Bad Juju

I know it’s 7 years bad luck when you break a mirror, but what’s the penalty for breaking a window?  Dammit.

So!  Change in plans.  After the shock and horror wore off (could have been minutes, could have been hours ~ time stopped. JK)  I went in search of the new-fangled plastic, double-paned windows I’d purchased for the original TH.  Confronted with using either huge 3′ by 5′ suckers or more reasonable but smaller than I’d wanted windows, I went with a 31″ by 21″.  Now, here’s the thing:  I’d already cut the rough opening in the wall and flashed it, not to mention having to redo the framing.  Nooooo…..

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Rough Opening ready for the large wood window. Yes, that’s copper sheeting.  I was going to put that on all the window openings for a bit of style 🙂

Patching went ok, but now the back of the building doesn’t look nearly as good.  The patch is really obvious right now, and I don’t know if all the caulking and painting necessary will change that.  Plus, water entry is now more of a risk.  Such a bummer!  At least restructuring the framing went quickly.

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Restructured and patched Rough Opening w/o the copper sheeting, as it won’t show in this type of window install.

The upside of this huge change in plans?  Installation was a breeze, and I immediately had an opening window complete with screen.  That was cool. 🙂

Then the snowball effect kicked in.

As I stood there looking out my new window (yay) I contemplated the other two windows that were going in next to it.  No way.  Two old-fashioned (but cool) wood windows inches from a modern plastic window?  Nope.  I looked at the stack of double-paned choices and compared them to the framing already in place.  Nope again.  I just didn’t want to do it.  The single, smaller window surprised me with the amount of light it let in, so right there I decided one was enough.  This decision opened up changing the interior layout I’d planned on, so I spent the night obsessively redrawing plans.  Because of course.  And that wasn’t all, as now that I wasn’t using wood windows in the rear, I got really hesitant to use them in the front…and after checking to make sure double-paned plastic framed windows can safely be installed at an angle I’m going to do that.  So much less light, so much reduction in views.  A hell of a lot easier installation, so little risk of more breakage.

So a lot of changes, a bit of heartbreak, and much work later, here’s what things look like now:

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Framed, flashed and installed.

Before I go, here’s the latest pictures of Leo hanging out in the new place:

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Leo barely fits through the door opening, but likes to look out.

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Leo on the ladder outside. Doesn’t he know not to stand on the top???

 

I’m still working hard on the walls, and painting.  Stay tuned!

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I’m Doing Stuff. Really.

Professional painters of the world, I salute you.  Painting for hours at a time is meditative and relaxing, but your shoulders hate you for days.
I’ve decided to hold off showing the inside progress until after most of the basic interior is finished being painted.  I don’t feel the need to show half-painted boards.  I will post an entry showing the progression, just not individual stages.
Since I’m starting to see an end to this house-building thing (although does an owner-built home ever REALLY get finished?), I’ve decided to list a few of the necessary items I need to purchase.  Most other things I will either build or purchase second-hand at a ReStore.
Thetford SmartTote Portable Waste Holding Tank – 12 Gallon, 2-Wheel.  Some BLM campsites require a 10-gallon minimum septic tank to stay, and this meets that requirement, as well as fitting into my planned bathroom area.  At around $75, it’s also affordable.  It’s not the only brand out there, but it has good reviews and Thetford is a well-known brand.  This tank has a handle and wheels for portability, but the rear fuel port is right next to where it will go, so I’ll be able to run the hose through it’s door to allow easy dumping at stations.  If necessary though, I’ll have the option to remove it and dump it into a toilet, such as at places with no dumping station but with a vault toilet.
Thetford 31651 Aqua-Magic V Toilet, Low / Pedal Flush / Parchment.  At $135, it’s not the cheapest option, but it’s not too expensive, and meets requirements.  There is a tall version too.  I’m going with the low style as the toilet will be placed on a stand that goes over the septic tank.
16 Gallon RV Water Tank.  A good size to fit under my kitchen counter, and a good price at $40.  If this size doesn’t end up fitting, there are several alternatives that will.  I’ve decided at this point to use my current water tank for gray water, and it has it’s own designated spot planned out.  In theory, I can run the inlet/outlet hoses through the same hole in the wall as the septic tank hose.
I want a complete solar setup eventually, but for now will have to do without due to financial constraints.  Instead, I’ll use battery-operated puck lights under the cabinet in the kitchen, closets and bed area, candles, and natural light.  I’ll have to recharge my Kindle and phone at places like coffee shops and libraries, and will only be able to use my very energy-hogging gaming laptop there as well.  That’s going to hurt!  There is also the possible option for running power from one of my truck’s batteries, but I don’t know what all that involves, or how to keep the RV battery I already have from overcharging.  More investigation is needed there.  If it’s doable, it’s a great solution for my computer gaming addiction.  An example of a solar kit that would work is:  Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit for about $200.  This particular kit doesn’t include an inverter, so that would need to be purchased separately.

Since my hurt shoulder is hitting back from the painting, I’m taking a couple days off from doing anything that exacerbates the injury.  May your own days be free from pain. 🙂

Wall Experiment

I mentioned the other day ripping plywood into boards for the walls, and I thought I’d show some examples of what other people have accomplished using this idea.  The links will take you to their actual website to give proper credit.  Check em out, as there are some great-looking floors!

