Saturday, June 30, 2012

My latest eBay purchase has arrived......

Yippee...We've been patiently waiting for this package.

It contains two items.  Any guesses?

I hope the wait doesn't drive you batty.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Holy cow it's HOT!!! actually got to 99 degrees today and there is no end in sight for 90 +degree weather.  Seriously, I don't even think we can do our shady projects in this heat.

Today we got up early and finished loading the utility trailer with items for a scrap run.  Poor R.....he was gone for almost 4 hours.  Not only was it hot unloading the items but the duelly does not have A/C and he said everyone was driving like idiots. 

While he was gone I went to the hardware store to buy sandpaper with adhesive backing for the pneumatic orbital sander.  The walk across the parking lot about killed me.  I found the sandpaper I needed but because I dreaded the walk across the parking lot I just strolled around the store looking at paint samples etc.

When I arrived home....I made a judgement call and decided not to start sanding the front door.  Instead I swept the driveway, watered plants, and basically puttered around in the shade until R got home.  We then decided to call it a day.

I have no idea what we will try and do tomorrow.  If it is cloudy...we can get something done but if the sky is clear and it is sunny...forget it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trying to beat the heat

Thursday's forecast is for 99 degrees.  Not 98 and not 100 but 99 degrees.

There are certain projects that you do not do on a 99 degree day.  You do not shingle.  You do not mow the lawn.  You do not weed the flowers beds.  So that really narrows it down to sitting in the shade and watering flowers and tomato plants.  If the heat continues, we might just need to do one of those shade projects that we saved just for such an occasion.

Today we finished installing shingles up to and over the dining room bay window.  We will need to put together the scaffolding to finish the peak.  Add to the list of things not to do in 99 degree heat......put together scaffolding.

I, also removed all the wrought iron off the front door and can start sanding whenever the mood strikes me to do so.  But I'm a long way from painting it.  I noticed a lot of damaged wood at the bottom that needs to be fixed before I can start priming the door.

I'm also not sure about how much paint to buy.  I really think it will need at least two coats so I think I will need more than a quart. The price of two quarts is almost the price of a gallon of paint.  I also just received an email for $7.00 off a gallon of paint. So I think a gallon of paint will do the trick.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cedar shingles, slivers, and the heat.....

....makes for slow going on the reshingling.

The heat is really slowing us down.  We are making our greatest progress late in the evening.  This time of day gives us full shade and cooler temps.  The heat can be so intense that we have had to stop working during midday.  Tomorrow's forecast is for low 70's and partly cloudy and believe me we are grateful for a break from the heat.

Sometime during this week, we will have to haul out the scaffolding to finish the peak on the dining room exterior.  Our ladders and arms can only reach so far.

We really like how it look so far and it has really made a huge improvement on the front of the house.  My plan is to start sanding the front door so I can prime and paint it by  the weekend.  I'll need to make a few small repairs to the door so I will really be pushing the weekend deadline especially if we get any rain AND we desperately need rain.
We stopped and spray painted the coal door while we were installing the lower shingles under the bay window.  The coal door was sanded and primed last year so it was already for two coats of black satin paint.

The layout of the shingles is basically a 10 inch exposure but in some cases the courses are slightly less or more to insure that it lines ups with courses on other sides of the house.  This is a must for inside corners.  If we were installing the shingles for the very first time we could just start each course 10 inches up from the bottom of the previous course. But since this is a redo, we have to blend with the old shingles and course layout and need to adjust here and there to make it look correct.

Also along the way, we have had to replace some rusty flashing, missing felt paper, and badly cut corner boards.  R has been using rigid foam insulation cut into round pieces to plug the holes that we found left open when they blew the insulation in probably during the 1960's.  It's amazing the number of holes that were letting cold air into the wall cavities.

I think after the dining room exterior wall is completed we will move to some of our shade projects on the north side of the house.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Prep work complete....

So tomorrow we start reshingling the dining room exterior wall.

This wall could be tricky for several reasons.  It's two story high and there are angles involved.  But we will take it one shingle at a time and see how it goes.

I trimmed the hydrangea shrubs that are in front of the bay window so we will have better access to the shingles but unfortunately there will not be any blooms because of the trimming.  These shrubs were getting out of shape and too tall so they needed a good trimming.
Earlier today we reattached the brackets for the living room window box.  We notched out the shingles so that the brackets would lay flat and not tipped.  The oscillating saw with a straight blade was the perfect tool to do this little chore.

We also reinstalled the trim piece that goes along the top of the shingles where it meet the soffit.  The air nailer makes quick work of this task. That was good because by time we got to this the front of the house was in the blazing sun.

While we waited for the shade to return to the front of the house, we trimmed the roses and some small trees and then ate lunch.

