Build: Days Twelve and Thirteen and INTO THE INFINITE FUTURE

Day 11: I start priming the house. I remember very quickly that I freaking hate priming, as it is all of the work of painting with none of the “oh, yay, things are looking great!” reward of painting. In fact, it is negative reward, since everything looks way worse after you prime it. I get that priming is important, and I am going to be rewarded for it by only needing two gallons of paint for the entire house. That intellectual reminder quickly begins to mean nothing to me, because boooo priming.

Day 12: I prime some more. And then even more. I stand on a tippy ladder attempting to prime the 13.5 ft. section of the house with an extension pole. I then slap a little bit of paint on one of the primed sections, even though I am not done with the priming, because I really want to see how the paint looks. I decide I feel meh about the color. I realize that even though it is impractical, I secretly still really want blue. I press on, because I proposed to Benjamin Moore Pewter and it said yes and now I just have to figure out how to make it work. I try to take pictures of the color to show you guys but can’t get any shots where the color even vaguely approximates how it looks in real life. While I am doing this, Jeff roofs. Jeff becomes covered in tar, as it is windy during this whole endeavor. We end the day yelling at each other about outlet placement for no reason.

Day 13 [today]: I finish priming [mostly. not the really tall sections, for which I have decided I will need a taller ladder.] I start getting more paint up on the walls. I feel marginally better about the color, but still a touch meh. I decide to forgo anything like the extension pole or the edger in favor of just getting the maximum amount of paint on the wall possible, so now it looks like a. Charlie Brown’s shirt, b. like it is being painted by a manic-depressive Rothko enthusiast. No photographs are even attempted. I run out of paint. I paint all the window trim high gloss white, thinking all the time that I probably should have stained it like I initially wanted to, and end the day feeling TERRIBLE about EVERYTHING and hating the whole project in a way that even I can tell is just a combination of tiredness and spoiled child-style petulance about not getting everything I want at all times always. I remind myself that I always get down on projects halfway through, and then immediately start feeling better once I push on.  Jeff finishes the roof. Momentous occasion: house is now a complete, watertight structure. Yay!

After I get done painting, I immediately go up to Lowes in order to look at pocket doors and shower enclosures, all of which I HATE, and after that, I realize that I just need to go home and go to bed.

Day 14-389434: MOAR PAINTING. I am so tired of painting, you guys. It does not help that it has been 43 degrees and windy. Subpar painting conditions!

Also on Day 14: Jeff puts the shower in and starts plumbing it! Hurrah!
Also on Day 14, hopefully: I get over myself, because honestly, self.

PS: [This is a good PS]: This morning when I got to the house, there was a bobcat just hanging out on the roof. Bobcat! They are generally pretty shy, but this guy had gotten himself into a position on the roof where he couldn’t quite scamper off, so as I got closer, he did the exact same thing that my cats do when I catch them in Forbidden Zones: he got very disdainful and was like, “Hey, jerk, I am going to sloooooowly get off this roof, but it’s just because I want to and not because you are the boss of me”, and when he made it down, he zipped off right into the underbrush. Yay for hilariously snide bobcats!

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Build: Days Ten & Eleven

Here’s the tiny house update for Wednesday and Friday (Thursday was rainy and cold, so we just did projects in our various garages).
1) Mistakes Were Made: Door Edition
So you guys remember the door I was so excited about?  DISASTER. Here is the process of that, in brief:
a. Buy door that turns out to be an awesome solid(*ish) wood, former schoolhouse door from Gerson’s, the architectural surplus store. For eighty bucks! Yay!
b. Start stripping paint from door, realize that there are at least three layers of old paint on each side. Yay?
c. Spend three evenings standing out in the cold garage hand-stripping paint. Begin feeling a little less yay. Go out and buy really pretty finish restore stuff to make self feel better, imagining how pretty the lovely raw wood door will look.
d. At the very end of the paint stripping process, uncover an enormous pockmarked section that had been filled in with wood fill. Wood fill is pretty solid, but that jettisons plans for beautiful refinished natural wood door. Exxhange finish restore stuff for paint and primer.
e. Sand sand sand sand sand. Attempt to get all old paint off the door; fail. Decide that if I just prime it, it’ll fill in the irregularities, and anyway, will otherwise look rustic.
f. Prime it. Primer does not do any of the things I’d hoped. Say, ‘rustic, rustic, rustic!’ over and over again, talismanically.
g. Paint it. It does not look rustic. It looks like a bad paint job.
h. Paint it again. Still doesn’t look awesome.
i. Jeff comes over while I am at work, looks at door drying on sawhorses, declares it totally unusable, due to some mysterious structural thing that was never fully explained.
j. Stuff door in back of Scion xa, drive it back to Gerson’s, sweet talk the nice people there into letting me return it for store credit.
k. Return door jamb kit to Home Depot, also get store credit.
l. Jeff goes to Lowe’s and buys a meh-looking plastic-y steel door for three hundred bucks. I have a sad. Oh well, I am going to at least paint it something cool.

Unpainted sadness door.
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The upside of these door shenanigans is that I now have a house key! To my own house! Which feels kinda momentous, I must say.

2) Paint: The Cold Feet-ening.

