Wood and Stone

A site to track our progress as we build our FirstDay Cottage Canadian house kit. Come on in, get a cup of coffee, set a spell and follow along on our journey or join in if you like. Check back for the weekly update (usually by Wednesday when things are going right) to see what we are currently up to!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

See? It's for Cookie...

So the Cookie Monster left a comment that he wants more updates. I am going to try to be good about updating every week. Let's see if I can do it. The next few posts are likely to be all about siding, since that is the last big thing left on the outside of the house now. If you don't find the sight of a house slowly being covered in siding... well, you probably shouldn't be here. Me, I find the transformation of the house awesome. As Wendy said, "Just a little while ago I looked at the foam and strapping and thought, 'Wow! That looks so good. We've come so far,' but now next to the siding I think, 'Wow! That is so ugly. I can't wait until it is sided.'" The siding really transforms the house before your eyes.

We spent more time fiddling with the cuts aroudn the windows this weekend. My friend from work, Mara, came up on Saturday to help us nail up some siding, and she painted a few boards as well. We moved along the second living room window, and finally got all the way around it. The siding board on the left side of the window was a real bear - the bottom fit in but the top eouldn't make it all the way - there was a big (1/2 inch) gap at the top. After recutting it and putting it back in, it still had a 1/4 inch gap, but with some quick thinking, I cut a sliver of wood, painted it and filled in the gap nicely. No one will ever see it up over the window I bet, but now you'll know to look for it.

Sunday we spent getting over, under and around the third living room window. Wendy wasn't feeling too well (she was fighting a summer cold the kids gave her), so I did some of it by myself. It wasn't too awful and we even got a board past the window before it was time to go.

Moving right along.
We stayed at Grandma Lana's Sunday and Monday night too since she is going to see her new granddaughter (our new niece) Kai, and Wendy and the kids took her to the airport. We all went to the house on Monday night after I finished work to paint, eat pizza, and hang more siding. We got the finicky right handed piece before the dining room windows and the board before that in before it got too dark to see.

This coming weekend, Mimi and Pop are coming up to help out, and I have next week off from work. Wendy and I are going to work on the house while the kids go visit Mimi and Pop for a couple of days, and then Emmet's third birthday is the weekend after that! SHould be lots of fun and lots of progress. Until then, enjoy the end of the summer. I can't believe we are back here already, it seems like not that long ago we were racing to close the house in and now we are working toward moving in!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shut That Window!!

We had some problems with two of our windows (they had bent frames - a 5 foot double hung and a 6 foot egress slider) and FirstDay helped get the window company to give us new frames. I figured out how to change the double hung window - it is the tilt in sash variety, the sashes can be removed when tilted in, but I couldn't figure out how to take the fixed glass out of the bent frame for the egress slider. I called FirstDay again for some help, and they got me in touch with the window manufacturer (local to the Capital District believe it or not). Friday of last week, the window company sent a guy to the house to reglaze the new frame. They told me it wasn't rocket science, but you if you hadn't ever done it you wouldn't know where to begin.

The second task Saturday was putting that last window in, but the first task took precedence - moving lumber from the living room to the basement. There was still a pile of 16 foot long 2-by material in the living room upstairs, keeping things that could fit through the door from making it to the kitchen. Moving the wood is a pain, but I felt it would go into the cellar easier without the window in place, so off we went.

The last window, in.
Once we had moved all the wood, we started to put in the window. It was pretty basic, though it is the last window...and we finished it up just in time to stop for lunch. Shortly after we ate, Pop arrived. He came up the day after retuning from a week at the beach.

We set to work on turning the corner from the road side of the house to the window side with the siding. The process for the corners is scribing and cutting the boards. The siding boards are nailed into the strapping on the foam. A tip - extend the strapping out to where the corners of the foam meet or you could find yourself without anything to nail into. Once we realized, this we ended up extending the strapping we have.

Rounding the first corner with the siding.
We found ourselves short of the corner by about 8 inches. The siding boards are 5 5/8 inches wide, so that left about 2 1/2 inches to be covered at the edge. We ripped a strip the right width and length on the table saw and fit it in between the door and the corner siding piece - that way we have a full piece of siding at the edge, and the ripped piece will eventually be behind the door trim. After that we turned the corner and got the first pieces on the window side of the house.

Sunday we continued on with siding, Early on it was simple, just boards with an angle cut for the roof line and bevels where 2 boards butt vertically. When we got to the windows, things changed. We had to fit pieces between the bedroom window and the living room windows, and fit around them both on the left side. The real tricky part came with the space between the two living room windows.

We fit the siding around window #1 (closest to the road) and decided we would have to cut a piece to fit to fill the remaining two and a half inches,for the length of the window. After fighting with the piece for a bit, trying to hammer it in, we finally got it done by sliding it down into the channel frmo above using a hammer and a wood block. We think an electric hand planer would make the difference in the siding fitting easily in the channel around the windows. I am going to get one this week.

Getting siding strips between the windows is hard work.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Oh No, It's Raining Again

This past weekend was pretty rainy overall, following on the heels of a very wet week, but that is fine. With the roof on the house, the water stays out and we have plenty to do inside. Pop was up to help, and he and I tackled the stairs to the basement, while Wendy worked on the wall in the hallway.

Wendy builds up the wall between the hallway and the pantry closet.
Saturday we built a platform in the basement where the stairs will land. While thinking about the fact that the stairs come down pretty close to the sump drain in the basement floor, we decided to put a platform at the bottom of the stairs with a removable panel over the sump for access. This way there is a solid surface to come down on at the bottom of the stairs. Also, the 8 foot by 5 foot bottom step would be a nice transition to the bedrooms.

We started by framing it out in treated lumber and doubling up the framing around the sump drain lid. We then shimmed the frame into level and secured it to the concrete with tapcon screws before fitting short pieces and scraps of decking that were roughly the right size. AFter getting enough to work with for setting the stringers on, we called it a day.

A place to stand once the sump is covered.
Sunday we got up and got right to work to get a jump on the day. After re-checking the stringer calculations I got from the web with my own math, Pop and I selected 2 by 12s from the pile for stringers. We laid out the first stringer and cut it out, then we copied the second from the first by clamping the boards together and transferring the outline with a sharp pencil. By cutting that line off when we cut the stringer, it keeps the size of the stringers the same.

We put them up in the basement and put them in place with braces and scaffold nails temporarily. The next step will be securing them permanently to the concrete wall, posts, ceiling and platform, then attaching treads and kickplates.

The second set of stairs, done the right way
Meanwhile, Wendy had been hard at work cutting and fitting the pieces for that wall. By the end of Sunday she had the wall built up to above 8 feet.

A whole wall!