Monthly Archives: September 2015

Utility Shed Build 1 (9/18/15)

Headed up Friday afternoon ready to start another weekend of projects.  You could tell we had some rain throughout the week, but for the most part the roads were dry and easy to transit.  Our water tank is probably at 1,000 gallons just waiting for me to get the power/pumping working!  Can’t wait.  So, in order to get that pump working, and us having some of that water, we have to get power first.  This weekend started the utility shed build that will maintain all of our house needs.

The shed will be attached to the South end of the container and store all the solar items (including batteries), propane tanks (including auto change over), and water pumping/filtration.  Before I could start framing in the shed, I had to lay foundation blocks to make everything level, and boy is that the funnest thing ever. ha.

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Finally after 4 hours of setting, I was able to place the concrete deck blocks and ensure everything is going to be level.  Worked out well.  The next stop was to attach the 4×4 posts, which are bolted to the container and will serve to brace the final deck joist.

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This was it for the shed on Saturday, but we had other things to do.

Sheralee did some window framing and planking for our headboard area.  She used 1×6 common board for the window trim and 1×4 common boards for the headboard area.
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It really turned out well!  She will be doing the second window this coming weekend.  They really will stand out against our charcoal grey walls…awesome!  Another step to our loft completion!

Also during the day we wanted to start the cutout for our door that will serve as our container to stairs walk through.  What a fun fun job this is! ha.  We used our angle grinder and started the door cutout.

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We both had our turns at this.  It is not really and easy task, and both of us and sore hand muscles after this turn at it.  We will be spreading this fun out for a couple weeks!

Eventually, after all of this fun we had a nice bottle of red and some fried spaghetti by the fire.
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This is just so nice….our big fire, firewood stack, and our outdoor cook top in the background doing a number on our dinner.  What a great night!

Sunday morning we were off and running.  I wanted to keep framing the shed, which started with the flooring…2×6 joists, foam insulation, and plywood flooring.
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Sheralee did some insulation in the loft, finishing out the walls.  Then she turned on the trees at the end of our future yard.  Look out trees….
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There were some trees there, but Sheralee and a hand saw….bye bye!

Of course we got some Steelers football in before this, and some great Red Zone coverage in the loft.  What a great life!

I finished the wall framing of the shed and halted progress as I was pretty much out of the desired materials and I am still working out the back and front wall..which will have a door!  So, have to think that one through.
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While cleaning up and covering up the material stack, I noticed this.  It must have been under the 2×4’s on the stack that had been there for months.
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Some little guy made this nice house.  You can see little sticks, brush, and yes some of our moving blankets that we leave out to  use with the trailer.  Too funny.

That is it for this weekend.  We are up again next weekend to continue the shed build, do some more trim work in the loft, and continue the expansion of our outside deck.  Oh, I didn’t mention we added another 4×8 plywood to our deck upstairs.  Just doubled the size and it is awesome.  This weekend we are doing the cantilever part, very exciting.  it will finish the deck flooring, except the very end near the shed posts.


Loft Build Step 8 Move In (9/11/15)

After dealing with our rain issues from last weekend, it was time to move in to our new loft.  First things first were for Sheralee to put down our flooring.  Originally, I had thought we would have nice carpet for our place of sleep.  Well, a smarter head prevailed and it is wiser to put down something a little more resilient.

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It really turned out pretty good…considering we are putting it in what we now refer to our ‘Crooked’ Enchanted Forest house.  For those of you that remember The Enchanted Forest, and that little crooked house you had to walk through…we now have a model for our new abode!

After the floor was put down, it was time to build our bed frame.  Sheralee found this great idea online and we ran with it for ourselves. We have purchased and installed more galvanized pipe and fittings for having now running water.  I love it.

It is basically based on this bed:

We used 2×8’s for the frame, 2×4’s for the support, and then 2×6’s to moun the pipe flanges to.  This was the beginning, before the screws.
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This is the result.
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It is awesome…probably a good 2 feet off the floor, allowing us to use vertical space underneath for storage.  The frame will be stained.  With the windows and patio door…we can lay in bed and have wonderful views all around.  We now have a nice sanctuary when fowl weather arrives!

Next we wanted to install a banister to protect this big lug from falling into the stair well.  We opted for a couple 4×4 posts, and yes you guessed it, more galvanized piping. ha.

