Monday, August 26, 2013

Are We Done Yet???

We've all road tripped with children or in our case, an immature adult (me) that has whined those terrible words..."Are We There YET?"  The initial anticipation has worn off but you aren't quite close enough to see the finish line.  That's where we are right now.

Tons of progress has been made but at a great cost.  We are tired.  Putting in a full work day, especially in 90 degree weather is tough.  So we do what we can and quit when we're exhausted.  The weekend saw many accomplishments but they were the kind that are hard to see.

Brent and his dad finished the roof so we are 100% complete there.

I picked up 4 windows from Craigslist for a total of $70.  They were unfinished and the perfect size!

It took the entire weekend to work on the window frames and sashes.  TEDIOUS!  The fun part was painting the windows this gorgeous shade of blue green.  It's called High Tide.

It was tricky to get an accurate picture of the color because it was really dark out the morning I started painting.  I took this one Sunday night and it's a little more representative of the color.

Priming and painting these took FOREVER - and I'm still only half done.  I taped off each pane of glass on these to minimize the amount of scraping I would have to do.  After taping them off, they needed a coat of primer and two super thin coats of exterior paint.

While I was waiting for coats of paint to dry on the windows, I worked on the three coats of paint the window frames needed.  That meant filling all the holes and seams with paintable caulk.

A final coat of exterior trim paint goes on after caulking is complete.  

The east side of the shed needed the soffit installed before we can install the siding this coming weekend, so Brent tackled that along with replacing a few pieces of rotted siding.

From anyone else's perspective, it looks like a whole lotta nothing got done this weekend.  And for a while, we were moving so slow that I may or may not have almost cried.  This is a ton of work and feels like we are still so far away.  The groundwork has been laid for siding though and we should see some huge changes next weekend.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Marathon Week

Nope, we're not running a marathon.  We tried to train for a 5k once together.  Miserable.  We pretty much just got angry at one another for talking each other into it.  We would jog and argue, saying this was a terrible idea and why were we doing it.  But we got through it.  Jogging is not our thang.  Long walks we can do, bikes we can do, jogging makes us angry.

But it is a marathon work week for us!  If we don't stay on top of our daily to-do list, the siding project won't be complete by the end of Labor Day weekend.  Which means we have to put in some serious hours on the shed in the evenings.  Having our plan in place makes it easy for each of us to know what the evenings accomplishments must be.  Here's roughly how our evenings look this week:

530-6 dinner
6-730 work on the shed
730-745 shower the filth away
745-8 pajama the children
8-815 work on reading skills, then kids to bed
815-830 CANDY CRUSH!!!
830 lights out.

Here are a few pics showing this weeks progress.

This is what our poor innocent siding used to look like.

And here's what it looks like after I get through with it!

Here's one of the windows framed in.


I've got a few nails to pull...

It's a crazy pace but we hope this extra work now will set us up for a more laid back fall.  Brent does need to get his calendar cleared out in time for college football season.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

An Attempt To Slow Down

Emma started school on Monday.  Every parent know how crazy school days are.  A rush from sun up to sun down.  Showers, breakfast, drop offs, pick ups, dinner, home work and hopefully some family time before bed.  That's not to mention the other dreadful household stuff that needs attention - laundry, dishes, cleaning.  Uggck...the list goes on.

So the night before school started, Brent and I made the decision that we were just going to have to vow to stay away from working on projects at night after work.  We are just too busy to try to squeeze home improvement in plus keep up with our other responsibilities.

So Emma went to school on Monday and we all walked up there to pick her up.  Dinner was a lovely affair around the table talking about our day.  The kids finished and left the table and Brent and I were left alone.  Our eyes met, they were filled with desire.  Desire for our shed.  I was the first to speak, " on the shed tonight??"  Brent timidly replied, "Yeah, do you want to?"  And that was all it took.  Picture us grabbing our hammers and skipping out the patio door to go build stuff together, filled with delight.

We knew our time was limited.  If anything was going to happen, it needed to happen hard and fast.  Brent decided to tackle the new windows.  They needed to be cut into the north side of the building.

While Brent was framing out the windows, I grabbed my pry bar and started ripping old siding off the north face of the shed.  It's pretty thin stuff so it came off pretty easily.  In hindsight, we are so glad we took it off because it exposed a few pieces of rotted sheathing that we can easily replace now.

Ripping all the siding off, picking it up and hauling it into our mini-van for future disposal took me an hour...not bad!

Brent got his windows cut in and they are going to look great!

Here is sort of what it will look like with our new windows.

Can you see that rotted sheathing at the bottom?

And a few interior pictures to show you how much extra light we will gain.

Our attempt to slow down and take it easy was an epic fail.  We can't help it...this is what we love to do and the progress we see is like an addictive drug.  Plus, neither of us want to stare at a back yard eyesore for any longer than we need to, which is the best motivation you can get.  I can't promise that it will happen like this every night and I suppose before we know it, it will be dark by 6pm so then we'll be trapped in the house.  Not looking forward to that day but I bet our pile of laundry will appreciate the attention.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Oops, We Did It Again

You've heard the adage "measure twice, cut once", well, we should have measued at least once and then ordered siding.  Usually we are over prepared for everything but this time we weren't.  A few weeks ago, we went to Menards after work to shop for the siding for the front of the shed.  The only measurements we had were the size of siding we would need to match the existing siding.  Guess we should have figured out how many pieces we were going to need.

