Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sealing Deck From Rainfall

I could not resist this idea while checking out the Home Depot in Blue Ridge Friday. I had doubts about using the plastic sheathing and plywood all along in keeping water out. I always thought "Great Stuff" that foamy insulation in a spray can was for insulating but it claims to work as a water proofer too.

Two opinions from actual knowledgeable guys at Home Depot sold me on the idea. Good advice is rare these days in HD except for this store. Lot's of orange smopped folks looking to help. The outcome doesn't look pretty. I may just foam it from the topside and trowel it into the cracks. At least this way I'll get a more uniform appearance, but lose the rustic look. I'll have to think about that because all the excess will have to be sanded off. Now the porch will have to be painted.

Another reason for this alternative: I can't stand up down there with plywood on the floor joists. It's no fun ducking while walking in and around the other storage. Had I known about Great Stuff before I could have sealed the other area better. At least the perimeter above the walls from the inside.

Always looking for ideas. Make a comment...please!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lattice Painting - Can You See It?

Another flaw, yikes. Incidentally I managed to line up the lattice after sleeping on it. I was really trying the save one full "sheet" and the leftover pieces didn't cut it. Any guesses on what's wrong in this picture? It's not the seams in the lattice, nor the paint job either. That's unavoidable.

Painting the lattice is a breeze with the right tools. I could not imagine doing this by hand!

Last few things to do
  • Build the ceiling inside
  • Build a table inside and thingies to hang tools on.
  • Bring in some rock for the floor.
  • Grade the open part near the door on porch.
Next project? Aerate the lawn. After spending about 45 minutes last night doing a small portion (70 SF) by hand, I've come to realize I really don't want to spend 24 hours aerating the lawn manually. I may change my mind after the expected rain ahead of us. It may soften the soil enough to make it easier, but I'll call around to see what it costs to have a lawn guy do it.

Btw, remember those problems I spoke of in the past? IE; blogger not working well, hard to work with, photos etc? Oh and all those freaking DIV tags it likes to stick in there. It's an Internet explorer problem. I may finally be using Mozilla from now on. I'm tired of taking these PC's to the shop.

Added August 29...the window is level

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August Wildflower Report

Nothing especially exciting, except the bluish one below. I suppose wildflowers can be weeds and vice versa. Most of what is growing would be on the weed side in my opinion. Several are growing tall or on the order of four feet and higher. Here's one the butterflies love.

There must have been seven or eight fluttering on these things today.

Here's a nice one. Several here and there. One was growing in one of the rock gardens and the expert didn't realize it. About three foot.

In amongst some other types...

Coneflowers with another orangery thing that grows all over the place. So many that a month ago I had to hack a bunch of them down because they blocked the creek view.

Bush like wild thing...low grower

On the west side near Pete and the stone walkway...

Dainty things...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can't See It From My House. How About Yours?

Fairly common expression in home construction or at least what I've heard. It it wasn't perfect and not noticeable unless you looked for, it became... "can't be seen from my house." The missing lattice portion under the window is off considerably, but it sure looks like a great place for some bushes huh?

Why didn't the lattice go all the way to the ground? The plywood will be coated with a roofing tar/sealer then backfilled with dirt. A year or so it will never be seen with some plants and or bushes.

I may have this painted Wednesday once I get the itty bitty areas completed. The window frame and sash will be green like the rest of the cabin trim.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Making A Door - More Carpentry Work

I've always enjoyed doing this stuff. It's too bad I didn't have more time in May of '08 to do the original larger storage area that lies below the main porch. Tom the handyman did do a great job, but we should have thought more about trying to keep the place water tight.

It works, but from time to time I see moisture running down the walls when it rains. My rope trick from above the porch has helped considerably in keeping much of the water from leaking on tools and so forth. The area is only protected by pressure treated plywood as a ceiling. Prior to the rope, rain water would seep through the seams

It looks messy now from the mud and recent rains, but someday I'll paint the entire area. Installing the rope was a real time consumer, and I'd rather not do it on the other side for now. Instead here's some progress on moisture control from above in the new area. That's as far as I got...boring work.

On to making a door. I thought breaking up the continuous lattice look, so I wrangled some lumber from Lowes. It's actually made from 5/4 decking material...and heavy. Probably because it's soaked with moisture. I just hope it doesn't shrink that much when kit dries out...yikes.

Progress... a bit nippy Sunday morning...notice garb...and why does he wear a hat, most of the time? It's a better pencil holder than my ears.

56 degrees 8AM

Final product. Whatcha think? Carve a quarter moon in the center of the door?

