This weekend has yet to yield any construction progress. However, it did result in additions to our family.
My son Ian loves the cartoon “Sarah & Duck”, so he immediately yelled Duck upon seeing our new friend. & even with his gleeful excitement he was gentle in petting duck.
We set duck up with his own small temporary partition in the chicken coop. Once he learns this is his new home we can take down the partition. Or at that point use it for introducing the chicks.
We also welcomed 2 kittens today. We have yet to name them. The Orange one is slightly older & supposed to be a good mouser, so he’ll be an outside kitty.
The younger black kitten is very affectionate & let Ian love on him, so he’ll be a new inside baby. He’s a very happy easy going kitten.
I think this weekend’s additions helped boost morale in our little family. Since construction is going so slow, we’ll be moving into the 3rd mobile home on the property. It was our friend Jennifer’s step-dad’s house, but due to health problems recently- he’s moved into a nearby town to be closer to his friends and church community. Luckily for us that means some cleaning & moving of our stuff & we’ll be in warmth again.
Something that is good despite my preferences. I’d so hoped to be further along on construction by now.
On the 18th we may have some significant progress. A couple of our friends are planning to ask their men’s group to come out & help with the labor end. It’ll at least get the bathroom up; which makes me heave a sigh of relief.
I’ll take all the help that others are willing to provide. Thank you universe & friends, it’s most appreciated. Now if I could just come up with 66 sheets of plywood (to go with my stack of Windows) we could get the exterior started too!
After returning from Cleveland, we did our regular Sunday morning paper route. Then commenced with resuming our GIANT project. This is definitely the project of all projects. I keep finding myself apologizing to my family because it’s such a huge undertaking. I just keep repeating: this is the only way I’ve ever found to ensure that I’ll be able to have a pretty home of my own for once.
In a conversation with Anya I had to extrapolate this endeavor out so that it meant something for her. Essentially I explained that by the time she has graduated from college, we would be able to find her a piece of property of her own, and build her a house of her own on it the same way we’re doing with the current one. She could live with us the whole time, and in the end she’ll have a fully paid home of her own that no one would be able to take from her as long as she paid the property taxes. We then had to break mortgages down for her, using both sets of grandparents as examples, to really hit home how that is huge and a lifelong pursuit for many people. Both sets of her grandparents still owe tens of thousands on their houses, and one set has had their house for over 20 years, and the other set has had theirs for 33 years. It really is something that most people never escape from.
Anyway, I think she got the point because she again acknowledged that she is on board and will do her best not only to stick it out, but help as much as she can. I reminded her that this will be one huge homeschooling endeavor as well and she’ll get to learn how to build things for real.
So, back to resuming… Nathan worked on fnishing the ceiling tear down. He almost made it before running out of energy. Just the last 2 sections, and a bit around the wood stove are left.
Anya and I worked on stuff in the yard. We pulled pieces from the junk pile to use in building a wood hutch. I figure it’s going to be outside, and simply there to keep the wood piles tidy and dry, so it doesn’t need to be constructed with brand new materials. I pulled a mess of the old 2×2 studs from the trailer and 4 old doors, and for the roof I’ll be using an old abandoned truck topper. Next week we’ll attempt to get it assembled so that I can show you a picture.
After that we took a look at the garden. I have things growing already! Despite dropping just below freezing twice this week, I still had sprouts. Way more than I expected even! I’m so excited, I think I did a great job with putting compost and soil in, I really didn’t expect dollar store seeds to sprout this well or this soon! I watered them to make sure that love keeps going.
Finally Monday we revisited the tree we’re cutting down. We got a lot done!
We have felled all but one of the trunks and that one we’re waiting on the boat to get moved so it doesn’t fall on the boat. Of the trunks that are on the ground there are only about 4 really big pieces left to carve up. Otherwise it’s all small stuff. I think 2 or 3 more visit and we’ll be done! It’d go faster, but being I’m not a professional lumberjack, I get too tired after about 3 to 4 hours of work. I have to quit when my fatigue becomes unsafe with chainsaws!
So I’ve been a bit behind the last 2 weeks. Between trying to find a good dosage of my thyroid meds and just being overwhelmed and overworked, I just haven’t had the energy to sit down and blog. Since that is the case, I figured I better use my computer- that’s right all of my previous blogs were from my phone! Anyway, I thought that might just be safer and produce words more quickly.
So, update on the progress we’ve made over the last 2 weeks. Last I wrote, I believe we had almost finished demolishing the interior walls. Here are a few shots of that, which my Husband took.
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That last picture there was us trying to move the piano over. It was HEAVY! So needless to say we didn’t get anywhere with that.
The following week we did actually finish taking down all of the interior walls. Nothing left but the outside walls!
