Monday, August 21, 2006

2 Weeks of progress, and no end to Mennonite jokes in site

Well the basement framing is truly almost finished. Over the last two weekends, I've imposed upon my friend Kevin, and my siblings Alex, Jenn and her BF Gabe to finally raise the 'roof' or more correctly ceiling into place.

Progress was dodggy at time while the infamous 1.5 inch haunted me yet again, but as it turns out sometimes the best laid plans are truly madness. The lesson here is that when framing a room, no matter how accurately you raise 4 walls, the 5th wall (or ceiling) needs to be done with a whole lot of TLC.

Kevin and I avoided this mistake by raising our ceiling boards one at a time, and leveling as we went. With each board his knee swelled more and more (such is the misfortune of the injured tri-athlete.) Yet after Kevin left, I though it would be great to assemble the last (relatively square) section of ceiling in on large piece. Well my conscripted siblings were amenable to trying this, after two attempts to lift into place I realized that my measurements were flawed, and that a life time of fine tuning would be required. At which point I pulled out the circular saw, broke the frame down into pieces, and we raised them board at a time, the way gravity intended.

Once the ambitions of my plans were much deflated, progress ensued. Requiring much less strength to do it piece at a time, my lovely wife, and Jenn attacked the stairs. The stairs are ugly utilitarian painted wood, without a backing. This leads to much missadventure as our cats climb into the storage area behind the stairs, heedless of our requests that they do no such thing. (Our cats are generally heedless of our requests.) So they enacted a design envisioned by myself and Erin to cover the back of the stairs with 1"x10" planks of knotty pine. A plan thoroughly complicated by the fact I bought the wrong lumber, 1"x1' planks, so each step hung down about 3 inches farther then expected, and thus became impossible to clamp with the tools on hand. In spite of my mistakes they managed, and we now have a cat resistant set of stairs. (No construction is truly cat proof, but sufficient design can render it at least disinterest to cats.)

After Jenn and Gabe took to raising the 2x2's that will drop the front ceiling just below the AC pipe, only to discover that 2x2 isn't quiet enough. So parts of the front will be two inches down, and we will have a deeper center channel for the AC, that we will also turn into a wiring conduit. So all is not lost, just complicated. The work didn't get finished, but that was in no part based on the willingness of the workers, only my desire to not be seen as a cruel task master, so I sent them home to a more relaxed evening. They did the important part of figuring how it should go. Erin and I can do the finishing touches with few complications (famous last words.)

Finally Erin finished the job of ceiling all the vapour barrier, and I will say it was a messy job, but she handled it admirably.

So the basement is finally coming together. Between this week, and my vacation I should finish the framing in time for an early September dry walling. Hopefully in advance of my Trevor's Brother's move in, as he is a skilled drywall operator, and I need him before he is distracted with his own home.

Well that's the barn updated. I will get pictures off Erin's PC tonight. (I left the memory card for the camera in it. I also may have left the camera at my grandparents house. I really need to attach idiot strings to all my electronics.

G-Out
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