Monday, July 29, 2013


This past week we were very lucky to have not one or two, but three visitors show up to help with the house!

Josh's mom came mid week to help sand and prime doors and windows for the covered porch. Together, Melanie and I managed to sand four large double paned windows and sand/prime two doors. With all of the nooks, crannies, and corners on these doors and windows, it was no small task.

The doors, shown below, are solid wood and were picked up at a flea market for $30 each. It was tempting to refinish the wood and keep it natural, but with the severe weather these doors will see we opted to prime and paint them with a deck and arbor paint. The wood doors will replace our current chain link doors, one of which you can see in the picture.

The doors are primed now, and I will add a few coats of paint this week then scrape the panes with a razor blade to finish them off.

After Melanie left, Josh and I worked on leveling a new spot on the side of the house to stack cord wood. Our pile had been stacked against the side of the house all winter, and for reasons I won't bore you with now, that was a bad idea and the pile needed to be moved. After digging a level plot for the new stacking spot, we made a run to the gravel pit and ended up hand shoveling our gravel into the back of the Tacoma because the pit operator was busy elsewhere. If you ever want a really good workout, go ahead and fill up the back of a truck with gravel using nothing but a shovel. I don't think we'll be doing that again :)

Once the gravel was spread on our plot, it looked like this:

On Saturday, Josh's dad, Peter, and Peter's friend Arnie showed up to keep the progress going. Josh and Peter worked on framing out the windows, while Arnie and I cleared a large pile of cord wood off the porch and relocated it to the new stacking spot then applied linseed oil to fourteen 2' x 6' x 12' rough cut hemlock boards. We'll use the boards to make raised beds in the kitchen garden on top of the rock retaining wall.

Don't mind all the saw dust on the panes. Once we add window molding, a few coats of primer and paint, then wipe down the panes, these should look pretty nice. We have four large windows like the one shown above and four smaller windows for the sides of the covered porch. Josh and Peter figured out the framing on Saturday, and now it is our task to finish the job of installing the framing for the remaining 7 panes. Lots of work!

I'll be back later this week with a progress report. In the meantime, I want to thank Melanie, Peter, and Arnie for your amazing help this week and for keeping us motivated. You all are the best!


  1. ooh, could you please bore me with the details of why the previous wood pile placement was bad? we're trying to figure out where we want to store our wood and i'm gathering all the information i can get!

    (and oh, so much progress. can't believe how much work you have done! xo.)

  2. Regina - the main thing with cord wood is you want it to stay dry. When it is stacked against a structure, that prevents air from moving through it. Most people stack their cord wood east/west to get the most wind moving through it and they place it out in an open area. Also, if you stack against the side of the house you are going to get the drip line from the roof falling right on the pile, making it even more soggy than necessary. When we started unstacking our wood from behind the house, the wood that had been in the last few rows right against the house was completely soggy and starting to disintegrate, and it also had gotten the side of the house dirty and moldy. We're going to need to spray down the side of the house with some water and bleach now, and a good amount of the wood is going to need an entire season to dry out enough to be useable. Some of it we just had to toss.

    Also, critters like mice and snakes like wood piles, so if you stack against the house there's an increased possibility that critters will start burrowing into the side of the house and get into the walls.

    I'm sure there are other reasons, but those are the ones I know. The ideal situation seems to be a free standing pile in an open area with an open "shed" structure around it to protect it from rain. Something like this;

    A tarp over the pile will work too, but I don't think it dries out as well with a tarp around it and it's not as nice to look at either.

  3. patrick changes his mind daily over the location of the wood pile and it always seems to involve an objectionable tarp. (our local mink seems to like our wood pile. but i don't find that nearly as objectionable as bright blue tarps.)

    currently he's thinking lean-to shed against the barn but i don't think we'll be getting to that anytime soon. thanks for the info!

    xo. r

  4. Claire,

    it was fun to help out last week! should have made it up a lot sooner. i'm very proud of the boys, too :). they were hurculean!