Monday, July 27, 2015

Installing an Outdoor Sculpture

Christian's old farm had a tall wooden post near the entryway, which used to have an old bell we were told. We all decided that this sculpture of Bill's could be installed over it with the help of some visiting friends this weekend. It compliments a nearby enormous old sycamore tree which is shedding bark of similar hues.

The drive and walkway encircle this bed of plantings and bricks, so that the sculpture is viewed from all directions and times of day.

At the end of a long day, it still looks dramatic. We plan to install a spotlight in front of it  soon.

In mid-morning, the sun is on it.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Installing a Ribbed Metal Roof

Cristian choose an "Ideal; Ameri-Cana" ribbed roof for his horse barn because it is made of especially strong steel 3' wide panels with reinforced, steeper ribs and anti-syphon grooves to prevent any leaking, while a great design for a low pitch. This roof is strong enough to easily install directly onto the existing purlins; although a few will need replacing first. Above you can see the first metal panels installed in the upper left corner and some of the old plywood sub-roof has been left on the very end of this roof side to prevent the entire side from racking (twisting out of square).

Here it is from the opposite direction.

The first panels are installed so the prevailing winds will sweep over the top of ridge joints without hitting the overlap seam. A nail is used to dimple the spot for each screw first, so the special self-tapping screws are easier to get started. The metal panel (a custom-cut length) above is installed two purlins down from the ridge post which will allow for a three foot piece of clear, also ribbed, polycarbonate panel above it. We ordered the polycarbonate panels in 12' lengths which can be cut to 3' lengths with good snips.

While the sun is in the horse stalls, I am cleaning them of roof nails and old rubbish. Christian plans to keep sheep here. The surrounding five acres of meadows will be divided into two pastures to rotate, and a grass running track for Christian will go around the perimeter of both.

The other side (southern exposure) is taking longer to fix because more framing and purlins need replacing. Christian will spend about $175.00 on lumber for this project. He has left two last sheets of plywood on the roof here until the barn swallow babies nesting there fly away; soon we hope!

Team work! Bill has been fine cleaning the gutters and repairing some purlins before the boys measure the roof panels for screws and install the panels together. The panels overhang the gutters 3/4". The color of the panels is a slate color which looked more gray than blue on the paper sample sheet we selected from, but we will plant a few "Nikko Blue Hydrangeas" next to it to help them blend in.

Brothers at work. It is another hope that Leif will live at the farm with Christian next year after he finishes graduate school.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Repairing a Barn Roof

The horse barn at Christian's old farm was in desperate need of a new roof which we are busy installing this month. We will preserve the sunlit atrium with polycarbonate sheets that interlock with ribbed sheet metal below it; discarding the plywood and using the purlins to attach to. An experienced friend told us that using plywood under a metal roof shortens it's life by trapping water and rotting. This saved $1500 for 75 sheets of plywood besides the hard labor of installing it (in 100 degrees of heat).  "Marvic Supply" gave us contractor's pricing on an "Ideal" painted metal roof system.

We are set up with three large tarps (to collect the removed old asphalt shingles), the old steel door on saw horses, several ladders, a new (craigslist) Shop-Vac, and a long-term 20 ton dumpster graciously delivered by the previous owner. The gutters were cleared and vacuumed and the plywood popped off from below with long 2" X 4" boards.

Nearby, an old combine overlooks our work with a "wash stand" in the shade.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Decorating During "Demolition"


While the weather is warm and we fix roofs or dig out a new crawl space before securing Christian's old farm systems, I have moved furniture into rooms where we can relax after some long; challenging days. This sun room is where the sun sets and my favorite place to watch the fields as work finishes on the barn or Christian hangs his red hammock in the groove of pine trees near it. 

Christian wanted only chairs in this room so that the view would be most open. Inside the cubicles of the desk are a collection of the old clay pipes; pieces, china doll and glass bottle he has found while digging out under the oldest part of the house. The early framed print above them is "Harvest Moon" by Robert Walker Macbeth in 1883. 

The library below, will remain the lovely colors it is now (repainted to match after repairs), and both rooms have a sculpture of Bill's already installed, which Christian loves!

The shared bathroom upstairs to be finished first will have the below sink (found at a "Restore" in CT) and faucet (craigslist CT) with matching Restoration Hardware fixtures.

We will need a medicine cabinet and shelf which will end up looking somewhat like our friend's beautiful bathroom in Brooklyn...

Image via Pinterest; photo by Emily Gilbert.

The greenhouse is where we enter the house and very sunny in the morning; another lovely place to sit.