Insulation is also for soundproofing.

insideinsulationToday Brian and I focused on putting up the interior insulation which hopefully makes it a quiet house.  We had already started on it on Wednesday and were only going to do the parts where there would be drywall on both sides, leaving the parts where it will only be on one side because there is a tile wall (which we will be doing) until later, but since we had open bags, we continued the process insulating almost every wall in the house.  We finally stopped about 6 so we could go to Home Depot to buy OSB for the shear walls which we need to put in tomorrow.  We will have to get an inspection on them before the dry wall crew can start.

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All closed up…

BRFrenchdoorThey have been working on installing the doors for the past three days and all the doors from Topsider are now installed….and Brian put on the door knobs.

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On Thursday while they were doing all that, I drove to Bremerton about a half hour south and went with Kim, Lanny’s daughter, to Westport to pick up a couch I bought off of Craigslist and then to Ocean Shores and on to her little vacation trailer in Copalis Beach, which she needed to get ready for winter….at least turning on the heat.  Grays_Harbor_WA_MapIt was a 2-1/2 hour drive to the southwest corner of the state..  The beach was quite amazing to me as you can drive along it for quite a distance.  She said it is packed with people in the summer, but it was almost empty as we got there just before the early winter sunset.

The county signed off on our exterior insulation yesterday and I advised the dry waller who will have dry wall delivered next Tuesday and they will probably begin hanging on Wednesday.  He came over today and we went over where we want drywall and where we don’t. We have to finish the inside insulation before then and just realized we need to put up the sheer walls and get them inspected before the dry wall can start.  Brian and I will work on all that over the weekend.  He also needs to add shims to all the corner posts so the dry wall can have a level plane on which to be installed.

I really wanted to put tongue and groove wood on the ceiling in some of the rooms, but was advised to just go ahead and do the drywall and then in the future, when we have the time and energy, we may choose to put wood over it, but meanwhile we will have a finished ceiling.

sealingfrontdoorRandy needs to leave for two weeks on Monday, and did not have the opportunity to finish rebuilding our antique front door, so just nailed a piece of plywood on for the next couple of weeks.  He made sure the other doors were complete.

Another thing that has to happen before the drywall, aka sheetrock, is that the place needs to basically be empty and cleaned up.  We began doing that today.  The crew from Blue Heron took away many of their tools and others, particularly ones that we will need to use, are stored in a job box which is on wheels so it can remain.

I was also hoping to do some exterior painting over the weekend, but rain is forecast.  I sure hope Michael, our caretaker, can be available to do some of the painting, as well as priming the drywall.  I would hate to see the siding go all winter without being painted.

Of course, before the siding can be painted, it needs to be hung and before it can be hung, the windows need to be installed.  But….but….but, they still have not arrived. The last we heard from Topsider, they were suppose to have been shipped two weeks ago, but we have heard nothing, including not getting a tracking number.  Both Randy and I have called and emailed and no response.  I love having an octagon house, but I sure can’t recommend the customer service of Topsider.

We will be leaving Monday or Tuesday, and this is the last time we will be here in 2015.  So much left to do.

The doors have finally arrived

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Randy arrived shortly after 8 saying that he had heard from the trucking company and the doors could arrive anytime.  I started making our breakfast when we heard that the trucker was here and after exploring our long dirt driveway with a turnaround, he had decided that it was unlikely he could turn around and that he would back all the way in.  As much trouble as I have backing a car, I cannot imagine backing a full size tractor trailer. Well he got almost all the way back when he had to go around a gentle curve and he drove the tractor off the road onto too soft of the side….its been raining for about four days, and was stuck.  He detached the trailer and one of the Blue Heron guys towed him out with his 4 WD pickup.  It was quite an effort for him to line up again with the trailer to hook it up.  He then pulled back out the driveway and unloaded the crate with three single doors and two sets of French doors near the road.  IMG_7822Eventually they moved them back to the job site and after a lunch break had set them near each opening.  That left them with very little time to install doors.

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IMG_7835 IMG_7834 IMG_7833 IMG_7825They started doing one of the single doors, but I requested that they put in the French door in our bedroom so we would have more light to work as that doorway has had a dark tarp over it.  The height of the opening was too large and they added a 2×6 on top and did get the door installed.  By then it was 4:00.  They will be back tomorrow and hopefully be able to do all the rest of the doors.

6 Days and still hanging insulation

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First I checked with Randy to see if he expected the doors as they were promised by the local moving company on Monday.  He was told that were brought to Port Angeles, 50 miles west, and would be delivered here tomorrow afternoon…..it has taken them longer to get it from Seattle than it did from North Carolina to Seattle.

We began our work day in the last bedroom and later in the afternoon, moved to the somewhat more complicated foyer.  These last three days have been just Brian and I.  I have been measuring and cutting, and he is installing.

