Dateline: 9 October 2016
|Spring of 2015|
Back in the spring of 2015 I started to re-roof my house, as you can see in the picture above (I mentioned it in This Blog Post). Those who have read my Deliberate Agrarian Book, know that I built my house 30 years ago without a mortgage. Instead, I borrowed $10,000 from my father-in-law. The house was considerably smaller back then. We have added onto it two times, and have managed to do so without borrowing from a bank.
I built the house myself, with occasional help from some friends along the way. If you have ever built your own home yourself, in the evenings and on weekends, while working a full-time job, you know it is no small feat—even if it is a small house. And if you are also nearly 59 years old (as I now am), you realize that such a feat is much more easily accomplished when you are young. My capacity for hard, physical work and productivity back then astounds me now.
If you are a young man reading this, and you have the health and vitality to do prolonged, hard, productive work, I want you to know that it won't last. So, make it a point to do the "heavy lifting" while you are in your late teens, 20s and 30s.
The original shingles I tore off the front roof were inexpensive 20-year, three-tabs. They had served long past their lifespan. The roof was not leaking into the house, but it was about to. There was some plywood rot that needed to be fixed (you can see this in the picture).
After starting the re-roofing project in the spring of last year, and taking it on entirely by myself, I realized that I would not be able to get the whole job done in one year. My mail-order business picks up in early summer, and there is the garden. And it tends to get hot, which isn't ideal for roofing. And, being past my prime, I am now a plodder when it comes to this sort of work.
So I decided that I would do the front roof in 2015, and one side in 2016, and the rest in 2017. After all, every big job is easier when broken into smaller parts. Besides that, there is no need to rush.
In addition to getting a new roof on my house, my objective was to fix a roofing problem that has bothered me since 1990.
Back then me and two friends were framing up an addition on the house and we were in a hurry. We were in a hurry because, if I remember correctly, it was getting late in the year. Winter was coming. Besides that, I was paying them to help me. The faster the job got done, the better. As we were framing the roof, it ended up being a few inches higher than the already-in-place front roof. Instead of taking the time to make the peak lower, or make a more eye-pleasing intersection of the two roofs, we just left the connection between the old and new roof looking abrupt and awkward.
This re-roofing project gave me an opportunity to fix the problem...
Now, starting next spring, I can get to work at siding and painting the rest of the house. The two sides that are already sided and painted now need a fresh coat of paint. You can see some of the red cedar shakes are getting weathered in this next picture...
The back of the house will require a lot of work to get it finished, as you can see in this next picture...
|Unfinished and unpainted siding in the back. |
The other back sides of the house are covered with just tar paper.
Our objective is to get the rest of the house finished off so it will be in better shape to sell.
I would like to build a retirement home for Marlene and I before too many more years go by. It would be a single story house. And it would be big enough from the start that no future additions would need to be cobbled on. An attached garage would be nice too.
Of course, I won't build this next house all myself. I know my limitations. I'll have someone else frame it up, and I'll finish off the inside. That's the idea. It may never happen. I may be dead before I get enough money saved to afford to build another house. But it's good to have a plan.
And if it never happens, we'll be content to stay here.
Be it ever so humble....