Thursday, June 28, 2012

Papa le Pew

 We invited President Haderlie to come check out our project (the cottage). It was date night so I brought Red Baron shakes. I love how Jake will just start drawing on a wall. Here he is drawing what he's going to do for our front door.
 So, this past week progress on the Cottage has been slow because Jake and Dave have been finishing up the pews for the new Catholic church in Thayne. On Saturday, Jake recruited a few strapping young men and his wife and kiddies and we got all of them installed. They used three trailers in two trips.
 These oak benches are heavy. Even those strong young men were tired after loading and unloading them. Then, the power drills came out and the benches attached to the floor.
 Nicole and Harris ran some sanding sponges along them. I rubbed lemon oil all over them.
 Here, the boys are filling nail holes.
 Porter forged on through his fatigue.
 Morgan always works with a great attitude. Can you see his scar?
Harold and the Kool-aide mustache. Ick. Kool-aide is so gross.

Now that this monumental job is behind us, we can spend a whole week working on the outside of the cottage. Yay!

Le Cotage Conversion- Tear Down the Walls

Okay, we're actually only tearing down one wall to make an open floor plan. This wall is not like modern dry-wall. It's a fiber-board covered with a heavy plaster which actually contains a tiny aggregate. (Tiny rocks) It is heavy stuff and much more difficult to tear out.

When the wall was covered, I was hitting directly on this thing and not getting anywhere. So I hammered around it and uncovered this thiNG. What the heck is it, you ask? That's exactly what I said. It is an illegal junction. What could this little box have possibly done that is illegal? It's hiding behind a wall. That is a no-no. So, according to my general, in terms of electrical wiring and plumbing, this house will be like new construction.

Hard, dusty work! The studs can't come out until Jake puts a new beam across the span. Can't wait!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Le Cotage Conversion- The eyes are the...

Know what this is? It's an 80+ year old window. It's laying on the ground 'cause we don't want it.

The first window is in! They're low-e, and all that other good stuff.

Third window in! I added a model. You know, for scale.

Fourth window in! Wait til you see the plans for the space under that window...
Here I am. Living my own HGTV show. So, a little info on installing windows. When you are screwing the windows into place, you want to back the screws out a little. The window will expand and contract as time goes by, and if the screws are tight, your window will start to be difficult to slide. Also, these windows come with a tiny tube leading into... some place... and after you install them, you need to crimp it. Something about a something something.

Le Cotage Conversion- Man vs Machine

 This is a 20 yard dumpster. It costs $450 every time they empty it.
 We have not yet had it emptied. Can you guess why?

(Cuz it gets packed down with a backhoe.)
 In case you didn't notice, that is Anthony operating the back-hoe. It is not as easy as Jake makes it look. When Jake operates heavy machinery, it's like an extension of his body. When you want to move your arm you don't ever have to think, "Which way do I push the two levers?"

 Anthony did alright. No damage was caused to the dumpster and now we can fit more stuff into it!
 Here he is. Our 17 year old boy. He's left-handed. (So is our youngest son.) He is a third degree black-belt. He will be a senior in high-school this fall. It will be his last year of being a running-back for the Star Valley Braves.
 He has just been called as the first counselor in the Priest's Quorum, which makes him an assistant to the Bishop and also automatically places him on the Youth Committee.
He gets to drive around in that pride-mobile you can see in the background. Seabring convertable.

We'll have him around for one and a half more years. Then it's off to serve a two-year full-time mission for the Church.

It is nice having a strong young man around to help us.

Le Cotage Conversion- Read in your posh English voice.

 Isn't it always a great feeling to have a load of gravel delivered to your house? Oh, you've never HAD gravel delivered to house? Well, you simply MUST try it.
 Tar, however, is not something that brings a great feeling. The plan was to tar the outside of the foundation walls and then apply the Bituthane. (Did you use your posh English voice?) This photo shows about how long Jake stuck to that plan. So, we jumped ahead to the peel and stick rolls of rubber which is backed with ---- TAR.

 Apparently, people who use this stuff (normally on roofs) are able to peel as they stick, using looong rolls at a time.  These particular rolls must've been 20 years old. The paper would peel off in triangles. (Ever try to peel the back of old or really cheap stickers?) Jake and I wrestled with one 10 ft long piece (him like a steaming pressure cooker, me just waiting for it to blow) before he finally decided we needed to try something different. So, I suggested we just cut smaller pieces which made the process move along much more efficiently.

Then, we had to get the gravel in the ditch a.s.a.p. before the Bituthane started falling down. Obviously, I didn't have anything to do with getting the gravel into the ditches. Although, I did use the backhoe and front-end loader a couple times about 13 years ago!
Away with the dirt and broken concrete. Peavler's hauled away two truck fulls but we still have lots more to get rid of.  I know it's a mess right now. I hope the neighbors will just focus on how great it will be to have us living in the house. Ha.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Le Cotage Conversion- When all else fails, use your backhoe.

Not much has happened this week. We went to dinner at a friend's cabin in the Narrows on Monday so nothing happened that day. Today, I went to the temple and had one hour before Mutual plus it was freezing cold. So I removed the belongings of the previous occupants from the upstairs bedrooms while Jake built forms for the final window concrete-pour. They left a bunch of very personal stuff. Pictures, temple sealing certificates, diplomas... it is sad to see. Anthony and Jake got the rest of the carpet removed upstairs and guess what! The original hardwood floors are mostly intact. That will save us some money!
(Last week) Morgan took all the dry-wall down on this end by himself as far high as he could reach.

(Last week) When your sledgehammer gets broken and you need to punch out a window... now THAT'S thinking.
Got all the walls bare. Then the ceiling. This is a weird L-shaped area that we will turn into three bedrooms. The basement now smells better than the upstairs. That is window #1, where the boys were showing off with the sledgehammer.

Window #3, in the corner of the L. That upper right corner got filled in with concrete. All the windows down here will be nice 4 x 4 in size. Lots of light!

This was the only enclosed bedroom down stairs. The original door is on that left wall. We will put it on the wall facing us in this picture. All three bedrooms will open into a common area.

This is the common area now. The washer was on that wood platform which was over top of a hole in the floor where they were draining the washer. Yeah, it's icky. But we got all that taken out now. The downstairs bathroom will be in that corner. That wood-burning stove will be replaced with a gas one, in a much nicer fashion and the water heater will go away.