Our Retro Bungalow

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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mildew, Rust, Shingles and Escaping to Idaho

Last week marked the seventh month
we've been living in our trailer.
And truthfully, it's mostly okay.
But I'd be a fibber if I told you it's any better than that.
We are warm, our bed is comfortable, we can bathe and cook.
I had a meltdown last Sunday morning when I pulled one of my dresses
 from my tiny closet and discovered it had mildew on it.
I very much like my skirts and dresses and the one dress coat I kept out of storage.
It was upsetting.
The trailer cools down quite a bit at night while we sleep -
especially the closets, cabinets and bulkhead that are closed off
with their respective doors.
When we turn on the heater in the morning, everything warms up quickly
causing condensation to accumulate and drip down the windows and walls.
I'd been keeping the doors of the closets and bulkhead opened to help those
compartments dry out during the day, but either I didn't
start doing that soon enough or it's simply not enough.
I even discovered mildew on the little fabric headboard of our bed
where the mattress meets it. Now when I make the bed every morning,
I turn the bedding at the foot of the bed back over the top, tuck it under the sides,
 put the top comforter on, and then pull the mattress away from
the headboard. Before we crawl into bed for the night, we push the mattress
back into it's proper position, pull the bedding at the foot
 down and tuck it under the foot of the mattress as it should be.
Making the bed in this little trailer was a pain before having to do that.
And then there are my cast iron skillets.
I love 'em.
One of them belonged to my great-grandmother.
It's disconcerting to  find rust spots from the condensation on them.
Speaking of my skillets, if I so much as fry an egg and make toast,
I've got a relative disaster in the 'kitchen' due to its smallness.
And I miss hosting our big family dinners.
I miss my boots and shoes and books and kitchen gadgets
and I miss our 'Papa Bear Chair'.
But mostly...
it's okay.
it is.

Enough of that.
I've got good stuff to report this week.


Dean put the back door in.
I sure wish I had a picture for you, but I don't.
I swept the entire upstairs and it made me happy to "clean" our little house and
know that it wouldn't be snowed in or rained in anymore.
We finished the header flashing on all the windows, did a little trimming
on some roof details and barge rafters and some other miscellaneous things like that.


Dean went Home Teaching for the evening.
When he got home, he hung the door that goes from the house into the garage.


My notes say that I did some shopping at Home Depot,
but I cannot recall what I purchased.
Dean got up on the roof when he got home from work and straightened
out the north-west barge rafter - he said
it was as crooked as a dog's hind leg.
My Granny'd be right proud to hear him talk like that!


Dean stayed home from his 9 to 5 and worked here all day.
He got all the gable bracing built, prepped the double garage door opening for
the door installation, sheathed the top of the covered front porch to close
off the attic space, planned the plumbing vents locations and cut
the openings for them and put up a missing steel strap on a garage window opening.

our heating and air guys showed up to put in the duct and platform
for our evaporative cooler.

That's right,
you heard me.
I said 'swamp cooler'.
The boys said they hadn't done one of those in about four years.
We're doing radiant floor heating, so we have no ducts.
We looked into minisplits, but we didn't like the idea of having
those apparatuses protruding from our walls or ceilings.
So, swamp cooler it is!
Besides, it's more economical too.
Thursday evening we cleaned up, put all the tools away and headed to
Market Street Grill in Cottonwood Heights for dinner with our investment group.
It was a very pleasant diversion.


Oh, Happy Day.

They got much of the back of the house done.
It's a bit of a complicated roof
(it was a booger to frame and sheath)
so they will probably not finish til mid week this coming week.
After much anxiety, I'm happy to say that
I love the Tamko Heritage Premium "Weathered Wood" shingles I chose.
Glad that's behind me.

And then came our last, best and longest work day of the week:


And we, believe it or not,

We loaded up the sleds and headed to our
'home away from home',
Thunder Mountain.
JoTan, Mr & Me.
The four of us, two of our sleds and JoTan's two sleds.

The marker of the entrance to Our Private Idaho.

Our wood pile is our snow indicator - not a whole lot of snow up there right now.

Dean swore he and Tan weren't gonna do a lot of  "hot doggin'", but 
they sure had a good time tearin' up the snow and makin' tracks in the meadow.

We mostly did trail ridin', though. We went several miles up Wyoming Trail.
We figure we were at about nine thousand feet.
It's so beautiful and peaceful up there...
when you turn the machines off, anyway.

This is my favorite part of the trail - it's like a tunnel through the snowy forest.
So very lovely.

