Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 21 Gazebo Project - We're Done! ...well almost

We are finally done with the project, well almost anyway.  We still have some minor details to finish like trimming the bottoms of the posts, laying a path and running some electricity to the gazebo, BUT the main construction is complete!

What a great project this has been.  I've enjoyed almost every aspect of it, except the trip to the emergency room, and we've learned so much.  In a later post I'll summarize what worked, what didn't work and what we would do differently next time.

We're still a few weeks away from a party but I promise to invite you all when we are ready.

We started off the day, just the 2 of us working. It was hot and humid and anyone who has done any roofing knows how tough that can be but we managed to get 1 and 1/2 sections completed before help arrived.  Here's a picture of Bill working on the ridge caps.  We used architectural style shingles for the main sections because they are a random pattern and don't require tedious layout.  We used 3 tab shingles cut into sections to cover the ridges.

My nieces came to the rescue once again and arrived in the early afternoon after they were done working.  We made great progress with the additional help. Bill and I might still be up there today if we had been on our own.

Here are some pictures of our progress throughout the day.



Bridgette and I were working on the ridge caps in this picture.







Bill was starting the next section.







Here are Brooke and Bridgette working together on the shingles.  They only bickered a little bit :) Aren't they beautiful??






Here we all are at the end of a very long but satisfying day.

Day 21 Gazebo Project - We're Done! ...well almost

We are finally done with the project, well almost anyway.  We still have some minor details to finish like trimming the bottoms of the posts, laying a path and running some electricity to the gazebo, BUT the main construction is complete!

What a great project this has been.  I've enjoyed almost every aspect of it, except the trip to the emergency room, and we've learned so much.  In a later post I'll summarize what worked, what didn't work and what we would do differently next time.

We're still a few weeks away from a party but I promise to invite you all when we are ready.

We started off the day, just the 2 of us working. It was hot and humid and anyone who has done any roofing knows how tough that can be but we managed to get 1 and 1/2 sections completed before help arrived.  Here's a picture of Bill working on the ridge caps.  We used architectural style shingles for the main sections because they are a random pattern and don't require tedious layout.  We used 3 tab shingles cut into sections to cover the ridges.

My nieces came to the rescue once again and arrived in the early afternoon after they were done working.  We made great progress with the additional help. Bill and I might still be up there today if we had been on our own.

Here are some pictures of our progress throughout the day.



Bridgette and I were working on the ridge caps in this picture.







Bill was starting the next section.







Here are Brooke and Bridgette working together on the shingles.  They only bickered a little bit :) Aren't they beautiful??






Here we all are at the end of a very long but satisfying day.

The top four housing market trends to keep your eye on this summer

This article is compliments of Denise Wing of Academy National Mortgage

As we enter into the dog days of summer many would expect house sales and prices to pick up, but according to economists and mortgage professionals, this may not be the case in many major markets. Read on to learn a bit more about some of the up and coming mortgage application trends, rate trends and buying trends to ensure you're making financially wise decisions this summer.
Mortgage Rates Are Low, but Predicted to Rise
Though rates remain low, many economists expect mortgage rates to rise, especially now that the Federal government has pulled out of the mortgage game. If you are one of those homeowners who have been putting off a refinance, you may want to consider making the move and locking into a rate within the next few months.
Housing Prices Continue to Fall
Traditionally the summer is known as the home buying season, but according to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), sales are projected to be slow and few in many major housing markets. If you're in search of a property deal, now's the time to hunt.
Take advantage of the slow summer market.
New Twist in the Mortgage Application Process
If you're in the midst of applying for a mortgage, think twice before taking on new debt. Sure, it may be tempting to apply for your favorite store's credit offer and save 20% on your purchase, but this small savings can derail your mortgage application process. Mortgage professionals are now required to check your credit before closing, so applying for a new credit card or loan while your mortgage application is being processed may result in major approval delays.
Accurate Good Faith Estimates (GFE)
The feds are cracking down on those lenders who deliver inaccurate good faith estimates and secretly slip in surprise fees at closing. With an accurate GFE you can borrow with confidence. An accurate GFE will ensure you're fully aware of all fees upfront so that you're not stuck with any unexpected expenses when all is said and done.
With these mortgage and housing trends in effect, it is plain to see that now is prime time for buyers and homeowners to consider purchasing a new home or refinancing their current mortgage. Visit Academy National Mortgage Corporation online at http://academynational.net or call a mortgage specialist at 303-987-0622 to find a mortgage program that is right for you.

Keeping You Informed
Academy National Mortgage Corporation mortgage professionals are dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest market trends and mortgage options. Visit Academy National Mortgage Corporation online at http://academynational.net, or call us today at 303-987-0622, to obtain custom loan options designed to fit your needs and help you obtain your home goals.

