… and I didn’t manage to fall off any of the ladders. I’m exhausted… There’s some touch-up left, but otherwise, it’s done. The porch is next, after some repair work.
Naturally, it hasn’t rained to speak of in nearly a month, but this week’s forecast calls for rain nearly every day starting Wednesday. As a result, I have pushed myself to get the front gable done. The first image is dark because it was so late in the day when I finished scraping the shingles. I was going to retake the photo Saturday morning but I was already twenty-some feet in the air when I remembered. Figured of all the things that needed to happen, a new photo was lowest priority. On Saturday, I was able to get the whole thing primed and on Sunday, I will be able to finish with the top coat.
Four ladders–don’t I feel professional!
Well, all but, anyway. There are only a handful of little touch-up things to do and the north side of the house will be done. I finally got positive feedback from the next door neighbor. It’s about time…
I started scraping the big gable on the front of the house this morning. Initially, I was overwhelmed by it, but once I got up on the porch roof and evaluated it with an open mind, it was no big deal. I’ve used this phrase before but the front gable suffers from the ravages of deferred maintenance. That’s both good and bad. Good, in that the paint comes off very easily. Bad, because some elements have been damaged as a result. (shrug) I’m a bad house owner, I guess. The weather will be much cooler again this week, so I’m hoping to make decent progress over the next several evenings. If I should be lucky enough to get this done in the next week or so, very little remains of my paint-the-house project. Well, I guess the front porch isn’t done yet. That will take some effort as well considering that there still remains some amount of repair work to be done. (sigh)
I’ll be glad to be able to say I’m done considering I’ve been at this for 15 months or so now.
… but I was cool on it after it was done. Yesterday, I had the “inspiration” to pick out the undercourse shingles on the very bottom of the east gable with the trim color. I felt pretty silly up there with an artist’s brush applying paint to my house. But after I stood back and looked, I thought, “Hrmmmm….” Just about that time, my wife came out to shovel out the interior of her car (I like to refer to it as the garbage scow). When I asked her what she thought about the change, she hesitated as well; I opted to just go back and paint over it again with the Rock Bottom. 60 minutes of my life I’ll never see again…
Yesterday morning while it was cool and shady, I scraped the lower gable on the east side of the house. This gable is part of the old summer kitchen that was converted into a garage (probably for a Model-T) ages ago. Then later, a lean-to was added to that. When I purchased the house, the lean-to was closed in by metal panels on the front with a metal door for access. I jerked all the metal off and now it’s open to the elements (and feral animals of all kinds). Its life span was always intended to be short-lived, but thirteen years later it is still standing.
This portion of my property is kind of like the seedy underside of all cities–it’s the part that everyone knows is there but generally doesn’t get talked about in polite company. With the publication of these photos today, I am exposing that darker side of my property for all the world to see.
The paint flew off the shingles with abandon after so many years of deferred maintenance. Several were in bad shape or were damaged when they added the porcelain cylinders for the old wiring. I still have to remove the last of the old wiring in the very peak and scrape it as well.
The dilemma now is what to do with the opening. At one time, it was a small window but the PO enlarged the opening and made it a “door”. This space is not livable nor is it conditioned; it’s merely a haven for dust and insects of all kind. I really want to do something with it some day because I want to salvage all the newspapers from the nineteen-teens in perfect shape under the linoleum on the floor. If I had my way, I would rebuild the whole thing as a new mud room entrance to the house with an upstairs laundry. Yeah, like that’s going to happen anytime soon… As for the door, I don’t think there’s any reason to make it a window at this point. But do I close it in or do I just maintain the status quo? I hate making these decisions!
I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but I get tired of doing the same thing over and over again during a project. As a result, I tend to wander from task to task in order to keep my mind working on something new occasionally. Today, I decided that I wanted to start putting on the top coat for the east gable trim (March Wind) and shingles (Rock Bottom).
The trim color looks almost exactly like I had in mind, except when I put it on the corbels and soffit; then it looked quite dark. Not a huge deal, but in my mind I pictured something a bit more off-white. Oh, well. I have three gallons of it now–gonna like it regardless.
It was the last day of Sherwin-Williams 30% off sale today so I bit the bullet and bought all of what I thought I would need. Oi! That hurt my wallet… But the paint I’m using goes on like a dream. I guess you get what you pay for when it comes to quality.
The photo doesn’t quite do the colors justice, but here it is nonetheless…
On Saturday, I took a brief hiatus from the full-out scraping festival. For months now, I’ve been eyeing the facade over the kitchen for a thorough going-over repair. I suspected that water was somehow managing to find its way in behind the siding; however, I wasn’t exactly sure why, where, or how. The siding was in really rough shape which I believed (and still do) had something to do with it. I made the decision that Friday was the day to do something about it once and for all.
I ripped off all the old siding and replaced it with new that I had gotten from the local big box store just this week. I’ve heard and read that you should prime the back side of siding and so I decided to give it a shot with this project. I bought the new lap siding for another project and for repairs in a couple other places but decided that I would allocate some of it for this new repair.
