’ll move on to the other side.

Hopefully the heat wave will be over by then.

Hot flashing menopausal Maine women with broken toes do not fare well in temperatures over 90.

 

Another scorcher.

 

Temperatures and humidity rose to an unbearable level but the deck railing project moved on.

Slowly.

And with copious amounts of sweat.

 

 

Rotted wood here.

 

 

Rotted wood there.

And then my husband decided to add the piece of J channel that he was supposed to add 16 years ago when he enlarged the deck.

(No judgement on the dirty siding please, we have yet to buy a new pressure washer.)

 

 

The existing piece only ran halfway and the task of replacing it has been on my honey do list for almost two decades.

So off to the store he went, coming back with white J channel, while the old piece is beige.

This was a problem.

 

 

That he knew he could solve.

 

 

Hours were spent on this tiny annoying detail.

The old piece wouldn’t come out without tearing off the siding, and the siding had been caulked around the door and corner post so that was more hassle than it was worth.

 

 

He tried to slide it over, then under, and then up around the old piece but nothing worked.

 

 

Hot and frustrated, he ended up cutting a section of the old piece out and we were left with this.

 

 

A gap which will probably fill with water when it rains, but hey… it matches.

 

 

And if you’re wondering what I was doing during this time?

 

 

I was breaking the little toe on my right foot which isn’t so little anymore.

Ever the helpful wife, that’s me.

For something so small, it’s amazing how much that sucker can swell and hurt.

The result of my injury?

 

 

Husband had to do my job of staining the new wood.

In what little bit of shade he could find.

An entire day, and only we accomplished 3 things.

Yay us.