Summer project—2014…

If you have read my blog long, you know that Steve and I usually work on some sort of big ‘house’ project during the summer. Since we just had our house remodeled last year, we don’t have a project to do at our house. We helped Chris with his bathroom remodel in the spring and early summer. Now what?

We decided to work on the McCarley Woods. Howard and Marian McCarley donated a wonderful property to Austin College a few years ago. It is primarily used by faculty and students in the biology department.

The cabin on the property is solid but needs a bit of spiffing up. Steve and I decided that this would be a great project but first we needed a place to put the tools that are occupying one of the bedrooms. Se we decided to build a shed!


Steve designed an 8′ x 8′, pier and beam structure. Last weekend he put in the foundation and built the framework for the front and back wall. Tuesday morning (after Pilates) I showed up to do my part which is to be both foreman and gopher.

I helped him raise the end walls and secure them in place. Then the framing for the side walls went up. After that, we added the 2′ tall extension that he had prepared to the top of the front wall. The roof will slope from front to back.


Christopher joined us after lunch and I, for one, was very happy. The siding is Hardie paneling and it is heavy! Drilling holes and driving screws through it was hard on their hands… I have a feeling I could not have done it at all.


Once the back and two sides were paneled, Steve and I hoisted and slid 4′ x 8′ sheets of chip board up to Chris, who nailed them to the rafters. Next we sent up metal roofing sheets. All of that sounds a lot easier than it was :-).

WoodsShed-09 copy

It was a long day and we called it quits at 6:00. Wednesday it rained. Luckily I had found time to put a coat of water seal on the plywood floor while the guys were doing other things so it didn’t peel apart.

This morning Steve went out early (because I went to Pilates again) and started getting Hardie panels cut and installed on the front wall.



I helped him get the remaining, small wall panels up. Next we worked on enclosing the roof rafters to keep the critters out. And we wanted to trim out the corners of the shed before we broke for lunch. At some point it started to drizzle, and then rain.


We were wet and muddy when we called it quits at 12:30. Steve is going to build the doors later and maybe we can hang them Saturday. We’ll paint the shed in a couple of weeks, when I am back after teaching in Indiana next week.


It is solid and functional. Once painted it might even be cute!

Day 8…

it didn't hit 100 today. Yay! Steve and Chris got the siding and soffits up on the north side of the garage:

BrockettBefore-GarageNorth-04 copy

I washed the mold off of the back wall. A job I was not looking forward to but that wasn't that bad. I also washed and scrubbed the garage doors, but I did not take a photo. Really, you can't tell they are cleaner.

BrockettBefore-BackDeck-05 copy

Steve, and later Chris, took the gutters and soffits off of the back of the house. The French doors will be replaced tomorrow or later in the week.

This bit of old siding is staying put, not being replaced by the Hardie panels. If you look at the left side of the photo above you'll see electrical boxes. We really don't want to touch them. The siding is in good shape. It's staying put.

The roofers were here today, replacing the flat, leaky roof over the side porch. You can't see it but believe me, it's way better. And Chris and Steve got the soffit more than half done over this door:

BrockettAfter-SidePorch-02 copy

Tomorrow I start painting. I had hoped to start today but there you go. I have lots to paint. Maybe the temps will stay below 100. We can all hope…


Days 5 and 7…

Steve had to work at his real job for a good bit on Friday. I painted inside, Christopher worked outside. This is what the north side of the garage used to look like:

BrockettBefore-GarageNorth-01 copy

Chris took off the siding, soffits, and gutter:

BrockettBefore-GarageNorth-03 copy

Taking off the wall led to a serious cleaning out of the garage. I think Chris enjoyed imposing order on his stuff. The pile of debris next to the street is much bigger. I need to take a picture of that tomorrow!

Steve did have time to take the siding off of the front of the garage and he replaced the rotted parts of the studs that hold the roof up.

BrockettBefore-GarageWest-03 copy

BrockettBefore-GarageNorth-02 copy

The garage is open to the breezes for now.

We took the 6th day, Saturday, off. I did some actual quilt-related work. There are now fat quarter bundles up on the site! Click here to see them. I expect to send a newsletter soon. Probably when we are about done with the renovations.

Steve and I worked 3 hours today, Day 7. Steve put up some extra wall studs on the north side of the garage. We put the facing up around the side door. We caulked. I put the finish coat of paint on the wall around the window inside the bedroom. You can see the quilt, The Ground (as seen from above) hanging over the bed.

BrockettBefore-Bedroom-04 copy

The window still needs to be trimmed out. The french doors to the back yard (which you haven't really seen yet) get replaced later this week. The bedroom is mostly done, but not all the way done.

This afternoon Mom and Elanor and I are going to see the local production of Fiddler on the Roof. It'll be a nice break! Tomorrow I begin painting outside and the guys are going to be putting up more siding. I'm hoping that by the end of the week most of the painting will be done as the final siding and soffits go up.