Sunday, September 21, 2008

The siding is up!

We had a great weekend at the cabin. We could not have asked for more perfect weather. Mort, Pete, and myself arrived around 12:30pm on Friday and quickly got to work. We started on the backside of the cabin since it has the fewest windows.
From 2008 Work

From 2008 Work
As the day progressed, we moved around to the front and started working our way up.
From 2008 Work
We worked until dark (which is now around 7:30pm). We made a great deal of progress on Friday (which gave us a false sense of how much longer the remainder of the cabin would take).
The next morning we were working by 8:30am. Iver showed up a little while later and we then split into two teams. Mort and myself worked on the garage side peak while Iver and Pete started on the opposite side. We were thinking that we would be completely finished by early to mid afternoon.
From 2008 Work
As the day progressed, we ran into a few snags and had to redo a few sections of the side and front to make sure the siding all aligned correctly in-between the windows and the doors. This set us back a couple of hours. The top couple of the feet of the siding seemed to take longer than the seven or so feet below it. The gable ends also took longer than expected due to the constant moving of ladders. Scaffolding would definitely be a necessity for a job that was any bigger than this one.
From 2008 Work

By 5pm or so we had completely finished our first side. It's the gable end opposite the garage side. I was very happy we had taken the extra steps and care to make sure things aligned.
From 2008 Work

Within the next few hours we managed to finish the remainder of the structure off. It was almost completely dark out when we finished.
From 2008 Work

I am happy to say that it looks great! I would like to give a big thanks to Pete, Mort, and Iver for working so hard and doing such professional work. I'm so happy with how it turned out.
From 2008 Work

From 2008 Work

From 2008 Work

From 2008 Work

From 2008 Work

Well, that's all for now. I've got to figure out exactly what we will be doing next year. I'm kind of liking this annual guys working weekend. Maybe if I'm fortunate enough next year we will have a big sheet rocking weekend. :-)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prep for siding

Yesterday we returned from a full week up north. Grandpa Glenn came along to help with the work. The weather was beautiful. We had sunny days with temps in the mid 80's all week until the last day when it cooled off a bit. The mosquito's were around, but not overwhelming like they can be. We had camp fires and roasted marshmallows several times.

Our main objective for the week as to get the cabin ready for the big siding weekend that's coming up in September. With Grandpa's help, we got the started strips installed, the J-channel in place around all the windows, J-Block, and the corner edges installed too. J-Block is the stuff that you put around the outside lights, electrical boxes, outside faucets, air vents, etc. I am extremely happy with the progress we made.

There were a couple of things we were not able to finish. The J-block around the outlets is not complete due to some issues I encountered with the size of the outlet covers. We also were not able to put the J-channel around the front door because I need to install a 2x12 treated board under the front door sill. Besides those things, the outside is ready for siding.

I changed the dining room circuit to 20 amp, so the wiring work is completely done.

Cheryl was busy with painting some of the exterior trim and also did a bunch of framing work on the ceiling (so we can attach drywall to the ceiling some day).

The most exciting thing we did was to side about two-thirds of the garage facing side.

The other thing that was really cool was getting some of the circuits hooked up. It was so nice to have some lights (particularly on the outside of the cabin).

I was really hoping to get the toilet installed on this trip, but it was just not a priority and time (and the wife) did not permit it. It's probably better. I'm learning that doing things in a temporary fashion is not really helpful to getting the long term goals done. It just ends up taking longer and costing more.

That will probably be our last family trip up for the year. School starts next week and it's already starting to feel like fall outside. We still need to get the boat out and other various fall closing tasks so we will be back up once or twice, but only for a day or too. With the exception of the siding weekend, further work on the cabin will have to wait until next year.

I'm looking forward to our siding weekend. I learned a lot about siding application this week, so I don't anticipate any major problems.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The inspection

Grandma and Grandpa agreed to watch the kids last weekend, so Cheryl and I made run up to the lake to finish up the electrical work. We arrived on Saturday morning and worked all day Saturday and Sunday. It's amazing how much more work you can accomplish when you don't have the little one's around. The inspector arrived on Monday and I'm happy to report that our electrical rough-in passed inspection with flying colors! He said he was very impressed with our work and that most "homeowner" jobs end up with 2-4 pages of problems that need to be fixed. He did ask me to change the circuit servicing the two outlets in the dining room from 15 amps to 20 amps, but that he did not need to come back to inspect it.

