Just a quick update:
Got the four walls up, ordered the blue enameled used Pipsqueak stove from Salamander, still deciding on exterior siding. I’m thinking I like how flush, narrow, dark wood looks…. Want to research the longevity of flush siding vs. overlap, with a rainscreen underneath. I don’t really like the look of lap siding, so I’d still be considering B&B. Found a guy on Craigslist in Maryland selling clear grade cedar lap siding for $2.50 a foot, unheard of around here (My local lumber yards sells it for $8.50). But he couldn’t deliver and I would have needed an empty trailer and six hours (3 hrs. each way) to pick it up, so alas I let that one go.
Rain has been coming now and again, thank goodness, but man what a drag for a construction project. It is really stressful actually; the floor has gotten thoroughly wet more than once now, despite our best efforts to tarp the whole thing. Unfortunately there are no trees from which to hang tarps over the whole area, so we’ve been tying them over the structure itself. I did devise a design to build a larger wood frame over the house and tarp that, enabling me to continue working on the little house without having to spend a couple hours every day unwrapping and wrapping it. Unfortunately I think it was a very ill-conceived idea as it’s ridiculously tall and I’m considering scrapping the whole thing (nevermind the two days it took me to erect it…) and just take my chances tarping the floor itself.
Why am I not just busting ass to get the thing sheathed and roofed? The complication here is that my parents are gutting their kitchen and remodeling the whole thing as we speak… for which my dad (my one and only helper on this casita) is mostly responsible, at least before and after the drywall/flooring guys are here. That means my project is either at a standstill (except for a few things I can do alone like install all of the framing hardware and finish anchoring the floor to the trailer) or severely straining the rest of the familys’ patience. Side note: Never underestimate the potential for insanity that living in a construction zone can present. 😉
My project is turning out to be so much about surrender and balance, i.e. letting things happen on their own time while not getting consumed by inertia. It’s quite a difficult line to walk…. I find myself struggling significantly as of late. There is nothing more frustrating for an independent person than realizing that there are certain things that cannot physically be done without the direct assistance of another person(s), who are unavailable or uninterested.
What to do?
Go to California, for sure. (In a week.)
Hire a skilled laborer to help me for a few days, possibly.
Just enough to get on the wall sheathing, rafters/sheathing/roofing. Just enough so that the floor is protected while I leave for two weeks. I hope it isn’t going to rot and the vapor barrier is doing as good a job as it can. 😉
I knew intellectually that this project was going to challenge me deeply and perhaps shake things up. But experiencing the actuality is quite a different matter. I am stunned people build houses by themselves. How do they do it?
Of course, let’s bring all of this into perspective: There are much bigger problems in the world right now…. and this is crunch time – I’m doing the big stuff right now, i.e. lumber and big sheets of things that are heavy. That means I’m right in the thick of the period of the project when I will most need others’ physical assistance. Once this is done, most of the (very scary, BTW) detail work can be done by me sola. I think. So that’s great for independence at least!
One other thing I’ve been thinking about: What kind of relationship do I have with my work? For example, when you’re making something with your own hands, are you cursing and frustrated and wishing it would be done with the entire way through? Or are there times when you move patiently, with a sense of wonder and curiosity and satisfaction, immersed in the present moment? My effort, of course, is for the latter. Too often though, I find I am still immersed in the former (which is strange, considering I keep being drawn to manual pursuits). I think the content of the process is just as important as the outcome, but giving motion to that notion is much much harder than it sounds!
What is your experience?
I can’t make this whole post negative and bitchy-
I do also want to say that my trip to Cali is going to be fabulous (seeing old college friends, going to a wedding, and being in the Sierras? Yes, thank you!) and the summer garden is BLOWIN’ UP!!! (That was for you, Sean Canetta.)