Our Retro Bungalow

Our Retro Bungalow
The journal of the making of an old house into a lovely new home.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Blustery Week at The Bungalow

The news this past week was the wind.
It was
It started early Thursday.
By about 4:30 in the afternoon I became concerned about the trailer awning.
I was anxious for Dean to get home  from work and retract it.
It's sad to admit, but I don't feel confident that I can properly retract and secure it myself.
It was being yanked around pretty hard, but stayed attached and intact until
Dean got home to take care of it.
We lost the protective cover for the sunlight bubble in our shower;
it flew off and shattered into several pieces on the garage floor.
 My hen house door blew off...

and all night that night, in addition to the violent wind keeping us awake,
I fretted and prayed that the whole hen house wouldn't blow over with my little girls inside.
It was still standing the next morning, which was a miracle.
I have no doubt it was an answer to my prayer.
It's nice to know Heavenly Father cares that I care about my chickens.
The old thing was
 blown off its blocking, moved 2 feet westward and teetering back and forth, though.

We lost 15 feet off the tops of two cedar trees...

one landing at the NE corner of the house

and the other getting lodged in the walnut tree.

Needless to say, there was a lot of  cutting and clean up to be done.

In addition, power went in and out several times and our hot water heater would not stay lit.
It's a good thing Dean took Friday off work because he'd have had an icy early-morning shower.
At one point during the night I actually thought I might need some Dramamine because
our little trailer was feeling much like an amusement park ride that just wouldn't quit.

In addition to the hen house not toppling over, here's the other GOOD news...
we were so very grateful to be in the garage and much closer to the ground
instead of directly under the old walnut tree and up high on the blocks
like we were a couple of weeks ago.
What a blessing!
We were also feeling extremely blessed that the trusses were not up
or they'd have surely all been blown down and damaged.
we'd wondered how we could harvest the rest of the walnuts that were so far up in the tree.
The windstorms took care of that for us.
We gathered them off the ground and filled this 5 gallon bucket in no time!

Although we are disappointed that our progress was held up
because of these terrific wind storms that lasted through late Saturday night,
we are very grateful to have weathered them without serous incident.
As we've driven around town we've seen that there has been extensive damage to many homes,
fences, trees and even RV's like ours.
Our hearts go out to these people.

And now, other than all that, here's what happened at the Bungalow.


Our exterior doors were delivered.

Dean spent the evening double checking, fixing, and putting more nails
into the sheathing that was already up.
I swept and cleaned up construction debris and held the flashlight so
Dean could nail.
I'm basically awesome at sweeping, cleaning up and flashlight holding.


Our trusses were delivered!
And it was very cold and very rainy.
When he got home from his 9 to 5, Dean looked over the trusses and
then sat down and studied the engineering booklet that came
with them for quite a long while.


Since it was still very cold and very rainy, Dean worked on the framing in the basement.


I already told ya about Thursday, the first day of the big windstorms.
Didn't get any work done.


Dean got the bottom courses of the sheeting completed and cut all the openings
for all the doors and windows.
The top course cannot be done until the trusses are set.


Dean began prepping for trusses.
We had several men show up to help, but the wind picked up again
and it wasn't looking like it was going to let up anytime soon.
Saturday was a bit of a bust.

That's it.
We are enjoying this big, crazy, wonderful project despite the setbacks.
The coming week's forecast is looking really promising.
Life is good.
to you and yours.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

We've Moved In!

Into the garage, that is.

This move did not come without tremendous effort.

It took plenty of brawn and brain power, so
it's a good thing Mossi men have plenty of both.
You see, where our storage unit (you know...the freight-train container we rent) is parked makes maneuvering 23.5 feet of trailer, not including the tongue,
 into the garage difficult at best. 
It's just close enough to the garage to make it almost impossible. 
Seriously, I'm willing to bet most guys would have said...
1) It's not worth trying 
2) Forget it. It's just too darn difficult.
Not Dean.
That's never been his style or approach to anything.
And so with an abundance of heave-ho it was accomplished. 
And I'm thrilled with the fact that we don't have nearly as much of a problem with mud.
I didn't blog last week just because I didn't want to.
And I guess I didn't want to because I'm feeling like I've lost balance in my life.
I eat, sleep and breath the building of our little bungalow.
I think about it constantly.
 I have a hard time focusing in classes because of ideas that pop into my head 
or things I need to do or pick up at Wheelwright or aspects of design I want to research. 
I've altogether given up Facebook and Pinterest and the like for searching through 
Houzz.com's discussions and photos. 
I'm feeling too consumed, too caught up, too distracted by it all.

And now that I have that off my chest (sort of), shall we carry on?

Here's a short list of what's happened. 
It won't sound like a lot, but trust me...we've been busy.
Much of it has been about odds and ends and seemingly 
small details that were actually important.

