Thursday, August 30, 2007

Getting Ready for Siding

These are some images of the work Eddie has done to get ready to add the siding. He hopes to get it all done this weekend.

He used PVC trim and created the frieze that's resting on the brick ledge.

He also used it to make the vertical corner piece.

Once this is up next to the chimney as well, we start with the J channel and then the siding will go up pretty quickly after that.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The New Door and We Lose a Window

Here are some images of the work that had to be done on the new exterior door.

First, Eddie had to make up for the gap between where the level of the floor and door opening were and where the bricks came up to. So he made a form with a scrap piece of PVC trim and nailed or screwed it to the brick. Then he mixed up some mortar to fill the pace and make it even with the sill plate. He'll remove that white strip when it's dry.

This shows the PVC trim we're using instead of the wood trim that typically comes with exterior doors, or at least it did with ours. This way we won't have to worry about repainting, or wood rotting, etc.

And here's the whole door.

On the inside, I finally had a job to do! I got to fill the gaps on the top and side of the door with foam. That was fun!

Originally this space was occupied by a really large a/c unit, which we were happy to remove when we installed the central air. So then we put a window in it's place. Never really looked like it was supposed to be there, though. So we're going to cover it up. Eddie removed the window and put some boars on the outside, which will be covered by the Tyvek and then the siding. I'm not sure what we'll do inside. We want to replace the paneling with sheetrock, but that'll be a big project.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We Decided to Add a Door After All

So we decided that since the siding was down, now was the time to decide on a door or window for the dining room or living room. The space between the fireplace and doorway from living to dining room was just too small. We'd have had to have a 30" exterior door, which is likely a special order, and we didn't have time. The Tyvek had to go up by the end of the weekend to protect the house in case it rained. And it did. And it has continued to rain every day since. Well, maybe not today, yet.

We drove out to Lowes and bought this door, because it wasn't too expensive and had a large window. We really wanted more light on that end of the house, which gets the morning sun.

This is where it was going to go in the dining room. The outlet would have to be moved when we cut the wall out.

This just shows all the siding torn off, and the walkboard.

Eddie is cutting the brick away with a masonry blade on his Makita circular saw. Yes, he's using eye and ear protection, for this project at least! After this, he cut the outside wall and put in a header for the doorway.

Then we cut the interior wall out from the outside--I was on the inside with the shop vac trying to collect all the dust as Eddie cut with the Milwaukee Sawzall, one of the most-used and most useful tools he owns. He's had it forever--he started out at 18 as an electrician, then had his own construction company, so we usually have the tool we'll need. If we don't, I have to start worrying that he's going to want to buy something new.

Here's a shot of the door in place that shows the cut brick and the sill. [Note to self: no steps; do not unlock door and walk outside from here!] We didn't like using the wood trim that came with the door, so we bought some PVC trim instead.
Eddie covered the whole wall from the corner to the chimney, door and living room window included, in a sheet of Tyvek. We haven't had a chance to seal the doorway yet, and since we can't use it till we put in some steps or extend the deck--yet another project--it doesn't matter. Although I'd like to see the sun in the morning. We got a doorknob and bolt set from Lowes and had them re-key the locks to match our other house keys. This picture makes the door look like it's not plumb, but it's just because it's in that corner and the short bit of wall is also yellow, so you can't really tell where the corner is. Trust me, Eddie would never install something that wasn't plumb. Notice the three foot level. He owns two other two foot levels also. Obsessed? Nah. And I can't complain about perfection.
You can see where Eddie moved the wiring to, and he'll put in another receptacle box soon. Or maybe I'll try it. I've helped with wiring other receptacles and single pole switches in the house, so if I get inspired, I'll try it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How We Fill the Outside Feeder from Inside the Coop

This is a picture of the back wall of our coop. The white PVC pipe has a wider fitting on the top, to make it easier to fill. Eddie also added a plastic cap that fits inside it to cover the hole. This is to keep mice, etc, from falling in. It's attached with a string to the pipe so we can pull it out easily. Then when we need to fill the feeder hanging outside we just pour feed in until it gets close to the top of the pipe.

You can see at the bottom of the pipe that it has a bend fitting, and goes through a hole in the wall. Then on the outside there's another bend fitting and more pipe that pours into the open top of the metal feeder. It hangs lower by at least a couple feet, because the coop in built on a slope, but you could do the same thing just starting higher on the wall, if the feeder were higher outside.

