Trying not to squirrel-thrash; there's still a lot to do and this is a kind of crunch time. I'm likely gonna be a hurtin' marmot before the weekend is out, because there will be some rather heavy lifting (the Hardibacker sheets are 40 lbs. each, and there are a bunch of 'em). And hey, if you're not doing anything this weekend and want to help, there's a lot of stuff that I could use help with. Not all of it is heavy lifting, either.
Tonight is a trip to 'Nards to pick up some additional felt paper and more 5-gallon buckets. The nifty thing about my little scaffolding experiment from last night is I can add height by adding buckets-- each set of buckets adds a couple of inches, which is a nice adjustment range. I do need to make one final set of buckets for the bottom that have extended legs though, to keep the whole thing more stable. I'd like to avoid falling if possible, yes preciousssss.
Frothy mix: I just talked with Garrett about the siding, and he's suggesting that I look at Craneboard® Oracle™. This is actually something that I had looked at before, but didn't know what it was called; there are a couple of manufacturers that make something similar. Basically, it's vinyl siding, but with a solid core foam backing that adds insulation and stiffness behind the vinyl. It's a cool idea, and it solves the problem of the no-insulation-in-the-walls thing, or at least part of it; if nothing else it buys me some time and lower heating bills.
It also makes me rethink the stucco on the front. As much as I like the look of stone and stucco, the stucco is a boatload of work and there's not a lot of time to do it. Garrett is coming out tomorrow morning and giving me some estimates. And I've seen some really nice stone-and-siding construction in the outlying 'burbs, I just don't know if it fits in with the neighborhood.
Of course it has to fit in better than the old-wood-and-ripped-tarpaper look I have going on right now.
Second thought is that I still have Tyvek® left over from the shed. That's a better solution than the felt paper that was gonna go under the Hardibacker on the upper story. Aside from being easier to install (kinda), I already have it and don't have to buy anything new. That cuts down on the amount of work quite a bit, and allows me to trade off some of the materials I was planning to purchase for cash towards the siding. It's a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul, and usually means a sore Peter, but in this case I think it may be for the better. Of course, the Tyvek® roll is in the very back of the shed, meaning most of the contents of the shed have to come out; that's not a horrible thing, but it is time-consuming.
Just the logistics of handling this whole thing are exhausting. The plans have had to change to accommodate new things and things I had forgotten, unexpected code issues, and the opportunity for replacing the siding. Particularly the last few months have meant a lot of agility in making corrections. On one hand, it's good that I can do that with some degree of efficacy; on the other, part of it means I didn't plan extremely well. Not gonna beat myself down about it, it's still a good, solid piece of work considering the whole thing started from something unexpected.
Of course, that also leaves me a bit worried about tearing off the old siding, as I don't really know if there are damaged sections underneath it. The old sheathing is 3/4" thick pine boards (that burn really really well) that if they have been exposed to water for a long time will have rotted away; I learned this from the front porch. Replacing all the sheathing would be a nightmare, and a costly one at that. I suspect that most of it is okay, but there are a couple of places that have me worried like the southeast corner wall and the south bay wall where the dining room ceiling collapsed.
Then there's the kitchen window which I was looking at replacing with a bay window that's shorter so it doesn't extend down below the surface of the counter, but affording a bay window right now is out of the question; the window alone runs $1500-$2000.
Then there's the question of affordability. This will all cost above and beyond what the insurance settlement is, and was not planned in the initial loan. I have a couple of things that I want to do before the final siding is done:
1.) tear off the vinyl siding on the back breezeway and insulate it, filling in the old doorways and making it warm enough to make a kitchen addition.
2.) Replace the kitchen windows with a bay window.
3.) Add a ledger board to the south back wall for a future deck or patio roof extension.
There is also a thought about an additional door out from the downstairs bathroom, but that's still iffy enough that I'm a-holding off on it for now.
So if it's going to be considerably more than what the insurance payout is, I have one of two options: wait until next year and save up money, or take out yet another loan. I'd prefer not to do another loan, but it may not be feasible for me to save up enough to make up the difference.
I'll find out tomorrow.
Off now to the doctor I go.