Monday, September 7, 2009

End of summer

Labor day weekend usually marks the end of the family trips to the lake. School starts on Tuesday and after that it gets much more difficult to take long weekend trips. This weekend was perfect. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were beautiful. Blue sky all day, highs around 80. We could have used a lot more of this weather all summer.

Oddly enough, very little work was done inside the cabin this time. With the beautiful weather we decided it was time to do some much needed "yard work". It had been several years since we had trimmed the trees and cut back the thick brush that grows down the hill. I did manage to finish the remainder of the insulation in the ceiling. Wow, does that make a difference. The cabin actually stays warm inside now during the cool evenings.

On Saturday Cheryl's parents came up and spent the night. It was their first trip up for the year and they enjoyed the great weather. They enjoyed fishing with the kids, a boat ride, and singing around the campfire.
From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

We made a last minute change of plans on Sunday and decided to come home late Sunday instead of Monday. Zachary has been fighting a cold the last few days and we decided an extra night in his normal bed might help. Don't want to be sick for that first day of school.

We probably won't be back up for about a month (Mitchell has football every Saturday). Then it will be just to take the boat out and close everything up tight. It's been a good summer for progress. We got the plumbing installed, insulated the entire place, completed the bathroom, and made decent progress in the kitchen area. I think the top priority for next year will be getting the roof replaced. It's in sad shape and I'm dreading leaks in the near future. I'm leaning towards a metal roof for longevity and ease of install.

The end of summer is always bitter sweet. It's nice to take a break from construction during the off season. At the same time you wish you were able to enjoy more time up there. This has been our third summer of construction. It's great to see the place take shape. I'm excited to see what it will look like next year at this time.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Drywall in the kitchen

Sorry it took me so long to get this update posted. It's been a busy week. Anyway, we returned home from a long weekend last Tuesday. Our time was spent finishing the insulation, putting up the vapor barrier, and hanging sheet rock in the kitchen area. We got to try out our new sheet rock lift. Let me tell you, it was a lifesaver. Without that, I have no idea how we would have put up the 70 pound, 4' by 8' sheets of drywall on the ceiling. Hanging the sheet rock went slower then I hoped for. Considering the spacing of the roof trusses is not exactly 24" on center, I guess I can't complain. It could have been worse. Using the lift definitely takes more time, but in our case it's our only option.

That's all for now. Enjoy the pics.

Vapor barrier on the kitchen wall
From 2009 cabin

The first sheet is up!
From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

The "L" of the kitchen
From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer will arrive one of these days, right?

We arrived home today from another long weekend up north. The weather sucked. Highs were in the 60's and lows in the 40's and it rained most of the time. On the flip side, due to the poor weather we did get a bunch more of the ceiling insulated and a bunch of other small jobs that I've been putting off. The main living space (I think I called it the "great room" in a previous post) is almost ready for sheet rock. My parents came up and Dad helped me with many of the small jobs. I did not add new photos because you can only show so much insulation. That's all for now. Due to work and some other obligations, we won't be heading back for a few weeks. Hopefully we will be hanging some sheet rock on that trip.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A quick update

Last weekend we made a quick two day cabin run. We spent Saturday at "Emily Day" in the neighboring town of Emily directly to our south. Sunday I finished up the shower and we took our first showers at the cabin. Cheryl worked all day and got nearly all the exterior walls insulated. We now have only to complete the ceiling insulation and the place will be fully insulated. Our next step is the kitchen. I've been looking into alternatives to dry wall for the ceiling. I'm thinking maybe a ceiling tile will work. Hopefully I will figure that out soon. That's all for now.
From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A most excellent week

We had a beautiful week up north over the forth. The weather was perfect. High's around 80 and low humidity. Not a drop of rain. Loons swimming down the lake each evening. The thing that topped it off is that we now have a working sink and toilet. The shower was also hooked up, but I have a couple of leaks to fix.

It took a few days to finish the taping and mudding process on the sheet rock.
From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

While I was doing that Cheryl was busy installing insulation in the ceiling of the "great room".
From 2009 cabin

After the final coat of mud was dry, I got it all sanded down. Cheryl then started painting it with two coats of primer. It then looked something like this:
From 2009 cabin

After getting the flooring installed we got the flange for the toilet in place.
From 2009 cabin

Then the vanity, sink, and mirror went in. We got all these items off of craigslist. I think all three items cost under $100 total and they look and work great!
From 2009 cabin
I guess I forgot to mention that I wired up the outlets, lights, fan, and hot water heater too, and connected all the shower hardware.
From 2009 cabin

Then it came time to connect up the drains for everything. This turned out the be much more difficult then I had planned. It was the one thing I thought would be very easy. I guess that's why it slowed me down. I did not plan too well for it, not to mention that it's kind of difficult working in the crawlspace under the cabin.
From 2009 cabin

After a couple of trips to the local hardware store, I managed to get the leaks fixed and we now have a toilet and sink (with hot water!). The shower had a couple of leaks in the supply lines so I still have to fix that before taking a shower. That will be the first thing we do on our next trip up. We still had time for boat rides, swimming, tubing, campfires, and all that good stuff. It was a really good trip. Luke got into a little trouble when he found a Porcupine.
From 2009 cabin

Now, after having 6 days off of work, it's time to return to the real world. Oh well, at least it's only a week and a half until our next trip up.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's hot, it's buggy, and I want a bathroom!

