The side of the house has always looked pretty crappy as it has crumbling parging over styrofoam. This year I decided on a good solution, Novik "faux" stone. The novik goes on easy and really looks like real stone. I started on the worst side of the house. Need to rip some 1" cedar strips for the upper trim but I am very very happy with it. I need to stain (paint) the siding soon, maybe next year.
My basement door had a river stone surface. It was OK but every year it was difficult to keep clean, especially due to the leaves clogging and mixing with the stones. I had thought about using those square connecting wooden exterior patio pieces, when I realized I had enough left over decking from when I previously converted my main deck to composite. In the end I used only wood from pieces I had lying around. It is essential a small 5x6 deck using 2x4's on "deck blocks".
On fathers day, I installed 40 feet of shadow box with lattice top fence panels. Five panels that is. Took around 5 hours or an hour a panel. Kids played and "helped". Started at a tree and bolted the first panel to the tree. Solidifies the fence but shouldn't negatively impact the fence, even with tree growth.
Getting closer to finishing. Just painting and landscaping left. Was going to build a ramp from PT when I saw the spare pallet. It may not last as long but it is free and solid. All I needed to do was dig one end a little and trim the other with a circular saw. Voila instant ramp. I do like pallets. I also added a second widow that I had lying around. So far put in my tractor, my Finnish snow tires (Haki's) and snow blower.
I have since added a single circuit breaker panel with two indoor electricity outlets (one on each wall), a roof LED work light, an outside outlet and a security light.
It was lightly raining (again). I installed the shed deck any way. Used 2 culled 4x4 PT posts and one 2x4x12 PT for the frame. Used some leftover stone blocks (same as under the shed) instead of deck blocks. Used clearance 2x4x8 PT green for the decking. Yes green it was on clearance because no-one buys green anymore, just brown or grey. Probably spent $40 in total on the deck. I do like the looks of the deck. I'll stain it brown later this summer. I also need to paint the trim white sometime soon and add electricity. Oh yea I also need to add a ramp or slope the land on the right side. Haven't decided yet.
I noticed the rain kicked up dirt on all sides of the shed so I will need to trim all around the shed with gravel. That'll have to wait till I order some more gravel for my trailer parking pad/skating rink on the other side of the lot, later this summer.
Last day of shed build. Another hot and humid day. Put in window, door, did all final trim and misc. Re-squared the walls and nailed down everything I didn't before. I haven't shingled in years but it went well. Started working on the deck. Yes the shed will have it's own 4x12 deck. Deck will be done on my next day off. I'll also paint the trim white sometime this summer. More pictures will follow.
Day two. Hot humid weather but finally had a free day. After organizing tools first job was building the trusses. Some trim work followed. Building and installation of the shelves and work bench. Next the roofing was installed. I bought 5 bundles of IKO marathon "cedarwood" shingles. They go on on the final day. I did expect to be finished today but the roof was finicky, and there was a lot of little tricky trim bits. I also had to play with my new dewalt multi-tool, pretty cool.
I needed another shed for my lawn tractor, snow blower, tires etc. My garage was just getting too full of junk. I was going to build another shed but Tuire wanted a "pretty" premade one. By coincidence Lowes had a nice 12x8 shed for $500 off and no tax. Thus $998 all in. It was weird, the shed was not a standard house shed build as it seemed to be made in order to fit in a 4x8 box. As it was, it was a 1000 lb box! Here is the results of the first day of the build. I had an issue with the foundation as finding and digging a level spot on my property is very difficult. In addition, I thought the kit came with a 24" joist base frame, so I purchased a few extra 2x4s for 12" centres. When I opened the box I discovered it actually had no joists at all. As this was Queen Vic Day and everything was closed I scrouged though my wood pile and used a mish mash of 12ft cedars, 8ft pressure treated and 8ft 4x4s both spruce and culled warped PT. Crazy but it worked! I positioned the 4x4s (overkill) below where I would be parking my tractor.
I am very happy with my steel roof but over the years it has produced an undesired effect: snow avalanches. Frost and melt cycles would cause snow to build up and eventually crash down in large piles. The snow would be so hard packed as to be unremovable. Hugh piles would crash on my back deck and then melt against my rim joist. Ultimately this caused my rim joist to rot. Then one final crash broke my deck which was attached via the ledger to the rim joist. Thus I needed to repair my rim joist and rebuild my deck.
I added short pieces to both sides of all my floor joists. I also added 4x4 blocks between the joists. I ripped a pressure treated 2x10 to replace the old 2x10 (PT wood is slightly dimensionally larger) and then covered it with blue skin and added a drip rail above the deck. The deck was raised with two car jacks and I added 4 deck blocks as the new design has the deck floating (not attached to the house).
The composite decking was not damaged when the deck collapsed. Wood would not have survived as well. I reinstalled the composite and all was as good as new.
I have since solved the snow avalanche issue. Last winter I tested a snow fence on the front of the house and it worked well. This summer I will add a roof snow fence to the rear of the house.
The crappy parging below the siding will be replaced later in the summer by novik stone which is currently sitting in my garage. In addition, we will be changing all the exterior doors and windows this year.
Every setup is different. I am very familiar with my house, having built it. I know it is very well sealed and insulated. So well sealed I had to retro install an air exchanger after I built the house to get the air flowing out. Saying that all my windows are in the need of replacement. Otherwise the house is currently pretty efficient. When I built the house I went with baseboard heating for easy installation and the then cheap cost of electricity. I figured no matter what electricity would be the long term solution in Ontario and reasonably priced. I never predicted the liberal governments costly green programs and overall energy mismanagement/corruption. Hard to believe we have the highest cost of electricity in North America while we sell excess dirt cheap elsewhere and we refuse to buy cheap excess power from our neighbour. The whole thing is mind boggling.
At one point I bought a new gas furnace from my neighbour and was going to retrofit ductwork. I changed my mind as I thought I would be then at the whims of another monopoly and more government regulations. Ultimately I still believe the future is cheap electric power and/or the ability to go off grid. I live in a forest otherwise I would of long covered my roof with solar panels. I do believe some technology will happen to wean us off this government energy control of us. Then they may have issues trying to tax the sunlight or your small fission generator (sure why not). You may think this is silly, but there are occasional rumors of Ottawa thinking about taxing my well water! Thus my decision to try a ductless heat pump. It is an efficient electrical based heating system with little retrofitting required.
In my case my house is a 2000 sq.ft. “side-split” bungalow. The one story side being an open concept, the two story side containing family room, laundry and garage with the second story being the bedrooms. The open side is also “open concepted” to the family room on the lower two story side. Normal thinking is that a large heat pump could heat the 1200 sq.ft. of the open side and some of the first floor family room. A second unit or heat pump would be required to heat the second floor bedrooms. However from my past experience with my wood stove in the family room the heat will naturally rise to the bedrooms under most scenarios. Thus instead of an expensive second unit (9k$ vs 5k$) I decided to try one unit, get my rebates, while they are available, and see how it goes.
Just a blog about what we and the kids are up to. Also some projects that I may be doing.