2010.08.04 Windows Arrive, Plan B for Chinking

Hi all!  Great news!

OUR WINDOWS ARRIVED!  The color is gorgeous – kind of a chocolate brown. Beautiful and durable.  It’s really the perfect timing, too, since the roof is getting finished.   The guys can move on to the log work – which will be done a section at a time. Each window will surely be a project in itself – just trying to get them square and dealing with the log details, sill, etc. surrounding each one.  

Also, re: CHINKING – a PLAN B… Okay.  So we knew the chinking was hard to remove when Bryon’s crew demolished the front entry.   James’ electrical team continues to struggle with getting the chinking out to install conduit and electrical boxes.  They’re doing such a detailed job – trying to hide the pipes in between logs.  But they have to use a jack-hammer most of the time.  It’s hard, time-consuming work.  Rick and Bryon have both been surprised by this and say that in 30+ years doing this type of work, they’ve never seen this happen. Usually on a cabin this old, you can practically pull the chinking out with your fingers – especially on the outside. So…pending approval by the chinker (don’t you just love that this is someone’s job and title!), we may change our original plan to remove ALL the cabin’s exterior chinking.   We’re considering removing only the chinking that is unstable – or the chinking around damaged logs and the windows.  When we re-chink, we will do a skim-coat over the old chinking with the new Perma-chink material, so that all the chinking looks the same.  The Perma-chink will also be able to seep in between the old chinking and the logs – to give us the benefit of having it everywhere (water and rot resistance, bug repellant, and “give” with weather).  This should save us some money – both in labor time and materials.   THAT is a VERY good thing!

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2010.08.02 Roof Work Inside and Out

August 2, 2010

Hey guys!  Sorry so few posts lately.  Summer life is hectic – but wonderful.  For today, the cabin news is still all about the ROOF! ROOF…Great progress has been made on the Log Cabin roof.   The east side is about 99% done.   We’re getting close on the west side.  Bryon has increased his crew manpower and we should be ready for the spray foam this week!  Then our crew will finish the sheeting over the foam.  Then the roofers complete the job!

The angles on this half of the roof are very complicated and the guys have done small sections at a time.  We have struggled a bit with rain, so they’re being careful not to open too much of the roof at a time.   Even so, we have gotten water into the Great Room, dining room and kitchen areas.   It looks like the wood floors are still salvageable – and we knew we’d have to sand and seal those again anyway. 

GREAT ROOM…The interior of the Great Room and loft area looks amazing.   All the old white fiber-board type material will be gone and replaced with tongue and groove aspen pine.  Rick Bott suggested this wood because it is light and bright.  It really creates a lovely reflective surface and it has such interesting marks in the wood.  The guys used different widths of the aspen, so it’s very unique.   The aspen wood is very soft and is often used mostly for wood pulp. But Rick explained that where these trees were harvested – it’s too expensive to truck the logs up to the paper mills – so they end up having no “stumpage” value (that was a new term for me!)   Rick has used the aspen for ceiling panels many times with great results and satisfied customers.   With a coat of clear, matte sealant, the wood will remain clean and clear for years! 

LIGHTS….I met again with Rosi Laude – who will be refurbishing our old chandeliers.   Rosi took them both to get started!  She’s also going to search for a couple pairs of sconces for the Dining Room and for the loft area.  We’ll also be searching for two more hanging fixtures  – for the dining room and loft areas.   We are trying to find lighting that is appropriate for the time period of the cabin.  It’s difficult, however, because some of the pieces from the 1920s and 30s are too delicate (or deco!) for life in the log cabin!   For the Great Room, we’re trying to find 2 ceiling fans/lights  – simple, so they don’t clash with the large center chandelier.  Still not sure about this.

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Hello all!  Well, I’m back in town and was so anxious to get over to the cabin this morning.  The new shingles look great.  I’m happy with the color selection – (Heather Blend, if I remember…)  The roof isn’t QUITE done yet.  Shingles are still pending on the James Drive side.  Soon, we hope! 

We’ve had some rough weather the past few weeks.  After losing our beautiful blooming crab apple early during the project, an big old tree behind the cabin split completely during the last big storm.  Luckily, no one was around when it fell and Central members quickly removed the fallen leader branch.  Bryon made sure I noticed that the felt paper the crew had applied on the roof stayed on nicely – even during the 70 mph winds!  

The crew was pulled to another project today, but will be back the rest of the week.  They’ll get started tearing off the roof over the Great Room, loft and staircase.   Keep your fingers crossed for dry weather!  

