That Was Major

Well, two major things:

  • A builder actually showed up to talk about wrapping the eaves to solve the water problem in the house, and stripping the siding to replace the rotted planking underneath. He may be able to start as early as beginning of next week.
  • Our new plan of project organization is working.

The builder thing speaks for itself. It means we have a chance of getting the exterior properly weatherproofed by the end of June, leaving (we think) ample time to get the house minimally move-in-able by Labor Day.

As for our “plan,” it has a primary mechanism — we created a short, ordered list of the major interlocking tasks to get us to “moving in.” The known big chunks, and their precedence:

House List A

  1. Put in temporary but long-term floor in staircase corner of living room. Trap door is for later. Same for upstairs, except not temporary.
  2. Beam in living room.
  3. Put in columns outside.
  4. Clean upstairs (squirrel poop) and finish framing (half-bath and closet).
  5. All sub flooring can be done at this point.
  6. Cross-ties in attic and structural sistered beams on main level (can be earlier)
  7. Roof stuff and plank stuff (new subcontractor, can be earlier)
  8. Insulation, then Drywall (prerequisite: pull all old paneling nails, clean up staples and old paper scraps as much as possible)

We wrote that list yesterday. It may need some tweaks. But here’s the thing: There are three or four OTHER categories of list, containing many other house-related and career-related tasks, needs, efforts, and ideas. The garden, the yard, housekeeping, budgeting, our writing, our art projects, etc., etc. By segregating the lists, we hope to actually keep them from competing with each other. Like a Chinese menu, I should in theory be able to accomplish something from each list (however small). But the key one — House List A — I don’t get to “pick” an item. I have to do the next thing. Whatever is next. This takes the vacillation and decision-making out of the equation, and minimizes the wandering around gazing at beams and thinking about ladders and nails and power tools….

So here’s what the first item on the list looks like NOW:

  1. Put in temporary but long-term floor in staircase corner of living room. Trap door is for later. Same for upstairs, except not temporary.

This first necessitated taking down the basement stairs, seen here in the background on the right:


Here they are out on the salvage pile:


Their replacement will not be needed till the snow flies and we (presumably) stop using the outside bulkhead.

Then I added some blocking around the perimeter of the hole in the floor, installed two full blocks as mini-joists spanning the hole, and finally laid down floor planking:


Done and done. A clean and secure base for work tomorrow on the corresponding hole above in the second floor, where the main staircase used to be.

Somehow, this particular scheme of segregated lists has helped me with focus and direction better than a single master list. It’s clearer, for example, that there OUGHT to be time in the day for non-“House List A” stuff. So it’s clearer if I choose to clear a brush pile, mow, work on the garden, draw a cartoon… that I’m toiling in the “other” categories. Each day should have some of each. But when I DO tackle House List A — no mystery, no temporizing, get right to it!