Time flies

I can’t believe it has been a week since I last wrote.  Brian got back last Friday and I returned from my dog sitting experience….and that it was.

The weekend was spent primarily enjoying the Jefferson County Farm Tour. We visited three farms on Saturday and six on Sunday. Didn’t think of taking pictures until the second day. Until I get them posted, you might seem them on my Facebook page.

caulking belly screwingbelly
Over the next couple of days, the Blue Heron crew continued stopping in the fixed pane windows while waiting for the awning windows and doors to come from topsider.  They also worked on trim.  Until the windows are here, they cannot do the siding.  They stopped most work before we left.

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entryJames, who is a master carpenter, was pulled off on our job site first, but before he left, he finished the cedar soffit on the entry way including a hand carved sun.  It is really quite beautiful.

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lunchbreakOne of the pleasure in working with these folks is joining in on conversations on their lunch break.

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showerglassblock
Before we left to return to CA, Brian and I finished painting the soffit and installed glass block windows.  These pictures were added to the blog later, as I did not do any updates the last few days as I was so frustrated with Topsider. We were working on the house site all by ourselves the last couple of days.

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We also finished erecting a temporary gazebo on the island.  gazeboThey say to take it down in bad weather, but it was so hard to put up that it will just stay up and if it deteriorate, that’s the way it goes.  Eventually we would like a real gazebo. There is so much duck weed in the pond that it looks like it is solid green rather than water.  That is another project to get cleaned up.IMG_7444

I can see clearly now

Brian is in San Mateo and I am housesitting/dog sitting for a new friend….quite an experience, I have never had an intimate relationship with a dog.  Unfortunately, I am getting the cold Brian has had.

IMG_7562I went back over to the house about 1.  Almost all the window openings had been uncovered.  The fixed glass panels were stopped in and about seven installed by the time I left today.

IMG_7554The roofing crew was down to two, but by the end of the day, they were generally finished, except for the trim.

Still having unacceptable experiences with Topsider.  They told me last Thursday that they would contact the local window company about the greenhouse window on Friday.  I checked with them on Monday and again today, and we heard nothing.  We also have heard nothing about the delivery of the windows. Randy spoke to the higher up today and he said he would have Al call us in 15 minutes….he didn’t.

So many men….

SandapaintsfasciaBrian and I had to do some preparatory work over the weekend getting ready for all the work that was to happen this week…..when all we really wanted to do was to go to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend.  On Saturday, we went to Home Depot to finally choose the colors for our house.  On Sunday we painted the fascia.  The fascia needed to be painted before the roofers could begin their work on Monday and also before the gutters can go on.  Also the gutter folks need to know our colors.  The gutters go on before the siding can go up, and the siding goes up after the windows are installed.  I have a picture of his painting, too….but I am so rarely in a picture.

I woke up Monday morning and went out to the job site with the feeling of wow, so many men, yesterday and today, working for me.

Randy was there with his Blue Heron crew with at four men and the roofing company was there with at least four, maybe five….they move to fast.

FullSizeRender_4 FullSizeRender_3On Monday, the Blue Heron crew worked on duct work, fascia, installing skylight and solar tube, and a few other odds and ends.

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The roofers, after attaching a metal edge around the roof, were putting down the roofing shingles.

At 4:30, as all of the workers were leaving, the rain started.  It was not a light drizzle like Brian and I experienced on Sunday, but a huge thunderstorm.  I wondered whether all the openings made in the roof were adequately protected.