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It really turned out well and now we have some added hand guides for going up and down the stairs.  Pretty cool!  The rest of the day we cleaned up, did some chores and spread a little bit of mulch.  We are interested in getting a wood chipper/mulcher for the property…due to all the material we have and we can spread that all over for walking.  So, we wanted to see how it holds up in the weather.
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Speaking of weather….so crazy yesterday.  We finally rolled off ‘Crooked’ Rebel Ranch around 5pm…and not a drop of rain, until we were in the Jeep just pulling away.  All of the ranch roads were nice and dry and better than they have been in months!  Well, one good rain dump ended all of that.  We did some fish-tailing out of our little road, and then once on the ranch road, I had to put it in 4WD…just weren’t going anywhere without it.  It was insane.  Instantaneously the roads were mud paths.  Worst part is, last week we were covered in mud and I washed the Jeep and trailer at 11pm when we got back. Well, the clean trailer was a thing of the past.  We were once again covered in mud! hahaha  Oh well, another ranch day.  What we realized is that once we live there, those days of heavy rain….no problem, we just chillax in the loft or on the deck.

Next weekend, the utility shed (solar power, water, and propane) starts on the end of the container and more insulation goes in the loft.  Good times!

Loft Build Step 7 Windows & Doors (9/4/15)

Our project list for this past weekend, a nice three day weekend, was to install three windows, a patio door, and our entry door.  The whole process started at Lowe’s on Friday afternoon.  We were actually going to head out of town a little early to get a head start on the weekend.  First thing, head to Lowe’s and pick up/secure our patio door for travel.  This is where the fun started for us.

Friday morning, the wind here in LV was really whipping, and only continued to grow stronger throughout the day.  There was going to be a big temperature drop on Friday and so the wind reflected that change all over.  We were no exception.  Here we were, securing a 6’8″ patio door on top of our trailer, standing upright, for 3 hours of travel.  It took us quite a while in the Lowe’s parking lot building a framing system inside of the trailer to secure the patio door.

This was the look before heading out.
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Wind whipping, we headed out for the ranch, knowing we had to pass over the Hoover Dam bridge, where winds are always terrible.  The bridge has a continuous posting that high profile vehicles use the inside lane.  Most of the time it says “high profile vehicles’ not recommended…but this time it said ‘high profile vehicles’ prohibited. hahahahaha  Winds were in the 30mph range and whipping good.  I think we were high profile for sure.  We decided to try and wait out the winds in Boulder City.

We had some pretty good Mexican food, surprising actually, and sat in Starbucks while we watched the clock tick.  We decided to let it get dark, and normally the winds ease up a bit.  We headed out about 8pm I think, finally tired of waiting.  The idea was to follow a semi, and stay to the left of it on the bridge…well things didn’t work out that way, and we were full brunt into the wind.  I told Sheralee, that was the most scared I had been driving the Jeep.  Freaky.  The wind just continued and finally eased a little towards Kingman.  Insane night of driving.  The wind picked up again after Kingman and it was tough the whole way.  We finally arrive close to midnight, all in tact, but missing half a moving blanket.  Somewhere out there in the desert is half a blue moving blanket.  Worth the sacrifice I guess.

This is after I started unpacking.  Actually, the sliding patio door came dislodged on our bouncy ranch road, but still made it fine.  I really don’t want to do that again, uhhh…ever! ha.
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We started Saturday morning to install the smaller 36″x12″ window, our first window ever.  It was a learning experience, but it went alright.  Then we tackled the patio door and finished that just before sundown.  Looks and works great!!!!!
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Sunday morning we tackled the two upstairs windows.  We did them both from inside, although Sheralee had to get on the big ladder to help screw in a couple screws.  I was able to do most of it from inside the loft reaching out the window.

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We finished the day Sunday flashing the windows.  It was a learning experience, and funny thing, it has got to be so much easier with scaffolding, or ground level windows.  duh!

We did receive two big thunderstorms Sunday and Monday.  The one Sunday was eye-opening as there were numerous leaks within the loft, I mean seeping in everywhere.  It was crazy…and a little bit of a downer, to realize we had to step back a few steps.  We ended up pulling out all of the insulation we had installed and working on fortifying the water proofing of the loft.  On the inside we spray foamed every nook and cranny.  Then, Sheralee went up on the roof and added two new layers of house wrap, overlapping the correct way.  I believe we had two problems before, the overlapping was incorrect causing the water to go beneath the final low end house wrap, and that house wrap was Everbilt brand….and total crap!!  We did it right and after our big rain on Monday, we are good to go….fingers crossed!  We are now stepping up our roof panel installation.

Next weekend…a bit of a departure.  If the loft is dry, and we are confident, we might install the flooring up there, but mostly it will be a weekend of tree cutting and wood gathering.