I haven’t done a house-project update in a while. Partly that’s because there’s been little to show. Between my travels and The Wandering Monk trying to get out of the construction trade, projects have been few.
I remember a lot of you said you like watching Ye Olde Wreck progressing over the years into Mo Saoirse Hermitage. So here’s something that’s not exactly new but is suddenly making summer progress. And it was pretty cool when it was new — last October.
I didn’t tell you about this then because … well, I blush. It was one of the few things ever that I just went out and bought. No DIY. No scrounging. No thrift stores. No bleg. I just saved up and had somebody else do all the work.
After nearly eight years of shifting drywall, 2x4s, doors, spare fixtures, and tools from one room of the house to another as new parts of the house turned from disasters into rooms, and with no more pure-junk areas left for storage, I was in desperate need of storage and work space. I tried to cajole the Monk into helping me build a shed I’d designed, but he made it clear it would be a minor martyrdom (“I’ll do it because you ask, but …”).
So I specced a shed from a vendor … and then waited. And waited. And waited (not realizing that the supply-chain problems, shortages, and soaring costs that have marked 2021 were already abuilding in the summer of 2020 when I placed my order.
Not until fall did the Red Truck of Happiness arrive. But then I not only got a great shed, but quite a show.
One pickup truck. One guy. Three sheds (two intended for other destinations). And one absolutely amazing trailer.
That’s my shed, on the back.
Those are other people’s sheds levitating over my house.
Lifting sheds higher than my house was only part of what that amazingly articulated trailer could do. It could pivot without the truck moving and it had inline adjustments that could slide the shed in any direction, by feet or inches, as it lowered its delivery to the ground. (I’d been worried whether the shed would be perfectly aligned with my house; that trailer could have aligned it to the width of a hamster’s whisker.)
I liked my new shed. Although the construction wasn’t exactly what you’d call polished, it was sound and sturdy and the interior was full of usefulness (two lofts! high ceilings! workbench!) and light.
The exterior wasn’t bad, either. No, it didn’t match the style of the house as well as my own design would have. But hey, I got to be a spectator instead of a construction minion, so that was something.
I don’t think I’ll ever get that trailer divot out of the lawn, though. That was a lot of weight to push across some rather soft soil.
The siding had been treated, so the vendor told me to wait a year before painting the exterior.
Not quite a year, but I finally find myself with a free month at home, so yesterday I decided to start.
No big deal, I figured. Half a day to prime the whole thing, half a day to paint the body, another half day of trim. No sweat.
I forgot how totally painting with primer SUCKS. I forgot how thirstily T1-11 sucks primer.
This is how far I got my first half day. After three hours …
Four-and-a-half hours …
I quit. That’s too much like work. Too much going up and down ladders. Too much being up in the sky on ladders while trying to pay attention to something other than my prospects of crashing to earth. And I may never get all that oil-based KILZ primer out of my hair, my skin, my landscaping.
Today was much more gratifying.
And there we’ve come full circle. From the unfinished shed of last October with the pathetic drying straggles of last summer’s crocosmia framing it to the will-it-ever-be-finished shed of this July with this summer’s blazing, blooming, hummingbird-attracting crocosmia in full display.
So there’s a little update for all you Ye Olde Wreck project fans. And believe it or not I should have another small one within the month.
But for you who wonder why such homey stuff matters when the world is collapsing around us, it’ll probably be back to more of the usual subjects next week when I blog again.