Well Jeff, you’ve ruined that for me.

I’ve used Amazon forever. As an internet lurking soul since before there was an internet I’ve been through countless suppliers. I can’t even recall most of them. But from Amazon’s first days of shipping to the UK I was using their services.

I’ve always felt a bit iffy about their treatment of staff, suspecting it would be crap. And I’ve always suspected that the founder would be an arsehole. But as the trickle of awful has increased to a steady torrent I now find that the little bit of consumer joy I got from ordering things from them is more a feeling of despair.

There are some bits for the house where we’ve picked them and I don’t have another supplier, and there’s probably always going to be the “well crap, I can’t get this anywhere else*”. But I think it’s time to kill the Amazon prime subscription, and I’ve started the slow trawl of trying to find alternative suppliers.

*Sigh*

*Walmart doesn’t count, I already refuse to but anything from that wellspring of monkey shit.

Almost an inspection

So, today we had planned to have an inspection. We’ve been working on lots of the disparate jobs that needed doing and… (ta da) were ready for an inspection today. Only we weren’t.

I’d got my inspectors mixed up, and the guy today doesn’t do electrics, he does framing, plumbing and mechanical. Some how I had him down as framing, plumbing and electrics. Which he’s not. Which didn’t work out ideally as they apparently like to get electrical done first, then he can come in and do the rest. Which would mean that we could drywall (if we pass).

Thankfully, he was very nice about it and had a walk round – flagging a few minor things for his return (a couple of bracing straps we need where the old-and-new meet and we couldn’t overlap the top-plates the way that we’d ideally have liked to (done). Where there’s no bolt next to the french door (because the french door sits partially over the crawl-space opening) he wanted some more nails (done, just dug out the nail gun and whopped some in there :) ). There’s a couple of strengthening plates to go over the top-plate on the triangular section above the laundry that I knew we were missing, but I’d forgotten to get. He actually didn’t flag that today, so I’m not absolutely certain that they’re required, but they are 40c each, so I picked them up while I was at BOB today, and will put them up when Kathryn’s free to be in the house too.

I also arranged an electrical inspection for the next day that works for both us and Oly planning – which means we’ll be inspected on Tuesday. Expect an anguished wail.

In other news we’ve continued the rainscreening – it was actually too hot yesterday we discovered after we’d got the scaffold up – so we only put one board up. I appear to have not taken a photo of it, so here’s a shot of it just prior…

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We bought and fitted the wood for the shed base (treated timber) and spread out the gravel in the hole. Frustratingly, because my digging was far from perfect, the amount of gravel we’ve got is about 2″ shy of the top of the frame. Options include putting concrete in that top two inches (might be wise), or going and getting more gravel (cheaper). We should also really rent a compactor for a few hours and squidge it down. Maybe that’s a weekend job… and then we can see how bad it really is.

Kathryn’s cut all of the wood for the shed frame – so we should be able to put it up fairly quickly once we get a base to put it on… oh, and some ply to go on the outside of it.

And then I spent the afternoon today applying more of the near 250 strips of wood we’ve decided to apply to the house. I’d like to claim that it’s going quicker now I know what I’m doing, but it’s really not. At least not by much. I’ve made a ‘special tool’ which holds the strip up at one end (it’s a C-shaped bit of bent wire). This means I spend less time flailing about and trying to persuade it to fit. But most of the time is really trying to make sure it looks right. It’s not a case of getting the whole thing perfectly level, and the spacing all perfectly even because the bits of wood are not even widths, nor are they straight. So it’s more a “this is where it should be, now, what will make it look right” kind of deal.

Still, the first side is about 3/4 done – and that’s taken a day and a half – more or less. So hopefully a good week should see most of the house finished. Only… of course… we bought an insufficient amount, and there’s no more in stock. So that should be interesting.