Still haven't found a window. Other side incomplete.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What Flowers/Plants Didn't Make It So Far?

I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping things alive around here. Seems pretty simple; pay attention, water, and fertilize. Fertilize is the biggie! Looking at some pics from a month ago and comparing today. These are the good examples...bad down the page.

Cleomes...and that spaghetti plant (Nasturtiums)- July 21

August 21
Classic example of adding fertilizer...

July 21.
August 21...
And to those lost or near lost...

Stupid Rose bush...I even fed it it's own special meal. Probably a bad location

Poor soul:(
Some kind of Lavender struggling...

Almost bit the dust..clematis. Now beginning to climb with new growth. Extremely slow grower, like the Rose bush.

Another bright spot, but took forever (mid June) to get going from seed. I forget the name. Now growing very well. I thinned them out three weeks ago and started some up the driveway. Growing slowly up there but I suspect will do okay. They're supposed to be flowering by now according to the specs.

Oh. The rustic table/bench I made. I haven't beaten it up yet. Why bother, can't see it anyway.

Ivy clippings planted next to pathway into the woods...they're easy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm Not A Block Mason For Sure

I'm not handy with the trowel so I probably lost more than a third of the cement when it fell in between the block. I actually resorted to using my hands on part of this wall that has been constructed on top of a footer (above) I poured a few days ago. For the wall built (below) I used 3 1/2 -60 lb bags of mortar mix. Experts probably use two. At least it's level, but it does look off comparing the deck eh? The deck was designed to slope for rain water runoff, but it falls in between the deck boards.

How to keep this thing water tight has been a thought provoker. So here's the plan. Create some channels in the floor joist system (notch out with a sawsaw) staple visqueen (plastic sheathing) to joists then add 1/2 inch pressure treated plywood. Water will then run through the channels and out to the left, away from the wood part so I don't get wood rot down the road. I figured on gluing some small pieces of PVC pipe illustrated below. Difficult to explain. More pictures in a few days.

That's half of the water problem. In the above photo there's an area of about four feet (lattice covers) where the decking is open as well. I figure instead of spending more dough on plywood, grade (circled) it so the water runs away from the new area and cover with visqueen. This way there's no hydrostatic pressure against the new block wall. Too much pressure and it could fall over...eventually.

Once everything is enclosed I'll wheel some 3/4 inch gravel into the area to be used as the floor. Doors should be another interesting project. One to enter from the yard and another so the crawl space and HVAC unit can be accessed.

Why the wall? After all it's about 30 inches away from the the new framing in the photo above. I wanted extra space and couldn't risk digging out more dirt close to the column that supports part of the porch. That area will serve as a ledge filled in with more gravel.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sounds Of The Morning - Songbird & Creek

Here's some sound taken at about 6:30 AM July 26.

Outdoor Rustic Planter Stand Table

Oh no, more crap on the porch, just after I cleaned up the other one that now sits under the awning. This project looks like a quickie. Progress so far only 90 minutes. It's a planter thingie/bench that I'll use on the curved stone wall area. After moving some pots around about a week ago I thought of creating something for it.

I'm not sure what else I'll do, but I will ding it up with the chainsaw again like I've done with other pressure treated lumber projects. Spruce it up with some old rusted metal from the little dump across the creek? Sounds like an idea. Wow, I really disliked the rustic look not long ago. What a change.

Another view...
I had considered using the lattice (not attached in the photo) on part of it and find some viney thing that may like it. I may have quite a bit of lattice leftovers from the other project below the porch. More on that in the next few days. Maybe some kind of trellis in Petes garden?

Where it will go?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mossy Flagstone Walkways - Surprise

Here I thought I'd have to plant the stuff if I wanted some. Considering haven't paid much attention to what's growing on the actual dirt, this morning I noticed quite a bit of moss growing in my shady areas. This ought to really look sharp given more time. I bet that's hard to grow in Arizona, eh Kim?

The photo above is the walkway just off the driveway. Tyme has grown well, but I'm not crazy about the stuff. There's another creeper that grows wild around here (down by the stone bench too) that I may replace it with. Shown growing on the first walkway on the west side of the house with the photo below.

And onward down to the creek. It seems these danged Impatiens growing in the adjacent rock garden could be a problem if not watched. Here are some growing between the flagstones. Some have made it on to the lawn...but not for long! Reading some comments at Dave's Garden (website) it seems these plants just pop or explode when the seeds are ready. How else could they wander out of the garden? Wind?

Nearer to the creek. A healthy stand of moss...

Btw, if you're not familiar, click the images for a larger view.