Milestones vs Mother Nature

The hinge side of the door has to be plumb – we’re good.

With any luck, the gallery includes pictures of the completely sided west wall of our garage. As of early Sunday morning, this was not the case. I’ve been fortunate throughout the summer and early fall to be able to count Saturdays as work days. However, two of the past three weekends have included a washed-out Saturday. My employer is flexible when it comes to scheduling vacation but swapping a wet Saturday for a sunny Monday isn’t an option.

Now I find myself studying the forecast as if I were launching a rocket to the Space Station. This week, it looks like Wednesday and Thursday are my best bets for making progress – sunny and 61°f (16°c) – fine working weather. Still, that means dragging my butt out of bed on Friday and going to work. I like a little break between the physical labor and the sitting-behind-a-desk work week. That’s what Sundays are supposed to provide, but I’m counting on this particular Sunday to provide conditions in which I can finish that long wall. According to NOAA, my chances are officially “ify.”

Patchy drizzle before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 54. Light south wind becoming southwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.”

Light wind is OK, as the Tyvek is already up. Last week, I stopped short of tacking up the Tyvek because we had 40 mph (64 kph) winds to contend with. If you’re not familiar, Tyvek is that white fabric-like stuff that goes on the walls before siding. It comes on 9-foot by 100-foot rolls and, ideally, you cover your space in one sheet. A 28-foot (figure roughly 3 feet to a meter) piece of Tyvek makes a dandy sail, and since I have to start the process on a ladder – no. I made the decision not to try, knowing full well that the Editor would have made it for me. She’s picked me up off the ground too often.

The west wall is wall number two in a four-wall package, but it’s tied for #1 on a difficulty scale. The back wall segments each involved sections requiring the siding to be cut at 45° or shallower angles on both ends, and endless countless numerous OK, 18 trips up and down a ladder. I say “up and down” like pilots say “takeoffs and landings” – you should never have one without the other.

The west wall hasn’t required much ladder work. I am able to reach the top of the wall from a rolling scaffold thingie. On the other hand, this wall required repairs and contains obstacles. First, a window had to be replaced. Similar to the other three windows, the opening required for the new window was remarkably different from the one that was already in the wall – cut more off of here, patch in a new section over there. The entry door also had to be replaced. Of course, both the new window and the door became obstacles once installed. The other obstacles include an outdoor light fixture, an outlet, a wall lamp, the power connection from the house, two brackets holding up the new roof over the entry door and the Editor’s cabinet-style garden shed. The cuts are all 90° but there are a lot of them.

The way obstacles are treated with vinyl siding, is with the use of blocks and J-Channel. J-Channel, as the name implies is shaped like the letter J and provides a weather resistant pocket at the protruding side of a door or shed, in which the siding can hide. Vinyl siding expands and contracts with temperature, so you cannot butt it tight into a corner. Blocks, like the ones supporting the lamp and light fixture, are plastic blocks that cover the electrical connections and are faced with a frame. The gap between the nailing flange of the block and the overhang of the frame creates a channel for the siding. It sounds easy, but it means that somewhere in the middle of a 12-foot piece of siding, a notch has to be cut to go around the block/window/shed/outlet…well, you get the picture. The brackets supporting the roof and the power-feed from the house required that I get creative and fashion my own bit of protection.

Next up is the front wall. Despite the need for ladders and staging, it actually will be somewhat easier than the back and west walls. I am saving the east wall until last, because there are no obstacles. It includes the east wall of my workshop, presenting me with 40′ (12m) of no-cut siding.


62 thoughts on “Milestones vs Mother Nature

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  1. I can read the sense of urgency in this post, although seeing the beaded rain on the newly installed siding must feel very satisfying.
    When this project is finally finished, you will have earned a long rest this winter!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks great!
    But ah, the joys of vinyl siding. I know them well. We just finished our garage and what an uneven, nothing plumb nightmare it was. Still need new gutters but the weather has turned here as well. Tyvek in the wind? Video worthy for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – yeah, I’m not trying to lure people to my Youtube channel with that one. New gutters will have to wait until spring. I will have to extend these to cover the new soffit. I’m glad you got yours wrapped before winter. That’s now my goal.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL – The squirrel in your last photo must have thought you were completing a peanut renovation project.

    You do fine work, Dan, despite the weather. You have much talent in the DIY Department and it will be a great feeling when the project is done. I’ll think positive thoughts for good New England weather this week so that you can finish. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. Yeah, the squirrel saw me and decided to take a shortcut through the garage. I looked at him and commented that the door wasn’t for him – he was focused on the peanuts.

      I think I’ll get the nice days that I need, but I’ll gladly accept your kind thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That is going to be one good looking and secure building when you are done. You do great work, and it will be protected for many years to come. It’s kind of funny that when you retire you could put out a handy man sign and probably work more hours than you currently do now. Trying to find a craftsman up here, is like trying to pan for gold in your local stream. I’ll look forward to the next installment when you shout – last piece. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy. I have an overdue kitchen renovation and an unfinished second floor to keep me busy. I think that should take care of the handyman opportunities. Although, I might need some income to pay for those projects, so…

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    1. This building has been keeping me busy, Audrey. Hopefully, I will be able to avoid contact with the outside for several years after this job is complete. I do have some ideas for the inside, but those have to wait until spring.

