Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hanging the Sheetrock

5/8" Fire Coded Sheetrock is used in the Garage
That's an 18' Ceiling
Kitchen Start
They Overlap the doorway and cut it out later

Kitchen Completed
That's the Hood Vent Exhaust in the Upper Right
Hallway from Bedrooms
Usually they work their way Down but were Short Handed on This Day

It's Starting to Look Like a Living Room

Skylight Over the Stairs

They use Metal Edges to Give them Shape

If you Look Closely you can see the Staples Holding Them in

Master Bedroom with Plenty of Sunlight
Front Entry & Dining Room

Light Switches Trimmed Around

Mesh Tape is Used to Cover the Seams
This will be Mudded (Plastered) Over Later

Looking Through the Kitchen
The hanging of the sheetrock has begun and is already close to being wrapped up. It’s a lot of work and with about 200 sheets to hang it takes a while. Years ago they used to secure it to the walls using nails and a hammer that looked like a small hatchet with a dimpled hammer head.  Now they use screws and a screw gun and it goes up pretty quickly. Also, they use a zip tool which is like a small router to cut out the openings for the light boxes and outlets. The best part is they do it once the sheet has been screwed into the 2x4’s so it moves it along even quicker. They’ve been able to hang much of it without a lot of waste. Not only does it save money but that means less is going into the landfill.
After walking around rooms for months that were outlined only by studded walls, it’s nice to see the rooms actually take on the shape that we designed and that we previously only saw on a PC screen in 3D. Each one is already taking on it’s on own character and all of the windows are letting in light just like we like and planned.
Once all the sheetrock is hung then it’s on to the plastering. We’re getting closer and closer.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Dozen

Fall in Rhode Island

Brilliant Colors

The Road Less Traveled

Calm Waters


Old Granite Supports for a long Gone Mill Building

Stone Walls


It won't be long before the Leaves drop and the Colors leave until next Fall

Old Dam -The Hush of the Water Flowing was Tranquil
And Another One - Relaxing

Rock & Lichen with the Grays and Greens Blending
A Sign of Oncoming Winter
A nice day spent walking the paths around Acadia Park in Rhode Island taking in the colors and calmness. Pictures say a thousand words.
Enjoy your week.

Monday, October 21, 2013


The Gas Fireplace Vent Pipe Runs Up Through the Roof

Trimming and Siding the Chimney

Trimmed and Sided to Match the House
Lining Up the Chimney Cap

Attaching it With Screws
Finished Product Up Close
Back Yard View
Houses really are built differently these days when compared to years ago. One area that has changed a lot is the chimney. In years past they were built with brick and were normally in the middle of the house or at one of the ends. In early America, chimneys were used to vent fireplaces and in later years they were used to vent furnaces. The house that I grew up in was over 200 years old with a large central chimney that serviced seven fireplaces. We never used them as the chimney was cracked in a number of places. Truthfully, I'm pretty sure that even with the cracks the chimney was holding up the house. But I digress.
Now a days, the hot gasses from the high efficiency furnaces are vented out the side of the house through PVC pipe and chimneys are becoming a thing of the past. Unless of course you have a gas or wood fireplace and then you need a way to vent them.
We have a gas fireplace in the living room so a chimney was a necessity. But instead of brick, the exhaust is run up through a stove pipe which in turn is run out through the roof. In order to keep with the look of our house, we had the vent pipe boxed in and capped. To add to it even further, the builder sided it with the same type of shingles that were used on the side of the house. And it looks great.
While we’re not looking forward to the cold weather, we’re looking forward to using our new gas fireplace. And the chimney is kind of like the cherry on top.
Enjoy your week.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Future Home of Our Patio Constructed with Pavers
Outlined by 2x4's
The Ad - Ya, I can do that.
What I found - Daunting

Slow Progress - But Progress Nevertheless

Chipping Away In Small Bites
Thousands to Move

I Would Wrap them and Tie them down to keep them
From Bouncing Around
Pile to Trailer to Pallet

Almost There

Pallets Growing
Starting to Look Like I'm in the Paver Business

And We're Done!

