Monday, November 29, 2004

Cover, Not Sand, Sunroom Rafters

The sunroom ceiling is coming along. I started out thinking that I could just sand down the rafters, clean them up, and then stain them. But, after working for several hours with a belt sander on the first 2 rafters I decided that effort was futile and set about wrapping them with the ¼ inch oak ply. I had thought about this before, but resisted because of the rafter hangers. I didn’t know how to deal them. I thought about leaving them exposed and just painting them black, or something. However, I figured out that I could fur out the ply using ¼ ply scraps. This turns out to be the exact gap needed to make it so that the ply can now cover the entire rafter including the hangers too. I have to say, so far anyway, it looks pretty good. I only got as far as wrapping the vertical surfaces, but tonight I hope to start with the rafter bottoms. After I finish the bottoms I need to put the corner moldings on, set and fill the nails, give it a quick sanding, and then stain the ceiling and rafters. Not sure yet what stain I’ll use. But, after I finish that, I’d like to redo the bottom part of the center beam in the main part of the upstairs. I don’t quite like how that turned out and I plan to add some more molding. Then I’ll set, fill, sand, and stain them too. Once that is complete, we’ll be ready for flooring. I can hardly wait!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Big Gutter Ripoff?

Once again, I did some work this weekend, but didn’t do anything during the week. Ugh. I’m going to look back on this time at some point and think of it as a lost opportunity. Shoot. But, I did get more of the beam in the sun room wrapped. Next I need to sand the fir rafters then cover the end cavities where the ceiling beams meet the exterior wall with more oak ply. I was thinking I could fir out (fur out, fer out?) the ends with the leftover ¾ ply sheathing. But, I’m not sure this wouldn’t push it out too far. I may have to cut some strips with the leftover framing wood. But, either way, I’ll get this done soon. Well, eventually.

I did get some bids on the gutters, finally. The bid for the Leaf Guard gutters was $2700. I did think this was a lot, but since this was roughly what the wood stove cost, I didn’t choke or scream or pull my hair out in front of the guy doing the bid. I thought maybe it was 50% more than conventional or maybe even twice. It wasn’t until I started getting other bids that I realized just how FUCKING OUTRAGOUS this price really is. The $2700 was just for the lower roof, the sunroom, and the downspouts. It didn’t include the dormers, since these seem to have enough overhang that they don’t really need gutters (with dormers would have been nearly $4K!!!). The next bid I got, for conventional gutters was $545!!! I got 3 other bids, which were all within $100 of this bid. That means the Leaf Guard system is over 5 times the cost of conventional!!! That’s just ridiculous! So, as much as I like the idea of gutters that never need to be cleaned, I’m going to get the conventional gutters just because I’m so offended by the concept of paying 5 times the price. It’s fucking criminal! I’m going to go with the company that bid $545. Not just because they were the low bid, but because they were the only company with conventional gutters to actually let me talk to the bidder before the bid. I may have to pay just a bit more than the $545, since I think he may have forgot a downspout or something, but I’ll still probably save enough money to buy us two round trip plane tickets to Europe, for fuck sake!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Cover Those Gluelams

I made some decent progress this weekend. I got the molding on the overhead beams in the bedrooms and bathroom. It looks pretty good. I even took the time to make a mission style pattern out of the verticals. The ¾ molding idea worked pretty well. It was pretty easy to cut and wrapped the ply butt joints no problem. It doesn’t look earth shatteringly great, but it’s good enough for a feature that is 12 feet up in the air. Next up is the sunroom.

The sunroom will have plenty of features at eye level. I will have to take more time to make everything line up more perfectly. I had originally hoped to wrap the beams with ply and trim them this week, but as I type this I realize that I cannot put the trim in until the flooring is in because the trim will rest on the flooring. Oops. I’ll just be able to put the ply up for now and then I’ll trim everything at once when the flooring is there.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Buying Hardwoods at Crosscuts

I went and bought some solid oak boards at Crosscuts yesterday. I had an idea that their prices were better than the Hell Despots, but yesterday I got a much better idea. One of the boards I bought was a 1x6 that was about 9’ long. I paid a little over $18 for it. A couple months ago I bought a 1x8 board at HD that is about 8’ long and I paid over $50 for it! Granted the boards at Crosscuts aren’t as square or well sanded, but at these prices I can by 2 ½ times the board feet and cut and sand all I want. I just wish Crosscuts had better hours.

So, I bought one 1x board and four ½x boards. My thinking was that I would use the ½ inch boards to cover the seams in the plywood panels and also to add the verticals to the wainscoting. These would then integrate with the full 1x’s that run horizontally. However, since the ½ is actually a little wider than half the width of the 1x, the integration points between the vertical and horizontal pieces probably won’t look right. Ideally, I would like the horizontal boards to stick out just slightly proud of the verticals, but I think just the opposite will end up happening. I’m now thinking the best thing to do to make the verticals is to simply slice the 1x’s in half with the table saw. Allowing for the 1/16” for the saw blade, this will produce boards that are less than half the width of the 1x and help the horizontal boards stick out slightly proud. Oh well, this is why I only got a few boards at this time.

The next step is figuring out how I’m going to cover outside corners of plywood. Right now, I’m just butt-joining the ply. I’m planning to then wrap these with strips of solid wood and create the same panel-and-frame look that the exterior columns have. I can think of two possible ways to do this. The first would be like the outside, where I butt join two strips of solid wood over the top of the plywood joints. This looks pretty good outside, but interior joinery will get more scrutiny. So, I was thinking it might work better if I take a 1x1 piece of solid wood and cut a square groove into one of the corners, effectively creating ¾ molding.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Painting Office Part 5...

Hey, we actual got to work quite a bit on the house this weekend. Yippee! I started working on wrapping the glue-lam beams with oak ply. I hope to have the over head beam in the bedrooms, 2nd bath, and sunroom wrapped soon. It don’t really look as good as I had hoped, but I’m hoping that once I get some additional ½ inch trim over the seams it will look great and match nicely the wainscoting. I decided not to wrap the rafters in the sunroom, just the glue laminates. This means I’ll need to spend some serious time sanding them and finishing them. I was even thinking of painting the metal hangers a dark color to match the bronze light fixtures. Also, I can’t forget to paint the skylight well. I probably won’t work tonight because of Monday night football, etc. But, I hope to get back to it Tuesday evening.

Jenn did a bunch of cleanup work and did some painting too. She put a second coat in the master closet and primed the office area for a color change. The closet looks great, although she did get some blue on the ceiling. Doah! The office looks terrible and will probably need another coat of primer before we change the color. We’re just going to paint it the same yellow as the rest of the hallway. It will probably take 2 coats of yellow too.

Finally, I was able to get the 3 columns of the back porch painted. I must say they look great. I’m really happy with how the columns have turned out over all. It really gives the house a more – I’m not sure – polished or professional or authentic look (perhaps all). Whatever it is, it’s a huge improvement over the regular strait square beams (and I didn’t think the square beams looked bad at all!). The best part about getting this done is that I should be able to get the gutters installed now. I need to get busy and call about getting some estimates. And then I’ll have another decision to make. Yuck, I really hate the decision making.