Our goal for tomorrow is the first 3 rows of shingles installed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rehanging the window box

We finished the last of the shingle installation on the exterior front living room wall after a marathon lawn mowing session.

The last few shingles went up fairly quick despite each needing to be custom cut.  We decided that we had just enough time to rehang the window box.

Earlier in the day, I stopped by the hardware store to pick up 4 inch long lag screws.  Previously, he had used long screws with a phillips head.  These were difficult to install because there was not enough room in the window box to place your screwdriver on the screw head.  By using the lag screws, we could install them using a 3/8 inch drive ratchet with a socket.  It is also far easier to tighten a long screw with a ratchet than a screwdriver.

We added a large washer to the lag screw before installing to keep the head of the lag screw from digging into the window box.  The screws on each end were installed first.  You normally start in the middle when installing screws or bolts over a long area but in this case the window box was long and heavy and there really was not an easy way to prop it up.  So we installed the end lag screws and then preceded to install the remaining screws starting in the middle and working our way to the ends.

The sun was getting low in the sky so we will have to wait until tomorrow to attach the brackets.

Another day.....another project.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shingles.....can't you get a shot for that?

Shingles.....yes, we both have a bad case of the shingles.  My symptoms include slivers in my fingers and cedar shavings in my bra.

We are almost done with the first section on the front of the house.  We got a late start because R had a eye doctor appointment and I needed to make a trip to Home Depot to pick up two more bundles of cedar shingles.
The last few rows also include an inside corner that requires each piece to be shaved to a custom cut. Hence the cedar shavings in my bra, as I am the official cutter/shaver and R is the official nailer.  It's best if we each have a separate and distinct job.  Example....he is left handed so he positions the ladder in a manner to allow him to nail using his left hand.  If I tried nailing with the ladder in this position, my right hand would be too close to the wall, making it impossible to swing the hammer properly.

We have approximately 8-9  shingles left to install BUT 6 of those are custom cut shingles.  I would guess about 1 hour's worth of work.  Unfortunately tomorrow is mowing day.  Do we mow first and nail second????  I think it will depend on the sun because I am definitely not a fan of working in the blazing sun.

Tomorrow's plan also includes rehanging the window box and it's decorative support brackets.  I need to buy some geraniums for my large pots but I think I will pass on planting my window box this summer because the flowers will be in the way when I need to paint.  Until then we will just have to enjoy the roses.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

You know your house looked bad when.... looks better with no shingles then it did when it had shingles.

 What's the last thing you want to see after you remove all the shingles off the front of your house?

We removed the shingles from the living room area on the front of the house.  This went rather smoothly.  I slipped and fell twice onto the large rocks.  First time that I fell was when I reached up to get a shingle that R had already 99% removed.  It was barely hanging there.  I grabbed it and it decided it did not want to let go just yet and I fell backwards.  Oooww!

 OK.....I'll just go over here and pull a couple of weeds so that I don't hurt myself.....I promptly fell into the rocks when the toe of my flip flop got caught on a root.

Before shingle removal.....
After shingles removal....

On the agenda tomorrow is to remove all the nails that remain and scrape the remaining paint off the edge of the window and corner trim.  Then finally cover any area that is lacking in tar paper. We will also need to  cover the holes that were drilled into the sheathing when they originally installed blown insulation.  We will either fill the holes with a round piece of wood or cover with a piece sheet metal.

Shingle installation is a slow process so I am not making any promises on how long it will take to reshingle.  If the weather stays cool, as it was today, the process will go faster.

But now....I have to go to bed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Starting tomorrow it is.....

off with the shingles.  That's right, we're removing the cedar shingles and installing new cedar shingles. 

Today we finished mowing and weeding here and there.  Weeding is an ongoing endeavor so you can never say that is DONE.  After we ate lunch we decided to remove the window box from the living room window.

First, I removed the dirt from the window box using and old plastic pot to scoop the dirt out and then put it in a lawn cart.  While I was weeding today, I nearly broke my ankle when I stepped in a hole in the back yard so the dirt I removed from the window box would nicely fill that hole if I could remember where it was in the backyard.  So after I wandered around the back yard for 15 minutes I found a hole worthy of the window box dirt.  I have no idea if that was the hole I stepped into or not. 

Next, we removed the decorative brackets.  This is a long window box and was custom ordered in two pieces and then we attached the two pieces before hanging it.  We decided to take it down in one piece.

There were 8 very large wood screws holding the window box to the house.  We removed all but one on each end.  We each supported one end of the window box and removed the last two screws.  Not too bad.  I will repaint the window box before we reinstall it.

Here is the 'before we removed the window box' photo.
Here is the 'after we removed the window box' photo.