Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘log home

Freshly Sealed

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At long last, the logs of our home have a fresh seal from the elements. Last year there were two primary maintenance projects that were both reaching burdensome levels of urgency against the elements: our deck and the walls of the house. We ended up doing the deck ourselves and hiring out the sealing of our logs.

The contract was accepted last year, but they weren’t able to get to us before winter arrived and so the work was rescheduled to first thing after the weather warmed this spring. That didn’t play out as we expected. It took until mid-July, but now the job is finally done.

Over the weekend, we got the resealed wagon wheels remounted on the front steps to cap off the completion of the weatherization of the house.

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The house looks good as new.

I’m very pleased over the professional opinion of the contractor who told us that our deck project looked well done and didn’t warrant any additional seal coat of its own.

That suits me just fine.

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Written by johnwhays

August 3, 2020 at 6:00 am

Weathering Nicely

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Now that it’s officially summer, a few days ago I got around to removing the firewood rack from our deck that had been in place all winter. Doing so uncovered deck boards that have been protected from direct sunlight and still show the original coloring of the treated wood.

I am much happier with the weathered look of the exposed boards.

We’ve yet to decide what we will do about finishing the wood. I’m hoping to tap the advice of the professional crew we have contracted to seal the log walls of our house. It would be great if they would actually show up.

It’s a company that we’ve used once before, shortly after we moved here. There was an end piece of a log that was rotting and they replaced it and went around the whole house to caulk any spaces that needed it.

Last year they agreed to do the job of resealing the logs of the entire house but were iffy about whether they could fit it in before days got too cold. When it became obvious they wouldn’t make it before winter, they promised we would be early on the spring schedule this year.

When spring (and a certain pandemic) arrived, we contacted them to confirm they were still able to work. Yes, they said, work would begin as soon as days got warm enough.

When warm days arrived and we hadn’t heard from them, we checked again. Yes, we were next in line after their current job. He teased it might be the next week or the week after, depending on the weather.

A week later, granted after some inclement weather, I decided to start removing all the decorative trim from the outside walls in an almost passive-aggressive attempt to will them to suddenly show up.

We will give them one more week before checking anew to find out how many additional weeks remain before they start on our house, seeing as they were going to do it right away in the spring and we were only second in line on their schedule at the start.

At this rate, by the time they get here the logs of the house will be so faded they will match the weathered boards of the deck.

Maybe we should aim for the antique gray color of dried-out neglected wood for our house.

I do like a weathered look.

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p.s. Happy Birthday, Elysa! (you are weathering nicely, too!) [Oh, Dad…]

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Written by johnwhays

June 22, 2020 at 6:00 am

Small Projects

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The weekend just passed consisted of many small tasks chipped off the ol’ to-do list, primarily addressing the first-impression appearance of the place. After getting the grass mowed and the landscape pond fixed my attention shifted to whatever miscellaneous project caught my eye, particularly if they had been staring me in the face for more than a year.

I finally got up on the roof to address the wind vane that came apart so long ago I’ve forgotten when. I ended up removing the base entirely to see if repairs on the ground are possible. I may, or may not, put it back up someday.

The kids stopped by on Saturday and Julian helped me quickly dispatch a dead pine tree located right in front of the approach to the house garage doors. Yesterday, I pulled out the chainsaw again and removed dead limbs from the next tree over, some version of a flowering decorative. I think that one is a form of lilac, but seems to have climbed to heights that exceed my perceptions of lilac.

While the chainsaw was out, I hoofed my way down to the woods behind the labyrinth to cut up a dead tree that fell across one of our small side trails. At the labyrinth, I removed the stakes that secured the transplanted maple now that it seems to have established itself. There, I discovered the deer have been feasting on the hostas by the peace pole.

I hope they had a very peaceful meal there while the angel’s back was turned.

The driveway got some attention in the form of lime screenings packed into a low dip that was becoming quite a bump in the road. The last time a UPS truck delivered a package, I heard everything bounce in his truck when passing over that spot a little too quickly.

Julian and I started removing anything attached to the side of the house in preparation for a resealing of the logs that will hopefully happen sooner than later. We have enlisted the services of professionals and they have teased us that we are next in line when they finish the current customer.

