The race against the
clock fall rains is over. We had pleasant showers last night and the region’s most esteemed meteorologist says that’s it: Summer is officially done and we’ll be seeing a lot more such “pleasantness.”
After darned near doing myself in on Wednesday, I slowed my pace of work. As a result there’s still miscellaneous trim, touch-up, and clean-up remaining. But I did finish the gutters at 2:00 yesterday afternoon, a few hours before light rain moved in. That was the last big, important thing — the last thing that couldn’t somehow be made to fit between showers.
Then — sigh — in the evening I checked them and discovered one long span wasn’t working properly.
Given the put-together nature of Ye Olde Wreck, which began life as one big room and later had six additions tacked onto it (somewhat randomly in several cases), most spans of gutter have been short — 14 to 16 feet, which falls into the “even a girl can do it” range. None of the gutter work has been fun exactly. But only the 28-foot span across the front of the house was really, truly hard and really, truly not a one-person task.
That span was made more difficult by a roofline best described as funky (since kerflotchy caused too much consternation). I thought I could visually straighten the worst funkitude with my gutter layout. But alas, Yogi Berra was right: “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”
This morning I had to go out and deliberately make the gutter look worse.
It doesn’t look so horrible in photos:
In person, though, I cringe at every dip and rise. All that work! Only to look as if somebody halfassed the job.
The Wandering Monk and I might be able to work together to remove the worst funkiness while still getting a good slope toward the downspout. If nothing else, I could paint the gutters (next year!) the same color as the fascia boards so they wouldn’t stand out so grossly. But right now I’m Homeowner Heartbroken.
I must remind myself what a huge improvement five years (and 4.25 months) have made, even with all remaining flaws. Here’s the before:
The last bit of gutter I installed was a small span on the unregarded east side:
That, too (having been painted, trimmed, and guttered this summer and excavated out of the mud a couple of years ago, thank you, Monk and friends), is worlds beyond what it was:
The before photos don’t show how horrendous it really was. The slopes came so steeply down against the house on the east and north sides that when I walked around the house to inspect it I had to brace myself against the walls for support, as I couldn’t stand fully upright. And oh, the ratty tarps and the rusty nails and bugs and … shudder!
So yes, I’ll get over being disappointed about wavy gutters (which don’t look too bad on the east side, and are fine everywhere else). Oh, and on the front side, you may have noticed that there’s one drop with no downspoout attached. That, per Pat’s suggestion, is where I’ll try out a rain chain.
But right now, after all that huge push-push-push to complete all the major exterior work, I’m feeling a bit let down.
Oh, so here’s something nice. This is for Joel, who keeps asking. But also for the future. You can see that this is undone. But I hope you can see that the new faux greenhouse window the Monk created for me is going to be wonderful.
And it’s all made possible by the dear readers and supporters of the Living Freedom blog.