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So, we went on holiday

Now I know, a lot of you are probably thinking “but they just went on holiday in April” – which is true. But there’s definitely a difference between a holiday of seeing family and friends, and a holiday of wandering around in a wholly relaxed manner and reading books and disconnecting from the online world.

And not to be whiny (although I am, quite), we were both knackered. We haven’t been taking days off – and working on the house every day had taken it’s toll. We were both struggling – and so a week hiding in the Oregon countryside was the plan.

We hopped in the i3 and headed down… the same day as the Nazi / Patriot Prayer rally in Portland. Which was just peachy timing. Thankfully, there’s a new charger off I-5 in Longview, so we slid down that way and only got a pathetic wanker staring us down once. Otherwise the journey down was uneventful (but that charger is only 25kW, not 50kW, so it takes a while to fill up our i3). Annnnyhooo.

So we got down to Eugene, found ourselves in a very nice quiet cabin, tucked up in the treeline in a valley at a little smallholding. Eugene turned out to be a very us kind of city… the first day we found a coffee shop that served French Toast and made our appointments for the massage the next day. And then we had an incident involving the Eugene House of Records…

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Which unsurprisingly led to more music being at home with us. Funnily enough, we couldn’t listen to any of it, as the car lacks a CD player, and the cabin had no record deck.

We pottered around Eugene, poking at stores and generally relaxing, before heading over to see the y free-in-the-park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which we enjoyed with fresh Strawberries :)

We pottered to various shops, had a massage, ate yummy pastries, visited Eugene Pride, had a good look around the U of O art gallery (which is really bloody good), and the Maude Kerns art center (which had a cool exhibit on). We pottered out to see waterfalls, and wandered some not-terribly-hard trails through dry-as-crisp woodland. We watched bats through the window, dipped ourselves in a stream and let the water run over us as the sun crept across the sky. We read, listened to music, mimicked ducks and turkeys.

We mooched around the farmer’s market and bought wine made from Oregon Grape. We toured a winery and tasted wine from three wineries. We sat and watched a covers group while we ate wood fired pizza at a winery as the sun slowly set.

We saw a South American Mexican dance performance (shades of Germany and Spain, it’s fascinating), and wandered around the Portland Japanese Garden on our way home.

Photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/49965961@N00/albums/72157699817719774/with/43972979932/ for those who are interested :)

In theory…

I should be using these few hours between shopping for food and cleaning the house, and Kathryn getting home from work for working on our house. I should be. I should be because I ran through shopping this morning having scrubbed the bathroom, washed up, dusted.

I flew downtown, having stopped off to drop off the recycling (and failed to get my laptop battery recycled, because Target has device recycling, not battery recycling, which I always get wrong). I ran through the shops we use, and the local farmer’s market.

I barely paused to say hello when my friends were playing (Pinniped) and didn’t stay to hear them play – which makes me feel worse about the fact that when I got home and ate lunch, I crashed. I am so, so tired. We’re pushing (and pushing) and have been pushing to try and get to the first formal inspection. That covers framing, electrical and plumbing rough in.

We’re so close I can almost taste it.

But it has meant that we’ve been working far more than is reasonable, especially given the temperature. With the outside temperature often being at around 30c / 86F or more, the inside has been up to around 40C / 104F. Indeed I recall seeing 42C on our thermometer. And that’s at ground level. Up in the attic, which is where the vast majority of our work has been it’s way hotter. Yesterday, while I was outside, I was outside at a temp of more than 30 degrees C and working on the house from 8am to 6pm.

And while it does mean there is progress – lots of it. It also means that perhaps I should listen to my body when it informs me that it is time to rest. Now.

We have a hole full of gravel for a shed base courtesy of me driving an excavator for the first time ever*. We also have a hole for the IBC tote to capture rain water, and the buried barrel – which it turns out was just really the lid and a few remenant bits of rusting side – has been dug out. Also the metal pole that was the washing line has been removed (it’s not where we want a washing line). We’ve also done some pre-emptive digging for what will be our raingarden.