Now it's time to plan out our next trip up that happens in two weeks. I know we need to get the trim work for the siding in place (starter strip, outside corners, j-trim, etc) during that trip. We need to get that stuff in place so we can be prepared for our big siding weekend in September. I would really love to get the toilet installed so that we can actually use the septic that we paid so much for this year. I know I'm probably getting way to ambitious in my goals for the week, but I always do.

I would also like to point out that my wife, Cheryl has been a major contributor to all the work that we've done on the cabin to date. Without her hard work the cabin would still be an empty shell.

I will report back upon return from our next trip up...

Monday, July 28, 2008

More wiring

I'm back from a quick weekend run up to the lake. We ran up Friday (7/25) afternoon and returned home around 9pm on Sunday night. We managed to make substantial progress on the electrical work. I would have never dreamed the wiring would take so much time. At the beginning of this year I estimated it would take 3 days to complete the wiring (for the rough-in inspection). Wow was I wrong. I figure we have one more long weekend and then we should be able to get the inspector out. We now have all the wiring for all the circuits in place. All of the interior outlets are "pigtailed" together like this:

I also managed to re-hookup the outside faucet from the well tank so that there are no leaks in the line.

I never realized how much wiring a typical home must have. My cabin is only a little over 1000 sq. feet and I've installed over 800 ft of various electrical cables. I also never new how expensive the wiring is. I had to run 6/3 (a big black wire) cable for the electric stove. That one 50ft cable cost $114 alone.

The one last thing we did was to take down a tree that was growing right outside where our patio door is. The boys did an excellent job of chopping off all the branches and moving them (small price to pay for two days of Nintendo).

We are hoping to return next weekend and finish all the work so we can have the rough-in inspection soon. We've asked Grandma an Grandpa to watch the kids for the weekend so that Mom and Dad can really focus on the work. No answer yet from the Grandparents on if they will or not. I guess we will soon find out.

I've also updated the 2008 photos in the slideshow on the right, so take a look.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July 4th week

We returned to the cabin for an entire week during the 4th of July. I had huge plans to get all the electrical, a bunch of plumbing, and other misc tasks completed. Well, as it always turns out, I did not get done nearly as much as I wanted to. We did hit some major milestones though. The week before we went up, the septic system was installed on the property.

So that was a major deal (and a major expense).

The first full day we were there got the well hooked up! We now have running water. You can see the blue well tank.

During the week there were many distractions but I did manage to get about 75% of the electrical installed and I installed an outside water valve for a hose hookup. We also completed the rest of the interior framing. We had to bring in a one-piece shower prior to framing a couple of the walls due to it's size.

The next trip up should be in a couple of weeks.

Framing the interior

At the end of 2007 we had one big empty room in the cabin. My first goal for 2008 was to get the interior walls in place. It was a very cold spring in Minnesota so I was not able to get started until June. This was a major set-back for me. Anyway, around the 2nd weekend in June I loaded a trailer of 2x4's and headed up to do some framing for 3 days. The other thing I loaded was a patio door I had bought from someone on craigs list. I managed to get that installed too. We did not get all the framing completed, but the majority of it was done. Here's how things looked after that weekend.

Also worth noting is the slideshow I added on the right. I will continue to add photos to it as I make more progress.

Friday, July 11, 2008

In the beginning...

Hi everyone, I've decided to detail my attempts to build a lake cabin. Here is a little history on the project.

Work began in the fall of 2006. Our property had an existing house trailer on it. There was a large roof structure built over top of the trailer house. I hired contractors to remove the trailer and to add footings to the roof structure. I also had a contractor install a floor joist system. When the contractors were done we basically had a floor joist system cover by a large roof.

The following spring (2007) we got busy installing the flooring system and getting the exterior walls framed.

By the end of the summer we had the exterior walls up and windows and doors (except for the patio door) in. We also got the exterior wrapped with house wrap.

We also got the main electrical service panel installed. That is where work ended in 2007. I will update this blog with our 2008 progress soon.