Tag Archives: remodeling

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.

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.

 

Because I know you were anxiously awaiting it’s return…..

 

It’s back.

The ongoing baby barn remodeling saga…. and for those of you just joining us? Consider yourself lucky you missed the first 300 episodes.

Winter is over in Maine, we think…. so work has begun anew.

On Saturday afternoon rotted wood was replaced.

 

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And the silly man I’m married to tried to make everything square.

 

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Look at him with his little level. Isn’t that cute?

If you remember anything from last year, you’ll know the terms level and square are completely relative when dealing with this nightmare of a building.

 

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But hope springs eternal, and maybe sometime before we’re through that damned bubble will be in the right position.

 

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The last of the Zip siding was installed…

 

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And yes, that’s my husband’s back…. as he refused to smile for my camera.

 

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I can never quite figure his modus operandi when he works on a project……. and wondered why he made his way from the outside in to meet in the middle.

 

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This doesn’t usually bode well when you’re using a tongue and groove design.

I  (oh so)  helpfully told him this, but of course he paid no attention because I’m a woman and what do I know?

 

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Well, yes.

As a matter of fact he is.

 

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But when he tried to fit that last piece?

I admit it, I chortled while he cursed.

Which I enjoyed, because really… the world needs more chortling.

 

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Apparently I did chortle a little too loudly because I also got the look.

Which, after 36 years…. he should know has positively no effect.

 

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A little trimmed tar paper later and he called it day.

 

 

 

A little catch up… the baby barn, a sunrise and some deer.

 

Now that the Virginia vacation saga is finally over, it’s time to clear out the photo files.

If you remember… before we left for the Cape Cod vacation in November, the husband was desperately trying to finish the remodel on our baby barn from Hell before the snow started flying.

 

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He started putting the siding on….

 

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Which was a nightmare of non squared corners and uneven ground.

 

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Yeah, there was a lot of that.

His answer? Plant a shrub in front of it.

 

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He was still using his 1950’s power tools and probably wishing for a larger wheelbarrow.

 

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Siding around the window resulted in some very colorful language.

 

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As did turning the 3rd corner where things didn’t exactly line up.

Unfortunately that’s as far as he got before the weather turned….

And now I have to stare at this split personality horror show until spring.

 

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In other news, our neighbor and her daughter fed our deer while we were gone.

 

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She sent me this picture while we were in Williamsburg, and wanted me to know the child took her responsibility seriously.

And for that she was rewarded.

 

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Flowers for mom and a thank you deer for her daughter.

 

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That little guy cost me a fortune but he was hand made and too damned cute to resist. Look at those feet!

 

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It snowed right after we got back.

 

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But the white stuff sure does make a nice contrast for the sunrise.

 

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We were happy to see our resident buck was still around.

 

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He’s an impressive fellow….

 

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And clearly his women agree.

 

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He’s got quite a little harem going.

 

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With 4 fawns that we know of.

Funny thing is….. as much as I love to travel, it’s sights like these that always make me glad to be home again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The baby barn saga continues….

 

Next up? Permanent walls for the third side.

 

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As opposed to the numerous sets of temporary walls we’ve installed, uninstalled and installed again.

 

 

 

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And it’s finally starting to take enough shape for the husband to hang up a few tools.

 

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Of course…. a chain, a pick ax and a shovel might not bode well for me and my oh so helpful ideas.

 

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The floor is still 2 different levels of dirt thanks to the woodchucks and chipmunks….

 

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But we haven’t had time to deal with it between rain storms.

 

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The husband has also discovered that when I’m busy taking pictures… he can use his head for a brace. It works quite well.

 

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So, walls and roof section on…

 

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The tape was applied.

If you’ve never used the Zip wall and roofing system? Let me tell you… this stuff is golden. I don’t know what the hell they treat it with but once you tape up the seams it stays waterproof for a long time. I think they say 3 months open to the weather, but on our big barn we left it for over a year… through a Maine winter.. and it was fine.

 

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You’re only supposed to use the tape with the Zip pieces, but baby barn has so many gaps and holes we taped everything we could find in preparation for a big upcoming storm.

 

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Did the husband get a little happy with the tar paper caps? Probably, but we get some hellacious wind blowing across the fields.

 

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So, three and half sides are done and it’s battened down for rain and wind.

Maybe it’s just me, but I swear it’s big brother is looking down in disgust.

 

 

Sadly, we may not have time or appropriate weather to finish it this year. I seriously wanted shingles on before the snow flies but my husband says the siding and trim have to go on first… something to do with flashing.

 

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Although what that has to do with anything….

I’m sure I don’t know.

 

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So, fingers crossed we can at least remove that last rotted section soon.

It’s a little too split personality for my taste.

 

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Another baby barn update.