The bathroom was the hardest. We wanted to remove everything except the plumbing, mainly because I’m salvaging that to save money. So, we had to be very careful to get all of the fixtures down- electric and plumbing, and then walls down, without damaging the pipes. It didn’t help that at some point(s) the tub was “re-done”, and there were literally layers of paneling with a base of plywood. All water damaged. One layer of paneling was the painted fake tile- not actually water resistant, by the way. So, it was crumbly and moldy, but attached to the plywood with liquid nails. I found that extra interesting because despite the corners that were cut with placing the paneling, no such luck was in play with the plywood itself- I counted 14: 3 inch screws that took multiple rounds of sledging from both myself and Nathan before they finally turned loose. The most hilarious part is once we finally got that wall down, the floor was toast. The sub-floor had rotted years ago and was “fixed” on either side of the wall with patches of plywood, so when the wall came down we could literally see the ground below.
Needless to say, as to be expected with any project like this, you always discover things needing attention that you might otherwise have hoped would be fine. In this case, I tallied up about 6 sheets worth of sub-floor needing replaced. I don’t do things half-ass-ed, never have, and I’m not going to start now. If it needs done, so be it. It might just take me a little longer to get everything paid for and completed.
Then following that, we (Nathan and I only) proceeded to rip down the insides of the Exterior Walls. The first sheet of paneling came down exposing the insulation- we’d already put on the respirators in preparation for that. I still don’t want to risk asbestos exposure. All this work, I better get to enjoy this into ripe old age. Then we pulled down a second sheet of paneling to make insulation removal easier.
Ok, got the contractor bags out and set up the bag stand so we could just roll up the old insulation and put it directly into bags. Great! Lets Go! Pull out the first piece of insulation….. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! WTF! WHAT am I looking at?
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That means that in the 1970’s trailers were built far below current construction req’s. Just so you know, current standards are: you build your stud walls, coat them in plywood, then wrap the outside of the plywood in plastic sheeting such as TyVek or similar, and then put up the exterior covering- be it vinyl, metal or wood siding. So, again I see myself adding up new figures. 66 sheets of plywood that I hadn’t thought I would need- roughly $700 worth. Yippie! Right?!
Ok, so keep going. We wrap around the end of the trailer to the opposite long side, when we get a fourth of the way down that side, we realize that we’re looking at dimples all over the siding.
We go outside, the whole north side (long side) is covered in them, and a couple of them were so deep that they broke through the siding. I hadn’t noticed them before, but I hadn’t really examined that side of the house very well, only having been on that side a few times. We ask; they tell us about 4 years ago there was a storm that went through with fist-sized spiky-hail. It had broken all of the windows on that side, so they were fixed with plexi-glass, but the siding was left alone.
So, now I have a decision, keep what’s good of the siding and try to find some that matches enough for a good coat of paint, or just replace all of the siding. That would mean that everything would be brand new, exactly what we want, and have a very long life span; it would also mean that I’ve got another couple thousand dollars of materials to pay for. I like the latter better, but ARGH, REALLY- more money to spend. Like I need more things to figure out how/when to pay for them. Oh well, I guess.
So, keep on trucking. We did as much as we could that day, and realized that things need moved to finish tear down of the interior. The next work day, we got help, borrowed a trailer, and moved the enormous super heavy piano, deep freeze, barrel of grain, and massive cast iron cook stove out of the trailer and into storage. That was enough work for one day- I was exhausted, did I mention they were HEAVY? The up side, the trailer was looking very sparse. The only objects remaining: fridge, stove, water-heater/pressure-tank, Jacuzzi & sinks, Wood Heat Stove, and construction materials/tools. Now we’re getting somewhere.
The next day, we went to a different friend’s house to work on cutting down a dead tree to build up our wood stores for next winter.
That’s the first felled part of the tree on the left- there’s about 6 more trunks of the cluster to be felled yet. On the right: the piles are what we had done after about 3 hours of cutting and cleaning up. I didn’t take a photo of the tiny twigs- that pile was huge, but at least we’ll have plenty of kindling. Anyway, we only did the 3 hours, because after moving heavy stuff the day before, that was all we could handle physically. I promised them we’d be back on the following Monday to finish that part, and that we’d keep working on the whole tree until it was all down. I made such a promise because I know we’ll need the wood next winter. Might as well plan ahead and have seasoned wood for just the cost of labor. My estimates are that we’ll end up with enough for us, and then possibly enough extra for the friend that gave us the trailer. That’s good.
So, slow progress. My goal is to finish tear down this Sunday, and get sub-floor repair and plumbing started the following. We only have 3 workable weekends left if we’re still moving April 1st, so this Sunday will determine that. If we can’t finish tear down this Sunday, I will probably have to postpone the move date- an idea I detest, especially since I don’t know if our landlord would be willing to pro-rate for half a month. I really don’t want to stay a whole month longer.