Tag Archives: remodel

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 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.

 

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……

 

 

 

 

And the deck project begins.

 

But not before another trip to the store to buy wood.

 

 

(Yes, I know the husband is wearing his mask incorrectly but his glasses kept fogging up)

Two perfect pieces for the top of the railing had to be found. And even though we were searching through the more expensive smoothed cedar boards?

 

 

They were rife with holes, chops, cracks and warty blemishes.

After 45 minutes…

 

 

We moved on to the 2×4’s.

 

 

Is it any wonder our small weekend projects turn into 3 month long slog fests?

 

 

So this is our deck, and those are the railings that will be replaced.

Hopefully by the end of summer.

Of 2020.

 

 

First step…. remove the old railings.

The first few were easy as they had been screwed.

 

 

Then it got harder with massive doubled rusty nails that didn’t want to let go.

 

 

Did I mention we picked the middle of a heat wave with record breaking temperatures to start this project.

How hot was it….?

 

 

Okay, not quite. Though it felt that way.

That thermometer was sitting on the table in direct sunlight.

It was actually this hot, in the shade.

 

 

And for Maine?

That is insanely frickin’ hot.

 

 

But progress was made.

 

 

And halted when rotting beam sections had to be cut out.

 

 

With 1950’s era tools.

 

 

Yes, I’m afraid so.

And you know what happens when you use power tools from the middle of the last century?

 

 

Nothing good.

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.

 

rush

 

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.

We are definitely not mathematicians.

 

On a gloomy, overcast Sunday morning….we started putting trim board on the baby barn at 9:00am.

 

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At 10:00am we were still on the first piece.

 

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And yes, at 11:00am we were still there as well.

 

 

Frustrating?

A wee bit.

 

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Cutting angles is not our forte….. and it almost made me wish I’d paid more attention in 7th grade geometry.

 

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A lot of serious thought, planning… not to mention cursing…. was going on right there.

 

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And before you say “Use a mitre saw!”, we did. But the building is less than straight and square and when we finally did manage to get it right?

 

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It was still wrong.

 

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Thank God for flashing. It covers a multitude of sins.

 

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So this side looked good.

 

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But when we turned the corner?

Not so much.

 

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How the Hell did that happen?

There was only one solution.

 

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Sit on the big barn porch and photograph it from far away.

Yes.

Much better.

 

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More flashing, more nightmarish trim board.

And if you’re asking what I contributed to the project?

Besides acting as a general gopher…. because when the husband is up his tools are down, and when he’s down his tools are up… my contribution was this:

 

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Classic tunes on shuffle.

 

 

There he goes again, ever the optimist.

 

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Thankfully the husband used to do roofing when he was young, so yes. The shingles were perfectly level.

 

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And because he was so thrilled something was finally level?

 

 

He checked it again.

 

 

And again.

 

 

I gave up on him at 6:00pm and headed inside for dinner, but he was out there until 8:00 trying to reach the top.

 

 

He didn’t quite make it.