Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My First 38 Caliber Bullet

Cocking a gun doesn't come natural to most women, and setting the hammer was the easy part. (The hard part was figuring out that a bullet is needed to launch the nail and frankly, figuring out what size nail to use in the first place.) My first nail was shot into a 2x4 stringer on the block wall and the kickback was thrilling. Nonetheless, I gave the Remington back to Will to finish installing the rest so we could hang siding and transform our 'basement with a roof' into an 'environmentally friendly earth home hillside lodge'.

Here's what got done and we learned:

Hydro-expansion cement does work . . . if you can apply it in the 3 minutes before it clumps; the caulk gun is a great tool . . . when you remember to pucture the seal in the caulk tube first;
painting is easy . . . except over your head (with no ladder) or over wall-paper over plaster coated over block. Let's just say it was easier to allow the whole muck to turn into paper-mache and leave it in place. We're going to drywall over it anyhow, right?

Even I can install a window . . . if someone else frames it out; pink fiberboard insulation can be snapped just like drywall . . . if scored first with a utility knife; tools are handy . . . if I would only return them to my apron pocket after use! Liquid nails really do work; instruction books are also useful, if read; Wood siding is easy to handle but different from aluminum which has pre-scored holes. It actually needs to be nailed in, low on the board, so that the next piece can slide into the groove at the top. I had to ask the hardware guy after I couldn't figure it out for myself. A nights' sleep lost for nothing.
My favorite "aha" this week is that the guys at the hardware store must have had sensitivity training - they no longer roll their eyes when I ask stupid questions like "can I return all that PVC guttering?" and "can you pick it up cause I don't have a truck?"

BTW - That PVC guttering is crap. At least the aluminum stuff can be cut, bent and pounded to fit. And I already have metal shears. Next week . . . fun with cement!

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