Hole for a shed base, and no, I've not put the wood around it yet

We’ve built two of the three bits of wall that are the final bits of framing we require for inspection. These are the (bloody) triangular bits of wall that go above the attic. We’re now realizing why cheap houses don’t have cathedral ceilings. It’s because, beyond the additional expense and engineering involved in getting trusses, and the extra insulation required, it’s also a pain in the arse to frame. I’m also getting why the few cheaper houses I’ve seen with cathedral ceilings have had weird unused spaces – because it’s much easier to only put up one difficult triangular wall and leave a useless space than it is to make multiple difficult triangular walls.

Framing of a triangular wall

We’ve not been able to find any real information on framing non-structural triangular fill-in segments. And so they’ve kind of been guesswork. There’s lots of stuff on doing gable ends, but these aren’t gable ends. There’s stuff on structural triangles, but these are non-structural. Their entire purpose is to hold up the drywall at the end of the room. Still, we’ve done the one in the dining area, and we’ve done the one in the second bedroom. We’ve put up the blocking (which goes between the trusses) for the main bedroom – and have the wood. Hopefully we’ll get that up this weekend.

That leaves:

– 3/4 Bathroom vent connection (I’ve now fitted the actual fan)
– Laundry / Whole house fan vent connection
– Install plastic box and run cable for smoke detector in main bedroom (we have done the hall and the second bedroom)
– Add the 14/2 feed for the boiler room lights from the panel
– Install the plastic light box for one of the kitchen lights
– Reconnect the plumbing vent for the laundry

The problem is – we’ve got two competing concerns – there’s inspection which we need to progress, and there’s covering the housewrap and protecting it from UV. Both have time pressure, but are completely unrelated activities. The finish on the house is a hideously complex process – because nothing we do is easy.

We are applying individually cut strips of 1×2″ cedar to the bottom 35″ of the house. We have bought 1×2’s pre-cut, but because we don’t have loads of money kicking around spare, they are rough-cut, so we have to plane them. Each of them, therefore, has to run through the planer. This is a rainscreen of far more complexity than is reasonable for a house of this quality – but we have always liked the open joint look. So have gone the extra mile to make it happen… which is all very well, except that dear god does it take a long time. Not least because I’m trying to get it to look level on a house which is not level, and to be at least ‘close’ to level, and also for those who’ve not realised, cheap wood isn’t straight. Not even slightly.

I spent yesterday morning problem solving exactly how this would work – and starting the process. I made one mistake**, but it is fairly easily fixable, and now I’ve realised that I need a special ‘tool’ of my own design which I’ll make before I start on it again. I’ve also worked out what the staggering lengths need to be (that’s the mistake I made on the first wall, but I can hide it thanks to the gas meter being present, also it’s the North wall which is the least visible side of the house, and once we get a fence up it should be pretty much hidden).

Strips of wood applied to a wall in an excessively complex brickwork pattern

All of which is to say things are progressing. I feel bad that I’ve not made them progress today. But I am knackered. And we’ve got a full weekend of rainscreen and/or framing coming up. So… rest might be useful.

* I also discovered that one of our neighbours is a dick. He came out and swore at me for being too noisy at the terrible time of 9am. No explanation, just called me an asshole and stormed off (we’ve not met this neighbour before, he’s at the back of the house).

** Well, one significant mistake that I’ve not fixed yet.

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.

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

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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.

Finally…

So, after about two years I’ve finally built my keyboard. By which I mean, from a pile of keys and a circuit board and a case, and some keycaps I’ve assembled it.

Photo

It’s not quite my dad’s first keyboard which he wirewrapped and built by hand. But it’s nice to type on something that I know is mine. It’s a bit more clattery than the mac’s keyboard – I could get some little rings to stop the clatter, but it makes me feel quite…nostalgic.

It’s still missing…err… 6 keycaps. That’s because when I ordered the keycaps I wasn’t 100% sure what layout I wanted. When I did decide it was too late to order the rest (because it was a massdrop run). I’m waiting (optimistically) for them to do another run – because I really like the look of the keyboard, but I’ve got two keytops with the wrong slope (Page Up / Page Down) and I’ve had to use blanks for Control / Alt / Cmd on the bottom row because I wanted a different size than is in my keycap set.

It does feel nice though. Now we just need to finish the house and then I’ll build the desktop that’s going to replace my aged (10 year old) laptop (which today let out a confusing and unpleasant wailing noise). And hopefully that’ll have the dual benefit of having a machine with a bit of umph, and also having getting me to stop dinking quite so much.

It’s been nice though – I broke out my Solder / SMD rework station (unnecessary, really, but it’s the only USian soldering iron I have).

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I’m also working on upgrading the media server to a new harddisk and a new OS. Because that’s a relaxing thing to do the day after my colonoscopy*.

Anyhow, I should get back to it… and tidy up the 800 boxes I’ve got out to make today happen so far.

* Benign polyps, they think. But it left me with a need to be near a loo today. Which I’m thankful that I realised before I left for the house for the day.

It continues to astound me how crazy it is

So, the US healthcare ‘system’.

Tomorrow I’m going for a colonoscopy. Because of my dad’s early colon cancer and his subsequent death, I am a ‘high risk’ person for colon cancer (yay).

So, my doctor wants me to have a colonoscopy.

Now getting the appointment was about the same level of hassle as in the NHS – but then, because it’s the US healthcare system there’s the added bonus of money. So first I have a discussion about how much it might cost. Then I prepare myself for that. Then, I get a letter telling me to pre-pay; only it doesn’t have a piece of required information on it for their online payment system.

So I call – and it turns out I don’t have to pay… they think… I mean, they have to actually bill the insurance company after the procedure to find out whether it’s going to cost anything (because the ‘system’ does not have a stable output for a given input). And also, if they don’t find anything (fingers crossed ever so much) it’s “preventative” – and thus completely covered – but if they do, it’s a treatment – and thus not completely covered – and there will be a fee.

Which is insane. If I go in for a screening and they find nothing and I’m healthy, it’s ‘free’, but if I’m actually sick then I have to pay for it? What now?

*sigh*

Anyhow, so today I can’t eat. I have jelly (jello) which curiously comes as a powder, not cubes, here. And is crazily expensive (and the shop only appeared to have actual brand-name jelly). And pretty much the only flavours I could have were lemon and lime (because all the other ones have Red-40, which is a dye I’m also not allowed today).

I am currently enjoying a delicious cup of stock. And then in a couple of hours I get to be put off gatorade by having it mixed with laxative. So much fun.

I’m beginning to go off this getting older m’larkey.

Fabulous / Frustrating

Let’s get the fabulous out of the way first, because it’s brief but very good news. We sold our land – contracts exchanged, recorded and paperwork completed, money in the bank. We’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop having had several offers from people that flaked out, or people who ran screaming from Thurston County, when this offer came in it looked too good to be true. And they didn’t run screaming, and they paid, so now it’s off our hands.

Which is an enormous relief.

The frustrating is, as you would expect, the house.

We’re really down to things that I can only do with Kathryn there, because they’re up in the air*, which led to me doing bitty little things which are unrewarding and made it feel kinda like I’d not really achieved anything.

I did put the rainscreen up around the meter box:

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Which is one of those things that takes ages to cut (because of the fiddly, fiddly shape), but doesn’t really require both of us there. It was just about reachable with just me there – but it is missing a few screws from the very top. Hopefully we won’t have an enormously windy day, although the rest of the screws are fairly well embedded.