It was good to get out and play and we had a good time despite a few problems
with my sled and Jossi's sled stalling and the four-wheel drive going out on our truck
and the sled trailer jack-knifing on the icy road when we got off the main road and
before we got to the parking area at the base of Thunder Mountain Road.
It was quite the adventure.
We got home and were pretty wiped out,
but still managed to get out and buy a bathtub for the
basement bathroom.

That's all for this week.
And despite my whining about trailer living,
we are still smiling, still happy and still very thankful
and excited about
Our Retro Bungalow.

Good night and God bless.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Great Week at Retro Bungalow

Here's this weeks news from The Bungalow...

Our windows arrived early Monday morning.
There were a couple of unexpected surprises in regard to them.
I tend to scrutinize details and was taken aback and disappointed with the detailing, 
or lack thereof, on the interior joints where our picture windows 
and attached transoms come together.
Actually, it tied my stomach in knots.
There are two other assembly details that I'm not too thrilled about, 
but the likelihood of anyone else ever noticing is slim. 
I did a lot of research, put a ton of thought into, and spent a ridiculous amount of time 
on my window selection for The Bungalow.
When we first began the design process I was adamant that 
we would not be putting white frame windows in. 
I knew I wanted bronze frames.
But then, for a few weeks, I thought red would look positively charming.
And then...
I began toying with white frames!
But I soon found myself back to bronze.
And I was definitely planning on grids on all the windows.
But I realized that grids on bronze windows may not be worth the extra
cost because they really wouldn't show up well.
So, how about white frames with grids?
I came to my senses remembering that I'm somewhat of a minimalist.
I don't like clutter.
I get frustration headaches if ever I visit stores like TaiPan or
Quilted Bear or Hobby Lobby because
there is so much visual stimuli (clutter and detail) to take in.
Reminding myself of this personal reality, I decided to eliminate grids completely.
I was shopping for Milgard widows.
I changed my mind and began looking at Andersen.
And then I realized that I really, really liked the thick, heavy, chunky frames of 
AMSCO's Artisan windows.
I was DEAD-SET AGAINST using anything but the best windows
our budget would allow, but I could not deny how much
I loved the Amsco Artisan frames.
So, with my #1 window man, Shawn, we started putting together
an order for Amsco windows.
I felt pretty good about it because I'd done plenty of research and found
that Amsco's insulating factors were just as good as the others and
Amsco offered the same lifetime guarantee/warranty as well;
PLUS they are a local company, which simplifies ever having
to take advantage of the guarantee/warranty.
After finally putting an order together (I began window shopping in August),
I changed my mind on configuration several times.
One afternoon as I was standing in the mostly framed front room,
it occurred to me that the east-facing windows that flank the fireplace needed grids.
Walking back and forth across the main floor as I thought about it,
 I knew it would be silly to just put grids in those two windows.
So, I thought the top sash of the single hung windows in our little dining room
 would look great with grids too and tying the two sets of windows together with the same
grid pattern was a smart design element.
But which kind of grids?
I went with Prairie.
And that was that.
After months of agonizing, I texted Shawn,
"Let's do this thing! Order TODAY."
And he did.
That was long.
I got a little carried away there.
That'll be tedious for whoever actually reads this.

Monday also found me back at Wheelwright for some A35's, window flashing
and a few other goodies.
I gotta say I'm very pleased that Mr can text me a shopping list with things
like that and I know what they are and exactly where to find them
without asking for assistance from the salesmen.
I love the education I've gleaned from this project.
Dean was up on the roof in the dark and freezing cold that night
installing those last brackets

Dean took Tuesday off from his 9 to 5 and finished the very last details of the framing.
On toward the end of the day, I helped him drag the last barge rafter up onto to roof -
a 2 x 8 x 22 footer!
Just as we had gotten that beast set in the right place, Tannon drove up.
Boy, was I glad to see him!
I climbed down the ladder, he climbed up and took over.
He and Dean then built the little hipped detail on the front porch.
When we went to bed that night the framing

When Dean got home from work on Wednesday, we measured and cut
 window flashing and installed the first two windows!

Thursday nights are set aside for ward missionary visits and I had
a Primary Board dinner/in-service to attend, so no work that night.

Friday was a 'red-letter day'.
We hired a roofing company and they came out and prepped the roof for shingles!
That is so exciting.
Choosing shingles is a whole other story...
not as bad as the window saga and I'll be kind and spare you the details.
We can't get the shingles down until we've got our plumbing vents through
the roof and hopefully we'll get that done this week.
Friday night Mr & Me measured, cut and put up the rest of the window flashing.