Thanks!  Julianne

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2010.06.23 Roof Work Continues

Well friends, the east roof has been slow and tedious the last few weeks.  But it’s all zipped up and ready for shingles.  Check out the pics of the spray foam going on.  It’s really weird looking, but will help so much with air-flow and insulation. 

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I’m in Springfield this week, but got a report that the Great Room roof tear off may begin late this week.  If you’re in the area, snap a few pics and post for us!   This is exciting and nerve-racking.  For the east roof, we didn’t do a complete tear-off.  (Although that didn’t seem to help with the rain that got in….)  For the Great Room, the roof will be removed all the way down to the original log rafters which you see inside.  The space will be completely exposed and with this weather lately, that’s scary!  We’re hoping to not have to replace – but rather, just clean up – the original wood floor.

More later!  Keep your fingers crossed and prayers going!   -Julianne

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2010.05.22 Week 5 – Roof work and sunroom demo continue

Greetings Log Cabin lovers!  The weather was much better this week and we were spared more of the wet stuff.   The guys made good progress on the east roof.  Bryon is hoping to be ready for the spray foam by Memorial Day week.  The crew also got the rest of the sunroom demolished – namely that little entryway off of Concord Lane. 

Click on photo to view a larger image.

Ann, Bryon and I had our weekly meeting on Monday morning.  We discussed a few items on the horizon:

1)  East Stairwell – well, we’ve decided to put the roof back over the east stairwell. It will be similar to the old one.  Just looked weird without it!

2)  Rafter Lengths – we discussed how long the the rafter tails will be with the goal being maximum protection for the logs.  But we also want to be sure the rafters don’t hang too far down and block the windows and light. 

3)  Gable rakes – these are the rafters that stick straight out on the gables (I know…that’s not very technical!).  We’ll have more rafters now since the building will have a new, updated roof that meets all structural codes, etc.  But we talked about creating the same look as is there now – where 5 log rafters stick out.  Bryon has a technique called a Box Beam which will basically envelope those 5 new rafters so that they look like logs – and the same as the original rakes!   Kind of fun! 

4)  The dormer covering the main stairs has this one interesting wall – where the logs go vertical on the right side of the window.  Unfortunately, the logs have been practically slathered in tar since they used to be covered with shingles.  We’re going to try to clean them up, make sure they’re water tight.  If so, we’ll not change this section in any way. 

More roof work next week!  Keep praying for sunshine!  -Julianne

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2010.05.12 Week 4 – Making Progress on the Roof

Just wanted to share some news. 

We thought we were going to be in some trouble schedule-wise, waiting for the lumber for the roof.  But Bryon got a call yesterday that the order had arrived.  This morning he went to pick up the stock – planning to bring over the lumber he could manage on his truck.  Menards was supposed to deliver the really long pieces for the ridge beams.  BUT…Menards wouldn’t confirm delivery time and Bryon wasn’t willing to wait.  So he loaded them all on his truck.  Take a look at this.  He was quite the traffic hazard!  But he made it and they made some good progress on the roof. 

The weather may not cooperate the rest of the week.  Bryon and I talked about possibly having the guys work on Saturday. 

More later!  Julianne

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2010.05.11 Julianne’s Sunroom Discovery

I’m playing Detective and have made a Discovery! 

I told some of you that in one of the old scanned pics of the Log Cabin it looks like the sunroom was only about half the size…and that the rest of the cobblestone foundation area looked to be open as a garden or patio.  Well…I never sent the picture around before now, but Russ Reuter and Lillian Wegener (who both remember the log cabin WAY back…) couldn’t remember it ever being smaller. 

Yesterday when I was at the cabin – after the sunroom had been pulled down – I took a few pics (duh!).  At home downloading the new pics, there was one that showed  flooring still in about half of the now-demolished sunroom.   This morning I was thinking about that and wondering why there would be flooring in there because I had a crew remove the entire sunroom floor – down to just studs and insulation.  There was no flooring left. 

So I pulled up the old picture and the new ones.  I think this “half-size” was probably the original size of the sunroom – likely through at least the early 1930’s since there’s a cross on the east gable on the old picture.  I also think the outside half was probably a patio because the entire sunroom foundation is a concrete slab.  We should check the archives, because at some point, the larger sunroom was constructed. 

So Ann, tell your team that it turns out the “double-wide” wasn’t actually original!   

 Fun stuff!   -Julianne

To view the pictures in a larger size, click on the image.

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