Monday, November 13, 2017

Construction: Weeks 6, 7 and 8

These were three more big and periodically overwhelming weeks. 

Week 6

Progress continued to be rapid in Week 6, with the cabin quickly getting sheathed and wrapped, in time for a couple of stormy days.  

All closed in. Photo courtesy of Anckaert Built

That's a wrap! Photo courtesy of Anckaert Built.
Week 6 ended on a bumpy note. The locks I'd purchased for the doors didn't fit in the holes that had been drilled in the doors. I had failed to specify the size of the holes when I ordered the doors, so they had reverted to the default size, which I didn't realize would be different from the holes in the door of my shed. So, when I bought the same kind of locks, they didn't fit. 

I admit that I had a meltdown that day, in the parking lot of the Superstore in Bridgewater. Not very fun, or pretty to look at. Often, it is difficult for me to make mistakes or feel like I am out of my depth. And there has been more than enough of that in this project. The learning curve is steep. The problem with the locks was not high stakes, but it felt that way to me on that Friday afternoon.

Fortunately, I keep learning how to ride my own emotions more gracefully. And after talking with people in every hardware store in town, none of whom seemed to have the least clue about how locks are installed or what the measurements on the packaging referred to, I felt quite a bit better. I mean, if it's part of their job and they don't know, it seems more than fair that I don't know either. 

On Saturday, in my absence, the slab contractors came back and added styrofoam to the outside edges of the slab. I would have liked the styrofoam to extend a little further down – I plan to correct that when I add the insulation "skirt" to the building. 

Week 7

The beginning of Week 7 felt about the same as the end of week 6. I came over on Monday morning with new sets of locks and doorknobs, but I wasn't able to install them, because the doors needed to be prepped first and that lies a bit too far beyond my skill set and comfort zone.

The crew wasn't on site that day because of the rain, rain that came with high winds that later on blew a tree down on the power line that runs from the road to my shed:

So, there was no power on site Tuesday morning, which meant that the crew were only able to work a half-day until the batteries wore down on their tools. 

On the plus side, they were able to use some of that time get the locks installed, so my house is now lockable. 

Two more keys to add to my strangely large (and strangely beloved) ring of keys.

I came over in the afternoon on Tuesday and hung around waiting for the power company crew to show up and fix the lines. Fortunately, it was warm enough that I could sit outside and do deskwork most of the afternoon.

Expected restoration time for my power was 3pm, then updated to 6pm. Shortly before 6 pm, the forestry crew showed up and deftly cut the tree off the lines, bless them. My restoration time was updated to 9pm and I went home.

Before I went to bed, my restoration time had been updated to 11pm. I was afraid that it was going to keep getting pushed back into the next day, but fortunately, in the morning, power had been restored and work could resume at full tilt. 

For the construction crew, Week 7 was all about strapping and adding trim. I didn't come back to the site until Friday afternoon. 

The Heart of this project

As I got out of my car, I was struck by the delicious smell of The Crooked Wood. I had parked in the turnout to keep the driveway clear for the other folks on site. So, I strolled down the driveway and was greeted by the sound of music and banter and the sight of the crew working cheerfully and efficiently. I have a huge sense of gratitude for all of the good energy that I feel is being infused into my home, with each board and nail, each piece of siding and sheet of metal. 

My tiny house was converted by a very good-hearted person; I feel that energy all the time when I'm in Wholehearted House. I knew it was important to me to have good-hearted people work on my permanent home, too. 
• • • 

I spent the afternoon of that last Friday of Week 7 sanding down the door that I bought on Kijiji which is going to be hung, barn-door style, at the entrance to the bathroom. I love this door – with a single pane of textured glass, it reminds me of a door to a private investigator's office in a typical noir film from the 40s. 

Sanding is relaxing.
I love how distressed this big ol' monster is. 
In addition to the work that can be seen happening in these photos, I was also trying to figure out solutions and get estimates for work on digging the well and septic system. There are a lot of challenges there, many of which I'm still working through. There were moments when I felt extremely frustrated with red tape and with people not getting back to me.

The cabin at the end of Week 7
A little autumn beauty spot in #TheCrookedWood. I love how oak trees are among the last to lose their leaves. 
Naked maple
Week 8 went somewhat more smoothly. There was more progress and the crew were able to start putting the siding on the exterior. There were also more rain days, and for me, more frustration trying to nail down the situation with the well and septic. But there were no more downed power lines! And I call that an improvement!

I wasn't on-site much myself during Week 8. I had desk work to do and it has gotten too cold for me to sit still and work on the site. And, there wasn't much I could contribute by being there, so I mostly kept out of the way.

The plumber came and did the behind-the-walls plumbing.

I imagine most people don't find this kind of infrastructure beautiful, but I do. It's so neat and orderly and enables me to envision what the finished bathroom is going to look like.

And, here's the exterior of the house at the end of Week 8. 

My outdoor tap in the foreground <3
Looking good! I don't want to tempt the fates by saying this, but I think I might be halfway through... 


  1. Stay strong my friend! You've got this! It makes me so happy to see the progress on your house. It's going to be perfect. xo

    1. Thank you, Momo! I really appreciate your support and encouragement! I can hardly wait for you to come visit!