Monday, April 26, 2010

Roofs and Neighbors

We have a neighbor down the hill whom we like very much, and one day he called to say that the new roof we put on our old barn (at left above) reflects the sun pretty severely into his eyes at certain times of the day. Ugh..... We love the standing seam roof: not only does it match the silos, not only does it remind me of the farmhouses of my youth, not only is it durable, relatively permanent and green (for its heat reflectivity), and not only is it beautiful, it has an authenticity that defies the transient nature of the everyday. It is real.
And to our neighbor's disappointment, we had already ordered the roofing material: it was sitting in the roofer's garage awaiting the trimming of the building, and some decent weather. Finally, the clouds drifted away and the roofers got to it, making quick work of the main roof, holding off of the carport roof until the bookending of that structure is complete.
I do think the neighbor will be ok with this roof, as it is parallel to his view of it, so the sun won't glance off of it at the proper angle. I don't know about the other neighbors though....

Lawn Ornaments

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Protecting the House

In that the modules were delivered in January, and the inside is fully drywalled and primed, there was a bit of stress every time it rained this winter. The house is wrapped in building wrap, and the roof has ice and water shield over it's entire surface, but we have enormous winds over our hilltop, and some of the wraps blew off. Segalla has gamely re-covered it, not once not twice, but three times and finally resorted to attaching battens over the whole house to pin it down.

The first order of business was to get some windows in the holes. We ordered a month in advance 16 out-swing French casement windows. We found some that don't have a vertical bar in the middle, so when they open, they truly open with no dividers. Ours are big, and they sit 27" from the floor, so the view is unobstructed when one is sitting or standing. They showed up a week after the house, and Segalla's men quickly and expertly dropped them in place.Thank goodness, for then it rained and blew and rained and blew....... and finally, the clouds broke, the fog lifted, and the sun came up.

Time to side the building!!!!

I've said I like things like a thoroughbred - high and tight - and the siding is an important part of that. I want it smooth, almost seamless, but with a little relief. And, given the high winds we have, it must be dead-eye tight. After some tossing and turning, and getting as many varying viewpoints as there are people in the world, I decided to go with shiplap siding, hung atypically in horizontal fashion, with the smooth side out. This way, painting would be a snap, and looking down the house, you even pick up some reflectivity.
I also decided to furr out the siding 1/4" from the sheathing, so that if water did penetrate the gaps, it would just run down the back of the siding and out, as opposed to just sitting there soaking the house and forming mold. I ordered the siding and had the supplier pre-prime it on both sides so the wood would remain stable and avoid cupping.
I needed some help with this - the work is substantial, and a bit dangerous, given the heights. I interviewed about 8 crews for this, and it made me a bit crazy. Guys out there still think $45/hour is their due, even if they aren't working and nothing is in sight. One guy about pushed me to the edge and I wanted to start throwing blows. He walked slow, talked slow, and gave me attitude about all the work I needed to do before he came. He stood there stupidly, and said he'd like $50/hr. I asked if he had a crew. "No, I work alone." Well, I'm thinking, he really thinks I'm going to pay him to cut a board, drag it up one end of a ladder and tack it up, then climb down same ladder and go up another ladder and tack in the other end, then go down and relocate the ladder at least 3 more times for this board. And for 1000 more boards. At $50/hr.! I really wanted to clock him, but I just turned away as he started whining about working cheaper for cash....

Finally, I found a can-do guy with a "no prob" attitude, who was willing to work cheaper because he recognized the economy and needed the work. I hired him, he rounded up his buddies, and he started promptly. Sometimes the work seems to go a little slowly, but he has proven to be exacting and careful and the result has been superb in every way.

And looky there.... a little bit of roof has shown up!