JULY 2009                                                     Click on (most) images for a larger view.

"Self respect is what you earn when you do the right thing even though you can get away with doing anything." Author unknown.

We have adapted that quote for ourselves: "Self respect is the reward for doing our best even though 'good enough' will pass the building code."

July 4th:  We spent two whole days tinkering with the balcony door to come up with a proper mounting system and sequence. Today that got a little frustrating for Laura. All she wanted was to see her beautiful doors hung and there we were faced with one detail after another that required consideration, evaluation, design and experimentation. Just when the frustration threatened to get the better of us we came inside for a break and watched this TED video about a Tinkering School. It made both of us cry as we saw ourselves in these little kids. Then with fresh determination and pride in our tenacity we went out to complete the job. Now the bracket are drying and tomorrow morning we will take time out from our Sunday chores to hang those doors.
When we bought the door we were told that it was good to shim them with high impact plastic but that the door supplier did not supply these shims. Industrial Plastics had the material in stock and it looked very much like a plastic cutting board but of course for this purpose it need not be food grade. We picked up some small pieces 3/8" and 1/4" thick.

Next we had to determine where these shims should be placed. The instructions were specific in that they should be placed at even increments around the door. This conflicted with the information we received from the window supplier that warned us not to shim too much in the middle as an uneven surface in the window frame would then cause the window to warp and seals to break. So we applied some logic and determined where the forces would act on the frame and placed the shims accordingly.

Determining the thickness of the shims was a bit of a challenge but not as hard as actually milling them on the table saw. Because the plastic expanded as it got hot during cutting, it was difficult to cut them evenly but we persevered and succeeded. After pondering the door frame for a while we reasoned that considering the heavy weight of the individual doors there would be a lot of stress on the hinges. In fact the more we thought about it the more we realized that this was where all the forces would be applied and it made little sense to shim anywhere else.

We also realized that these forces change as the the doors are swing open and the line of force is diverted from left and right to in and out. We knew that the fasteners on the mounting angle would have to compensate for that but that will come later. Carefully sliding the frame through the opening we mounted it provisionally with two fasteners at the top and four at the bottom to hold it in place while we fabricated the aluminum angles.

We fitted some P-2000 in the gap between the door frame and the door opening to maintain the integrity of the envelope.  Of course Laura could not wait to see the doors hung, so we lifted them onto the hinges temporarily just to admire them.  They are beautiful!
  Here we are custom making angle brackets to secure the door to the stud opening...
The west side door trim needs to be milled out to fit around the flashing on the kitchen roof...  Thomas does a great job on this detail!
Getting ready to put the door trim up... lots of nails to secure and of course we countersink them all and caulk.
First blueberry of the season!
These brackets (there are 4) will serve two purposes:

For now there served as an attachment for the scaffolding on the roof.  We built angled platforms (to conform to the pitch of the roof) and lined the base with our P2000 to protect the metal roof.  This will allow us to comfortably work at one level to put in the two south facing windows as well as work our way up the wall with the siding and then we will put a platform on top of them to reach the upper most part of the wall.

Later, two of them will serve as an attachment for our passive solar hot water system to connect to our hot water tank.  Down the road when its time to do any painting or staining etc., on the south wall we can attach scaffolding to them so we can safely work there again.

These brackets are sandwiched behind the strapping and screwed through the envelope into blocking inside the stud cavity.


Details - Details - Details

Time out for lunch and to pick plums!
We used our P2000 to heat up some pizza for lunch.  This year was a bumper crop of plums - we canned a lot of sauce and jam!  Lots of time on our hands! ha!

So here is the thing. Before we can install the patio door in the guest room, we have to adjust the framed opening. to do that we have to work out the transition from the inside sub-floor to the patio flashing and to do that we have to have the sub-floor in place. As a result we found ourselves working inside in the middle of July when the weather was fine. No doubt we will lament that when we end up hanging siding in the November rains.

We started by vacuuming the slab and using the air nozzle to blow the dust out of the cracks and crevices. Next we placed 3/8" P-2000 on the slab, securing it with tuck tape to the p-2000 we had earlier placed under the plates of the walls. The objective is to provide a contiguous envelope by connecting the p-2000 of the walls with the P-2000 under the sub floor. Next we fastened a starter strip of strapping to the bottom plates around the perimeter. then we placed 1x4 strapping on 12" centers perpendicular to the 5/8" tongue and groove. This floor will get laminate flooring and 5/8 plywood gives us the same rise as the 3/4" with Stonecraft in the bathroom. We vacuumed between the strapping to maximize the reflective capacity of the foil insulation.
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