We arrived at the cabin Wednesday (6/17) afternoon and came home yesterday (6/21 - Fathers day). Luckily there was no rain on the way up because we hauled a bunch of insulation and the bathroom vanity in our open trailer. Unfortunately I forgot my camera this trip so I have no pictures to share.

Wednesday was consumed by the typical chores you have when you arrive. Mowing the grass, unpacking the truck, unpacking the trailer, running to the gas station to get gas, etc. We put the boat in the water for the first time this year on Wednesday. It was nice to get out on the lake again.

Thursday Cheryl and I insulated the wall and ceiling of the bathroom. Then we installed the vapor barrier. We got the shower drain opening cut and the shower base in place. We had to hang running boards along the ceiling in the bathroom every 16 inches to support the 1/2 inch sheet rock I bought. Lesson learned: buy 5/8 inch sheet rock for the ceiling from now on. We finished hanging the sheet rock on the ceiling by the end of the day.

Friday we continued our march towards a bathroom by finishing 95% of the remainder of the sheet rock. We only had one more piece to hang, but first I needed to complete the plumbing for the shower. This process turned out to be much more difficult then I had anticipated. Saturday was mostly consumed with this effort. Of course, it was 85 degrees outside (which means it was like 100 degrees in the cabin) on Saturday, so I did not work all that hard. The boys "convinced" old Dad to go swimming in the lake, have a boat ride, make smores by the fire, go out for dinner, etc...

By Sunday we were all ready to go home. I did taping and mudding on the sheet rock before we left. Packing up is always a multi-hour process so I did not have time to finish the first layer of mud.

All in all, I would say it was a good trip. As usual, I had hopes to get further, but there is always next time. It is so cool to actually have walls in one room. You can't see straight through the cabin any longer. I'm looking forward to our next trip up. I hope the temperatures cooperate, otherwise working inside the 90% uninsulated cabin becomes almost unbearable.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Weekend

I had big plans for Memorial weekend this year. My plan was to get up there early on Saturday and get a good 1/2 day of work in on Saturday.

As usual things did not go according to plan, starting with the 10 vehicle (7 motor cycles and 3 cars) crash on 169 around Lake Mille Lacs. After sitting on 169 for nearly an hour, we (and hundreds of others) all had to turn our vehicles around and take an alternate route because they closed the road. We saw 3 ambulances, at least 10 emergency vehicles and a medical chopper arrive. From what I understand no one died at least.

Anyway, the drive up ended up taking 5.5 hours and we did not get the early start I wished for. After unpacking and getting situated, Saturday was basically shot.

We did get started at a decent time Sunday morning. I worked all day roughing in the hot and cold water supply lines. Prior to going up, I had drawn up plans on exactly how I would plumb the lines. After I got started I realized there was a much better way and completely re-worked my plan.
From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

From 2009 cabin

I was able to complete the work on Sunday. I even managed to spend a little time fishing with the boys off the dock thanks to Cheryl for picking up some worms in town earlier that day.
From 2009 cabin

Monday morning was time to put the system to the test. I fired up the well pump and loaded the water lines full of pressurized water. Amazingly I only had a couple of small leaks which did not take long to fix. While I was testing the system Cheryl was roughing in electrical lines for baseboard heat that will be installed at some point.

All in all, it was a very productive weekend. Our next trip up should be a week long and we should (keep fingers crossed) have a fully sheetrocked, functional bathroom with toilet, shower and all. I'm really looking forward to having hot water and a toilet.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let the work begin

The family made the first trip up last weekend. Things looked great. I could not be happier. No trees down, no mice nests, and no break-in's. The siding that we put up in the fall looked great except for one top piece that came a little loose right above the front door.
From 2009 cabin

We did a ton of raking in which the boys were really a big help. I finally got around to wiring up the pump and alarm in the septic system to try it out. Both the pump and the alarm seem to be working great. This is good news since I plan on getting all the plumbing functional this year.

I gave the roof a good looking over. It's actually in better shape then I thought it was. I'm thinking that the bathroom and kitchen area will be the top priorities for this year. If I don't get the time to do the roof this year, I'm sure it will be fine until next year.

Our current plan is to go up over Memorial weekend and start the bathroom work. First I will need to get the water lines in place, then insulation and sheet rock. Hopefully we will make good progress and my next post will include some good new photos.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is here!

Today is the first full day of spring. Winter is behind us now! As the days get warmer and the snow disappears, the cabin project starts to come back into the daily thought process. I think the first thing to do this year is to get the bathroom functional. It sure will be nice to have a normal toilet and sink with running water. It would also be fantastic to get the shower working too. I'm thinking the next big step this year will be replacing the shingles on the roof. The roof (and the posts supporting it) are the only pieces that belonged to the original structure. The roof is at least 20 years old and in dire need of replacement.

I'm anxious to get up there in the next month or so to see how things survived the winter. Hopefully everything is just fine and we can just pickup were we left off.