Tiny Cabin Update: Exterior

After posting grades, Chuck and I went to see a couple movies and then outlined our cabin goals for the break. We had two nice days before Christmas and two the week after, during which we were able to nearly finish the exterior.

Before:

Though the shingles were nearly done, the final two rows were the hardest because every piece had to be cut to fit. Much of the scoring I did by hand since the tips of the shingles were relatively thin.

Meanwhile, Chuck, his dad, and my stepson Geoffrey worked on framing the transom window and trimming the front door to fit with the weather strip. The transom window might not have taken so long, but the glass was slightly too big. All we can guess is that some settling had occurred since we measured and ordered the glass months ago.

My brother Jared was able to help after Christmas. He’s really great at putting things together, especially when the pieces have to fit a certain way. He is also the only person I’ve ever known to successfully build a house out of cards–and one that supported weight. He was nine.

While Chuck installed the doorknob, Jared and I finished the shingles. Maybe it was the cutting, or maybe it was the wood, but we ended up with a couple dozen splinters each. Those took a bit more engineering to remove than the shingles took to put up.

We then moved to the side of the house. We finished the OSB with the random pieces we had and then put in the loft window. Our next move was to tack up the foam board. I painted the trim, and while it dried we covered the windows with plastic and painted the eaves.

We then nailed up the trim so Jared could begin the puzzle of matching the siding with other pieces.

Chuck and his dad got the back door hung, but we will still need to make some adjustments. The great window was close to being finished, but we had forgotten our plan to use the 1″ trim to frame it. The 1/2″ that they used was not quite wide enough to hold the glass in place.

We were running out of time: as soon as the sun sank behind the treeline, it got cold and increasingly hard to see. We were so close to our goal of finishing the exterior. Still, we were happy with what we had accomplished, especially compared to where we were just one year ago:

 

 

Tiny Cabin Update: Siding and Shingles

Several people have asked when the cabin will be finished. Well, it’s hard to say. When it’s 100 degrees with a heat index of 111, I’d rather tackle some of the 10,000 other things on my “to do” list, not to mention catch up on my freelance editing.

But since my brother Jared was coming in from Oklahoma and volunteered–that’s right, volunteered!–to help, we braved the heat. That week, at least, we had one day at 91 degrees, though another had a heat index of 107. By the time the heat became unbearable, however, we were so focused on our game plan that it didn’t slow us down. We arrived between 7 and 8 each morning and didn’t stop until sometime between 1 and 2.

First step: staining the siding. After staining the first sheet on our hands and knees, we decided to save our backs and carry the sheets to the sawhorses. Chuck framed out the sides of the house and made a run to the hardware store. I can’t remember what we needed, but it never fails that the first day has a few hiccups.

I also showed Jared how to hang the cedar shingles. I had a system for fitting them together, but he improved on it. At first we worked as a team, and then it became clear he’d be faster by himself with me trimming boards when needed.

But our main focus was getting up the siding since there were three of us. Jared and Chuck lifted the panels into place and I made sure the bottom went over the lip of the trim and then pushed from the side until the siding locked with the piece next to it.

What’s up next? I’ll finishing painting the underside of the eave and try not to get paint everywhere. In hindsight, I should have done that before the siding was in place. Chuck will frame out the window and we’ll move the scaffolding to the other side. Our goal is to have the exterior completely done by the end of August. That leaves the inside, which we can do little by little, as time and school permit!