That’s another one of those weather-dependent projects that end up being hard to plan start and finish dates.

That brings to mind the hay fields. Things are growing so fast right now that our fields look ripe for the mowing. I don’t know what the farmer who is renting our fields this summer is planning, but I hope he is able to get enough dry days in a row to be successful this year.

The only thing I didn’t get to before time ran out last night was in fulfilling Cyndie’s wish to get the hammocks up.

That’s a good task to look forward to for starting my next spurt of knocking off small projects, whenever that moment comes.

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Written by johnwhays

June 8, 2020 at 6:00 am

Making Plans

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We are not going to the lake this weekend, but we do have Anna coming to stay at our house to take care of Delilah, Pequenita, and the chickens for a few days. Our plans are more along the lines of the stay-cation in the cities with family and friends variety. That involved a fair amount of pre-planning for my little brain last night.

We will be staying at Cyndie’s parents’ house, which facilitates my heading there directly from work this afternoon and remaining there through Sunday night to go back to work again on Monday morning. That was a lot of days to think through in advance. Makes it feel a little more like a vacation, so that’s fun.

Too bad I don’t enjoy packing for vacations. Somehow, I find a way to get over it.

I’m feeling fussy over other plans we are concurrently trying to form, having to do with needed upkeep of the logs of our home, the consideration of quotes arriving for re-doing our deck, and now our need for some assistance with wild animal control services.

Early returns indicate the costs of each are running in the neighborhood of 2-3 times the price of our desired budget. One, or more, will likely have to wait, and logic tells me it won’t be the animal control.

I’m thinking I may end up honing my [lack of] carpentry abilities and replace the deck boards myself. The logs will likely wait until next year, and we could very well end up applying the recommended two coats of wood protection ourselves to avoid the huge expense quoted yesterday.

For a person who doesn’t like making plans or even decisions, for that matter, these issues coming up all at once are a dreary burden of responsibility. It makes me long to be 5 or 6 years old again.

Those were blissful days…

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Written by johnwhays

September 5, 2019 at 6:00 am

Cabin Fever

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On a sunny weekend afternoon in the middle of winter, when it hasn’t snowed for a few days and there aren’t a lot of projects demanding attention outside, too much time inside can be a little crazy-making.

I took some pictures.

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It’s a good thing we have plenty of glorious snow-covered acres right outside the door providing the perfect antidote for spending too many hours indoors.

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Written by johnwhays

February 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

It’ll Do

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I have seen perfection. This is not it. I have witnessed the results of master craftsmanship next door at the lake place. First you flawlessly prepare the logs, then you apply coat after coat of tung oil to get a beautiful finish that will protect your logs from the elements.dscn5172e

I don’t have it in me.

Currently distracted with trying to do the necessary lumberjack work around here, tend to the all-too-frequent lawn mowing requirements, manage the unending supply of manure to be composted, fix fences, maintain trails, replace the ATV winch, cut the over growing pastures, rake the round pen, fill in the growing ravines in the paddocks, and work the day-job, I have elected to try getting away with doing an almost embarrassingly perfunctory job of patching the most needy bad spots on the house and shop garage.

If I actually execute this plan, it will be a big accomplishment of overcoming my perfectionistic tendencies.

Yesterday after work I ran a little test to see if putting the least amount of effort toward the task will produce a passable result. We have the advantage of already having plenty of cans of stain that were left by the previous owners, but I have no idea about the shelf life of this stuff, so the advantage comes without providing much in the way of confidence.

dscn5173eI followed up on a tip to use compressed air to help remove the old flaking finish, but quickly found my tank isn’t designed for the task. The pressure drops rather quickly, greatly reducing the effectiveness. After testing a few other methods, I settled on doing a rather superficial job of surface cleaning.

I was excited to find a stirring apparatus stored with the stain that I can connect to my drill for thoroughly mixing the product. The one half-filled can I opened looked fine to my untrained eye, so after a good stir, I dipped in a brush and started painting the stuff on the siding.

It may not look ideal and it probably isn’t going to provide maximum protection, but it is better than doing nothing at all, which was the option we went with last fall.

All things considered, I’m hopeful this effort will suffice for getting through another winter, at the very least.

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Written by johnwhays

September 15, 2016 at 6:00 am