Monday, September 14, 2015

Summer is done, and so is painting

I had to use my motorcycle's grip warmers on the way to work today. It is officially fall.

Luckily, painting is mostly wrapped up! All of the siding and trim has two coats of paint, although the front and back second floor trim needs an additional coat or two of white paint.

And because I haven't documented much progress in a while, lets go over the highlights.

1) You get a really tall ladder (this is a 16' stepladder), and you pressure wash the siding to remove both the dirt and dust that naturally accumulates on the siding when exposed to weather outside. But it also removes the footprints from the siding contractors. :)

2) Using tape and paper / plastic, you tape and cover whatever you don't want to paint. For painting, I used an airless sprayer I bought from Harbor Freight. The parts are compatible with Graco sprayers, so accessories, extra hose, new spray tips, can be bought any decent paint store or Home Depot.

Here is a picture of the north side of the house, after being all masked and taped up, with the first coat of paint on the first floor siding:

3) After the siding is painted, I came back and painted the trim for the windows. For painting the trim after the base coat is applied, I use a regular brush and roller to apply the paint:

4) Now lather rinse and repeat around the house:
And so on. (Notice in the picture the second floor corner trim, window trim and belly band are blue and not yet white, that will be fixed soon, but thankfully, I don't need to race the weather, I can put this off until next spring, if need be.

Next steps? Insulation and dry-wall. Also, the electrical is hooked back up to the house, and so I can pull the temp pole and dig a trench for the new water-main to the house.

But, finally, it is looking like a real house!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It has been a while!

Hello everyone.

Things stalled because I ran out of money and had to save.

But while I was saving, the balloon payment on the property came due. Unfortunately no banks will refinance the project until the construction is finished and the permit is closed.

So first I had to save up to pay the balloon payment, and then I had to save up to continue the project. It was a lot of saving!

We are back in the swing of things, and have been since roughly May. We hired a net zero energy home expert to help us decide on some of the energy saving features. We also hired a custom home builder to handle the siding / electrical / plumbing / natural gas / hvac.

I wanted someone who had experience coordinating that many sub-contractors and making sure things happened orderly and quickly.

The current work is completed, the house is sided, all of the rough ins are complete. Next steps are painting the exterior, interior insulation and drywall.

We have started painting the house ourselves and over the 4th of July, we figured out our system for painting. We tried brushing, rolling and brushing and spraying. Spraying was by far the fastest and gave us the best results.

We managed to finish base color on the north side of the house, which looks like this:

Anyways, once I get time, I'll go back and update the blog with the various steps we've taken to get here. But until then, I figured everyone would like an update! :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Forward progress...

Hello All,

So when we last left off, we were installing the stone facade. Here you can see an in progress shot of the front of the house:

And this weekend, we managed to finished the stonework. Well, there are three stones left to put up and we need to flash the top of the stone. But it still feels like an accomplishment.

Now, while we were finishing the stonework, we heard my old chihuahua Peanut, barking madly. We figured she was making a bed. She likes to bark while making her bed. Well, when we came inside, this is what we found. Yes, she's diagnosed with lung disease and takes Viagra twice a day, and the doctors said she only had six months, at most, back in March. And every day is a gift, but this trashed pillow is a special gift to me. :)

Since she was so full of energy, we took her on a trip to Home Depot to pick up a new ladder. The next step is installing Tyvek and siding on the house. I have a scaffolding system for helping me put on the siding, but I need a taller ladder in order to install the supports. You'll see it in the next picture. Anyways, Peanut enjoyed her outing.

Here you can see the scaffolding in place and the bottom layer of tyvek being installed. If you've never worked on scaffold jacks, the first time is a very terrifying experience. More about that in future posts...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More stone facade

Here's when we first started putting on the stone facade a couple weekends ago.

We had to put the top row up first in order to make sure everything was level.  This involved some weird (this is the lady of the house here by the way) 2x4 contraptions at the corners to hold the pink (I picked it) line around it that we used as our level line.

 The first few stones fell right off.  We needed more mortar, and wetter mortar!  I put my frosting cake experience to parallel purposes.

Then we got ourselves a system.  I picked out pieces and slapped on mortar and the Mr. smooshed them into the wall very level-like.  This took a lot of force he tells me.  You would have a hard time doing it he tells me.  

Seeing as how he actually overestimates my strength I didn't argue.

This first weekend we got all the way around the house with the top row except for a few spots where the stones need to be custom cut.  This is great because... 1. Progress! and 2. Now we can put the flashing above the stone and set ourselves up for siding.  

Naturally we took the dogs with us to hang out.  

Since we had to clear out all stuff around the house we removed the ramp at the back and the cinder block stairs (classy) at the front that we use to get into the house.  Peanut was stuck in the house when we put her up there and Bubba could jump out, but couldn't jump back into the house (or so we all thought).  At one point he barked at me to help him into the house (there was a bed and water in there), but I couldn't help him fast enough (mortar on my gloves).  A few minutes later I walked around the corner and he was just chillin' in the house on his bed.  So I had him show me how he got in there.  I wanted to see it.

Trial 1.  

Whoops!  I just don't think he was that motivated to jump himself when we were right there and obviously could help him.  I get it.

Trial 2.  

Now that is a damn good jump!  P.S. I gave him a proper dog treat right after this.  And then I had some skittles that I keep in my tool belt for me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Life gets in the way....

So in mid-July, we finally ran out of money and my work picked up significantly.

The good news is that the money lasted until the roof was on and the windows were in.

The bad news is that now, the pace of work will slow down significantly, as we will have to pay for things as we go, and we will have to do all of the labor.

Also, with my work picking up significantly, I've ended up working quite a bit on the weekends, which has further slowed progress.

Right now we are applying the stone facade I purchased earlier in the year, and it's pretty easy to apply. Plus it looks pretty good!

We've been taking pictures this whole time, so hopefully I'll have time to go back and start filling in pictures and stories. But in the meantime, I figured an update was appropriate.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Something funny happened on the way to the store...

So, we needed to pick out a few temporary doors for the house. We are buying very cheap, temporary doors to close up the structure, until we pick out our final doors. Also, until we can afford final doors, money is running tight.

So we bought two used doors from a local salvage shop called Second Use. They had a wonderful selection, the staff were very friendly and it was a totally positive experience. I think we'll definitely be heading back there.

But I thought you would appreciate this little series of photos, we decided to bring the dogs along....

Now, I might want to mention, today has not been Bubba's day. The day started with nail trimming, then a bath, then tooth brushing, then frontline. Oh and we caught him eating Peanut's food twice and he was kenneled as a result. So it just wasn't Bubba's day to start with.

And then we made him share a lap for the ride down to ReStore....

And then we told him how we were going to go shopping in ReStore!

Hey! They allow dogs in the store! Come one Peanut! Bubba, you get to wait in the truck....

Friday, June 22, 2012

Apologies for the delay.

It's been a while since I've posted a blog entry.

My apologies, it's been a little crazy around here. To sum it up, the decision was made to go ahead and build the second floor now, rather than wait.

I'll go back and fill in the gaps, but this is where we stand today: