January 2009 Archives

Kara over at Stonehouse Straw House has an interesting post up now on a terrible experience they've been having with their exterior finish and their interesting (and very nice) solution. They used earthen plasters on their outside walls and under prolonged exposure to some pretty extreme rain the plaster actually started to slough off. Earthen plasters have been around for a long time but in my experience they're mostly used in the southern (read: dryer) states. Despite this some folks have started using them in Ontario, and apparently the maritimes. Earthen plasters are very nice looking, easy (though very labour intensive) to apply, and have little of the health/environmental baggage that accompanies regular lime plasters such as we used. My suggestion, if you like earthen plasters is that you use them on interior walls, and stick to the tougher lime plasters for the exterior.

What I really like about the post though is their solution. They created a board and batten exterior wall that covers and shields the damaged plaster while still allowing for airflow. In the end the solution ends up being just as attractive, if not more so, than the original wall. Bravo!

The Ceiling - Part 1

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Over the Christmas holiday's we started covering the ceiling in the gallery space with tongue and groove cedar. Dad won the cedar at an auction last spring for a very good price. We won a large stack of boards almost all of which were 16' long, 8" wide and all were tongue and grooved. Unfortunately about 40% of the boards were in pretty bad shape: worm-eaten, weathered, rotten, or warped in some way. We've been cladding our various sheds in the crappier boards and putting aside the good ones to use inside. This fall Joanne and Mom sanded and finished some of those good boards and that's what we've been using.

Over time the Tuck tape that sticks the vapour barrier to the beams has lost it's tack so I'm re-taping as I go.

Fitting the long boards is much easier with a helper. By the end of a day working over your head like this your arms feel like they are about to drop right off.

For extra fun every board in the middle row had to be custom cut to accommodate the light and fan junction boxes. Also because the boards need to be staggered the scaffolding had to make the full trip back and forth across the gallery about a half-dozen times over the course of the project.

We didn't have quite enough boards so we'll complete the job in the spring when we can finish the boards outside - the stain that we use for colour really reeks.

As usual when Dad works so do the children. What's remarkable about this picture is that Gil is actually hammering real nails, into real wood with a toy plastic hammer. No I don't know why there is a parking lot beside the board. Look at how long those legs are! Wonder where he gets his build from?

Happiness defined

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