Aug 27, 2014 -

A Silk Purse

Southern Saskatchewan has just emerged from a very unseasonable cold and rainy period, brought to us courtesy of Montana, if The Weather Network is to be believed. My friend L says that it was payback for the Polar Vortex…

At any rate, it just rained and rained and rained and rained and rained for four or five days and only cleared up yesterday, Tuesday, although it was still a little chilly. I spent the dreary days in my office typing like mad so I could take some time off once the weather cleared.

It was still a little chilly yesterday, but nice enough in the afternoon to go out and finish cladding the shed. I was on my own and didn’t think I could get it done, but I did! It helps that Charles left me a bunch of tools, including his circular saw. I’d never before last week used such a tool and now I have no idea how I ever did any construction work without one!

So the cladding’s all tacked on and I just have some more screwing to do. Charles came by today and complimented me on my work. I asked him about trim because I am planning to clad both buildings in metal either in 2015 or 2016 and thought that while the trim would make the shed look more finished, it might be a waste of money. Charles agreed. So I’m just going to paint.

This morning, I worked, then went to town for painting supplies and a 12′ step ladder. I’ve been shopping for and looking at ladders for months and decided that this was a good compromise for height and the price was right. I can always borrow ladders, of course, but it’s nice to have my own now even though I will still need to use my neighbour’s when I want to get to the peak.

When I got home, I changed into grubbies and began to attack the interior of the shed. It was HOT, so perfect weather for working with water.

The floor was covered with several inches of mouse poop and seed, very disgusting. I hadn’t wanted to clean it before because the building was too open. It still doesn’t have a door, but it was time.

Like with the cabin, I started by bleaching the heck out of the interior. I demolished the grain chute and then set to work with a manure shovel (that came with the grainery!) to pick up the mess on the floor. I put it all into garbage bags, filling at least a dozen, and I’m still not done!

The floor was partially covered with thin plywood and I decided to pry it up to see what was underneath. To my immense surprise, the plywood was just lying on the floor and covering up gorgeous pristine boards! I was shocked! Unfortunately, the exposed boards have been covered in crud for who knows how long and aren’t as pretty.

Once I had picked up as much as I could, I headed to C&C’s to pick up a length of garden hose (and have a coffee and a cuddle with their dog, of course). I came home and gave the shed its first pressuring washing. This helped lift a lot of the caked on muck.

I am going to let everything dry and do another big pick up with the shovel and broom, repressure wash, and then finish up with the shop vac, a final pressure wash, and a final bleach spray.

I’m going to start on that tomorrow between coats of paint. I bought a five-gallon pail of white exterior farm paint and plan to put on as many coats as I have paint for. I am also considering painting the interior of the shed, including the floor. I don’t plan to finish the interior of this building any time soon, so a coat of paint will go a long way to making it feel fresh and clean. I didn’t bother with the cabin because it was so much cleaner.

My feelings towards this building have changed dramatically now that I have gotten at its bones and found them to be solid. I was really worried that I brought home a rotten piece of garbage, but nope! The shed looked absolutely terrible, but all it needed was a facelift. I can’t wait to show it off with a coat of paint!

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Aug 20, 2014 -

Cladding the Shed

Charles, T, and I got a ton of work done on the shed today even though the weather refused to cooperate. I still have a lot to do, but the guys did the heavy labour of cladding the shed with full sheets of OSB, leaving me to fill in gaps and put in some more screws on everything. Charles is leaving me all his tools and T gave me a lesson in how to use a circular saw, so I can move ahead on my own, between typing spurts.

My to-do list for the next 10 days, weather and work permitting:

-fill in all the gaps in the OSB
-screw everything down
-add trim
-make a door (I can leave that for when Charles comes back, but I’ll see how much time I have)
-paint (preferably three coats)
-clean the inside

When Charles gets back, we’re hoping that SaskPower will have moved the hydro line so that we can get the other roof on. Then, it’ll be time for me to go to Quebec to visit my family and when I get back, I’ll have a week to pack and get ready to leave for Mexico.

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Aug 19, 2014 -

A New Roof For the Shed

I was in town at 8:00 this morning to get the missing closures for the roof. I got home around 9:00 and Charles showed up shortly after that, then Laura arrived around 10:00. I was surprised to see her! We got a few sheets of roofing on together and then T showed up, too! I couldn’t believe that he came to do actual work. We managed to get half the roof on in the morning. Caroline showed up at one point with coffee and banana bread.

We took a break after that and I went in to call SaskPower. The power line to my neighbour’s house cuts across my property and is very close to the roof of the cabin. It is not installed according to code and I put in a request to have the line moved. We absolutely cannot put the new roof on the cabin until that happens. I really hope we can get this done by the time C&C return from their holiday. Before the new pole went in  yesterday, the line was high enough up that we could have avoided it, but now it’s even lower and Charles said there is no way he’s getting up there the way it is now. We shall see what SaskPower says…

By the time we broke for a late lunch, all the full sheets were on the roof. T declined to eat with us. Lunch was a repeat of yesterday, minus the ham. Charles is coming tomorrow to sheet the shed if the rain holds off, so I’m going to make ham and cheese pinwheels to go with the rest of the bean salad. Laura threw all the offerings into a tortilla and made herself a burrito. It was nice to see everyone enjoy the spread I put out.

The afternoon’s challenge was to cut up the last sheet to fit the final foot-wide or so section of roof. Laura is good at that sort of thing and she and Charles got it all sorted out. They did a really nice job cutting up the sheet.

Laura left after that and then it was time to put on the ridge cap! Charles screwed 1x4s to the west side of the roof to give himself foot holds. Once the 1x4s were removed, he filled the holes with the screws that match the roof, so you can barely see that he did that. The west side is also the least visible side, so it’s okay that the screw pattern is off and that some of the ribs got a little smooshed. There’s just no other safe way to put on the ridge cap with the equipment available to us.

Brian and Laura did the bulk of the work on the roof today and I commend them. They did a gorgeous job and I am very happy with the result! It even started pouring rain as Charles and I were finishing up, so the roof has already been tested. :)

The goal for tomorrow, weather permitting, is to get the new cladding and trim up, plus a door, so I can paint next week. We’ve thus far accomplished our goals, so I’m optimistic!

The shed looked really bad and I thought that I perhaps made a mistake bringing it in. But now that we’ve started to remove old material, I can see that there is no rot and that the building is square and true. So it might have been cosmetically challenged, but it is structurally sound and definitely worth putting money into. I am proud to have saved this building and to be giving it another 20 + years of life.

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