This picture also shows part of our water collection (trash barrel), which is insulated, plus the outlet that we use to plug in the horse trough water heater we have inside the barrel, and all the heat tape that goes to the waterers. Irrelevant to the feeding issue, but we have a motion sensor light, so when we open the door to the coop the light in the ceiling comes on and turns off automatically after a couple minutes of no motion. We also hang a fishing net above that--we use it to catch chickens occasionally. And then there's the rest of the extra parts and pieces we just don't want to store anywhere else.
Here's a good picture to show the PVC pipe feeding into the metal feeder. We can use a smaller feeder because the pipe holds a lot, also. And to the left of that is a water cup covered in insulation and heat tape--the cup is actually orange.

This chick in the picture is "Cleo" the Egyptian Fayoumis.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Windows are Done

I can't believe I forgot to comment in the previous post that the last window was installed! Yeah!!! Here you can see the sliding glass door, which we installed maybe last August, and the rest of the Tyvek.
We are considering adding a window in the dining area, which is the last section of house that hasn't had siding removed yet. There's a very small window just to the right of the dining room, (left in the pic) where we pulled out the huge a/c unit that was originally there. (The chimney is partially blocking it.) I wouldn't mind putting a larger one there, too, since it's the kids' tv/computer/rec room.But we ordered all our windows (and siding) a year ago, and finally the last one is in. We're very excited about this over here. :) We installed the first ones in September last year, and they were taking up a bit of space in the living room.
These are the last 5 old windows we removed.

More Work on the Back of the House

We started up again this morning. Another (relatively) nice day to work outside. Eddie got the rest of the siding off the back, all the way to the corner. I got to sort the aluminum from the backing and pick up huge staples and nails.
Tyvek is up and the hole for the kitchen window is cut.

Eddie's caulking the opening.

The window is in and he's reinstalling the vent for the microwave/range.

This shows all that's left. It's actually covered in Tyvek now, too.

And here's the lovely new pile of siding, backer, and shutters.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Behind the Coop

We have an "isolation area" behind the coop. We have used it to isolate really problematic roosters. The orange watering cup comes out underneath the little roofed area. We also have a small metal feeder hanging under there. We pour feed into it from inside the coop, down a 3" diameter PVC pipe. Usually the chickens that end up here will just perch on top of the little roof, or they will roost on the top bar of the fence, where the netting is tied down. One hen even laid an egg there! It was caught nicely by the netting.
We used this area to isolate the hens that needed to have their backs sprayed with Blu-Kote.
From this picture you can see in the upper right section where the isolated area is, and also how we propped up the original chicken tractors on 2x4s.

Related Posts:

Interior Chicken Coop Pictures

You can just see parts of the two doors on either side of the coop where the nest boxes are. We can lift the top set of doors, but not the bottom. There are six nest boxes on each side.Upper nest boxes with the door opened up.

This is closer to the door to the coop. We hang the feed from a supporting 2x4.
From the outside, you can see the nest boxes are on the left at the back. The floor is 2x4 in fencing, two layers, stapled to the frame.
Here you can see one of the orange drinking cups. We have five total--two on either side and one off the back on the outside. The tubing is insulated and the cups have heat tape for the winter.

Exterior Chicken Coop and Yard

Work on the Back Has Begun

Today started out with really nice temperatures compared to recent weather. So Eddie started removing old aluminum siding and backer. This shows up to the last bedroom window that needed to be replaced.
In this picture, you can see where the mice were getting in so easily--once behind a bit of siding, they could get between the brick face and the cinder block, and find an easy way in to our ceiling or other parts of the house. We'll be adding some mortar to seal that up later.

The Tyvek looks like such an improvement already! We were getting ready to move the pump jack on the right over to the left of the other one.

More siding removed, to just past the bathroom window. Eddie's getting the window opening ready, but we have to put up more Tyvek before installation.

Almost done for the day. The new bedroom window is caulked and screwed in place, and Eddie's working on the bathroom window.
I ran up and down all day, going to get things from the shop and getting windows ready to install. The old ones will either go on freecycle (although nobody has picked up our last two that were offered), or I'll convince Eddie that we could really use them somewhere else, like in a greenhouse or something.

Tomorrow we're planning to remove the rest of the old siding and put in the last window!! This one is in the kitchen. I'm not sure how soon we'll get to put up the siding.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Too Hot to Work

But Eddie and Nick did manage to move the pump jacks and walkboard to the back of the house.

So whenever it does "cool" to a respectable temperature, we'll be tearing off siding again.