Yesterday (Saturday) Mr and Me spent the entire day installing windows.
I cannot begin to tell you how gratifying is was for me to be working with him
doing something significant on The Bungalow.
I haven't been heavily involved in the framing and have felt useless to some degree.
But installing windows...now that's something I can do!
And I had a great time.
We have three large picture windows with attached transoms and they were
very heavy and awkward, so we called Tan to come help with those because
I just wasn't man enough.
And our girl Aubs showed up later in the afternoon and just in time because the kitchen window,
although not large, is component heavy and she helped me handle that baby.
We have two remaining windows that aren't yet installed.
One of them is a hopper window that came in as an awning window.
Hoppers aren't common and people don't often order them,
so that may have been the reason we got an awning instead.
The hopper should be here by the end of the week.
The other window is just a window frame that I'll take into Kelly glass
and have our art glass piece started. Patrick, the artist, didn't want to begin
without the frame in hand so he could be sure the measurements were exact.
And those unexpected window detail surprises that I mentioned...
I'm over it and I'm generally happy with the way they turned out.
Stomach knots are gone.

Al helps in her own way by keeping an eye out from her favorite spot while we work.

Here is the first of several 'reveals' to come...

And since I still had some steam left after the last window was installed,
I told Mr we should install the front door.
So we did...

Just like with the bronze windows, I just knew I wanted The Bungalow to have a
craftsman style front door. I shopped and shopped and researched and realized
that wasn't what I wanted after all.
I then considered a 3/4 glass door, but the privacy issue was a concern and
I could not see myself putting a curtain (gasp!) or a shade on our front door.
I  found that I really liked planked front doors - a door simply made of planks.
Mr didn't agree, though.
He gives me full control over all the design elements, but voiced his opinion on this one thing.
I could not ignore his dislike for my choice - that just wouldn't be fair.
I compromised and chose a two panel, flat panel, planked door with square sticking.
The problem was I did not want raised panel or an arched top panel  and
those details are what's available in "off the rack" doors.
 I had to go with a special order from a mill in Nampa, Idaho.
They are also making all of our upstairs interior doors.

This morning Mr told me that it was HIS turn to post something on the blog.
He said it was high time there was a picture of ME here,
especially since I worked so hard with him yesterday installing the windows.
So, here I am...

I think that's all for tonight.
Thanks for stoppin' by.
Good night and God Bless.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Moving Right Along

It's been a full Sabbath, we're feeling a little tired and it's getting late.
I'm gonna try and crank this out lickety-split.
And after going back and reading last week's post, that's probably not such a great idea...
I think I need an editor.
Monday night Dean resolved an issue with the bump-out window in the garage.
He took the top half down, trimmed the cripples, reassembled and put it back up.
Tuesday night, with a tiny bit of help from me to hold sheeting, he got it completely sheathed.
Wednesday it snowed.
And snowed.
So, Wednesday night we sat at our little trailer table across form each other 
while we cracked and shelled the last of the walnuts from our walnut tree
and  watched Green Acres. 
That's right. 
I said we watched Green Acres.
Thursday night is always set aside for ward missionary visits.
on Friday Tannon showed up and spent hours shoveling and scraping 
ALL the snow and ice 
off the sheeting on the roof!
Out of the goodness of his ginormous heart, he got it ready
to go for Saturday morning's work crew so they didn't have to spend precious time doing it.
To say that Tannon is awesome is an understatement.
Friday night he was back again helping Dean get the west facing garage gable 
sheathed and ready to hoist up onto the roof the next day.
Sometimes I refer to this son-in-law of ours as Dean's 'mini-me'.
Seriously, these two are so much alike.

Saturday (yesterday) was AWESOME.
Farrin and his guys came and worked for us again.
And, of course, Tannon didn't miss out on any of Saturday's action.
What a blessing!
They made some great progress.
Here are some pictures...

After working on getting the FINAL sheathing done on the roof,
they hoisted the south-west gable that goes over the garage bump out window into position.
I particularly appreciated Anthony's skill and knowledge base.
I explained to him exactly how I wanted the gables to be finished out,
he listened carefully, asked me several questions,
made certain he understood and, as a result, I am extremely happy with the results.

Then they moved on over to the west gable on the raised mid-section of the roof...

And then they started on the over-building for the west facing gables...

99.9 % of the sheathing is done, there's still over-build on the gables to complete
and one more barge rafter to put up.
We're hoping to get a roofer out this week (tall order) to get the roof papered.
We can't shingle just yet because there are plumbing vents that need to go through the roof.

