Sep 4, 2014 -

Roofing the Cabin

Tuesday, Charles and I started work on roofing the cabin. SaskPower had promised to come move the neighbour’s power line out of the way Thursday and Friday so we wanted a head start and we did what we could away from the line, which was a lot more than expected. We got about 95% of the shingles off and about 80% of the strapping on.

Wednesday, I went to town for more lumber and hardware while Charles built a door for the shed. It then rained like the dickens all day. Everything inside the cabin is soaked in mud. 🙁

SaskPower came by late in the day to lift the wire using a telescoping insulated pole. The forecast for Thursday wasn’t great and the tech was worried we wouldn’t have enough time to do the roofing, so this gave us the weekend since he could leave the pole there till Monday. I would have preferred to have the wire completely out of the way, but this was a satisfactory solution. I continue to be impressed by the level of service I get from SaskPower.

Today, Thursday, Charles was at Haven bright and early. It was a very cold and windy start to the day, but we were able to finish strapping by late morning. We then got to work hanging the shed door.

I’d like to point out that I actually do work on the roof! I was right up there with Charles at the peak pounding in nails and I must have been up and down at least twenty times to fetch things. I also do all the measuring and cutting of the lumber using his chop saw.

We broke for lunch and then T came over to help us with installing the tin. We were able to put on a full eight sheets before Charles called it quits. He had the hardest position, right on the roof balancing on the pieces of strapping, so his legs were getting shaky.

Today was the first time I actually screwed in any tin. The way the chores have been divvied up, I never got a chance to try it. The tin comes with matching screws that you pay an arm and a leg for and which have a washer. The way to get them screwed in with the tools available to us is to first pound them into the tin with a hammer, just to get them started, and then we use a drill with a socket bit on them. It goes very quickly!

T won’t be available till after lunch tomorrow, so Charles will come over a little later in the morning to finish work on the shed door (adding interior stops). We should be able to finish putting on the tin tomorrow, but I expect that the ridge cap will eat up part of Saturday.

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Sep 1, 2014 -

A Lick of Paint

I plan to finish the exterior of the graineries with metal, just like the roofs, so my latest project was about preserving the weather-worn grainery more than making it pretty: painting the OSB cladding. Had the OSB been the final cladding, as it is on Charles’ graineries, I would have added trim to close gaps and make the building look more finished. Since I plan to do the metal cladding within a year or two, weatherproof was good enough.

Now, I can’t believe I don’t have a decent before picture of the shed at Haven! I can see it so clearly in my mind that I was sure that I’d taken a picture of it from the road.

At any rate, these should refresh your memory:

And now:

Charles is back at work here tomorrow to get started on the cabin roof (parts away from the power line) and he might have time to build the door for the shed.

Cleaning the shed has proven to be quite a challenge as there is a lot of mouse poop stuck to the floor. I have tried scraping with a shovel and power washing, but need to put in more effort. So the next project, after Charles and are done, will be to get on my hands and knees with a small scraper and a bucket of bleachy water. Not very glamourous, but it needs to be done!

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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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