Whew. Another weekend away from the computer, working outdoors. After feeling like a vampire bat in a cave of gloom for nine months, it sure feels good to work in the sunshine. Or even in the slightly-less-wet gloom, which is what we had yesterday.
The Wandering Monk finished his part of the east wall project on Friday, then returned yesterday at no charge to remove the scaffolding and help with a few extra bits. Nice guy, that Monk.
Since then I’ve been painting trim.
There is a lot of trim on this house. It’s very good at covering old idiocies left behind by Jim Beam and Jack Daniel.
I’ll have more pix when I’m done painting.
‘Round 3:00 I knocked off for the day, then indulged in some Chinese take-out (mmmmm, mu shu chicken). That was nice until I cracked open the fortune cookie:
Good time? Back to work? I think not, Cookie People. In fact, I think no freakin’ way.
I was in and out of the lumber yard all weekend. And it was dead. Dead, dead, dead. I’ve never seen it so empty on a nice summer weekend.
Between Trump’s trade wars and last year’s wildfires, the price of building materials is is insane — between 30% and 100% more than it was just a couple of years ago, and it’s reached the point where people are deferring projects.
Their yard manager told me they’ve been doing a balancing act keeping inventory in — ordering enough to meet the low demand but trying to buy enough not to make the prices even worse than they are. A neighbor who works at the lumberyard said he couldn’t even think about home improvement this year, even though he and his wife are DIY devotees.
Fortunately my summer work is mostly labor-intensive and/or being done with leftover materials, but even minor stuff delivers jolts of sticker shock. Example: The 64 feet of 1 x 6 trim we’ll need for the next phase of the project will run in the vicinity of $175. Yikes. Scary. We’ve decided to scrounge the rest of the soffit boards from old sheets of T1-11 I had stashed in Neighbor J’s garage. Not pretty, but better than the alternative.
I’m glad this is almost over.
It’s only going to get worse now that Redding’s burning — though of course the cost of construction materials are the least of the problems for those poor folks.
Mr. Trump, you picked a hell of a time to make wood products even more expensive with your tariffs and trade wars.