Yesterday it was rainy and I spent the day inside in my own place. And it was dry! It’s funny what becomes exciting. Anyways, now I know the roof doesn’t leak. I managed to get one window in, and finished tarpapering the three finished walls. I need help with the final  part of the fourth wall and other 3 windows, so am just waiting for one or two friends to come over and give me a hand.

Here is the one window that is in, in all its glory.

Now the fun part of the house-building starts, where I get to do relaxing things like making the bed and putting trim on the door frame, stuff that I started yesterday. I also started insulating, and so far haven’t found any moths in the wool, just around in the area, on the tar paper, etc. so maybe they are not wool moths, I’m not sure.

Not much else is new. I have to install the wood stove soon, and am looking for a propane stove for cooking. I’m hoping to insulate and plaster the inside as quickly as I can, finish the bed, build a counter and little table and some shelves… I still have some things to do, but am feeling like the most crucial tasks

are almost done. I should put an eaves trough up to catch rainwater before the fall/winter really hits, but feel unmotivated about doing outdoor work right now.

Wool Disaster?

Well, I don’t have a picture, but imagine the last picture but with almost no spaces in the wall except the windows and more tar paper.

Work on it has been going pretty well lately. While I was unsuccessfully stapling on some tar paper in the winds from Igor (the storm), a truck I didn’t recognize crept along the driveway and pulled up. A middle-aged man and woman pulled up and introduced themselves and said they lived in St. Theresa (nearby). They had heard there were two guys living here, and when they commented that they didn’t know there was a house on this property, apparently someone told them “it’s not a house“. They were incredibly nice, interested in what I was doing and complimentary about the house, and then the man said he’d give me a half-ton of wood for the winter for free! So far most of the older/middle-aged people here are really kind and inviting.

The potential disaster is that my wool might be infested with moths. I’ve seen a few around that are probably wool moths. Fortunately the wool is only in the floor so far, not in the walls. I’ve looked at the actual wool in bags, though, and haven’t seen any eggs or moths there, just 3 around the house. So… does anyone have any wool moth experience? I’m guessing I need to get rid of all this wool if I confirm that’s what they are. I was planning on mixing cedar chips (which I have) with the wool for moth-prevention, but I doubt it’s strong enough to get rid of them and I don’t want to use anything toxic. So, anyone who knows anything about moths (not just in insulation), does their population explode and get terrible? Do I need to get rid of it all? Could I even use other wool or is the area tainted? I will do the research some time, but am interested in hearing of anyone’s experience with this.

Ugly Duckling

I hesitate to put a picture up here because I feel like the house is a bit unsightly right now, but it can really only improve (I hope). It’s just in an intermediate stage where there is particle board on some parts, bare wood on others and on one spot some tar paper. All I’m hoping to do on the outside this year is to cover it in tar paper, and then next year I plan to nail lathe on top of the tar paper and then plaster over it with a natural plaster, or cover it in shakes.

On other fronts, things are moving along. We have a civic number now, which is cool because it means we can get mail at home (when I get a mailbox), and I just ordered  garbage and recycling bins so we can get pick-up soon. Luxury.

I finally have a roof, which has been a problem for some time, as it was often too rainy to work on the roof (unfortunate, because I would have appreciated having one just then), and there was also the problem of getting down from the roof once it was finished, since I was getting up to it through the ceiling, and my ladder is only 8′ tall. The solution: a new 16′ ladder made of 2x4s:

Things continue to go slowly, partly because of the rain, but it’s coming along.

Rafters, Communities, etc.

I’m still working on the rafters, but an end is in sight! Part of the reason it’s taking so long is that the weather has been terrible, and I can only make myself work in the rain for so long. But it’s coming along.rafters 

I have a few more rafters up than are in the picture, but this is basically it so far. The next couple of days are supposed to be nicer, so hopefully I will get more done…

A couple of people asked what the community I live in is like, so I’ll talk about that a bit. For punk/etc. community, there is another land project nearby with 4 people on it, two building a place and two building an extension to their existing place. They live a 45-minute bike ride away, along the rail trail, and we have “family dinner” on Fridays, which means some sort of potluck at the one finished house between all of us.  Travis and I stayed there for a month while we were looking at land out here and their place is inspirational as far as how much you can get done in a short amount of time- chickens, a well, (soon) two good-sized houses, a root cellar, and various other projects.

As far as the non-punk/etc. community, I live in a group of several houses and forested lots with a baseball field next to a field of cattle. That is Peakes. It’s pretty small. The next community over is St. Theresa which has a golf course/restaurant/variety store and an old school which now serves as a CAP site. Also a neat little garden to walk in, graveyard and church. The closest place with services is the village Mount Stewart, a small place with a library, several nice old houses and trees, a gas station, post office, self-serve organic grocery stand and a few other things. It’s also the hub of the bike trails in the east, and really pretty. Many of the pastel houses are boarded up, which works for it somehow.


So, the storm was fortunately uneventful. The cabin wasn’t  harmed, and I spent the day reading bougie housing magazines and listening to CBC- not so bad.

I’ve been struggling a little more with the building, first because I had to build the final wall standing up, instead of building it on the floor and raising it, so that was a little tricky. It’s a little over 10 ft. tall, and the 2x8s that I am using are pretty heavy. I ended up having to build various supports to be able to build the actual structure, e.g., to hold the beams in place before nailing them on the top and bottom. All four walls are finished now, though, so that feels like a bit of an accomplishment. I can actually imagine where the counter will be and what it will look like when I’m sitting at the table, etc.

Now I am working on the roof. I don’t really have all the tools I would ideally have, though, so I had to figure out the notching for the rafters by trial and error, which took forever (a day, I guess), and  cut  the notches with a hand saw, which I’m not so skilled at but (I think)  will  work out. At least I don’t feel like I have any shortage of physical exercise these days. I am exhausted by the time it starts getting dark every night. The next day or two will be all about rafters, and then I’ll have the skeleton of the house done, anyway. So that’s exciting.

It’s not even 3pm, and I’m already really tired, so I’ll leave it at that.

Bracing for Earl

Well, the tropical storm/hurricane that’s supposed to be here on Saturday isn’t happening at a very convenient time for me. I’m a little concerned about it damaging the  frame of my house but have stopped building and started just bracing it as much as possible.

Other than that, I’ve been listening to CBC even more than usual if that’s possible, and I heard an owl nearby when I woke up this morning. Lots of birds overhead too, which I am guessing has to do with the upcoming storm.