Thursday, November 26, 2009

Moving Along and Happy Thanksgiving

In the midst of all the holiday preparation, we are busier here than ever. While people look forward to a day off while enjoying a huge meal with family, all I can think about is home improvement. It haunts me day and night.

At least things are cruising along. As I may have mentioned, about 75% of the barn is sheathed. I would have closed the deal but happened upon the big ant problem. It's always disconcerting when you discover a colony of ants, kind of ruins your day. It turns out that when I dug a little deeper, both literally and figuratively, the ant colony was still there in the header, requiring the header's complete removal. I'm still bewildered as to why they were up so high. Somehow moisture is getting up there and drawing them to the wood.

Whatever be the case, when I dislodged the header, it literally rained ants... all over me, no less. I was frantically brushing the little buggers off me, though a lot of them died as a result of my relentless pounding with a sledge hammer. Of course, the extent of the damage had spread to some of the studs, so I'm going to have to replace those, as well. Yet another setback, and my require that I get more rough cut lumber.

Our windows came and I finally ordered the doors. I went in a few days back to order them and was barraged with choices to the point where I had to leave. Doors are expensive, too, so the whole situation made me nervous. Plus, the guy at HD was kind of unfriendly and made it somewhat clear that I was wasting his time. Kind of unusual at HD, the people may be clueless, but they tend to be friendly. In talking to this guy, who was clearly knowledgeable and experienced, I felt like I was at LaValleys. Also, it really helps to be somewhat informed, because when you go in ignorant, they make choices for you that are not always in your best interest. I.e., they end up costing you more because they are either clueless themselves (a frequent occurrence at HD) or can't be bothered to make some effort to save you money.

I went home to recon with R about the doors, and we finalized some decisions and I went back with more confidence. It's amazing what the support of your spouse will do for you. I had to go to work so I went to HD right when they opened at 6:00 AM. I've done this before and found if you can swing it, is the best time to shop there. Nobody is there, the people are free and available and can give you their undivided attention. Plus, they're still riding high on their morning cup of coffee so their moods are better.

The guy, JD, was super helpful and friendly and clarified things for me that ended up saving us money, namely that some of the things you buy you can easily make yourself and save some bread, like jams. Also, you can save money by choosing hardware they carry versus ordering it from the door company. We'll see how that one plays out.

I finally installed the last of the sill pieces, only to discover that the previous pieces were not actually fastened to the foundation. What a drag. I can't really go back and fasten them because they are attached to the framing, much of which has already been sheathed. I figure they're secured to the frame as well as the adjacent piece of sill, and they are not in the center of high traffic zones. How's that for justification? Also, I got the thumbs up from my Mentor and PR, my teacher.

I'd like to get some finality in just one arena in this project. It seems like nothing ever gets really finished, and I drift in various states of limbo. Somehow, once I get the framing completed and the sheathing on, I'll feel like I've accomplished something and can take a break, at least until lunchtime.

Today the plan is to do more framing and then quit around lunchtime and get Thanksgiving dinner ready. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Rick Cowan for the pic.

No comments: