Dargo wrote: ↑November 13th, 2023, 10:16 pm
Don't think we've gotten our quarterly update on the house reno, Masha.
(...got that utility area done yet?)
I would laugh heartily if it was not so very sad.
My little Fuzzy has sadly been hors de combat since the first week of September. It fell to me to remodel the entrance to the attic and install insulation. This was quite time-consuming and difficult. I placed the remote sensor of the indoor-outdoor thermometer in the attic. It registered up to one-hundred-and-eighteen degrees most days. I know that is simply a typical sunny afternoon in Arizona but it is more than a mature woman who was raised in temperate climes should have to endure. I was limited to approx. an hour in the morning and an hour in late evening because my work suffers when my clothes become saturated with sweat. The temperature would reach one-hundred-and-six degrees even on days when the outside temperature only touched seventy degrees.
A significant problem was that the roof has a very low slope. It is impossible to reach closer than four feet from the outside walls. It was necessary for me to notch sheets of two-inch-thick foam insulation so they would fit around the rafters and use poles to push them into place. I could then unroll four-inch-thick fiberglass insulation and use poles to push it against the foam. Then I could unroll eight-inch-thick fiberglass insulation and use yardstick to push it against the first roll of insulation. I could then unroll the main insulation and fit it in directly.
Please take into consideration that there was barely sufficient height at the center for me to be on my hands and knees and I had to be flat on my stomach for most of it. Great care had to be taken because roofing nails penetrated the sheathing in all places and so raising a head meant banging it on a rafter or having the scalp perforated. Please take into consideration also that the rafters were trusses and each and every vertical support piece was in precisely the most inconvenient location for what had to be done.
It was also that measurements and calculations showed that the gable end vents provided only approx. thirty percent of the open area necessary for the space. Larger ones were needed. They could be installed only from inside because of the height and our disdain for tall ladders.
It was by these things and other factors that what should have been a two-day project required nearly seven weeks.
That the seasons are changing meant several days tending to landscaping and flower bed. It required all of one afternoon to simply harvest the rosemary, collect the dried coneflower blossoms for their seeds and cut down the thick mass of catnip. It is the season also that open burning is allowed and so I have spent several days dousing one of the stumps with lighter fluid and tending it while it burned. An unfortunate aspect of this is that city ordinance states a person must be present every minute during such a fire. It is our luck that a fireman lives in the neighborhood, has a clear view of our yard and loves to earn points at work by reporting violations. The fine is quite considerable. That stump is now a little less than two-thirds gone and will require an attack with a Sawzall and more lighter fluid to render it susceptible to complete removal next spring.
It was while tending the fire one day that I decided to do what was scheduled to be our major fall project: installing paving on two sides of the flower bed to create a proper border. The sides are eighty-five inches and one-hundred-and-five inches long and the paving is to be fourteen inches wide. I had to excavate nine inches deep to accommodate the 'paver base', sand and pavers. I distributed most of the dirt in little dips in the lawn and one of the wheel ruts left by the tree-fellers. I then constructed a frame of cedar boards to be an outer edge to constrain the sand and leveled it with the cedar boards which define the flower bed and its divisions.
I had to screen some of the dirt, remove rocks and organic matter, replace it in the excavation and tamp it down to a solid layer two inches thick. I placed a layer of geotextile fabric and spread a thin layer of paver base over it.
That is how it sits at this very moment. I will tomorrow tamp the paver base down, add more, tamp, add more etc. until it is a layer four inches thick. I hope to add and level the necessary one-inch thick layer of sand also but whether I reach that stage will be determined by circumstances outside of my control. Laying the pavers will likely begin Wednesday or Thursday.
The weather is scheduled to turn so cold next week that working outside would be problematic and so all things must be done now or wait for spring.
It would be quite foolish to speculate when we can resume work on the house interior. I must soon spend several days away so as to be recertified for two of the contracts which I hold and it is probable that my little Fuzzy will need further outpatient surgery because he is not recovering as quickly as he should. I should note that he is not in pain and his life is not in great danger from his condition. It is simply that he is an exceptionally bad patient and will not adhere to doctors' order for complete bedrest. He insists on working on heavy tasks but quickly overexerts. This is preventing his body from healing. There seems to me to be only one method of keeping him in bed but he overexerts himself then also. He is hopeless.