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    1. Thanks Deborah. I think Rusty (squirrel) thinks this is all somehow going to be for him. They certainly like having me outside during the day. It really isn’t particularly difficult work, but it’s tedious. I will be happy when I’m done.

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  5. I am enjoying seeing your progress on the garage and workshop. I can imagine your anticipation and joy at seeing it so much closer to being done. I hope the weather cooperates so you can finish this up ! Nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Dan – that’s a hopeful thought …’a few (dry) weekends’ … I sure hope you get them … but yes once in a job – one wants to finish doesn’t one … good luck is all I can say … it’s tipping it down here at the moment and the fog went up, rainbows appeared, then the fog came tumbling down again with the plops! Cheers and all the best – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Even incomplete, it looks fabulous. Your hard work and time is paying off in spades. I admire the fact that even though you’re feeling pressed for time, you never cut corners. You take all the time you need and do it right.

    That squirrel isn’t shy, is he? Just made himself right at home….and managed to secure a private feeding dish!!

    MiMi and MuMu are always a treat to see. My daughter in SC has two black and white cats, brother and sister. Yep….MiMi and MuMu!!!

    And sweet Maddie. I hope you appreciate the time she devotes to helping you to unwind and relax on the couch. Lord only knows what she’s sacrificing using your legs as a pillow just to make you feel better. Attagirl Maddie. 😜😜
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I am happy with the way this is turning out. It’s so important to get this right.

      Rusty (the squirrel) has learned that I keep a container of peanuts. He has made himself at home a couple of times by stealing or breaking into the bag or container. I’ve “discussed” this with him and the Editor, to no avail.

      We love tuxedo cats. MiMi and MuMu are quite the sister-act.

      I fully appreciate Maddie’s effort to get me to relax and appreciate the season by walking and sitting. I’ll give her a scritch for you :-)

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    1. Thanks. We have completed a number of projects, large and small. Slow and steady seems to be the answer. I’ve done minor plumbing and electrical, but nothing too complicated. The work on this project is mostly stuff I’ve done before, but it still takes time to get it right.

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  8. Dan, nice progress on the shed! Know how bad weather interferes with outdoor projects. Good luck with adjusting your work schedule to finish. Every time I check AccuWeather I get a different reading day by day! Hope you get better predictions! 🎶📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. She does get pulled into service at times. She has put lots of time in on previous projects, but ladders are not her favorite place (and she is much shorter than me). This work actually goes well for me alone. Less explaining.

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    1. The sad part is when it’s done and it just looks like a garage should look and you don’t see the effort. It’s like painting. Shen you’re done, it’s a painted wall..,meh

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    1. Thanks Ally…I think. I’m trying to make the best of this weather pattern that we’ve got. The forecast doesn’t seem very reliable, but I’ll take a chance, if it looks like I can get two nice days on the wall.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. How I KNOW the hard work involved in something like this, Dan! To encourage you I’ve been hearing MILD up until January 2019. Will that give you enough time to finish everything? Crushed for time … oh man I do NOT like that feeling whatsoever! I send you LOTS of good thoughts that the weather will hold as in NICE. Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In recent months, I, too, have learned the lesson of saving the easiest for last. I’ve begun to do math first on my projects and I hate it, but it’s smarter. When I’m finishing the words up, I feel satisfied instead of dreadful. I wonder why I didn’t learn this lesson earlier…
    I thought of you this evening as The Mister and I hung garage siding back up AGAIN. It would have been nice if they had used exterior nails to begin with, but I seriously think they sided that sucker in 1920. Probably right after they invented metal nails, lol, I joke, but you know… the wood rot in the framing is real. If need be, there’s always foam, haha! I will build the next garage using odd socks, tupperware lids, hairbands, and spray foam.
    You’ve done a great job :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait, do you have my missing socks and Tupperware lids? I think the socks would work, in conjunction with the spray foam.

      Saving the easiest piece until last, or tackling the hardest part first (whichever way you like it) has always been my approach on projects I can control. I smiled at the thought of you getting the math out of the way.

      I hope you’re having a good week. Thanks for dropping by our construction site.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think the Indian weather would be a nice break for you. Not much rain and no snow. Just warm weather and some sunshine. I think December to February would be a perfect time for you to visit India because it is winter here which is equivalent of your pleasant summer day.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Quite impressive Dan, yet my head is spinning from reading all you have had to do. And we have yet another rainy Saturday ahead. Swell. The door and overhang look wonderful. You really have a rolling scaffold?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennie. Yeah, I think Mother Nature decided to up her game. I might make some progress Sunday afternoon, but otherwise it looks wet.

      The rolling scaffold is more of a work platform. It’s great for painting, because it’s 4′ wide and is generally easier to move around than a ladder.

      I’m still optimistic about finishing in time to get cars in the garage.

      Liked by 1 person

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