 

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Next step in the baby barn remodel was the removal of the addition the previous homeowner added.

 

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This was easier said than done….

 

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And at times required multiple beatings with a crowbar.

 

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Slowly but surely it came down.

 

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And the temporary walls and roof were removed.

 

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Which is when we noticed a wee bit of sag.

 

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A little lifting…

 

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A little of me saying WTH?

 

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A whole lot of digging….

 

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And propping up later, it was level.

 

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On that side…. which usually throws all the other sides off.

I swear this entire project has been so much work than it needed to be. We could have torn it all down and rebuilt an entire new one in half the time it’s taken us to get this far. Which I believe was my original idea.

Cold weather is fast approaching, and we’re no where near done.

 

 

News flash – yours truly will not be out there working in sub zero temps.

 

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More baby annoyances.

 

This week the baby barn saga is a two-fer…. lucky you!  I spent far too much time on the husband’s rusty crap  stuff yesterday, so today?

Deconstruction.

 

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Old shingles had to come off first and that was a nightmare. They’re over 40 years old and brittle as hell. Pieces and parts at best, and it seemed like every nail he tried to pull was bent.

 

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                                             *inserts required ‘porn for women’ shot here*

Sweep, baby… sweep!

 

 

Walls were coming off left and right….

 

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And we seemed to be making progress.

 

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How’s that for an action shot?

Mid air plywood!

 

 

More sweeping…

 

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A little rotted wood.

 

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(It was only holding up the roof, and my husband… no worries.)

 

 

And a room with a view later…

 

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The rain that wasn’t supposed to start until after midnight was threatening and we had to scramble to waterproof.

 

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This meant a patchwork of zip siding with a corner that wasn’t exactly … how shall we say?

 

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Squared.

Followed by my favorite part.

 

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Rolling out and tacking down tar paper in 30 mph wind.

 

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Please note I’m risking life and limb giving you roof top photos.

You can call me crazy, but you can’t say I don’t go the extra mile for my readers.

 

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So this is where we left it… weird, but water tight.

One dry days work, and a full half a day covering it up for the next rain storm. Had we started this stupid project in September…. when we were begging for moisture, instead of October… where it rains very other day, I dare say we’d be further along by now.

The baby nightmare continues…

 

Baby barns.

Totally not worth the trouble.

 

 

 

When last we left our intrepid deconstructor, he had finished the back side of the main building and was moving around to the side.

 

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Please note that his loyal wife and help mate was not thrilled to see a large pile of dirt growing ever larger on her lawn.

 

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Problem #1 this past weekend?  The husband had so much  junk, crap, useless rusted nonsense   treasure stored in that section, he had no room to work.

Of course, he assured me it was all wonderful stuff.

 

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I assured him it was not.

 

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What? Why? How much….

 

 

I didn’t even want to know.

 

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Yes…. that’s a filthy old door with a mail slot that weighs roughly 5,000 pounds.

No… I have no idea why he has it.

 

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But if you need 2 rusted iron frames for your wooden wagon wheels?  He’s your man.

Although on second thought, he never parts with anything… ever. So I guess you’re out of luck.

You might have noticed this jewel in the previous photo…

 

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I think it’s an ancient torture device from the early 14th century.

I know it damn near broke my back dragging it across the lawn to the big barn where it will now gather more cobwebs.

It’s days like these that I have to keep telling myself…

 

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I really do.

Because otherwise? I’d kill him…

And I don’t think they’d let me blog from prison.

 

 

 

 

 

Babies can be annoying.

 

Let’s face it, there’s going to be a weekly baby barn update for the duration of the deconstruction/construction.

Which, at this point…. I figure will end sometime between  Jesus, isn’t it done yet?  and   If I have to pry one more splinter out of my hand, I’ll shoot myself in the head and call it good.

Walls.

 

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If you’re an immigrant during this administration? Not Good.

 

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If you’re a rotting baby barn circa 1974?  Very good.

 

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Here’s a pic of the husband using his vintage (what feels like 50lb) saw.

You’ll notice he’s hunched over and applying pressure. That’s because the damn thing shimmies like a tilt a whirl on crack and might fly apart if you don’t.

 

 

Walls.

 

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They’re a good thing. But sometimes…

 

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You see where I’m going with this?

 

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From the outside all looks well.

 

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From the inside, things went a little squirrelly on the right.

Crooked?

 

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Do we care?

We do not.

 

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Do we wait for the wife to bring the dust pan during clean up?

 

 

So, another weekend done.

Another section framed and ready for siding.

 

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Did I mention that the husband’s plan of starting at the halfway point on the front and working his way around makes it look a bit odd?

 

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Rather like a schizophrenic.

Perhaps I shall name her Sybil….

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.