Sorry for the lack of updates on the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project, and for the lack of photos now. On Thursday we (and this time it was both The Wandering Monk and me in equal measure) finally entered the “hey, there might really be a house in all this mess” stage.
In May and July we labored painfully on the foundation and rotted lower walls of the back wing. Necessary, of course. But hard, scary, and mostly not gratifying. That is, not aesthetically gratifying (except for that new bedroom wall with the glass door in it). It’s intellectually pleasing to know my abode is less likely to collapse in a heap of termites. But very little of it was pretty (unless you have an unusual appreciation for the sight of pressure-treated beams and house jacks).
Last week we finally began final framing/siding. Naturally it went slower than hoped. Only Thursday afternoon did we finally — finally! — begin hanging siding on the west wall.
The north wall behind the bathroom, the hardest part of this phase, still needs repair before siding. But now when I step out my back door, I see one real wall. After four years of looking (at various stages) at warped and moldy fiberboard inside the creepy not-a-garage, exposed stud walls, rotted timbers, patchwork repairs, then a year of (oh so posh) shredding tar paper over the patchwork, the west wall is done. Except for a few little details and the big detail of painting and putting up trim.
Painting and trim are my jobs. As is shingling the wall between the bedroom and the screen porch.
Friday morning I launched myself into trying to do it all, filled with such excitement I thought I’d work like a Tasmanian devil all weekend.
Instead I found myself waking inert and depressed both mornings. I lay awake Friday and Saturday nights, mulling the many complications that remain on the north side, the many puzzle pieces that must somehow come together in a project that often feels like assembling a house out of spare parts. Once I’d mulled my way to morning tea, I felt overwhelmed by both the puzzles and the money drain and longed to spend the day in bed playing freecell on my computer.
Of course I’m not going to do that. Yesterday I caulked and shingled. Today it’s a little shingling, a lot of painting, a little trim, a bit of anti-rot treatment, and a daylight study of those puzzles that blighted my nights.
I can’t get good pictures for you yet because in the busyness and brain-drain of the project we haven’t kept up with cleaning the construction site. The lot is strewn with rotted wood, old pipes, chunks of concrete, cut-up lumber, crumpled plastic sheeting, scraps of insulation, gallons of bug spray and copper treatment, ladders and tools, siding removed and siding and skirting not yet installed. This week will end with one grand clean-up and haul-away, but we neglected to keep good order as we went along and now face the resulting unphotogenic chaos.
You can bet I’ll have pix, pix, pix once we clear a path to take them.
After this there’s one more summer project to go: finishing the grading and drainage correction behind the house. The way I feel now, I don’t know whether I’ll have the oomph for it. Thanks to the standard construction complications (plus unpleasant surprises from both the plumber and the electrician), I’m not sure the generously donated/loaned money will hold out, either. But the money will at least be close. Very close. My energy? Not even!