Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Workshop progress

We've been working steadily on our outbuildings this summer: chicken coop and run, tool shed and workshop. And although we've known pretty much what needed doing, and have been working reasonably steadily, nothing has been linear.

We started by painting the workshop and the chicken coop. Then we began installing shakes on the gable ends of the workshop, but we didn't get far before Kim decided we needed to install the trim first. But before we could install the trim, we had to paint it. Then the chickens were ready to move from the house to the coop, so renovations to the chicken run took precedence. Then we had visitors. Yesterday we got back to the workshop, did some touch-up painting and discovered about 57 wasps' nests in the eaves. So while I and my wasp allergy waited at a safe distance, Kim did battle with the wasps and emerged victorious and unstung. Then we discovered we needed some extra trim for around the windows and had to make a trip to Home Depot. Then it just got too darn hot to work anymore.

See what I mean about non-linear? It can be hard to feel like we're making any progress. So in an attempt to boost my morale, here is a record of what we've accomplished so far with the workshop.

This is what it looked like the day we viewed the property for the first time. It's a 24 by 24 foot building, solidly constructed but never finished - it needed siding, trim, soffits, fascia and gutters.

Our first step was to install the tar paper and siding, which we did last November, finishing it just as the winter rains started. At the time, it felt like the hardest job we'd done - come to think of it, it still is.

This summer we painted...

...and then tackled the problem of creating some sort of scaffolding to enable Kim to get up to gable height to install the cedar shakes. At our local tarp 'n tool shop, Kim found these braces that fit over the rungs of an extension ladder. We used two braces, two ladders, and three full-size 2x6 pieces of lumber and voila - a very sturdy scaffold! Kim even screwed some 2x4 pieces to the underside of the planks to make them even more solid. I was extremely skeptical about tackling this job because of my concern about Kim working at such a height (notice there was never any question about me working up high!) but even I am satisfied by how sturdy this set-up is.

(We're doing the gable end on the back of the shed first, so we can make all our beginner mistakes where nobody can see them.)

Once the scaffold was up we finished tar papering the peak and installed the lathes the shakes will get nailed to. (I feel like I need to explain, somewhat defensively, my use of the word we. Even though it's Kim who works up high, it's me who cuts things to Kim's specifications, fetches and carries, helps problem-solve, and most importantly, picks up every item that gets dropped. So there.) At that point Kim decided the vertical trim at each corner of the building should really be installed before the shakes, to make sure they meet nicely, so we took a big detour from installing the shakes and focused on the trim instead. We painted (and painted and painted) and finally, today, we got to start installing the trim.

It's a bit complicated, because the windows and existing trim appear to have been installed with the plan of just painting the original plywood, and not doing anything else. So when we installed the siding, we changed the picture enough we had to add an extra layer of cedar trim inside the painted trim, to make sure there were no exposed edges. We were worried about the cost of buying 120 feet of millwork, but we stumbled on the solution of buying really inexpensive 1x2 cedar and ripping it on the table saw to make roughly square trim that matches the existing trim quite nicely.

This morning we got two windows and a door done before we had to go into town for an appointment - enough to make me feel like we're making progress. I guess it's like most jobs: the prep work takes forever, but once it's done things move along quite quickly.

What do you think...a red door?


~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

You've done a remarkable job on the shed! I know what it feels like to think that you're not getting anywhere, but when you look back and see where you were when you started, you see the progress!

Glad no-one got stung today and I think the door should be red! :-)

Paula said...

Oh- you guys have a table saw! Jealous. I've told Steve many a time that if I had a table saw, then I WOULD be Suzy Homemaker.

Paula said...

Oh yeah! I think that a red door would look every nice. You guys should be proud of the work you've done, and none, but none of my projects have been put together linearly. Projects don't do that. If they did, they'd be fantasies, not projects.

You guys live in the real world and you deal with it well.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Came your way via Kim @ Golden Pines, and so glad I did !
What dedication and hard work you have both invested in your dream home, I simply admire the heck out of you both....

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