Denise Wing
Academy National Mortgage Corporation

Phone: 303-987-0622

Website: http://academynational.net

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 20 Gazebo Project - Felt and Shingles

This post is going to be short and sweet.   We finished flashing the entire roof and completed a little more than 2 1/2 sections of the felt and shingles.  This took us about 5 hours yesterday afternoon.  We had to stop a couple times because of rain (thunder and lightening, too) and then the rain came for good at 5:30 pm.  I was plenty ready to be done for the day anyway.
We ran out of shingles, so back to Home Depot for another 4 bundles.  This estimate was completely off.  Remember to review your material list VERY closely if you let someone else do the take off.  I'm still kicking myself for not doing that.
We hope to spend the whole day Friday working to finish the roof.  With any luck we'll be just about finished.  We have some concern about the stability of the posts that we still need to address but that is a topic for another day.  Gazebo Part is almost here!

Day 20 Gazebo Project - Felt and Shingles

This post is going to be short and sweet.   We finished flashing the entire roof and completed a little more than 2 1/2 sections of the felt and shingles.  This took us about 5 hours yesterday afternoon.  We had to stop a couple times because of rain (thunder and lightening, too) and then the rain came for good at 5:30 pm.  I was plenty ready to be done for the day anyway.
We ran out of shingles, so back to Home Depot for another 4 bundles.  This estimate was completely off.  Remember to review your material list VERY closely if you let someone else do the take off.  I'm still kicking myself for not doing that.
We hope to spend the whole day Friday working to finish the roof.  With any luck we'll be just about finished.  We have some concern about the stability of the posts that we still need to address but that is a topic for another day.  Gazebo Part is almost here!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 17 , 18 & 19 Gazebo Project - rafters and sheathing

Day 17 and Day 18 were exactly 2 weeks apart and Day 19 occurred last Friday.  On Thursday July 1st we started out the day with some great successes.  My nieces were able to join us once again to add their energy and positive attitudes.  We wouldn't be anywhere close to this far along in this project if it wasn't for their help.  Brooke and Bridgette, you're the BEST!
The last 8 rafters went into place pretty quickly and by 2 in the afternoon we were ready to move on to sheathing the roof. I was very excited thinking we might actually get a good process in place before we left town for the holiday.
We have 8 sections of roof area to cover and just like all the other phases of this project everything is at an angle and unfortunately the angles aren't all the same.  Our plan was to place the first 4 x 8 sheet on the roof and just chalk where we needed to cut.  This was in the hope of saving some time since measuring and cutting while just estimating measurements hasn't worked very well up to this point.  Anyway, we successfully got the sheet up on the roof and chalked the cutting lines.
The next step was to simply put the piece into place and nail it down.  Unfortunately we had 3 people on ladders working to get the piece in place and I was on the ground handing it up.  I know from experience that working below someone on a ladder can be dangerous, unfortunately I didn't follow my own rule to get the heck out of the way after handing something off to someone above you.  Anyway, they lost control of the piece of OSB and it hit me in the head on it's way down.  The result was me kneeling on the ground thinking, "My God, my head hurts" and, I will admit, crying like a little girl. My nieces rushed around to get ice and towels while my husband tried to console me.   I didn't even know  I was bleeding until I saw the drips on the grass.  We headed off to the emergency room, fortunately we have a hospital less than 10 minutes away.  Once I calmed down, my biggest concern was that they would have to cut my hair to patch me up, which made my nieces laugh.  I can't tell you how pleased I was with my treatment at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.  We were in and out of the emergency room in just over an hour.  We had to delay our trip to South Dakota by a day but other than that things are fine.

Before we started again we rented scaffolding and bought some "roof jacks" for fall protection.  No more trips to the emergency room on this project! The scaffolding was only $31/week rental and the roof jacks were just $7.50 each ( we bought 4).












Bill and I finally got 2 sections of sheathing done by ourselves on Day 18.  It took quite a while with just 2 of us and our backs and knees were aching from all the climbing up an down to measure, cut, fit, cut again, install then start all over.

Here's a cool picture before we started Day 19.
We had more help on Day 19.  Our nephews Rob and Brendan came by to lend a hand along with Brooke and Bridgette again.  We struggled at first getting the angles right but by the end of the day we got it done.  It was a long day and very hot.  Thank you Rob, Brendan & Bridgette your help was very much appreciated. We'd still be working on that if it weren't for you all.

So, sheathing is done with no more injuries.  We are on to felt and shingles this week and we hope to get in 2 good days.  If all goes as planned we should be done on Friday!