The garage is framed. 
Well, all except the front window and the east garage door.
That window needed to wait a bit because I had one of my 
"wait a minute" episodes where I had an idea I wanted to explore with, 
of course, the possibility of changing our original plan. 
Turns out, it wasn't that great of an idea. 
The east garage door opening will be rough framed and closed in with OSB sheeting 
because the tongue of the trailer sticks out too far to install a garage door.
The night we put up the back wall in the garage, 
we had several men from our ward show up and help.

Seriously...one phone call and before we knew it we had about a dozen brethren here. 
We are so blessed to have such a wonderful ward.
I know I've said that many times, but we are very thankful.

All the rest of the framing is complete including that double top plating.
Actually, the basement framing won't be completed until we are completely closed in.

Our son-in-law, Tannon, is such a blessing and asset to our family.
He's always willing and happy to come work with us.

Dean got the beams for the deck and deck roof up.
I helped him set the huge beam for the scissor trusses that will form the deck 
roof and let me tell you somethin'...it scared me nearly to death helping him do that. 
It was just him and me doing a job that should have been done by four men. 
But the man's mechanical engineering mind came up with a method that got the job done. 
It took a few years off my life, though, I'm sure of that.

We had our final meeting with Matt, the truss designer, and made, yet again,
 more changes in the design of our roof system. 
I'm excited about these changes, though. 
Then trusses are finally scheduled to be here on Wednesday. 
We are praying for favorable weather when we set them.

It snowed yesterday.

We got about four inches all told.
When it finally stopped
I spent the evening shoveling and shop-vac-ing it all off our sub-floor.
We'd really hoped to be closed in before first snow, 
but I know we won't regret the changes we've made that have delayed us.

Since it snowed off and on for most of yesterday, 

Dean spent the day in the basement installing the windows.
This is the basement bathroom window. 
It's a hopper window, which is a somewhat unusual configuration. 
My window guy is great and got us a good deal on it. 
I had reeded glass put in; I didn't want the regular obscure glass 
that most bathroom windows are made with. 
It turned out great!
I love it.

I think that's it.
I'm sure there's more, but I didn't keep a single note these past 
couple of weeks of what all has been done.
So, it is what it is.
Thanks for stoppin' in.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside,

but we're staying nice and warm in our cozy little trailer home.
Our children and neighbors and ward family have expressed concern, but really...
we are warm and happy.
I promise!

I have more progress than pictures to post today.
I've slacked off on taking pictures. I'll try to do better this coming week.

Here's the rundown:

All framing details on the house are complete. 
We changed the ridge line of the garage roof to run north and south instead of east and west, 
so we are waiting for our engineer and truss maker to work that out. 
We hope to put the trusses up next week. 
Dean got the steel cages put in the pier forms, the inspector came, 
gave his approval and Dean filled them with concrete the next day.
He stripped the forms the day after that and we back filled around them.

We also filled in (by hand, with shovels) two big, deep holes that Dean dug with 
the mini excavator when we thought we'd be putting in 
another front porch pier/roof support. 
That was a BIG job.
Ry loaded up the trees and huge, overgrown shrubs that we had our excavator pull up 
a while back and he hauled them all up to our burn pit. 
It's nice to not have those ratty piles sitting out front, on the edge of the road.
Dean, Dave and Michael put up the beams and posts for the front porch.
That was a hard, tricky and somewhat perilous job.
They also got the back deck support beam installed.

Dean put down the first plate, framed up and erected the short, North wall of the garage.
Dave got more sheeting up.
The double top plates on the house are almost all nailed down.
I got our first bid on cabinets. 
Turns out, I have expensive taste - 
had another one of those sticker-shock induced heart attacks. 
I have a feeling there are more of those to come. 
I've got an appointment tomorrow to initiate another bid.
I also got a bid on fireplaces.
I may keel over just opening my email to look at bids one of these days.
I got the ball rolling on our custom art-glass window. 
I'm excited about it; it's going to be awesome.
I called my door guy at BMC and told him to cancel the brick moulding 
on all our exterior doors.
 I then went to an old business in town called "Ellis Planing and Mill" to see about 
having custom brick moulding made. 
That old building was one of the coolest places I've been in. 
The business, in its original building, was started four generations ago 
by the great-grandfather of the current, 70-ish proprietor. 
The scent of cut wood hung rich and heavy in the particle filled air. 
Most of the light came from the big windows and everything appeared to be sepia-toned. 
There were tall, sprawling piles of curled wood shavings here and there 
beneath work-tops and at the feet of machines. 
Sawdust veiled every surface . 
There were all sorts of antiquated, as well as modern,
 tools, implements and instruments 
neatly set on and in racks and shelves suspended on the old walls. 
An impressive cobweb billowed, suspended between an old work bench and 
the weathered divides of a filmy window pane. 
I would love to have poked around that place for a couple of hours. 
Although I know the setting is different, I couldn't help but think of
Dicken's "Old Curiosity Shoppe".
 It was such an afferent adventure. 

Okay. Enough. 
I think that's all for now.
Mr has already succumbed to slumber. 
I'm feeling the effect of turning the clocks back too. 
Until next week...