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saladWe finally had a break for lunch, or was it dinner at around 4:00.  It is always an interesting challenge coming up with a meal with the somewhat more limited stock of food that I have in the trailer.  I decided to make a salad with spring greens, tomatoes from the garden, goat cheese, walnuts, pecans, avocado, dried shallots, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. At the last minute, I decided to fry up some of the amazing vegetarian sausage I had discovered at Costco about 10 days ago, then stirred in their equally amazing chipotle/raspberry sauce which I discovered in the spring.

Still have to go back and finish that foyer….but took a moment to start this.IMG_7808 IMG_7807

Still hanging insulation

It has now been three days that Brian and I have been working on installing installation.  Yesterday Michael was still here to help, but ended up leaving last night instead of over the weekend as we originally thought. His presence was definitely missed.  Sarah came over to help for a few hours yesterday and today.  She probably does not know it, but she increases my I can do it attitude. I began the project by writing down the sizes of all the additional pieces needed.  It was an incredible number.  insulationmeasureThe way Topsider frames these walls seems unnecessarily complicated with few sections actually using a full 15 inch width of a batt of drywall (16 inch centers)….and there were even a few sections larger than 15 inches.  A wall might have a 6, 7, 8, 9, and 15 inch when it could have had 3-15 inch sections, for instance.

Randy came over today, too despite his lingering cold and continued working on the antique front door.  It needs lots of fitting to seal properly in the jamb and also trimming to go over an airtight threshold.

Wednesday morning the doors made it to Kent, but then did not move all day.  Wednesday night we heard that they were not going to be delivered to the site, and I frantically contacted Topsider.  They found out that UPS was transferring them to a local trucking company and expected them to be picked up on Thursday morning and still delivered on Friday.  Randy called them Thursday and was told to call back Friday at 7am.  He did and was told that they were not picked up by the local company on Thursday but would be today and be delivered on Monday…..another delay.  Hopefully the windows will arrive next week as well.

Arithmetic is useful



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Arithmetic is useful, particularly fractions and measuring skills.  Today we worked on installing the insulation in the outside walls.  Not being personally that use to physical labor, it may have been one of the hardest work days of my life, but it was a very satisfactory experience.  I was responsible for measuring the openings and deciding how to distribute the batts, making the best use of the materials possible.IMG_7793 I shared responsibility with Brian for measuring and cutting the batts.  Brian shared responsibility with Michael installing the batts.  Unlike the videos, we had very few framed sections that were full width of the batts and if, for instance, we were cutting one 9 inches wide, I tried to find a spot for the 6 inch piece that remained.  Also, I think there was only one opening in the entire house that did not have wiring and/or plumbing running through it.  I was surprised that the fiberglass was not the level of irritant I had read about.  We only wore dust masks and gloves….and heavy long sleeve shirts….and no itching.  Well Michael had a real respirator.IMG_7794


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Gab and James were also here for the day.  I believe James was putting up siding. Gab was caulking every spot where two pieces of siding came together, or siding and corner boards,  or siding and belly board, or numerous other joints.  There are lots and he was working on that all day.

Randy was suppose to come by in the afternoon, but he was feeling ill.  Topsider sent us the tracking number for the doors this morning, and I found out that they arrived in Kent before dawn this morning.  However, I have not received further notice of their movement.  UPS says that they will be here tomorrow afternoon.  It also says there is one crate that weighs over 1500 pounds.  I wonder how it will be unloaded.  Hopefully it is a regular UPS truck which can make it up our driveway.  Once there was a delivery of equipment in a very large tractor trailer truck and we had to meet them off site to unload.

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Another hurdle is passed

Well Brian worked until 11 last night on caulking the floor joint.  He continued about 9 this morning.  Randy arrived about that time with some more spray foam insulation and I finished sealing all the gaps.  Then we just waited for the county inspector.  I was in the trailer when he came so missed him.  We passed the air seal inspection and he said we did a great job.  That means we can begin putting in insulation and we expect to start on that tomorrow.  Michael can help us for three or four days and my new friend Sarah, who encouraged me because she said she did her own house and it was easy….though of course, a couple of decades ago, said she may be able to come over on Thursday to help.

I think it may be an intermediary inspection, because doors and windows also have to be installed to prevent leakage and they have still not arrived, but we had good news from Topsider this afternoon.  The doors actually did ship last Thursday and are scheduled to arrive on Friday.  Randy had me order good quality ball bearing hinges for the front door and I hope they arrive by Friday as well.  Randy can work on doors on Friday, but he will then be leaving to visit his mom for a couple of weeks, so we won’t see him any more this year and not until we return in the spring.  He will have some members of his crew working through this week and hopefully next week, but many have been pulled off to other jobs because they did not know when the doors and windows would arrive.  Tomorrow they are finishing up the installation and caulking of the faux stucco and the upper panels on each of the “posts” so that I should be able to do some painting over the weekend.

At Randy’s suggestion, I also went through the house taking a video of all the electric and water lines so that we will know where they are in the walls for any possible future work as once the insulation and drywall are done, they will be hidden forever.  I put it on YouTube so I could access it.