Weekend Updates

We’ve had a lot of good weather lately, and because of that we’ve been working outside every possible minute.  It’s led to a lot of progress, and also a lot of exhaustion.  Exhaustion does not make for enthusiastic blogging, and hence the lack of blog posts this past couple weeks.  But, mea culpas aside, we’re back to posting!  So here’s what you’ve missed.


Last time I posted about the roof, I was lamenting all the troubles we’d been having: shingle delivery delays, roll-off dumpster mis-communications, freak rainstorms, and so on.  Since then, all the old shingles have come off the roof, the dumpster is gone, and it’s been all roofing all the time.  As I type this, we are almost done putting the shingles on the west roof over the upstairs bedroom.  I’ve learned a lot about roofing lately, and am pretty proud of myself that I’ve been able to keep up with all the steps involved.  In fact, my ability to climb up onto the ridge seems to have been rather useful throughout all this (see below).

Me tapping in plastic-capped nails to secure the underlayment at the roof ridge. Note the weather for these past few days of roofing have been nothing short of perfect. (photo credit: my dad's cell phone)

With all that’s gone wrong in this project, we have had one major thing go right: the materials we bought.  Specifically, I’m going to give a DIY-er endorsement of the underlayment material you can see in the photo above.  We were tipped off early in the purchasing process to look into something called “synthetic felt” over traditional felt because of increased durability and water-resistance.  The product we bought is called PermaFelt, and superior specifications aside, my favorite thing about it is the tack of the surface.  I can shimmy all around the roof on this stuff without ever slipping or even feeling like I might slip. Considering how steep this section of the roof is, and my inexperience climbing on roofs, that added benefit was totally worth the slightly higher cost.

Yard Work

The roof section we’re working on faces west, which means that around 3:00pm the sun is shining directly onto it and humans should not be up there (or they will become melted humans).  So, my strategy lately has been that, as soon as the sun hits that human-melting spot in the sky, I find work to do on the east side of any structure available.  This week, that area was the back side of the garage.  Now, a number of weeks ago I pulled a ton of weeds out of here because I had discovered (painfully) that a particularly nasty patch of stinging nettles had taken up residence.  But after doing that, it was looking pretty dismal:

Behind the garage: before. This is actually more of a "during" than a "before," since I had already cleared the weeds before I remembered to take a photo.

So it was off to the internet to find some supplies.  I nearly immediately found a guy on Craigslist selling some edging blocks for cheap, and then less than a week later a gal was giving away a whole bunch of landscaping fabric.  Easy-peasy.  After pulling the remaining weeds out, I ended up spending several hours pulling out shards of glass and other garbage from the soil, and then it was landscaping time.  Then it was pretty simple; essentially landscaping fabric, edging blocks, mulch.  Voila:

Behind the garage: after. I still need to figure out what I'm putting there, but at least this keeps the weeds from taking over again.

The mulch is actually from our property, from when we took out a bunch of shrubs and weedy trees this spring.  My dad borrowed his friend’s wood chipper, and while it’s not the highest-quality stuff around, it works great and smells amazing.  It’s also a big improvement because now I don’t have to worry about the neighbors (whose house is pretty much just out of frame in the above photo) accidentally stumbling onto our glass shard/stinging plant-ridden property and getting hurt.


During the rainy days, Paul and my dad have been piecing together the beginnings of our new plumbing system.  Basically, now that the old rusted pipes are out and replaced, they’ve been working to hook everything back up.  The pressure tank has been fixed and moved closer to the water main, in an area we’re considering closing in to create a “utility closet” at some point.

Water main/pressure tank set up.

Paul talked a lot about what all needs to happen in his previous post, so I won’t repeat that stuff.  I will say that this is another area I am completely ignorant of, so it’s been very interesting learning about it!  Likely, this will be Paul’s main project after the roof is done (probably still a couple weeks away).

So that’s what’s been going on lately!  Let’s hope this good weather continues.


About Leigh

Born and raised in Rochester, MN, Leigh moved to the Twin Cities in 2004 for college. She stayed, and now works for a south metro city in the recycling department. In February of 2011, she and Paul bought a neglected farm house in the city to start our own urban hobby farm.

Posted on August 6, 2011, in Carriage House, House, Property, Renovation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Very nice progress, Leigh and Paul and Leigh’s dad!

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