Went down to visit the house on Thursday while it was storming, because Science! And I’m glad I did, because without exception, all of the little sample blues looked awful when the sun wasn’t out and the weather was crummy. They all sucked up the available light and nearly all of them read black from any kind of distance (the only one that didn’t was the one that was called, coincidentally enough, Rainstorm). So I thought about it for the evening, and then the next morning, I bought a couple of samples of warm dark gray, my other option in the paint-off. I tried them out on the side of the house (it was still gloomy, though not raining anymore) and the grays seemed to work a TON better in a variety of light conditions. I am not sure I like them as much as the blues, but a combination of seeing them in the gloom and my mom and Jeff both yelling things at me about dark blues and solar gain (“when it’s blazing hot in the middle of the summer and you’re not living in a sweatbox, you are going to be glad you listened to your mother!”) made me reevaluate a bit. So yesterday, I started priming the house and also bought a gallon of this Benjamin Moore color called ‘Pewter’. But only a gallon, because I reserve the right to hate it and paint over it with a blue.

3) Construction! In the last few days, we have made tons of progress: first, on Thursday, I painted roof trim while Jeff was framing out the loft (yay!)

Roof trim, drying
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Loft frame: the little hatch is where the stairs will go
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Detail
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Then we put the roof trim up (did I mention in the last entry that we’d put on the ply roof panels? If not, we did, and here they are! That’s a later shot: as you will note, it includes Sadness Door)
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Then yesterday, we put the subfloor panels down in the loft, which means you can walk on the loft now, and Jeff BUILT STAIRS! The stairs, btw, are going to be drawers, so those uprights are temporary.
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Beautiful stairs
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Of course, the primary reason for doing stairs instead of a ladder is because I wanted the pets to be able to get up and down: here is Widget, proving that it can be done!
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In the loft!
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Late afternoon view from the loft
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(if I can get some stained glass in this house, I’m going to put the panels to the left and right of this picture, on those two dark spots at the top.)

Sitting in the loft with a photobombing puppy
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The loft is great, incidentally. When I’d visited tiny houses prior to this project, my knock on them was that the lofts felt really claustrophobic, mostly because they were under a sharply pitched roof. With the flat(ish) roof and the windows, my loft avoids that. You can’t stand in it (not possible if you want a functional kitchen), but if you’re sitting on the floor and you’re my height, you have to reach your arms all the way up to touch the ceiling. I think I am going to love hanging out in it.

Then I started priming the house. No pictures of that, but it looks like you’d think: I had limited time before the build site closed, so I didn’t do any edging work and just tried to get as much primer up as I could: it is fuzzy and Rothkoesque now, but I’m going down today to finish and hopefully get some of the actual paint up so I can see it. And while I do that, Jeff is going to be roofing! More probably tonight.

Build: Day Nine

First off, in the battle of Me vs Door, the current (and probably final) score is Door: 1 Me: 0. I spent three straight evenings trying to get all the old paint off the door, only to discover at the very end that there were a couple of places where it had been patched and wood-filled. This jettisoned my plan to stain it–the patched sections would have been SUPER obvious–and so after all that work, I am just going to paint it again. Boo! It’s in the garage with a couple of coats of primer on it, and I am probably just going to paint it white since I have some white exterior paint left over from doing the floor. Why yes, that is the color that the door started (at least on one side): don’t rub it in. That said, if any of you guys come up with awesome ideas for more fun door colors that would look nice with dark blue, I am all ears.

In better news, I now have rafters on the whole roof, as well as roof boards! Jeff finished the siding while he was working by himself on Monday, so yesterday we started by putting on the flashing (it’s a moisture barrier that you put at the join between two horizontal siding panels).

Galvanized metal! How can you say no? If I can get some Cor-Ten steel in there somewhere, the house is going to be a very small ode to Richard Serra.DSC00254

Installed
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And hey! you might have noticed those fancy roof panels in the picture! That’s because we spent most of the day cutting the beams for the back ceiling (over the loft), schlepping them up the ladder, then covering them with enormous panels of ply, also schlepped up the ladder. No in-process pictures of this, because I didn’t realize ’till I got down there that I’d only brought my telephoto lens (not useful for close house shots) and because of the aforementioned ‘carrying heavy things on ladders’.

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I climbed up the ladder to take pictures from atop the roof, but couldn’t get them with only the telephoto. So all I managed was a couple of up-close shots of the elevated living room ceiling.

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Laying on my back inside the houselet, looking up at the ceiling
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Always nice to see this kind of stuff on your plywood! Formaldehyde-free since 2013!
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Then, because the forecast calls for freezing rain (*shakes fist at sky), we tarped the top: Jeff said that if it rained, he’d just come down and work on the electrical indoors, no big deal. To which I responded, “Or you could just stay home and NOT be out in the freezing rain!”, but he just laughed that off because he is a crazy person.

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Still stressing over paint color. What I found today is a) the Benjamin Moore paint covers beautifully and dries to a really pretty matte finish: definitely my leading contender for Brand of Paint, and b) the color, which is my favorite on the light side of the house, looks very grim on the dark side of the house. I still love it, but seeing it dry and on the shaded side gave me pause.

I don’t know if this will translate on your screens, but here it is on the light side:
DSC00250My shaded side comparison shot didn’t really turn out: I’ll try to get another today. But suffice to say, the warmer colors hold a lot more light on the shaded side (duh, I guess, but it took seeing it in person for me to really get that) and are a lot prettier in the shade, though I still contend they look too bright on the light side.

All of this stressing is because I am going to have to paint SOON, probably Friday if the weather is OK, because Jeff wants to get the trim up and that is going to be a lot easier if I paint first. Jeff, by the way, hates all the colors I’m considering (“they’re all so dark!”), and I can tell it’s going to break his heart a little to see his baby all clad in what he considers unsuitable colors (he says that if it were him, he’d go with a baby blue with white trim. Sorry, Jeff.)

Scrap pile! Still not enormous! Still lots of useable bits!
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Rafter scraps. So pretty!
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Fauxlarium, sided
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