Welcome to the unfolding story of our attempt to remodel/restore the WWII-era home that we purchased in 1989. A minimalist traditional style residence with good "bones" but very little character, my husband and I would like to transform the house into an Arts & Crafts-inspired gem. Having languished in the project for many years, I am hoping this blog will provide the accountability we need to stay focused on our dream. Come join us on the journey!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

PR: East Wall Shingles

Time for a progress report!  Since we began this project on July 3, 2012, I thought it was about time to provide some photographic evidence that work was actually proceeding.  Given that some of the temperatures have been hovering in the mid 80's (and I had to take care of a small problem that cropped up with the dryer), I am a little surprised we got this far this quickly.  Happy, but a bit surprised given our previous track record.  Before moving on to the photos, I should state that all the shingles were dipped (fully immersed) in Thompson's Water Seal before they were installed.

So, this was our starting point:

The east wall of our tarpaper shack
As you can see, and as I mentioned in Finally on the Same Page, this side of the house was neglected for many years for many reasons, as embarrassing as that is to admit.  Now, it looks better (though it isn't yet finished).  Here are some timeline pictures of the work thus far.  I love the wall...and am pleased that we decided to "weave" the shingles at the corners instead of installing corner boards.

Day 1:  July 3, 2012
Day 1:  King Richard installed new tarpaper, a starter course of shingles, and the new red cedar shingles that are pictured here.  The "fence" that you see hanging on the house was also constructed as my hubby's homemade shingle alignment tool.  The starter course under the bottom row was comprised of shingles recycled from the originals (red cedar) that were on the house when we bought it.  They had been removed, stripped of their gray paint, dipped in water seal, and nailed in place.

Day 2: July 4, 2012
Day 2:  Independence Day saw some work and some play (later in the day, we had dinner, s'mores, and fireworks with Koalagirl and her family).  More shingles were added and, as work would soon begin to reach higher heights, King Richard built three "dead men" for a scaffolding.  Shopping for a new table saw was also conducted.  So, not much visible progress this day but, hey, it was the 4th of July after all.

Day 3:  July 5, 2012
Day 3:  Some progress was made but not as much as we could have accomplished.  It was Katherine the Great's birthday, you see, so we took it easy.  That said, new tarpaper and more shingles did go up between the windows.

Day 4:  July 6, 2012
Day 4:  The window on the left was the project for this day.  It was removed, new tarpaper was wrapped around/in the opening, and everything was reinstalled.  New tarpaper was also stapled below the window.

This was the day we almost had our first accident, too.  The initial attempt at reinstalling the window went awry.  I lost control of it while trying to guide it, the scaffolding shifted, and my husband almost fell backwards off the ladder with the window on top of him.  Instead, King Richard ended up balanced on the ladder between the scaffolding and the house with the window resting on his thighs.  Our second attempt went more smoothly, as you can see.

Day 5:  July 7, 2012
Day 5:  Shingles were added below the newly reinstalled window.  I believe this was also the day we began discussing if we wanted to add some sort of artistic detail in the gable.  I started looking at designs, especially on the website of the Pacific Shingle Company.  My daughter and I were leaning toward some type of ivy motif.  Craftsman houses are known for having nature-based design elements, which would make a plant like an ivy an appropriate symbol to incorporate into the house.  Ivy is also a symbol of the Trinity.  Being practicing Christians, we thought it might be cool to add a theological element to the house.  Both of these ideas were eventually abandoned since we do not possess the artistic skills to accomplish such a  task.

Day 6:  July 8, 2012
Day 6:  This was a Sunday, so work was done only in the late afternoon and evening.  Flashing and new tarpaper were installed above the left window.  Tarpaper was added between the left window and the corner.  More shingles were also put in place between the windows.  And...this was the day that King Richard melted a Sharpie marker in the dryer.  What fun!  :)

Day 7:  July 9, 2012
Day 7:  King Richard started work on the south side of the house.  This was necessary because shingles on the east side needed to be "woven" at the corner, incorporating some from the other wall.  Step one of this process was to assess the condition of the plywood sheathing.  As you can see from the photo, a few pieces required replacement.

Day 8:  July 10, 2012
Day 8:  With the plywood sheathing upgraded, King Richard began work on the corner.  First up, flashing.  Since that required some shopping between Home Depot, Lowe's, and a local lumber yard, not much visible progress was made on the shingling itself.

Day 9:  July 11, 2012
Day 9:  Work on this day was focused on corners.  Tarpaper was secured over the flashing and the initial course or two of shingles was started at the bottom on the left corner.  Old shingles were removed between the right hand window and the corner in preparation for repair, replacement, and "weaving" of shingles there.  Progress was slow but steady.


Day 10:  July 12, 2012
The new table saw.
Day 10:  New flashing and new tarpaper were installed above the right hand window.  Shingles were then added, finishing the first row above both windows.  Another exciting development for King Richard:  the purchase of a new, portable table saw!  Cutting shingles to size should be much less troublesome.

Day 11:  July 13, 2012
Day 11:  More tarpaper and shingles went on the south wall so "weaving" into the corner could begin in earnest.  Learning the ropes of the new table saw was also on the list.  Watching pets for Koalagirl while she was on vacation distracted us as well, which could explain our low production rate on this particular day.

Day 12:  July 14, 2012
Day 12:  Tarpaper and shingles continued to be added on the south side of the house, with each row being "woven" at the corner.  Much progress was made as six rows of shingles went up, each one being hand chosen for size and custom fitted.  Granted, I am biased because King Richard is doing the work, but I think it looks beautiful.

Day 13:  July 16, 2012

Day 13:  After pushing to get a lot accomplished on the wall over the past ten days or so, King Richard took a day off on Sunday, July 15, 2012.  Work began again on Monday, in the evening, with more tarpaper and shingling in the corner.

The project is coming along.  More work has been accomplished since these photos were taken, I just don't have access to them at the moment.  As soon as I do, I will make sure to write a second progress report.  Until then, have a great summer!

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