Day 17 , 18 & 19 Gazebo Project - rafters and sheathing

Day 17 and Day 18 were exactly 2 weeks apart and Day 19 occurred last Friday.  On Thursday July 1st we started out the day with some great successes.  My nieces were able to join us once again to add their energy and positive attitudes.  We wouldn't be anywhere close to this far along in this project if it wasn't for their help.  Brooke and Bridgette, you're the BEST!
The last 8 rafters went into place pretty quickly and by 2 in the afternoon we were ready to move on to sheathing the roof. I was very excited thinking we might actually get a good process in place before we left town for the holiday.
We have 8 sections of roof area to cover and just like all the other phases of this project everything is at an angle and unfortunately the angles aren't all the same.  Our plan was to place the first 4 x 8 sheet on the roof and just chalk where we needed to cut.  This was in the hope of saving some time since measuring and cutting while just estimating measurements hasn't worked very well up to this point.  Anyway, we successfully got the sheet up on the roof and chalked the cutting lines.
The next step was to simply put the piece into place and nail it down.  Unfortunately we had 3 people on ladders working to get the piece in place and I was on the ground handing it up.  I know from experience that working below someone on a ladder can be dangerous, unfortunately I didn't follow my own rule to get the heck out of the way after handing something off to someone above you.  Anyway, they lost control of the piece of OSB and it hit me in the head on it's way down.  The result was me kneeling on the ground thinking, "My God, my head hurts" and, I will admit, crying like a little girl. My nieces rushed around to get ice and towels while my husband tried to console me.   I didn't even know  I was bleeding until I saw the drips on the grass.  We headed off to the emergency room, fortunately we have a hospital less than 10 minutes away.  Once I calmed down, my biggest concern was that they would have to cut my hair to patch me up, which made my nieces laugh.  I can't tell you how pleased I was with my treatment at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.  We were in and out of the emergency room in just over an hour.  We had to delay our trip to South Dakota by a day but other than that things are fine.

Before we started again we rented scaffolding and bought some "roof jacks" for fall protection.  No more trips to the emergency room on this project! The scaffolding was only $31/week rental and the roof jacks were just $7.50 each ( we bought 4).












Bill and I finally got 2 sections of sheathing done by ourselves on Day 18.  It took quite a while with just 2 of us and our backs and knees were aching from all the climbing up an down to measure, cut, fit, cut again, install then start all over.

Here's a cool picture before we started Day 19.
We had more help on Day 19.  Our nephews Rob and Brendan came by to lend a hand along with Brooke and Bridgette again.  We struggled at first getting the angles right but by the end of the day we got it done.  It was a long day and very hot.  Thank you Rob, Brendan & Bridgette your help was very much appreciated. We'd still be working on that if it weren't for you all.

So, sheathing is done with no more injuries.  We are on to felt and shingles this week and we hope to get in 2 good days.  If all goes as planned we should be done on Friday!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dishwasher Safety Recall Notice

There has been a safety recall notice issued for a large number of dishwashers that were sold between February 2006 and April 2010.  An electrical failure in the dishwasher's heating element can pose a serious fire hazard.

The recall  includes the following brand names: Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa by Maytag and Crosley brand dishwashers.

Consumers can contact Maytag Corporation toll-free anytime at 1-800-544-5513 or visit the recall Web site at www.repair.maytag.com to determine if their dishwasher is included in the recall.

If the dishwasher is affected, consumers should immediately stop using the recalled dishwasher, disconnect the electric supply and either schedule a free in-home repair or elect to receive a rebate following the purchase of a select new Maytag dishwasher.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Update on Lead Based Paint - Homeowners and Remodelers

The EPA has delayed the enforcement of the new rules for remodeling and renovation professionals.
Here is an excerpt from an article published on-line by the Wall Street journal with a link to the full article.

WASHINGTON—The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to delay enforcing a new lead-paint regulation following pressure from home builders and members of Congress.
The rule would require contractors who work in older homes to become certified by a government-approved trainer and follow a series of safety precautions.
The delay follows an outcry from businesses and trade groups, including the National Association of Home Builders, Home Depot Inc. and Lowe's Cos., as well as lawmakers in both parties. Industry groups charged the regulation would drive up costs and expose contractors to fines and litigation. Some also contended the regulation could derail Washington's efforts to promote energy efficiency because EPA has not approved enough instructors for the required training programs.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704895204575320880925552208.html

Friday, July 2, 2010

Evaporative (Swamp) Cooler Maintenance

Evaporative coolers, also known as ‘swamp’ coolers can be an energy efficient method for cooling a home in arid or semi-arid climates.  Evaporative coolers work under a pretty simple concept of using the evaporation of water to cool air which is then blown into the home providing both cooling and humidification of the air.

Evaporative coolers are popular in climates where the air is hot and the humidity is low which includes much of the western and mountain states in the U.S.  Although the equipment is relatively simple some maintenance is still required and the units should be winterized in areas that experience below freezing temperatures in the winter.

Simple Maintenance Steps for Evaporative (Swamp) Coolers
  1. Check the condition of the cooling pads.  Your cooler will run more efficiently if the pads are clean.  Consider replacing the cooler pads every 6 months, if you’re only using your cooler during the summer months this might mean you only need to change them every other summer.
  2. Check to be sure the motor, pump and float are working properly.  If the float sticks the water will not shut off causing the unit to overflow, wasting water and potentially causing damage to adjacent structures.
  3. Check the water level.  The water should be about an inch below the top of the bottom tray.  If the water level is too high or too low adjust the float.
  4. Check the water line and all connections to be sure there are no leaks.  Especially if your unit is located on the roof and the water line runs through your attic space.