Tuesday, September 6, 2016

we put the labor in Labor Day weekend

We started Friday off with coffee and backgammon.

(Tyler made me thought it would be a good idea
 to go out to work one Saturday
 without our traditional weekend ritual,
thinking we'd  have our morning time later, 
and work when it was coolest.

The day did not go well,
so now we get up an hour before we want to start working.)

We got to work shortly after Brandon left for class,
and when he got home,
he joined us.

We got into a pretty good rhythm 
with me choosing a board, 
then running it through the router to add the groove
(we rigged it so it could be a one person job)
and sanding any that the planer left marks on,
and the guys fitting and nailing the boards up

We took turns with the cutting - 
Tyler cut if they were waiting on a board;
I cut if they weren't.

Right about 4 o'clock Friday,
we paused to do some calculations.

We'd just installed the 37th cedar board
and were 132 inches into the 443 inch stretch of ceiling.
Which meant that we needed 88 boards
to finish.

We counted our remaining boards.
Then counted them again.

We had 87 boards.

Two of those were too ugly to use.
Another had a crack going up the length of it,
and two were nowhere near straight
(not that all of our boards were, 
but these were likely not candidates 
for forcing into submission.)

Try as we might,
we couldn't come up with any solution
other than
buying (and then planing, squaring, and tongue and grooving)
more cedar.


We took a short break then  
put in about 2 1/2  more hours of work,
and called it a day around 7:30.

Bright and early Saturday,
after coffee
the guys headed to Mulberry.

They got home at 9:30,
and by 10
we were back to work.

the weather Friday and Saturday was just beautiful
so work was pleasant and we weren't drenched in sweat
like we've been every other time we've worked with these boards.

At 6:04 pm,
the guys nailed up the 125th board.

So much prettier than I'd anticipated.

I went along with this whole cedar on the ceiling thing
because I had no strong preference.
I just knew I didn't want regular vinyl up there,
but it turned out to be really gorgeous!

Tyler had someone tell him the other day 
that it really wasn't worth it to do the work yourself,
and you didn't even save much money.

That may be the case sometimes,
but it sure isn't holding true for us.

In this instance:
Siding people charge $100 per square to install a porch ceiling,
and the material would cost about $65/sq.

Our porch is just over 300 sq feet, 
so, rounding down,
that's 3 squares.
(100 sq ft = 'a square')
Which means that a standard,
run of the mill
plane jane porch ceiling
would have cost $495.

We have an artisan
one of a kind ceiling
and not counting tools,
which will be used again and again,
we spent $292.75
($267.80 for the wood 
and $24.95 for the stainless steel nails that cedar requires)

we also spent a ton of time;
but we think it definitely ended up 
'being worth it'.

(oh - and we've also got a truckload of cedar shavings
and roughly 125 6-10 inch cedar boards
that we may do something creative, and earn money with)

Sorry - went on a little rabbit trail there....

Sunday - we took the day off,
and spent it in NWA with Tyler's brother and sister
and one of their cousins and her family.

Monday's workload was light,
with Brandon having to spend several hours on a homework assignment
and Tyler making a few hardware store runs,
but we managed to get the rest of the doors taped,
so they are now all water-tight.

And we made temporary covers for the crawl spaces

they turned out so nice, they may end up being
a longer term solution
than the few months we were originally thinking.

Jeff came over to help for a few hours
while Eva took kids to see the murals in downtown Fort Smith,
and he helped with the frames,
and also provided wisdom and helped hold a ladder.

Him being here made me ever so much more comfortable
(which was still not terribly comfortable...)
with Tyler getting up there to put up the Tyvek 
that the framers didn't put up
 because they didn't have a ladder tall enough
(what?? so you just leave your work undone?! grr)

All in all,
a productive long weekend.


  1. Good job! It looks so beautiful! I have been working on my house, on a much smaller scale ;) It is such a good feeling to complete a project and look back at it and think, wow I did that! So keep up the good work!

  2. The cedar ceiling looks absolutely amazing! (and the finished tyvek looks much better - what's up with that? Grrr is right.) Hmm...I wonder what can be done with cedar sawdust. It will feel like found money if you can generate a few dollars from your scraps...fantastic!


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