this project actually pre-dates the one below (master bath) but i just realized i forgot to post it. as i slowly make my way around the bottom floor with the barn board sheathing, that "finished look" creeps further and further around the place. i like it. i think some day i'm going to really really love being "done" with this house. right now work has slowed to a crawl.
Knocked off the master bath back in June. My LAST TILE JOB! The barn board looks really nice contrasted with the bright white of the walls and ceramic tile. Overall, I am pleased with the project. What I'm not crazy about is the fact that I check off only one or two major projects like this a year. I guess that's because I've got other big projects going on: phd, kids, teaching...
As many readers know, the timber frame of our house is encased in a shell of insulated panels called SIPs (structural insulated panels). These SIPs allow for the full depth of the timber frame to be visible from the inside, since they are nailed to the outside of the frame. Nothing of the frame is lost to studs and drywall. However, the panels are composed out of two layers of particle board (OSB) sandwiched around 4" of rigid insulation. Now, I'm a pretty huge fan of contemporary architecture and design (hey, I read DWELL magazine), and I have seen a lot of tastefully done OSB interiors. But that's not the route we chose for BHB. Instead, I have been sheathing over the OSB with 5" horizontal strips of antique barn wood - the very same wood that protected our barn from the elements when it was in tis original location up in maine.
In the shot above, you can see the OSB inner panel of the SIPs surrounding the tall window at the end of the hall. You can even see the tufts of yellow fiberglass insulation sticking out around the window frame. See what I'm dealing with!!)
I had finished sheathing upstairs a few years ago (well, except for that spot over the refrigerator...), but the downstairs has remained unfinished far too long. The process is fairly time-consuming. I first have to wash or otherwise clean the wood (since most of it still has the "original" dirt and cobwebs still attached!), rip it to the 5" dimension, cut it to size and then fit it in place. This past year (while I was on sabbatical) I found the time to begin working on the downstairs. In this photo and the one above, I am working on the downstairs hall. It went quite smoothly, most of the pieces being very small and manageable to work with. I'm pleased with how it turned out!
Work is slow at BHB...but steady. Before we move in (pre-Thanksgiving '07) I was probably putting in around 3-4 hours a day (and double that on weekends). My current average is about 2 hours per WEEK. I have made my lists of remaining projects (my Dad claims he STILL has his lists...from 26 years ago!!!) and I am working top to bottom.
So, I have to say (despite the critics who are all over the code-violations here) I am extremely pleased with how this project turned out. The railings are made of chain link fence parts plus some 1/8" cable - all purchased at Home Depot - that cost me around $150 total. And the result looks simple, clean, slick, just like "professionally" done railings that would have cost 10x that.
The owners of BHB are taking a radically new tack to deal with the on-going problem of how to finish construction on their home; they are now actively PLAYING THE LOTTERY. So, wish us luck! We'll keep you updated.
Life has assumed some normalcy here at BHB. Which is another way of saying, I just don't work on the house that much anymore! Recently I have made a pact with myself to do a couple of hours of work on the house each weekend. It's a modest goal, but over time I WILL make some progress on the long list of tasks that remain.
It's hard to imagine a time when we weren't living here. Sometimes I look around and try to imagine the time when this was all a dream in my head and some sketches in my notebook. I am amazed and humbled and grateful all at once. This house is so special and so...US. The adventure continues.
With some large chunks of time on my hands this past weekend I decided that I would go ahead with major project # 43,652: ripping out the temporary loft railings and constructing the new "finish" railings. What you see above is the result of close to 10 hours of work. I think it came out really nice.
As you can see from this shot, I only got half-way done. At the lower right of the image the 2x4 temporary railing is visible. I have long ago learned to cut in half any estimates of what I think I can accomplish on the house at any given time. The design I came up with was driven by my desire to spend as little as possible (pretty typical). I knew I wanted tubular metal railings and wire stays. Back when I was sourcing products for the play loft railings I priced out some professionally fabricated and installed railing systems: BIG bucks. My solution? Go to Home Depot and see what I can come up with for cheap.
What I came up with was basically chain link fence parts. The vertical posts are the chain link fence posts; the horizontal (or diagonal as it were) bars are the fence top rails, and the hardware is all the cheapo hardware for chain link fence. I bored out a hole to seat the base of the posts into, drilled some holes through the posts and then bolted them through the stair risers into the stringers beneath.
The cable cost something like 6 bucks. I anchored it in the downstairs post and then passed it through holes I drilled in the center post and finally fastened them to the wooden end post (which I built to match the other loft railing posts) via simple turnbuckles.
Score one victory for the cheap-skate! Seriously though, I love coming up with smartly designed modernist solutions to design problems that would cost thousands to do "right". All in all, I would say this cost me about $65. Not bad at all.
Now you can download the episode of Renovation Nation featuring Bare Hill Barn (for only $1.99!) In iTunes, search for Renovation Nation. Click on "Vol.2". We are episode 13 of Vol. 2 titled, "Today, Steve checks out a 200 year old barn renovated into a modern, eco-smart house." Oooooo! Enjoy.