Thursday, January 31, 2008

Still Overhead but Life Is Good!

Georgie and I finished the Studio/Gallery building's ceiling this afternoon! It looks just like we'd hoped! I'm going to resist photographing it for a while though. I want some trim and the registers put up...the messiness of "holes" and "gaps" showing up right now are a detraction to me.

Yes, we're still working overhead, but the worst is over and we'll soon be down to the finishing work. It'll be slow going yet but it's easier to see the end of the tunnel off in the distance.

Now...the electrician...we need some outlets and switches! (I'd like to put up some lights!)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Overhead Again...

I think Georgie and I have been working overhead for 3-4 weeks now...geeze that's getting harder each trip out to the studio!

Yesterday we had the pleasure of starting our ceiling. We debated all kinds of things for our ceiling. We talked of carsiding, beadboard panels, drywall...they all seemed spendy, and some seemed downright too much trouble or out of character (like drywall).

I really want this to maintain some resemblance of the agricultural roots this building had, not so much to look like a "sheep barn" mind you, but to maintain that heritage in it's features...I've never heard of an agricultural building with drywall!

Now I could see carsiding...that's the stuff that when put up looks somewhat like standard wood siding. Carsiding is "very" spendy though, so we looked into salvaged materials...seems when someone tears carsiding off a building - they want nearly new lumber prices for it!

We nearly decided to go with the older style corrugated sheet metal roofing material...figured if you walked into a building with a corrugated roof, you'd be looking at the same material from inside anyway. Looking up at the underside of a metal roof didn't seem like to bad of an idea!

When we looked at metal roofing we also saw another material that resembled it , was more reasonably priced and was a more malleable material to work with, and was colorful! It was still corrugated, so I reasoned it could easily represent an old standard material yet add color to a project that was looking "gray and brown"! the material is made for roofing and is called "Ondura" . It's actually a pressed asphalt and not terribly heavy - at least not like drywall!! It also can take a little dinging putting it up, where other materials would not handle that well.

The Ondura was laid out 2 panels at a took two panels to make the top plate to the ridge. We took measurements from the nailers and transposed that to the material with an awl - creating a hole for the Ondura Nails.

We'd just borrowed another step ladder from some friends who felt sorry for our plight (!) and began putting the panels up.

Roofing is much easier and less painful to apply from on top a roof. Roofing applied to a ceiling wears on a person mighty quick! But we kept at it. By late this afternoon we had half the roof, uh, I mean "ceiling", up.

From our vantage point below, it looked pretty cool! Ya, I know, "different", but that's what I like. And anyone that knows me fairly well knows that too.

Georgie and I figure the other half will likely take 3 days or longer to complete, it will be much more difficult than the studio/gallery side. We only had one beam, 3 lights, and 4 furnace ducts to cut around on that side. The shop side has all that and several obstacles more to contend with. It's gonna be a bugger!

Sure is nice having heat to work with though! Count your blessings every day!

Monday, January 21, 2008

They Blew It!

Oh Happy Day! The insulation guys came and blew the rafters full! We now have R-50 in the rafters...of course the walls are much less, but at least now we're primed for the next venture...the ceiling.

We were lucky they showed up as we were having a good snowfall today, lasted all day. Woke up and spent the next hour and a half blowing the acreage out "just in case" they were able to come...and they did!

However, the first thing they told me was we didn't have enough up to hold the insulation's weight. So I spent most of the day trying to stay ahead of them while I nailed up lath between all the nailers, and reinforced other places under the rafters. So I didn't get to just sit and watch, but at least we got'r done.

We opted for the heavier insulation for only one reason - mice. This is a farm (acreage) and we have mice...plenty of 'em out and about. Mice can still manage to get in places regardless of what we do...maybe not in the working space, but the walls and rafters. The type of insulation we opted for is not appreciated by mice because of the fire retardant chemicals in has a track record of not being a favorite mouse medium, so we went that route.

Our Insulators were D&T Insulation from Spencer. Darwin and Tim were a good crew to do the work. I first met Darwin while he was blowing insulation back in the early 1980's. Darwin knows his business and is a pleasure to work with...I'm glad he fit me into his schedule as soon as we were ready!

Like I mentioned, the ceiling comes next. I'm not thrilled about it but Georgie and I will face the task and get through it...and once it's done - we are on the last working phase of this operation!

Well, we still need to get the electrician back so the switches and outlets can get wired, but we'll be on to the cozy comfort of heated inside work the rest of the winter!

Keep warm!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Let's Blow this Puppy!

What a horrible last 3 days...or maybe we're getting a bit frazzled by all this!??

Georgie and I wrestled the "Monster" inside the building and got it attached to the rafters and then got the nailers for the ceiling applied below...took 3 days...sure doesn't look like it'd be that difficult, but 2 tired people with one step ladder can make things a trial of nerves.

The "Monster" is the poly (plastic) we had to hang, to seal the rafter space from the lower living/working space. This space will be blown full of insulation and we don't want it trickling back down out of this space...nor do we want precious heat (or cooling in the summer) to sneak up into it and cause loss and condensation.

We had to nail the poly up by hand...I'm afraid we have no nail guns or pneumatic hammers here...then we had to nail 1X4's up under the poly to help hold up the future insulation as well as provide "nailers" for the future ceiling.

None of it sounds hard. I just think we're getting weary and the step ladder needs to be 3 feet taller at times, and multiplied by two at all times...foot stools and chairs aren't good carpentry companions unless you want to rest!

We get to take a bit of a break for the time being. I now call the insulation guy to come over and blow our rafter space full...then we'll no longer heat the great outdoors!

Let's blow this puppy!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


OK, sorta sounds like I'm complaining, well I'm not really...just making involuntary noises. I'm not as spry as I used to be!

Georgie and I started the remainder of the gallery aisle floor yesterday and are now about 2/3's finished!

Yesterday we laid out the joists and then shimmed and put down the OSB surface.

The old roof planks are so wonky (that a real word?) that we are constantly forced to improvise or compromise...depending on how you look at it.

We have enough boards (!), that was great news; I'd been worried about that since we finished the studio floor. However we couldn't get picky like with the studio boards; those we cut out as many knot holes and blemishes as we could.

As you'll notice we put the gallery aisle boards in perpendicular to the studio floor planks. Georgie and I both think this actually helps make the gallery aisle look larger. It also helps delineate the space from the other. (And made it much easier to handle than if we'd gone length-wise.)

We'll have a ton of knot holes to fill, but we'll worry about that later. Should be done with the floor tomorrow afternoon and then on to other nasty chores...