BIG Art; Tiny House Post No. 13: Starting the Siding

This Saturday dawned cold, rainy, and gray. It was also the first day in the entire project that I was slated to work on my own.  Suffice to say, the desire to stay in bed sipping tea and reading one of the fantastic books lent to me by Hearth Member Marika McCoola was strong. But as I dragged myself around the house, glowering at the world over a cup of tea that was not waking me up as well as I hoped, my stubbornness kicked in. My community has pushed me incredibly far in this project, farther than I could have imagined, and it was time for me to step up.

And so I drove out to Concord, windshield wipers swishing, blasting Kicking the Beehive by Susan Werner on repeat (my favorite song by my favorite musician, in case you’re curious) and set to work. I started off by cutting the corner trim, which Matt had put together last weekend, to shape around the house. I realized, while doing this, that it is finally time to put in a real front porch and take out the subfloor we put in temporarily. That’s on next weekends to-do list.

As you can see from the time lapse video, work goes slowly when it’s just one person. But it went nonetheless. I started the siding on the front of the house after installing three of the five corners and nailing lathes as breathers around the house.  The other two still had to be primed before they could be installed. This is also when I discovered, like Andy had told me when I was gleefully installing my loft flooring, how much I like siding. It is the most craft-like part of carpentry I have get to encounter and appeals to my many hours spent in the pottery and sewing studio. It also stacks up very quickly, especially when compared to trimming the roof, and leads to relative instant gratification.

I left at two on Saturday. As part of my carrot to get me out of the house, I told myself that I only needed to put in half the day.  Of course, as soon as I left the rain started to clear. Alas, so it goes.

Sunday I returned at 9:30, again battling myself the entire morning this time because I went to bed with a sore throat and woke up with a full-blown cold. Somebody with more maturity than me might connect this to the fact that I was building in the rain with just a ratty old sweatshirt to keep me warm. I’m blaming it on my rebellious body wanting more attention than it deserves.

Thankfully, the rain was absent on Sunday. It was the other sort of typical fall day in New England: bright blue skies, brilliant warm leaves, and just enough of a bite in the air to make you keep moving.  Matt, our most dedicated volunteer, and Hearth Member Nat Bearg stopped by and helped the siding progress much more quickly. While I continued to work on the front wall, going up and around the huge picture window, Nat and Matt each installed one of the remaining corner posts. Then Nat dove into the siding on the long parch side of the house while Matt installed roofing on the back outriggers and then continued the thankless job of priming siding.

All in all, it was an incredibly productive weekend and well worth the wheedling it took to get myself out of bed both days. This coming weekend, we’ll continue with the siding and tackle part of the dormer roof. Just a few more weekends and we’ll be completely weather-tight!

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