and then we camped. [or: the roof, part 1.]

9 11 2010

After 3 different trips, 2 different buildings, 6 + hours of time spent (im)patiently waiting during those trips, AND 3 weeks later than we had originally planned… WE HAVE OUR BUILDING PERMITS.

[I think I’ll write a separate post later on how to navigate/SURVIVE applying for and getting building permits on the first try. It sure would have been helpful for us!]

Eric was chomping at the bit to get started on the real fun… demo-ing the old roof and building the new second story!  Fortunately, our good friend and framing guru Larry Eldridge came down on Friday to give Eric a hand and impart a portion of his vast construction knowledge… he’s pretty much Yoda to Eric’s Skywalker  [but way taller.  and way younger. and less green].  Of course, Friday’s weather forecast was somewhat less than ideal.  While the week prior and the entire week following were supposed to be sunny skies and virtually no chance of rain, Friday was another story.  There was even SNOW forecasted [shudder!], scattered showers, and chilly temperatures.  I mean, it is November, but cut us a break!

I wasn’t around much on Friday, so I don’t have many pictures of the process, but I can give you an idea of what got done:

1. dumpster delivered [thanks, Ray’s!]

2. shingles scraped off + tar paper removed = a yard full of NAILS.  Whoops!  Let’s just say nobody is going to be going barefoot in our yard for awhile.  But it’s also going to be winter soon, so that’s convenient!

3. front stucco peak demolished [that sledgehammer is getting a lot of love these days!], existing window salvaged for re-use in one of the new upstairs rooms.

4.  roofing slats torn off, which we had really come to love looking up at after our ceilings were torn out.  Plenty of beautiful 100-year-old wood that we thought about trying to reuse on the new roof, but it started to splinter and break up too badly during the demo.

[Also, please note that all of that beautiful wood is NOT going in the dumpster; thanks to a suggestion by our good friend Jeremy Clay, we’re going to GreenCycle all of our lumber, which is A–WAY cheaper, and B–better for the environment!  For more info about GreenCycle, check out their website:

5.  rafters torn off… well, the first third or so.  By then it was getting dark.  and cold.  and raining a little.  and SNOWING a little.  [yikes!]

[master and pupil, surveying the progress.]

So yes, the weather was gross and the house was cold, dirty, and wet.  But you know what makes an awesome fire?  Lumber from walls you’ve torn down with your own two hands.  Which is what we did after I got home from work that night, and it was probably one of my favorite times sitting around a fire; just me, Eric, the dogs at our feet… and the piles of lumber in the backyard.

Eric camped out in the living room that night, sleeping bag and all [there’s no reason to turn the heat on when there are gaping holes to the outdoors]… and was rarin’ to go the next morning!

[the king and his castle.]

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, and just a little but FREEZING!  The Monumental Marathon course ran right by our house that morning, and my only thought was that at least I’m not running a marathon in this cold weather! I knew I had my work cut out for me… there was plenty of cleanup to be done from the day before, and since yours truly is more of a grunt-worker than a skilled-laborer, I knew my services were probably not going to be needed up top [thanks to my fear of ladders], or with any power tools.  Plus, Eric is a fanatic about a clean jobsite, which I can totally get behind.  So we got to work:  Eric resumed the roof demo, and I got busy taking pictures…er, cleaning up.

[the view from the kitchen… check out that beautiful blue sky!]

Halfway through the day, we were ready for our afternoon caffeine infusion.  As I was headed over to the coffee shop, I noticed a new piece of real estate in the neighborhood:

“she’s a beaut, Clark!”

[I think if Eric gets tired of house-camping, he should see if they’ll give him a deal on this bad boy.  What do you think?  ;)]

laying down that new subfloor…. yummy.

[okay, technical difficulties = I couldn’t get this one to rotate. I guess you’ll have to turn your head–or your computer–sideways.]

This dinner break is brought you by Greek’s PMS pizza, and our favorite source of caffeine, Diet Coke.  We plowed through that baby like it was nothin’.  Construction is hard work!  Also, let it be known that I did not make the pizza delivery guy climb up the 10-ft ladder to deliver this.  I probably would have had to tip him like 10 bucks to do that!  Plus, I’m working on my ladder-scaling skillz.

After we polished off our dinner and cleaned up the jobsite, put all the tools away, and swept the new! floor! [fanatic, remember?]  Eric had the brilliant idea to camp out under the stars on said new floor.  I mean, if you have to camp somewhere in your house, sans heat, and the rest of the house is really really dirty, why not pick the place with the best view?  So at the late late hour of 8:30 PM, we climbed the ladder for the last time and zipped ourselves into our incredibly claustrophobic [but VERY WARM] mummy bags.

Of course, you know I’m the one with the claustrophobia issues.  It’s really more of a freaking-out-when-I-can’t-get-the-stupid-thing-unzipped issue.  But it was cold enough to not have any reason to get out of the bag, so… problem solved!

Also, selfies are REALLY hard to take when you’re completed zipped into said mummy bag.  Just sayin’.  And that’s about as far as I could cinch myself in without having a panic attack.  Eric’s only visible body part, however, was his nose.  Dude is like a professional camper.

Sooo…. did we make it?  Did we survive our camp-out under the stars?

I guess you’ll have to stay tuned.


And the fun begins…

4 11 2010

We have building permits.(!!!!!!!) And we’re not afraid to use them.

Stay tuned.