Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And Then it Was Winter

In Minnesota, when the weather decides it's done, it's done.

We made quick work of installing the awesome (KEYED!) Craigslist slider and windows, and then spent another couple of hours wrapping the whole thing up tight with Tyvek--perhaps overkill for a shed, but since the plan was to install Hardipanel siding on the exterior to match the house we figured it couldn't hurt just to make sure everything stays nice and dry inside.
The mini-storage style roll up door you can't see in the photo below, but it went in without a hitch in about a half hour. It was an easy job for two people and it works and looks great and was definitely worth the cost.
shed windows in and wrap on
There's another one of those cool bubble windows hiding on the west side...

So all that remained for getting weathertight was some roofing. But because everyone's favorite (or not) big box store "pro desk" took two weeks and three different people to figure out how to order our 1 1/4" corrugated galvanized sheet metal (even though it is a stock item in many stores), and, once they got their act together enough to actually place the order, got it wrong, it was a month before we had anything to work with. Had we been shipped the correct product, we would have beaten the snow, but since we were roofless and the weather wouldn't wait, we covered the roof with Tyvek as a stopgap and considered the project put to bed until Spring.

And then it snowed...that very same night if I recall correctly. A heavy, wet, sloggy snow that coated and stuck to everything. It was actually kind of pretty to wake up to, until I looked out the bedroom window and saw this:
tree meets shed
It was a sleepy weekend morning, and unfortunately for Boy, I believe the first words out of my mouth that day were "HOLY S*** A TREE FELL ON OUR SHED".

It was sort of unreal, because after choosing a location in the yard that happened to be near the treeline, we had joked about that very thing. JOKED. As in "it might happen in 20 years kind of joke".
I couldn't bear to go out to assess the situation, what with it suddenly being Winter and all. But Boy and PupCake went to check it out that day and reported back that--amazingly--there was almost no damage to the shed.

Or not.

Over the next few days, I kept looking at that shed and thinking something was funny, and when that ishy snow melted I finally brought myself to be able to confront the situation in full. As I made my way around the giant tree that I was dreading the idea of having to deal with cutting up, I realized that the tree in all of it's falling glory, had pushed one side of the shed completely off those foundation blocks that we had so painstakingly placed and leveled a few weeks back.

On the bright side, there was really very little damage to the structure--just a hole poked through the sheathing and a chip out of the roof. Quite possibly the most innocuous 'tree fell on it' outcome ever.
On the very dark side, we now needed to figure out how to raise up and rotate the almost completed (and, by this time, full of stuff) building back onto the foundation blocks.

About that project I'll say that digging frozen soil by hand, even if it's just down through eight or ten inches, has an extremely high sucklitude factor. It took most of a day, but Boy and I managed to dig under, jack up and lever the whole darn building up and over with nothing other than brute force, a couple of bottle jacks and some 2 x 4's. It's not an activity I'd look forward to having to repeat-- we've certainly had worse chores, but it did suck with a capital S.

Oh, and I left out the part about getting our truck stuck on the remains of that slushy snowstorm, aka glare ice, in the yard. That was almost as much fun as digging in frozen dirt and moving buildings by hand, and certainly to our neighbors, WAY more entertaining.

Bring on Spring.


Anonymous AprilAries said...

Just found your site again (I visited once over a year ago when your sliding door project was linked to on AT).
Thanks for sharing all of your wonderfully modern home improvement projects! I have not read many posts YET, but I truly enjoyed this one! Being a fellow DIY enthusiast (and lover of modern design), I can relate to the "sucklitude"ness of renovation projects. Unfortunately, yours here takes the cake!
Anyway, sorry for pradling on, just wanted to give you a BIG thanks for sharing your stuggles and accomplishments. I can already see I am planning on tackling some of the same projects and I know your site will be a life-saver!
Dallas, TX

9:11 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

key awesome blog

where did you find that faucet in your guest bathroom - i read that you said ebay, i have looked on ebay but with no luck.

can you provide me some help

thanks alot

9:26 AM  
Blogger splatgirl said...

I would have gotten it seven or eight years ago, so I have no idea what to tell you. It does not have a brand name. My only search criteria would have been "modern faucet" or something like that...

7:38 PM  
Blogger Scapegoatchild said...

I've been looking through your blog (again) and noticed there aren't any photos of the spiral staircase. I'd love to see it if you've got some.

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Hello! I came across a link to your blog on AT regarding making concrete countertops and i haven't been able to stop reading both your blogs!

First and foremost, I think the projects you have undertaken for your house is AMAZING and I am seriously in awe at your creativeness and of course hard work. Your home looks really really cool....though I can't imagine doing most of the work you have....

In any case, I'm in the process of renovating my flat...(i live in Hong Kong so unfortunately, space is rather limited to say the least)...and I have been trying to research on making concrete countertops to show my renovator (DIY is not so common in my part of the world...as getting the raw materials is kinda difficult) since he does not seem to understand what it is I want.

I have gone through your blogs but cannot seem to find the post (if any?!) where you made your kitchen countertops. I would be MOST grateful if you could give me some pointers as to where I can find more info on making concrete countertops....also, any advice/tips on making them would be greatly appreciated!!!

thanks soo much in advance and both your blogs will be something i follow all the time!=) Look forward to reading about all your upcoming projects...and FOOD!!! =)


11:15 PM  
Blogger splatgirl said...

Hi Jessica and thanks for the kind words.

I guess I must not have ever posted about that specifically...?
The pictorial essay is here http://www.flickr.com/photos/splatgirl/sets/72157594221836338/

I would recommend getting a copy of the original book by Fu-Tung Cheng, "Concrete Countertops". At the time, I did mine, this was the only print reference available, and it's what I used to understand the process and ingredients. There are other books available now but I haven't seen them to know if they are good. I suspect yes, but the Cheng book is a good start for sure.

6:29 AM  

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