Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Stairs Are Up and the Last Windows Are Installed

Hubby has been working on stairs a little at a time this week and had them rough finished by Friday night.  Saturday was unbelievably hot and humid.  The day began at 72° with 91% humidity; by noon it was 77° with 86% humidity.  It felt like a sauna inside the barn but he toiled away in it, finishing the blocking and other little details.

In my last post, I said that I just couldn't lift those windows so they were going to have to wait until someone stronger came by.  Well, my dear brother-in-law made a trip down here to lift those windows and get them set.  Whew!  One step closer to being able to put up siding.  We probably have to order a new front door though.  One day when both ends of the barn were open, a not particularly strong wind blew the door over and broke the plastic trim around the glass.

North window wall

Looking at the North window wall

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rough Plumbing Is In, and Another Wind Story

There's a song They Call the Wind Maria  (or Mariah in some editions).  Sounds like a name for someone nice, doesn't it?  Clearly, whoever wrote that song never had to carry plywood in it, or try to wrap Tyvek on a house.  If so, the song might have had a title like They Call the Wind Abaddon.  Nine out of every ten days seems to have winds from 15-25 mph.  Last night, I talked with a few neighbors and one of them also had garage doors blown out when we did.  When I said that it seemed to be an unusally windy year, they said that it is usually worse than this.  Yikes!  Now I know why homesteaders planted windbreaks.

The plumbers helpers finished the rough plumbing inside and installed three outdoor faucets, on front and back porches, and one on the RV pad.  It's so nice to be able to have hoses outside instead of all from our single indoor faucet.

It was warm and humid while they were here (of course), so they opened all the windows to take advantage of the strong wind blowing through.  After they left that evening, I closed the windows and noticed one screen was bent in the center top and bottom.  Yes, the wind bent the screen.

"...and I call the wind Abaddon!"

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Window Walls Part 3

These walls are recessed behind the roll-up doors for extra protection from the elements and for security when we want to hook onto the trailer and have an adventure.  Those doors, however, have been a challenge, and not just from the wind.  They have to be completely enclosed on the top side to keep out the wind, the rattle caused by the wind, bugs, and barn swallows.  It also needs to have siding on the exposed side which meant that Hubby had to devise a plan to make it snug and attractive, and yet leave room for the door to work.

So the chore this weekend was the outside of the window walls, and of course installing some of the windows.  I cracked a rib or two a couple of weeks ago, so haven't been of much help lately.  I did manage to get my side of the shorter triple window into the opening, but the larger triple window was just too much.  It will either have to wait until I am better or until the unsuspecting strong person stops to visit.

South side
South side
When we planned this building, we knew we would be building this recessed wall, and yet one of the details we missed was the dropped porch area.  We gave the concrete guy a two foot deep measurement to the wall (and on the front it should have been deeper because of the brick ledge), but we didn't think about the sides.  So he made it the standard for garage doors when it should have been a little more to allow for the position of the wall.

South wall

When we stood the above wall, we found that the slab was unlevel on the left side.  It was about an inch higher and you can see it in the framing above the door.  It's impossible to have a slab this big and not have uneven places.  But what a bad place for it.  There are ways of dealing with an uneven floor under a door, but it was going to be a pain.  However, when Hubby put the door in place, the slab was perfectly flat right there.  Talk about a lucky break. The high spot was only near the corner of the wall and leveled out about six inches from the door.  Hubby did have to adjust the header, but he said that wasn't a problem.  Since our plan is to have wood on the ceiling, the difference won't be noticeable there either.

South wall

South wall

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Window Walls Part 2

This weekend we worked on the window walls on the north and south ends of the great room.  We still have to keep the roll-up doors down most of the time because the wind blows through it so hard that it blows everything around and blows sawdust in our eyes.

South wall

North wall

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Aerobic Septic System Installed

Graded driveway, electricity, and now septic.  We're beginning to feel downright civilized around here now.

Start to finish in less than a day.   We had the plumber put in an RV dump on the other side of the barn.  As soon as we get it customized and a door cut through the side for the stinky slinky, we can have full hook-ups here for our RV.  Hopefully, we just have to make one more run to the dump station before that is ready.

No wonder the ground dries out so fast after a rain.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Long Drive Home

Today, the trucks began bringing in road base for the driveway and our guy, Phillip, came out to smooth it.  He is an artist with a skid steer.  200 yards of road base delivered with a belly dump truck.

Monday, May 1, 2017

We Have Electricity! Finally, Finally, Finally!

I was gone when Hubby pulled into the driveway and saw electric lines coming out of the meter box.  So someone from Oncor had been out to pull lines from the transformer to it.  We weren't sure who was to put in the actual meter, so he called TXU to find out and put in a request if needed.  An hour later I got home and was on the phone to a friend when I saw a truck coming down the driveway and he stopped at the transformer.  I may have shouted in her ear that I thought it was someone to put in the meter as I clicked off the phone.  (Sorry Debbie.)

Sure enough, it was a contractor for TXU here to install the meter.  He opened the meter box and said, uh oh, these wires were installed wrong by the electrician.  They are supposed to be in the bottom of the box, not the top.  Worried, I asked if that meant he couldn't put in the meter.  He said he couldn't touch the wiring because of liability.  Before he could leave, Hubby jumped in and said he would do it, and with the electric guy advising, they got it done.  Within minutes, the meter was on and we had electricity.  Beautiful, shiny, humming electricity.

We 💕 Electricity

I'm sure this guy thinks we have completely lost our marbles because we were both so excited to see him.  At one point, he looked over at us and said, "it's just electricity."   I wanted to correct him and say no,  it's not having to get up and refill the generator in the middle of the night, it's being able to stay up past dark, it's being able to turn on more than one light at a time,  and it's being able to watch tv at night without worrying about the generator.  But we just laughed and let him think we were looney.

And then we texted everyone who had been commiserating with us, and a special  thank you text to Jason who made this happen.