I masked off the remaining four windows ready to be treated with danish oil. I will probably oil them on Monday…

I popped in the last bit of insulation in the lower sections of the lounge wall – which means that bit is ready for inspection…

I painted the ceiling of our porch black – it’s actually going to be mostly hidden behind another layer of board, which will also be black**, but I wanted a coat of paint on it. And I’ve cut in and fitted the light fitting box…

I also spent some time fixing a problem that I realised too late to have spent an irritating sum of cash on. While two of the bathroom fans we have (ironically the cheaper ones) will fit between the ceiling joists in the main bathroom****; the fan we actually bought for that bathroom, it turns out, won’t.

So after some debate I realised the simplest solution is to just trade the 3/4 bathroom one for the other bathroom one – that way we actually get the nicer, quieter, but larger fan in our 3/4 (en-suite) bathroom. Which would be great, but it screws up the floor of the mini-attic space above. Which is, of course, irritating. It also necessitates cutting out some more floor for the vent – because it’s a 4″ vent, not a 3″ vent. And it means the 3″ vent cap (which we had for the wall) is now useless, as is the oval 4″ to round 3″ adaptor that is specific to the fan that we bought. Grr.

The other problem with this was it meant I needed to move an outlet wire.

Which it must be said turned out to have enough extra length. So that was good, if somewhat frustrating overall.

So while today has been great in some parts it’s been a bit frustrating in others, and while we’re waiting for the under floor heating stuff, and until I go get the cedar for the trim it’s hard for me to feel useful and like I’m making progress.

* Up in the air junior birdman woman song style.
** Because we have a whole funky dunky lighting thing involving semi-hidden LED lights that glow down from the top of the porch***.
*** Why? Because we like making things deeply over complicated and hard, why else?
**** Which are closer together because it’s our main attic and it may be the case that we own a lot of books.

Damn forums

So, I was doing some reading about prepping for inspections and wandered across a discussion of the fact that while it is ‘to code’ to have a 12/2 run from the panel and then 14/2 spurs from that run (if you have lights and outlets on a circuit), so long as that circuit has a breaker correct for the lower rated wire… apparently inspectors don’t like it. Or more specifically, they don’t like it when DIYers do it. Fine, apparently, if you’re a pro-electrician (and it’s done following the code). But likely to lead to tedious discussions if you’re a DIYer.

Which is funny because that’s how it says to do it in my code book.

Thankfully we’d only done that on a couple of circuits, so I spent some of today tweaking those circuits – removing the 14/2 (thinner gauge) wire and replacing it with 12/2 (which we had left over). Sadly, the boiler circuit (which consists of one double outlet, one light and the smoke detectors) is more of a pain to fix. But if our inspector doesn’t like it I can fix it with one run of 14/2 back to the panel and replacing the single outlet box with a double – and splitting the two circuits. Not a nightmare, but a pain.

I also plumbed in the shower – which, it turns out has a weird quirk – in that while it’s a “raindrop shower”, the showerhead is only about 14″ from the inside of the stud wall (3.5″ thick). Now – to be fair, there’s a female drop-ear that it connects to – but it was asking that to be positioned a minimum of 1 5/8″ back from the surface of the wall. Which still left the showerhead approximately 1′ from the wall. Which is insane. Add to that the fact that our bath has approximately 3″ wide surround, and suddenly you’re looking at a shower that’s only 9″ (22cm) from the edge of the bath…

Which is…not ideal.

After much futzing with it, I managed to position the drop-ear *just* inside the wall – which gains us back almost an inch and a half. I’m slightly worrying that we’ll end up having to buy a longer adapter* – lord knows the damn thing was expensive enough, but it was about the only US-spec shower we could find that fell remotely in our price range and at least faintly reflected the Crane Drexel sink.

I may also have to add a nailplate of some sort to hide in the wall because the pipe is now well less than 1 1/4″ back from the drywall surface. And the cursed thing that is the shower valve (which took a couple of hours of futzing with) probably needs a bit of the stud edge trimmed off to make the faceplate fit. It doesn’t *say* it needs that space in the directions for installation – but when you look at the faceplate it is *meant* to be recessed into the wall. Which is fine…if there’s not a stud right where the damn valve needs to be.