At Centsational Girl

A darker version at AllQuietOntheMidwesternFront

From DataCouch

And TruthsofaBlessedLife

Finally, DIYDork with a complete how-to

I’m once again using the cheapest plywood I can find.  The shop calls it “Utility” grade and it has a lot of flaws, which I think adds to the visual interest and a rustic feeling which echoes the exterior. The cost is less than $13 a sheet.  I’m starting with the kitchen wall section in order to hang the upper cabinet there right away. I’ll need to paint it before hanging the cabinet, but even with unfinished roughness going on, I like how it’s progressing.  Here’s what’s up so far:

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Slits in the insulation netting let me push the sagging wool up while attaching the planks.

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This section on the left is from old plywood I’ve had laying around all winter, which resulted in a darker color. Too dark for my taste, so it’ll get a pickled treatment or a full-on paint job. You can also see the scratch coat of white paint on the ceiling.

Even though the skylight window is really dirty and still needs the sealant trimmed back, I thought I’d post a couple pictures of how it’s ending up.  Here goes:

 

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The skylight well is looking much more finished, and seems to be waterproof. I admit to holding my breath and wanting to knock on wood while typing this

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Looking closely you can see the dripping nature of using EPDM on a vertical surface (not recommended by manufacturer)

The weather stripping applied to the skylight base and the door itself do seem to be keeping the weather out as it should, especially with the addition of the hasps when pulled tight and locked down.  There still hasn’t been a true rainstorm yet to test it, but it will come.  Hold good thoughts for me, ok folks?

Due to an unexpected and much-appreciated donation from a follower here, I was able to go out yesterday and buy close to enough plywood to finish the interior.  I’m about to go out and tackle that project today.

This house is taking shape.  The boost to my morale and feelings of preparedness is amazing!  The fear of being kicked out of my “safe place” is waning the more that gets done.  Leo is continuing to keep me company while I work, even through noisy sawing, drilling, and the occasional curse.  His latest hangout is on the bags of wool.  You can’t tell from the picture, but he starting purring when he noticed me snapping pics. 🙂

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Soft wool bed is the coziest place for a snooze.

One more thing.  Knowing that people are cheering me on from all over the world is an amazing thing.  It’s uplifting.  I appreciate you all, and encourage you to also tackle something new and intimidating.  It’s super empowering.

Be well o/

 

A Door Makes It A House

First of all, I want to make it clear that my door isn’t the best.  It’s a bit wonky, and I have to tug on it to close it.  There are some gaps that I’d prefer not be there.  It’s kinda beat up and scarred.  But, it’s on, it closes and locks, and it’s mine.  I made it happen.  In a year full of not-great things, this is something good.

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Applying weatherstripping to the door

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Exterior door trim

With some helpful ideas from a friend, I hid the siding mistakes today.  I had just enough cedar trim left to do it so I guess it was meant to be.  My friend suggested it be painted, but I don’t want to take the time right now.  Hey, it’s cedar, so it can wait, right?  So now the only thing left on the exterior that really needs to be addressed is the portion under the door.  I’m letting ideas marinate and will finish that part when a good idea shows up.  For now, it looks funky but eh, ok.

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Using cut-down cedar trim to hide siding mistakes

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Closeup of unpainted cedar trim

The skylight is nearly complete enough for now, as well.  I went with white EPDM sealant for the corners and edges instead of trim, and I think that was the right choice.  That stuff is MESSY!  By far the goopiest, stickiest, glueiest glop I’ve used yet….and my hands were (and still are) covered by the time I was finished.  I really hope I can sand it smooth/er as I wasn’t able to make a nice bead with it.  It blends so well with the white paint that it isn’t too obvious, so I’m not letting that bother me.  One clasp is on, and I’m going to get another for the other end to ensure a tight seal against wind and rain.  No pictures because the window panes are still filthy.  So much light comes in from just that window!  I love it.

Tomorrow I’m going to start working on the interior again, starting with the ceiling.  The seams in the plywood should be easy to fill with putty, and then it’s getting a white paint job for now.  I definitely think a super-glossy color is in it’s future.  Once the ceiling has a decent paint job, the upper kitchen cabinet is going up.  I’m not sure what will come after that ~ perhaps the walls.  Sitting there looking at them this evening, I decided to fake-plank the walls with painted plywood strips.  I’ve seen that done on floors to a really attractive effect, and I see no reason why it won’t look just as interesting on walls.  It’s a quick and cheap solution, and I already have spare plywood I can use.  The wool is finally settling so I can’t let it stay up with just netting to hold it in place, dang it.

Leo is again in the habit of coming in and hanging out with me while I work.  I love that he is so comfortable in the space, and that he climbs the ladder to come inside.  It’s very cute and gives me another reason to smile. 🙂

It Feels Like Forever

Since I last posted.  But, well, the Beast has been in the shop all this time, so except for a little painting on the windows and door trim, I haven’t been able to do anything.  It was frustrating!  But I got it back a couple days ago with a clean bill of health and at the low low cost of $88.  The shop didn’t charge me any labor!  They checked out the whole truck, and said it was in amazingly great shape. 🙂  The fuel tank got emptied and a pump related to it was replaced, they replaced the broken hood hinge, made the “check engine temp” light go off, replaced the vacuum belt that makes the brakes work properly, and looked at EVERYTHING.  I’m so happy!  I’m so relieved!

The first thing I did (besides go do some much-needed grocery shopping) was to give the door a few more coats of paint.  I want to completely finish that before putting on the doorknob.  As I know now the door is working properly even after several weather changes, I felt confident enough to seal it with Reflectix tape before stuffing the gaps with more wool, in preparation for putting up the exterior door trim.  By the end of day tomorrow, hopefully the door will be completely finished.  It feels like a huge step forward.  I sat in the doorway this evening, looking up at the old, beat-up but freshly painted door and frame and just…felt good about things.

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Taping the gap with Reflectix tape.

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Leo came in and hung out with me today. 🙂