Thursday, February 23, 2006




Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Let's See...

Where am I? Last week wasn't the most productive. I spent a lot of it feeling less than 100%. I'm not sure if it was a cold or allergies (which I've never had before, besides an O.D. on chocolate as a youth.) Friday rolled around and removed any doubt about what it was then -- I felt pretty lousy, and skipped some things on Saturday to rest (sorry John and Paul).

I've got the addition 90% covered with house wrap (the only part that's not is up under the eaves, on the east side away from where our weather comes from), and all the fiddly bits of flashing for the roof above the front door done.

Today I installed more windows. Most of it was very straight forward. Windows are sized by the 'rough opening', which is how big the space in the framing is. To allow for sloppy framing, things out of plumb or off level, etc., the rough opening is generally 1" larger than the actual window in each dimension. Any adjusting that's needed to get the window level and square is done with shims. So far, the rough openings have been pretty close to perfect, so the shims haven't had much to do besides fill the gap. That's made installing the windows pretty easy.

What's been interesting is installing the round windows. I've never done round windows before (expensive little blighters, by the way). The framing is a bit different, of course. But the adhesive flashing you can buy for putting around windows and doors doesn't really fit round windows that well. With some scissors to trim it, I got things pretty well sealed, but it definitely goes at lot slower than installing a rectangular window.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Inside Out

I've been making good progress this week. I had the drywall, house wrap and siding delivered Monday, and I've been busy putting the drywall up since. City of Oakland requirement or no, exterior drywall still just looks weird. I've done work in a lot of Habitat houses that have some or all of the drywall up, and this looks just like them...except on the outside. Part of my brain keeps objecting, "this is wrong!" I keep thinking of the scene from Galaxy Quest where they test the transporter on the pig-lizard thing and it makes it to the ship...inside out ("And then it exploded!") Excellent movie, by the way -- very entertaining.

Fortunately we've had a nice stretch of dry weather, so no immediate worries about the drywall getting damp before I finish putting it up and get some house wrap over it.

Kat helped me some today. I haven't had Abel or Edis all week because first I couldn't find their numbers, and then I couldn't get a hold of them. So I've moved a lot of drywall, siding and concrete (for the new front walk) by myself. 800 lbs. of concrete and who knows how much drywall and siding. The precision needed for exterior drywall is lower than for normal drywall, so I've been doing OK hanging it myself. Working from the bottom up instead of the normal top down for drywall has helped, too. I can balance each course on the one below it. And the fact that I don't need to hit studs (1/2" drywall plus 5/8" sheathing makes for enough wall by itself) is the final win.

Friday, February 03, 2006

We're Here! We're Here!

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. And I've been making slow but steady progress on the addition. The cricket has roofing (and there was much rejoicing). Except the ridge cap, which I had to reassemble from parts of leftover shingles from the original re-roofing lo those many years ago (7? 8?). The shower is completely framed, and most of the plumbing vent stack is complete.

I've had a few delays waiting for things to try out before putting on roofing and the like, but the main delay is the siding. I finally went and bought some pieces of 1x10 and mocked up a section of wall to see what it would look like. i.e., if alternating 1x10 and 1x6 was close enough to alternating 1x12 and 1x6 to look OK or not. The consensus is a resounding "yes". I definitely notice the difference, but I've been looking at the problem so long I'm not very objective on it any more. It's nice to have a resolution so I can move forward. Now I just need to buy all that siding and drywall...

Kat and I had a lovely weekend to celebrate her birthday, including dinner at Greens in San Francisco. It's a vegetarian restaurant, but one of the tastiest, most pleasant meals I've eaten at any restaurant. I highly recommend it whether you're vegetarian or not.