Still, I’m going to leave that for the minute, now it’s far enough along for the plumbing inspection – I think – and that tweak can be in the final inspection.

The list of things to do for inspection is getting shorter though.

  • Low voltage wiring (network)
  • Tighten last earthquake bolt (under pile of insulation)
  • Vent ducting 3/4 bath (requires gable rainscreen to be present)
  • Vent ducting laundry (requires gable rainscreen to be present)
  • Vent ducting main bath
  • Smoke detector wiring and bedroom boxes
  • Exterior light box rear(requires rainscreen to be present)
  • Exterior light box front
  • Insulation lounge wall (partly done)
  • Framing: Both bedroom / attic wall sections, section above laundry room)
  • Plumbing vents – run through laundry room attic wall framing

We’ve started measuring for the funky triangular bits of framing that sit in the sections between the attic and the two bedrooms and the little mini attic above the laundry and 3/4 bath. It’s made hideously complex by the fact we really want a built in shelf above the doors in both bedrooms. Which is pretty much what you’d expect considering the number of multi-way switches we’ve installed in a tiny, tiny house.

Incidentally, USians, is premixed coloured paint a thing here? I’ve not seen it anywhere I’ve been – everywhere seems to only be mix-to-order, which is bizarre to me. I only realised they didn’t have it at Home Depot** after wandering around for about 10 minutes looking for it…

…and then was somewhat fazed – because in the UK there’s usually a few aisles of varying qualities of premixed colours (cheap -> expensive), plus you can go get whatever you want mixed (moderate -> more expensive).

In the end I got my little tin of black paint mixed… but… well… is this me being blind?

* And this is where I really, really miss UK plumbing, because normally in the UK this bit would be a compression joint and a bit of pipe you cut to length, but here it has to be threaded at the wall end – and since this has a 90 degree bend in it for the shower head… they just make it some length or other.
** Or possibly BOB, which might be my new name for it (Big Orange Box – because I tend to call it B&Q).

Yet more copper

So, we continued our plan to put all of the copper in the world in our house. At least, it somewhat feels that way. We’ve used way more than I guestimated based on the book – which says you’ll need N rolls of W, X, Y and Z gauges for a medium size house. I thought, given our house’s smallness that we’d need much less. Turns out that we’ve needed about 2/3rds as much.

Part of that is that I like to break off rooms into separate circuits – and break off lighting and sockets into separate circuits.

Part of it is that we’ve tended to route things the “gold standard” way (over the top of windows, rather than under them).

Anyhow, today we worked on it some more… it was very hot out and the idea of putting up rainscreen even in the shade on such a hot day was pretty unappealing. As I’ve whinged before, the project’s not exactly going fast, and I’m hoping that when we do (hopefully) get the permit signed off and can start insulating and drywalling (plasterboarding) that we might get that going a bit quicker.

We still have the ply to put down on the floor – along with the heating pipes – which needs to be done before we can start faffing around with walls. And we’re starting to really struggle with all the crap in the house. Offcuts of wood that are potentially useful. Offcuts of wood that we’re thinking of using for firewood. Offcuts of ply that might be handy. Offcuts of ply that are probably scrap, but irritatingly large and thus kept around. The beams we got because I f’cked up and bought an extra beam – which turned out to be handy, because we f’cked up and cut it to the wrong length and which we might use in the garage…

The gardening stuff…

It’s all got to go somewhere. And that means a shed, realistically. Because while I’d love to throw the garage up, we aren’t in a position to do that really. We’re thinking of giving in and getting some nasty brackets with a cut list, then throwing a shed up (hopefully in a couple of days) – just because it would make things much more managable.

But that means probably spending money on an excavator rental, or hand digging a large hole. One is costly in money, the other in time we don’t have.

Which we could probably complain about more, but for the fact that we’ve booked a holiday – 8 days away from this madness. Which – despite the loss of 2 weekends, and a solid week of work – is I think needed to keep us at least slightly sane.