No we’re not finished, but progress is being made, bit by bit. The framers are finished, the HVAC, plumbing, and electric work are complete, the walls are insulated and the drywall is up. The drywall guys are sanding as I type and when they are finished we can start to paint the interior.
Lee is putting up the siding outside. Its a huge job. He’s been worried about it ever since he decided to do it. Its saving us a bundle of money, so its worth it, but I’m afraid he’s had a lot of sleepless nights over it.
He’s learned so much in the process. We are putting up something called Hardieplank. “A combination of cellulose fibers and cementitious materials, HardiePlank is fiber-cement siding that comes in long, horizontal strips, just like wood lap siding.” It looks beautiful, but its kind of fragile. I’ve been involved in some of the process of putting it up. First you put up this piece of metal at the bottom of the row of siding. Then you put up a half size row so that the first row of siding will stick out properly, then a full row. That’s the part I’ve helped with; the first part takes two people, then he can do the rest on his own, until its above his head. For that part he’s hired a helper.
Then there are the Hardieplank shingles that go on the gable ends. This was the part that was really worrying him. Its high up, and there’s a lot of cutting. The lead framer has ended up helping him, thank God. He’s got the scaffolding, and the expertise too. Its a load off my mind, because the framer and his helper are the ones up on the scaffolding and Lee is below, cutting the shingles to size, etc. I didn’t want my husband dying on the job! Yes its costing us some money but its worth it.
They have made a lot of progress, but there is still a fair amount left to do. For one thing they need weather breaks to work outside in Minnesota. Below about 20F Lee’s hands don’t function well, his feet get cold, and its just really hard to work.
Lee is also doing all the exterior trim. (He'll do the interior trim too, but that comes later). I've also helped him put up the board that goes along the bottom of the siding, and the corner boards too. I mainly stand there, try to keep the shims in place and hold things straight as he nails it in place. He's done the trim around all the windows too.
I’m eager, and a little apprehensive, about painting. I’ve certainly done a lot of painting in my life! Lee knows better than to have me do any of the edging, but I can handle a roller just fine. But before we get to that point the windows have to be masked and covered with plastic. I get to do that part, so that’s the first thing I’m worried about. I hope I can manage those sheets of plastic okay! Then the drywall has to be primed. Lee will do this with a spray painting contraption, and my job will be to follow after him with a roller and smooth things out. But this will be a giant roller on an extension pole, so again, I hope I can manage it okay. We shall see!
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