By the end of the day and after having moved my ladder about a million times, my knees and legs had had it. I was under the gun though because it was supposed to rain Saturday night (which it ultimately did not). Yesterday morning before we left for our pre-Memorial Day festivities, I quickly slapped up a coat of primer on the new siding for the many upcoming rains forecast for us in the next week. Doing so, I finished off my first gallon of primer. At this rate, this paint job is going to cost me a fortune… (sigh)
Why I didn’t take a before-shot is quite beyond my capacity to understand…
From 7:00 am to 5:30 pm today, I scraped and primed most of the upper half of the southern section of the east side of the house. (Yeah, not much.) Priming the shingles was no fun at all. Well, at first it was gratifying, then it became tedious, then aggravating, then painful, and finally if-I’m-not-done-soon-I-will-jump-off-the-ladder-head-first. I bought the very best oil-based primer Sherwin-Williams had to offer. Great stuff, but it’s the consistency of thin cake batter so applying it takes time and effort.
It’s funny… When one has nothing but a wall of dry, bare decorative shingles to stare at, many things like world peace, deficit reduction, and the like can be ruminated upon. Or, in my case, perfecting my controlled run/drip method of priming the lower edge of the shingles. An all but useless, long-term skill to be sure.
Along with the priming, I replaced one piece of siding and reattached several others with galvanized finish nails. For the most part, if there is primer in the photo, there was no paint, meaning that the decorative shingles had little to no paint left at all by the time I was done scraping.
The photos attached have a bluish tint but in person it’s more of a battleship grey. The scheme we are going for is the Night Owl, March Wind, and Rock Bottom found here. Storms tonight and tomorrow, so a short reprieve is in store. As long as it has taken me to get to this point, I’m guessing this is an all summer-type project. Goody…
I finally began the house painting project in earnest yesterday. It is several years way overdue. Originally, I was going to hire someone to do the three gables for me but after getting their $1200 bid, I decided I would try to handle it myself. The job itself isn’t really what you would call difficult, but it is massively time-consuming and back breaking work. I worked on the east gable all day long and only got about half of it scraped. Granted, I did some repair work while I was at it; something that I realized upon closer inspection was required.
To make it even more challenging, getting to the gable above the intersecting roof line of the office/garage was decidedly difficult. In the photos below, the ladder is the farthest to the right that I can possible get it. The pitch on the office/garage is 12/12 making it difficult (for me, impossible) to navigate. My solution was to build a little wedge-thingy on which to put my folding ladder. (A great tip from a blog post that should receive credit but I have no idea from where it came now.) The upper half of the ladder lays nearly horizontally on the roof so I can sit on it; I couldn’t bring myself to attempt to stand. I’m not afraid of heights, but I have a healthy respect for it. (It or them? (shrug))
I replaced about a dozen shingles. Certainly not difficult, but juggling shingles, nails, and a hammer while sitting on a ladder is decidedly challenging. Especially when your legs start to fall asleep…
Another beautiful day on tap today (60’s) but the day is jam-packed with other activities not related to the house. Guess the remainder of the scraping will just have to wait until it’s good and hot. Blech!
On a side note, we woke up to frost this morning along with ice in the bird bath. To make that even more insulting/puzzling, the forecast says it is supposed to be 92 in two days. For the love of Pete, will Mother Nature please just make up her mind?!
My house is suffering, in some ways, from the ravages of deferred maintenance. I’ve been fully funding interior renovations and putting off the exterior stuff. I trimmed the south window in the sitting area at the top of the stairs a couple of weekends ago. That got me to thinking about a lot of things that were wrong with that window. Last weekend, I decided that it was time to rectify that. Ages and ages ago when they added that window, they didn’t do the best job repairing the decorative shingles below it. Doubtful anyone but I would notice but it was driving me nuts! At any rate, I got out my ladders and put that project to bed once and for all by repairing and replacing both the diamond and some fish-scale shingles on the porch while I was at it.
Since the ladder was out, I decided that the Palladian window in the north gable probably needed some well-deserved attention. It’s a little over twenty feet off the ground; doesn’t sound like much but it’s plenty high when one is up there. My wife and I man-handled the ladder over there and I shinnied up to take a look. OMG!!!! It was far worse than I imagined. The old sill was just laying there out of habit. When I started taking it out, it came out in these light-as-cork chunks. The window trim itself was so worn by water that you could see the grain pattern. Not to mention the fact that most of nails holding it to the house had long ago rusted away. The window sash itself was very rotten on the bottom. What kept the whole thing in the wall is beyond me. How embarrassing that I let it go this long!
All of that is now history… I replaced the sill, reattached the frame to the house using stainless steel finish screws, and primed it. I also replaced the bottom of the window sash with a new piece salvaged from another old window, and primed it. Now I just need to paint the exterior with a finish coat and add the glass. I’m hoping it can be installed tomorrow as there is a chance of rain on Wednesday (although, I will believe that when I see it considering that we are six inches below normal so far).
The next step is to build a storm window for that Palladian window. Shouldn’t be too hard, really. Maybe a couple of weekends and it should be in place. And now I’m seriously considering painting the house next year. It really needs it…