Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fenced in

Over the last two weeks we've begun a stockade style privacy fence in the backyard. It is essentially to contain Aggie, who has already lept the wire fence and gone into the neighbors yard.

The fence spans about ninety feet. The week before last we dug the holes for the posts and put them in.

Aggie helped a little until she realized it was to keep her in. After that we were on our own.

Yesterday it was about fifty degrees outside and I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and it was a good day to put up pickets. Today it snowed.

It was about 25 degrees all day long. It was not a good day to work outside. Yesterday was the best day to be outside in weeks. It makes for a strange dichotomy.

If it's a good day to work, do it, if you feel alright. Tomorrow it might rain or snow. You might feel bad. You might be in a bad mood. The world could be conspiring against you. Don't do any work when you are angry. It won't be quality work and you'll end up having to do it twice. Don't even cook if you're mad, the food won't taste good.

You will always run out of gas when it's raining. Your battery will be dead when you are in a hurry. Your tire will be flat on the coldest day of the year. That's how it goes. Do all of those things to get ahead on a sunny day when you don't mind the labor. It will all go better for you.

So it took me two weeks to build the fence (and I'm still not done). So what? Yesterday was a fine day to work outside. Today was the worst of the year. It didn't matter, I enjoyed the work and today I enjoyed the snow!

2.5" of snow that paralyzed Atlanta!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Last Cabinet

 Routing the final cabinet for the rails.
Glue up and assembly...
 Completed carcase

So it's taken approximately a year to build and install all of the cabinet boxes for the kitchen. I've learned a lot in that time. The last cabinet was head and shoulders better than the first. None of them were bad, it's just that you learn better techniques as you go along. It's been a fun process. I still have to build boxes for the island as well.

They won't really ever be noticed once the doors are installed. But I know that I used really good material and they are solid. They should be around way after I'm gone. I could usually build two out of each sheet of plywood. The 3/4" birch plywood cost about $50 per sheet. I probably used around six sheets. I've got lots of labor in them but probably less than $1000 in material. The doors and the hardware will be expensive so it will maybe cost another $1000 to complete the job. Custom cabinets would have been well over $5K. They ain't perfect but I'm okay with that. They turned out alright.

Last wall cabinet installed!

Now if I only had some doors...


Next, counter tops, tile, trim, etc. etc...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Six degrees of cold...

This is what happens when it gets down to six degrees. This is ice on the inside of a window in the house. This window does not have storm windows on it and the condensation froze. I had to get a hair dryer to thaw it out.

This is an original window and it will be replaced by a door. Extreme cold is uncomfortable but it reveals the thermal weaknesses of a structure better than anything else. I knew this window was a weak point but I didn't realize the extent.

Storm windows work because they keep the exterior cold or heat away from the single pane glass. Condensation will always form where hot meets cold. Where condensation occurs that is below freezing ice will form. There should be an entire chapter in the book on inefficiency devoted to this.

I found several other places throughout the house that had ice on the glass that morning. Mainly where the storm window had been left in an open position.

I left the hose bibbs dripping the night before and icicles had formed on the spigots.

When I rode around the next day there was sign of burst pipes everywhere around town. Home Depot's watering system in the garden center burst. A major metropolitan hospital that my wife works at had a pipe burst which flooded a recovery room.

This is an infrared reading on the window pane. It's around 63 degrees inside the house.

The neighbors reported that one of the houses nearby had water running out of it and icicles were seen emanating from the front door. I tried working outside and only lasted about 15 minutes. At noon it had risen to 12 degrees. If it never gets that cold again it will be too soon!

Today I was wearing a t-shirt...

Kitchen Update

New wall cabinet added. Floor completed. Blind replacing the curtain.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Recap

Probably the most productive year of my life, 2013 saw a transformation of the shoe box we purchased in 2012 into a liveable space that we can call our own. It isn't complete yet and I wouldn't want to do it again, but it's something we can be proud of.  There are so many things too innumerable to mention on top of the major items listed here.