While all of this work has been going on I’ve been eyeballing the back of the house thinking about what would fit best. We’d like to have an area where we can relax and have cookouts with family, friends and even just to sit and not watch the world go by. While we have a small deck, we wanted something for a larger gathering.
I started thinking about a patio made out of pavers and the more I thought about it the more I liked it. I’ve constructed a walkway out of pavers and bricks in the past and have enjoyed the work and the look. So I took some scrap 2x4’s and started laying out an area. And of course having an abundant supply of scrap wood, the patio got bigger and bigger and the idea got grander with walkways and storage areas under the deck and pergolas and so on. But I needed pavers. On to one of my favorites sites; Craigslist.
Apparently pavers are in abundant supply. But only in small batches. Until I found the mother load. Somebody was selling their Cambridge pavers that had been around their pool. Perfect for me and it’s not like pavers wear out. So after a phone call Mrs. IHB and I went to check them out. They were perfect. Right amount. Right Color. Right size. Wrong place.
The owners had decided to replace the pool apron made out of pavers with concrete to give it a different look. The downside was when they pulled them up they left them behind the house. Behind the pool. Out in the woods. A long way from the driveway. A very long way. No, really. A very, very long way.
So there was this huge pile of pavers and moving them was going to be quite the task. So after some deep thought over a couple of days and calling for prices to move them and realizing that paying to move them would not give me the bargain that I wanted, I decided I’d just do it myself. And then my offer was accepted and the hook was set.
When we went back up and stared at the pile for a few minutes and I muttered something about the task being daunting. But what the heck, I’m in my 50’s and have never had a moment of common sense when it comes to daunting tasks at hand so the cash changed hands. It was at this point that Mrs. IHB looked at me with the sudden realization that she had obviously married a crazy man.
Over the next few weeks (OK, maybe longer than that) I would load the pavers in a Gorilla wagon (I need one of those) and trudge through a neighbor’s yard (with permission) up a small hill with my load. I’d stack them up in my trailer, drive them to the site and unload them into nice neat stacks on pallets that I had scrounged around for. Of course I managed to do this during the hottest, muggiest part of summer. I looked like a crazed man with a sweat soaked hat and t-shirt. And I’m sure I smelled the part. One of the owners, Helen, would come out and shoot the breeze with me from time to time. But would always make sure she stood upwind. The other owner, Linda, just stayed away. She knew I was crazy (but not as crazy as her when she watched football where I would chuckle listening to her hooting and hollering away). I was lucky to meet them though as they are both great people. The kind that you wish were neighbors.
So after all these trips, four pairs of leather gloves and gallons of water, trudging a couple hundred feet with a wagon load, lifting each paver one by one, I chipped away at the pile until they were all moved. I now have a nice neat stack of about 10 pallets of small, medium and large pavers ready to go on my project patio. This works out to over 1,000 square feet or about 3,000 pavers. Weight wise, that’s about 24,000 pounds or 12 tons done in my best “the fish was that big” guess.
Yes, I am crazy. Now I’m certifiable.
Enjoy  your weekend.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sheetrock Delivered

12 foot long sheets of Sheetrock Delivered

Sheets are Held Together in Twos by Paper

Bags of Plaster ready to be mixed with Water

12 Foot Long sheets Stacked in a Bedroom Ready to Go

Sheets and Plaster Strategically Placed

Floor Protection Paper - Not sure why they need this.We
only have subfloors at this point.

It was a nice surprise to see that almost 200 sheets of sheetrock (also known as gypsum board or drywall) had been delivered. It was all brought inside and stacked up in strategic points around the house and in each room.
I didn’t have the good fortune to see it delivered but have seen large quantities delivered before. They use a lift similar to a fork lift attached to this long arm that looks the boom on the space shuttle. There are joints in the arm which enables the operator to twist it around corners. The operator has controls that sit on their waist which allows them to walk with the load. The idea is to bring the load to a doorway or window where it is slide inside and stacked up on edge. Having it stacked on edge makes it easier to work with and keeps it from snapping in half when lifting.
The sheets come in groups of two held together by paper. Each sheet is ½ inch thick and is 4 feet wide by 12 feet long. At almost 200 sheets (yes, out of curiosity I counted) that would be about 2,400 feet of sheet rock or laid end to end that’s almost half a mile of sheetrock. It’s almost 9,600 square feet or enough to cover 2/3rds of a football field (the things you can do with a calculator).
Interesting? OK, one more. A square foot by one inch thick section of sheetrock weighs 3.4 pounds. At a half inch thick by 48 square feet, each sheet weighs about 82 pounds. Factor that by 200 and you’ve got 16,400 pounds or 8.2 tons of sheetrock to hang. So it’s easy to understand why they not only strategically placed it for ease of hanging, but also to keep it from winding up in the basement.
That’s a boatload of sheetrock. As much as I enjoy this sort of work, this is one time I’m happy not to be the one lifting it all.
Enjoy your day.