Jennie, my plumbing fixture sales gal at Great Western Supply, called me this week.
She let me know that another couple had ordered the very same garden tub that
I have on our invoice, but haven't actually place our order yet.
After receiving it into the warehouse, the couple changed their minds.
Because GWS can't return items to their supplier without taking a hit,
she told me she was giving me first dibs on it and selling it to me for a nearly $300 savings!
I was thrilled.
I dropped in to the store to secure it with full payment and Jennie took me
out to the warehouse to look at it.
I nearly cried with joy.
Never has a bathtub looked so wonderful to me!
I don't think it was the nice savings that brought tears to my eyes.
No, it just the sight of a beautiful, big bathtub.
I've missed having one.

And lastly,
our windows come tomorrow!
That's exciting!
Because, as Shawn, my window man always says,
"The windows are the eyes of a home"
Yeah, whatever, Shawn. You're such a cheese ball.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR from The Bungalow.

I'm back.
It's been nearly an entire month since I last reported on our progress here at 
The Bungalow.
Things really slowed down for a while and what little there was 
just didn't seem like enough to bother with - that's one reason.
There was also everything that goes along with Christmas, which
 kept me busy and distracted.
And a wonderful Christmas it was!
Grandchildren make it such a sweet, magical experience.
 We sure hope ya'all had a very merry one too.

Last I blogged I told ya all about our water woes and how they were fixed.
Well, we had more problems with frozen pipes soon after that post.
One week night, I believe it was the Wednesday night after the last post, 
Mr and Me were up until 1a.m. working on cutting, rerouting, doubling up 
and attaching more heat tape and doubling up and re-insulating all our lines. 
We also added a heat lamp under the trailer as an additional measure.
We were frustrated, tired and cold.
But that's all behind us now and we haven't had any problems since and I
thank Heaven (and my awesome husband) for that.

So, what have we gotten done?
 I really shouldn't say "we", because I haven't been able to do much except
for cleaning up all the debris, stacking lumber, sucking water (melted snow) out of the
basement with the shop-vac, shoveling snow off of the sub-floor, purchasing materials
and holding the fort trailer down while all the construction happens.
the basement is COMPLETELY framed.
I'd post a photo, but I don't have one handy and it's dark out now,
so I can't go snap one real quick-like.
It's exciting seeing the definition of the rooms down there.
The roof (it's been a real booger, let me tell you) is 90% sheathed.
There's overbuild for the west facing gables that still needs to be done,
one barge rafter left to put up, and a little bit of sheathing. 
Dave, our helper, got a full-time position with a neighboring school district,
so he hasn't been available as much.
 We are very happy, though, that he and his family have been
so blessed with this new employment opportunity.
We've had some other fantastic helpers and what a blessing that has been!
A fellow in our ward who happens to do rough framing for a living
came and worked with Dean for a few hours on a couple of weeknights.
Yesterday he brought three of the guys from his work crew
who'd never seen our project before.
They were extremely impressed with the quality of work done on
the truss setting and frieze blocking.
That's the only way Dean Mossi, does anything - with excellence.
Our Saturday "guest crew" got a lot done.
Two of them told us they'd be happy to come work for us next Saturday.
We are thrilled!
And then there's this guy...
Seriously, we can't keep him away!
He's an awesome son-in-law and we love him to pieces.

I've taken very few photos lately, but here are a couple...

I LOVE our DEEP overhang! LOVE IT, I'm tellin' ya.

And here's a not-so-great look at the back (east) side.
And, yes, the guys have been running the sleds up and around the property.
I really, really, really hope our neighbors don't hate us for that.

I ordered the windows.
You may not think that's a big deal, but
it's huge.
I had some major anxiety and even sleepless nights over windows.
I called it an acute, prolonged, case of panes pains.
I drove Mr crazy.
And that's why it was so important that I found a great window guy to work with;
Shawn has been very understanding and EXTREMELY patient with me.
And he's funny - reminds me a lot of Bill Murray.
I changed my mind about 10,000 times and agonized over brand, frame color,
configuration, grids or no grids, size, placement.
I drove myself crazy with all that.
But, just like the frozen pipes, that's all behind us now.
And I feel good about my final decisions.
They should be delivered the end of next week.
I also ordered our interior doors.
Yeah, it's early, but I wanted to avoid the annual price hike of 4 to 6 percent.
Also, all but three of them are special order.
The main level ones will take about six weeks for
assembly ,shipping and delivery.
They should arrive close to the time we start sheetrock,
but we won't actually need them til that's done.

That's all we've got for now.
Next week I should have a photo of the front elevation, and barring any
 unforeseen snowfall, we should be completely sheathed and
the overbuilds (front gables) should have a good start.
It's exciting.
It's an adventure.
And, yes, we are staying warm. 
Thanks for stopping by.

And I'd like to say "Hello" to Peter!