Tiny Victories

We completed re-siding the front face of the bedroom wing today, and it’s a great big hairy deal.  We’ve been involved in this latest remodeling project all freaking summer.  We’re taking off the cedar planking and installing James Hardy planks, which are cement composite boards that look like wood only they’re not wood, so we’re basically tearing off real wood and replacing it with faux wood that won’t burn or get eaten by insects and have holes crewed by squirrels and birds.  And, the Hardy plank is horizontal rather than the vertical cedar, so this modern house is suddenly looking a tad more traditional but not really because we’re using two different colors of board and doing something special around the entry door (we’re still not entirely sure what). 

Because we’re doing all the work ourselves, using freaking ladders, just getting the front face framed out and filled with boards takes forever.  And now it’s the end of July and we just got 1/3 of the front of the house completed.  And we’re celebrating wildly.  We’re in way over our heads.

Renovator secret number 1:  One of you needs to be a teacher who has summer vacation and can work on these projects for a solid 2 months if you ever want to get anything completed.  And that one of you really needs to be the more talented and detail-oriented one, if you want it done right.  

That said, one person on a ladder can only accomplish so much in a day.  Or a week.  Or a month.  And when the other one of you takes off 2 weeks vacation from work to help get this crap done, you’re both still agonizingly slow.  The prep work takes forever.  And ever.  Amen.

Still, a good deal of the house is partially done.  It’s just that high ladder work requires two of you, so he’s been saving the big fun for me.  And I hate ladders.  But I’ll still climb them when necessary to get stuff done and this is one of those times.  We’ll get the front and side of the kitchen wing framed out and Tyvek-ed before I head back to the cubicle farm, and he already has most of the back of said wing and the entire dining room entry completed, so there has been significant progress made.  It just feels like a great deal of sunburn and scrapes and bruises has occurred recently when I’d really rather be shopping or sleeping.

To celebrate this major accomplishment, we picked fresh home-grown green beans and zucchini and tomatoes from the garden and Asian stir-fried them and ate them over sticky white rice and it was one million times better than the local Chinese restaurant buffet where we often eat dinner on Friday nights.  Going out to our tiny little 3×8 garden to pick supper is one of the best things ever.     

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