The past few months have been a bit hectic and I have sort of been on auto pilot. Things have unfolded as they are supposed to and I find myself with the exterior of the house almost done. I thought it would be appropriate to take a moment and report in on the state of things over here on John’s Island, SC. Lets just jump right in.
So this whole process of siding the house has taken a few months now. I can really only work on the house on weekends and days off now that the sun sets so early. I have tried working by floodlight but find that I cannot upkeep my quality standards. So for a while there progress was quite slow and labor intensive. There are 3,200 fasteners in that siding. Needless to say, I am glad to be moving on.
Even though the process was slow, I really tried to match the quality I wanted in my house. I havent really built too much in the past so there are several pieces in the house there were cut multiple times until they fit right. I have found that if I build the house with the mindset that it is just a large piece of art, its not really work anymore but play.
So at the end of two months, this is how it looked. Some of the board have a sealant on them and some do not. This cool effect was caused by me not thinking about what I was doing and sealing the both sides of some boards. It worked out fine since the whole house was going to get sanded.
But before it got sanded, my friend Wolfgang installed the eaves of the house for me. Its nice to have something done on my house by a friend. I can look back at the house and recall that day and it brings my mind back around to friends. Another perk of doing it yourself.
The task of sanding was a huge one. The way the siding is attached, all the boards don’t lie perfectly flat and need a bit of smoothing out. I am sanding the house in two passes. One at 80 grit, to help shape things out and give it a nice soft look on the edges and corners. Next all the fastener holes will be filled and the house will be sanded again at 120 grit. Then a coat of sealant to put a nice protective coat on the skin of the elephant.
After 4 straight days of sanding and shaping i got the house to the point where I like it. I find that coffee and audio books are perfect for tasks like this.
With so many fasteners in the house, there were about 1600 holes to fill with wood putty. I am about 1/3 of the way through this task at the moment. Is slow going and i dont really like doing it.
On a more exciting note; with the help of Wolfgang, Nathan, Cedric, Bill and Lea I now have a roof on the house.
I got the roof from a local company here called Eagle metals and truthfully its been a bit of a pain. No instructions came with it, so we all had to put our heads together and try to figure out how to do this thing. We went about it a few different ways but found something we were comfortable with. I later found out how it was supposed to be done when I had to make my third trip to eagle metals for parts. Some of the parts they oringally sold me were made incorrectly and I was set back while I waited for them to make the replacement parts. Then we ran out of screws. But finally after about 3 weeks of running about. I had a roof.
I still have to get this ridge cap installed. It goes at the peak of the roof and is the topmost part of the roofing system. I hope to get to it this weekend but I am going to be busy with a surprise that I hope to write about at the start of next week.
Well, thats were things stand at the moment. I am working full time here at the College of Charleston at the moment and chipping away at the Elephant as often as possible. I am really starting to feel connected to the house now that it has a bit of its final form coming through and I beginning to see the results of my countless hours of labor. I have gone out a few times to the island just to hang out in the house and being to think about what the insides should look like.
Id like to invite you to email me @ Zach@charlestontinyhouse.com. I love to hear about other folks building houses and love to share what limited amount I have learned about building.