So there we are, at the materials desk, trying to figure out how much we needed to order - because of course they don't stock what we need, it HAD to be a special order, which also means you can't return the excess.  Our calculations pointed at 20 pieces of 12' long siding.  So that's what we ordered.

Turns out we only needed 8 pieces to do the front.  Oops.  Now we have 12 pieces of siding laying on our shed floor.  12 pieces is enough to do almost an entire side of the shed.

After crunching some numbers, 'cause you know how much I love to do that, we decided it would only take about an additional $320 to purchase enough siding to do the remainder of the building.  Long term, this will be a better choice because even though I scraped and scraped and scraped, it's still not enough.  More paint will peel eventually and there are deep gouges where big pieces of old paint have come off.  That is going to make for an incredibly uneven top coat.  

When I went to Menard's to place my additional order, I was given a pretty clear sign that we had made the right choice.  The siding was now on sale for $1 off per piece!  So I saved $40 on my new order and then took my receipt to customer service for a price adjustment on my previous order, which added an additional $20 to my savings.  While I was waiting for that, something caught my eye.  Nope, it wasn't a golden ticket, it was even better...REBATE RECEIPT!!!  The rebate was going to give me and additional $1.50 off each piece.  Put another $90 in my pocket!  Total savings today of $150.00.  That means we re-sided the entire shed for under $330.00.  Not too shabby.

The plan is to finish the remainder of the siding over Labor Day Weekend.  Plenty has to happen before then.  Here's our up to date list broken into small pieces that we can accomplish each night to stay on our timeline:

Remove north wall siding - done

Rough in north windows - done

Remove east wall siding - done

Rough in south wall windows

Remove south wall siding

Install east wall soffit

Install vertical 1x4 trim on the corners (must be primed first)

Trim out north windows - half done

Trim out south windows

A first I was feeling guilty about not keeping the existing siding but now with all the additional savings, the project became more affordable.  This new siding should also make the shed fairly maintenance free for the next 5 years or so because it won't require touch up paint.

So what turned out to be a silly mistake by over ordering on our part will end up being the best thing that ever happened to this shed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How Ex-Siding!!!

Get it...ex-siding...exciting...  

You guessed it, we spent Sunday gettin' our siding on!  Of course like any home improvement project, 10 other projects had to be done first in order to do said project.  In preparation for siding we had to finish the front soffit.

Then we had to put 1x4 vertical trim on the front corners to cover the seams where the building was cut into pieces in order to move them.

Then the peak needed trim...

And FINALLY we could start with siding!!  Cement board siding is easy to work with if you have the right tools.  We rented a roofing nailer from ABC Rentals for $25 for two days and borrowed a side grinder from our neighbor to cut it.

I did the cutting while Brent tacked the siding up.  The whole front of the building only took about an hour and a half.

Halfway up, we set up some scaffolding to make it easier to reach the top.

And before we knew it, we were done!

The soffit looks even more amazing with the siding and trim.

By this point we were beyond exhausted so we called it a day at 2pm and took the kids to the park to play football.  Correction...Brent played football with them.  I fell asleep watching them while sitting in my comfy camping chair.  Hope I wasn't open mouth sleeping in front of the general public at the park!

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Feel Pretty

Oh so pretty...

I was singing that song as Brent cut in the first new window.  He reminded me of Maria from West Side Story peering out at the world.  I'm sure you can see the resemblance.

Brent is no stranger to the camera.  He started his modeling career as an infant but it was this next shot that catapulted him straight to the runways of Milan...

That glare is cold as ice and those glasses are smokin hot!!

But back to the matter at hand...we "prettied up" the shed a little bit today.  You'll remember the original garage had two windows in it, one on the north wall and one on the south.

Our plan was to get rid of those windows and purchase 4 new ones so we could install 2 on each side.  They also needed to open so Brent's workshop doesn't turn into Brent's sweatshop.  We figured we could make them work near the front doors and with some added hinges, would be able to swing open for ventilation.

Here are the original windows before cleanup..

The kids and I hosed them down and scrubbed the dirt off.

The windows were in decent shape but still needed a few minutes of scraping and sanding.  This is my 5 in 1 that goes with me everywhere.  I use it for openings paint cans, banging them shut, scraping paint and caulk and cleaning paint rollers.

I started by scraping any peeling paint.

Then I used an orbital sander to get the rest nice and smooth where paint had built up over the years.  Clamping the window to the picnic table frees up your hands to apply more pressure to the sander.

It only took a few minutes to sand each one and they were ready for a primer coat.  There's no need to be careful cutting in around the muntins, a razor blade will easily clean them up when all painting is complete.

While I was painting, Brent was framing in the windows.

It took us a good portion of the day to get the windows in...turns out old windows aren't exactly square so it takes a decent amount of work to make them LOOK square.  And I think we were working at a more leisurely pace compared to the last two weeks.