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March 26, 2007

The Shed - Day Two

Marion in shed

 The shed is now sheathed and ready for trim boards. This morning I put the 30# felt on the roof and Marion tested out the doorway for size. Only Hobbits will be able to walk in without ducking, but it'll give us ample enclosed storage in a 22 square foot space.


With the shed framed and sheathed its proportions can now be seen. I actually find that I like the looks of Gypsy Rose better with the shed. It acts to balance the porch on the other end. There will be a window above the shed roof on the gable that will also serve as a second means of egress - out the window and slide down the roof.

I can't wait to get the trim boards on and cover up the rest of the Tyvek billboards.

Deck and trim boards

While picking up some more primed cedar trim boards today we also bought the wood for the front porch deck. Contemporary porches and decks are tending toward synthetic materials, often made from recycled plastics. They have the advantages of being able to withstand the weather while generating markets for recycled materials, but I've decided to stick with natural decking materials. I ended up choosing tongue and groove Meranti. It is grown in managed forests in Malaysia. Meranti is actually a commercial name applied to four groups of species from the genus Shorea. It has properties that make for good decking, but it is commonly used in Europe and the UK for door and window frames. I hadn't planned on it, but now I'm thinking that I'd like to use it to frame the gable windows. Its dark color will be a nice accent.

Playing guitar

At the end of the day Marion pulled out my guitar and laid it on the couch, inviting me to practice. I'm still very much a beginner but it's a nice way to relax at the end of the day.

March 24, 2007

Framing The Shed

framing shed

The shed that I framed today was not part of the original design for Gypsy Rose. The need for the addition became obvious, though, after we’d begun contemplating the specifics about the plumbing and electrical systems. We knew that the propane tanks would be on the end of the building, but the original plan had them mounted in a bracket out in the open air. When I started sorting out the best location for the hot water heater, I was reluctant to use precious interior space. That led to the idea for a “bump-out” to house the water heater (1.5 feet wide, 2.5 feet tall and 1 foot deep). One thought led to another. Soon the shed idea emerged and included space to store bicycles and garden tools.

framing shed

Not to worry, though. The expansion will not qualify the Gypsy for McMansion status. The shed is 6.5 x 3.5 feet – an addition of 22 square feet.

framing shed

The enclosed space will house two 20 lb propane tanks that will be plumbed to the stove and refrigerator on the end wall. I will also build an insulated box, projecting into the shed from behind the stove in which the tankless Bosch “on-demand” water heater will be mounted. It’s a terrific unit that runs on propane and uses no electricity. When the hot water is turned on, water pressure spins a small wheel that generates the energy for ignition. Voila! The propane is ignited and the water is instantly heated as it passes through the coils. No more wasting of energy to heat water that just sits in a tank.

site foreman

Hannah, the “site foreman” has been enjoying the warm weather, lounging in the sun and keeping me on task.

framing shed

I'm glad that I found carpenter's pencils that are not painted. I always seem to end up chewing on the things. Marion has suggested that the pencil is my security blanket.

framing shed

As you can see, the end wall on the shed is only 5 feet tall. It was much easier installing rafters at shoulder height.

framing shed

The final framing members were in place by the end of the afternoon. Tomorrow it will be sheathed and ready for the metal roof.

March 18, 2007

Siding Before the Storm

Siding Going On

As it always seems to go in March, we have those teasers of warm weather punctuated by late season snow storms. We've been watching for "weather windows" that would allow us to get back to work on Gypsy Rose. Early last week, an opportunity came. Spring winked at us, but was soon followed by the biggest snowfall of the winter.

We took advantage of temperatures that climbed into the 60's to begin applying the siding that had been waiting out the winter in Marion's basement. We had the additional advantage of the return to daylight savings time, making it possible to work until 7 pm.

It was a joy to begin nailing on the cedar clapboard and cover the Tyvek housewrap billboard. The outer skin for Gypsy Rose will remain natural wood with the occasional application of a sealant. Such a pleasing, warm glow!

One Side Complete

Two days after the siding went on, we were hit with a March snow storm that dumped eight inches of heavy snow and sleet. Gypsy Rose is now surrounded by white as we wait for the next thaw.