Thursday, November 17, 2016

Let the destruction begin!

Let the destruction begin!  Our builders finished most of the interior trim work in the sun room and mud room, and started the last major piece of construction left on our three-project marathon: the roof over our new deck.  The first step of that project was to demolish the short little roof that used to be over where the deck is now (they're at work on that in the photo at right).  As I write this, they've finished most of that job.  After lunch they'll finish the little bit that's left, and then start mounting the new trusses.

One surprise for both of us when they pulled the soffits off that section: there are a lot of romex power cables in there!  When they built the house back in '92, instead of running the cables through the studs, as you usually see, they're all run through this funny short roof section.  They're using what would otherwise just be wasted space, so it's actually kind of clever.  However ... that means our builder has a challenge trying to route these cables behind the trusses.  Worst case, if he can't find a way to do it, we'll have to cut every one of those cables, route them through the trusses, and then reconnect them.  That will be a big pain in the butt if we actually have to do it, so we're hoping that we don't!

I'm enjoying the way our builder is totally unfazed by anything unexpected we run into during the construction.  This is probably the tenth such “surprise”, and he just calmly takes them all in stride.  That's a great attribute for someone in his profession! :)

Paradise ponders, explosive barn edition...

Paradise ponders, explosive barn edition...  Well, our first snow is here.  We woke up this morning to three inches of the stuff.  It's already above freezing, so this will melt off quickly.  Still ... winter is here...

I had more excitement than I really wanted yesterday.

The first bit was excitement of the scary kind.  I walked into our barn to get something and nearly passed out from the overwhelming stench of gasoline.  This is the same barn that has a gas-fired boiler for heating.  My first thought was the danger of an explosion, so I ran in and shut off the boiler.  Then I opened every window and the big garage door, and set up fans for ventilation.  No explosions.  Phew!  Then I set out to find the source, which was much harder than I expected it to be.  I only have a few gas-powered things in our barn, and at first blush none of them were leaking.  There's no gas can in the barn.  On my second round of gas-powered tools I looked more carefully – and under my portable generator there was a puddle of gasoline.  That thing has a fuel shut-off valve, so I shut that and trundled it outside to dry out.  Then I used kitty litter to sop up the gasoline on my barn floor.  A few hours later the smell was mostly gone, so I closed the windows and door, and fired up my barn heat again.  I've never before had anything spontaneously develop a leak like that.  I'd be happy to never experience that again!

The second bit of excitement wasn't scary, just a hassle.  The builders sanded our new redwood deck yesterday morning, in preparation for the painters to show up and put a coat of penetrating stain down.  The goal was to get that down before the rain and snow showed up yesterday evening.  Well, the painters called and said they couldn't come out.  Yikes!  Freshly sanded redwood and rain on the way!  Not only that, but we were depending on that coat getting down before the builder started putting up the roof (think dirty boots all over the deck).  So I ran up to the paint store, picked up the last two gallons of the recommended stain that they had, a couple of brushes, and headed back home.  By this time the wind was blowing hard and cold, and it was a bit nasty to work outside.  Our builder took pity on an old man, and assigned a helper to join me in painting that deck out.  It took us a couple of hours, but we got it done while the sun was still shining.  Last night we got that snow, and the photo at left shows what saw when we woke up.  At right is the “after” photo, after I shoveled all that sloppy, wet, white crap off my beautiful deck.

I'm hoping today is just a tad calmer...