Tuesday, Blue Heron finished up those projects from the day before closing in the skylight and solar tube and Randy and James began stopping in the windows. OK, let me explain that very strange process….another concern in working with Topsider as I sure did not know they were doing this.  Many of my windows were designed to have an awning window on the top and fixed glass on the bottom.  There is really only one typical double hung window…in the laundry room.  So after two previous wrong tries about the kind on windows I wanted….as mentioned in an earlier post, they finally ordered the wood clad windows I wanted from Milgard.  They are wood on the inside and fiberglass on the outside.  I was trying to decide between brown or green when they went ahead and ordered the brown.  That was probably my second choice, but  was ok with it, until I found out all the fixed glass windows….were not windows and not ordered from Milgard, but double panes, sealed, but not framed, sent from Topsider.  FullSizeRenderThat means that the crew needs to put wood on the outside, place the glass, and wood on the inside to hold it….all with caulking of course.  It means that there is a whole lot more labor involved which costs me, not Topsider; and it is a very old school way of making windows.  They also sent lengths of LP Smartside to use as stops, when Randy felt it should at least be clear cedar.  FullSizeRender_1He spoke to Gary, the construction supervisor at Topsider, and he said that he had originally felt the same way, but visited the LP factory and was convinced of the strength of that material.  Randy still asked us to sign a waiver not holding him responsible if that material does not hold up.  And even more than all these cost and construction woes, this also means, they will not look like the other windows.  It was good though to see and opening in that plastic vapor barrier.  The house has been wrapped for weeks.

FullSizeRender_2The roofers continued putting down shingles.  I don’t know why the original designer of octagon homes thought they would be cheaper to build.  It is more intricate and there is so much waste.  I guess they didn’t use sheet goods in the 19th century.

Meanwhile, I was away most of the day taking Brian to the Bainbridge ferry so he could fly back to San Francisco to take care of some maintenance issues in our community in San Mateo.  He had also hoped to fly to Denver to visit his son and grandson, but wasn’t feeling well and did not want to share a cold with the kids.  I am also not clear there is enough time.

Fascia and friends…

installingfasciaToday the Blue Heron crew of two continued to work on the fascia.  One of the two had not been on site before and enjoyed seeing our unique home, he called it round.  It was also pleasant chatting with him during one of their breaks. It is also cool watching how they work together.blueheronmenconsult

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Yesterday we had quite a delightful time visiting Chimacum Woods, an amazing rhododendron nursery,and making new friends. Bob started it 40 years ago. (More later…just wanted to get this started.)

gazeboBrian and I finished putting up the gazebo on the island….found out some call it meditation island.

We also spent some time with a young man with whom we have been talking about living here

First day with real construction progress….though full week

Let me tell you some of what has been happening since I last wrote over a week ago.

Despite warnings of lots of rain and heavy winds, Saturday we headed into Seattle to meet with one of the Permaculture gurus, one of strongest advocate for rocket stoves and hugelkulture, Paul Wheaton, and with local permies.  The event was organized on his permie forum when he wrote that he was going to be in Seattle for the day and asked if folks would like to get together for a potluck and chatting.  We were offered a ride from the ferry dock in Edmunds, so only had to drive about 20 miles to Kingston.  It was a great day with about 30 folks.  Maybe I will write more about that later.

When we returned Saturday evening, we saw many downed trees and discovered that most of west Jefferson County, as well as other parts of western Washington, were without power.  Since we are in a trailer, we have some lights that run on batteries, so that was OK.  The biggest challenge was not having running water as there was no power to our well.  We do have “agricultural water” which comes in a culvert from a nearby spring which we were able to boil and use.  Well, not having internet was a challenge too as Brian had a big project to work on. Most people in Port Townsend had power back that evening and we got regular reports on where they were working, but we were one of the last areas. We didn’t get power until Tuesday night and spent Sunday and Tuesday afternoon at the library using the internet.

It was kind of funny, because the electricians came back on Monday morning to do a little work without checking to see if we had power.  There is a small generator here so they were able to use that as were the heating folks who stopped by briefly on Tuesday.

And the rains continued….and continued.  I shouldn’t complain as we certainly needed it.  Today was the first day without rain, and Randy and one of his crew were here beginning to put up the fascia.  The roofing contractor also stopped by to get some final measurements and expects to work on the roof next week after the fascia is finished.

We also had two folks come by, one last Friday, and one today, to give an estimate on drywall.  It is a pretty daunting task and they both had a somewhat different approach so it will be interesting to see how they come up with bids.

In the late afternoon, Brian and I continued the work on the gazebo on the island, until we ran out of light.  I am starting this, when I should be starting dinner.