Progress outside, if not much inside

For ‘reasons’ we have been really pushing to try and get the rainscreen up on the house. Our rainscreen (as has probably been mentioned by me before) is cheap shop-grade plain-face t1-11* which will get battens over it so that unless you are paying proper attention it’ll look like board and batten. As usual with us, we’re dressing something not terribly pricey to look much nicer than it is. And complicated, because we can save on materials by making us do the installation work.

Anyhow, the back of the house and some of the other bits are running up against the “do not leave your vapour barrier exposed longer than” periods of time – hence the massive push to get the back covered. This despite the fact that the weather has been hot, sunny and dry. Also despite the fact that at times it’s painfully frustrating. We at best can manage a rate of about 1 board an hour, which seems ridiculously slow – given it’s just a 4’x8′ board that we cut down to 4′ by 82″, then stick on the wall using screws it sounds like it should be fairly easy…

But first up most of the boards overlap a window, or a door. And the header of our building isn’t flat, and the roofline wanders up and down just a bit. And there’s the whole entertaining m’larkey of the scheme that we’re using to prevent insect ingress into the small void behind the panels (which is for airflow). Those exterior boards are separated from the wall and the vapour barrier by a 3/8″ “furring” strip, at the top and bottom of which runs mesh. Metal mesh. Which is springy, and difficult to wedge a board over. I mean, the entire point is that it’s all a snug fit to make it less of a haven for small crawly creatures. But all in all as we’re trying to hold a heavy board up, with reasonably accurate cutouts for windows…while squishing mesh, screwing it to the wall and not breaking the windows. It turns out it’s “tricky”.

So basically, one board an hour. Ish. Slightly longer, usually. Sometimes with much swearing. Sometimes with some despairing. Recently, I’ve been trying for some equanimity by reciting the mantra that the “test fit” is a “test fit” and I should not expect it to fit.

Because no matter how hard I try to accurately cut and measure, there’s almost invariably a few mil here or there that need to be shaved off. Which means getting the board up, positioned, marked, back down, trimmed, retested, then when it’s right painting all the cut edges.

Anyhow, so long-story long. Big push. We’ve still got the south face to do, but we wrapped that relatively recently, so it’s less pressing. At least a bit.

We spent some (quite grumpy time, if I recall correctly) on the weekend getting the North gable done.

IMG_20180729_182842

We then spent Sunday/Monday/Tuesday getting the East side of the house done…

IMG_20180731_202442

Which really does feel like quite an achievement. And we’re very pleased with how it’s coming together.

Please take the time to ooh and ahh over our lovely rainscreen. Which just needs priming now. Then battens. Then more priming. Then painting.

Oh, and note that we quietly trimmed the downspout so that it fits (and is positioned between vertical and the special version of vertical that is the end of the house).

People keep asking us when we’ll be in, and if we’ll speed up now *x* has happened, or *y* is ready. And I kind of want to wail when they do, because it’s just the two of us, part time, and it has become apparent that we are effectively building a house. In fact, it’s actually, in many ways, harder than building it from scratch, because we have to work within the bounds of someone else’s mistakes, and someone else’s lazy decisions.

But anyhow, the rainscreen job is somewhat more towards completion.

We’ve also connected up one of the bathroom vents. Although I realize that I’ve not cut out enough of the wood around it (because our roofers didn’t cut a big enough hole for the vents when they moved them – or more accurately, the cut a big enough hole, but positioned the vents right up against the wood). I trimmed one side, and thought I’d done enough, but when I looked yesterday I realised there’s not enough clearance on the lowest side of the hole either. But regardless, it’s actually connected to a bathroom fan which, if it had power, could blow humid air out of the bathroom (if it had walls, and functional plumbing) into the outside world. Woo.

I’m also beginning to settle myself with the idea that we should tweak the furnace outlet to be an outlet by itself, and make the lights in that room a separate circuit. Thus avoiding the whole 14/2 gauge 12/2 gauge potential inspection debacle. I’ve picked up a two-gang switch box which will make that happen more easily.

So we’re inching forward, albeit not at anywhere near the rate we’d like.

* Plywood with a faux grain on it. Plain face means that it’s once continuous face, you can get T1-11 that looks vaguely like tongue-and-groove slotted together**.
** If you squint hard enough.