Sunday, July 12, 2009

I knew I was having some fun lately......

I knew I was having some fun lately, but I actually had to refer to the invoices to see just how much fun I was having....and with whom. Jason's outstanding photographs (and how about that flikr, eh?) tell the story of what's been going on, but there's a whole lot more, according to the invoices, that doesn't show up in the pictures but that sure has made my life interesting these days.

I've become a "hand" in this project. I'm not terribly smart or fast, nor do I have the ability to "pick things up quickly".....I'm unfamiliar with most of the terminology, nearly all of the tools and have had no life experience to prepare me for a day on this job....but I'm heavily invested, totally interested and will drop most anything to see that this house gets built.

My part usually begins with a visit to the house site where something needs to be done before the next thing can happen.....or with a phone call from Michael or Jason to pick up or deliver materials or paperwork. Some of these excursions have been to Lowe's to get bits of lumber, insulation stuff, hardware.....a shop vacuuming session at the house to clean out the external wall channels in preparation for the insulation.....a trip to Air Gas for a spool of wire....a drive to Brookline to pay the insulation installers....getting a lien waiver signed from the portable toilet folks....a call to the propane man to see about installing and servicing the tank....trips to the bank to take invoices for the next draw on the construction loan....a conversation with a Missouri Conservation representative about options for the ground between the house and the river.....a visit to CV Glass to deliver the checks and lien wavers for the door and windows.....a morning spent spraying "Great Stuff" into the spaces that needed filling and clearing out the house of all that had accumulated (chairs, coolers, water bottles, tools, trash, buckets) before the sheet rock hangers arrive.....several trips up to the church on the hill and back (where I can get cell phone service) to get questions answered for the sheet rock guys....and several (yet to be completed) moments scraping excess insulation off of the underbelly of the containers.

Most of that activity can be gleaned from the growing stack of invoices and from now having the most elegant glass front door to walk through....or from feeling the differences the insulation has made in the temperature and overall comfort inside the containers....or by the cedar backing strips that Michael is beginning to install on the porch walls....or by the holes that have been dug and are now being filled with concrete to anchor the storage/carport container...or by how awesome the sheet rock makes the inside AND the outside look by defining the walls and windows and skylights....or by the plans being made for the cabinets in the bathrooms and kitchen.

What cannot be gleaned from looking at the invoices and from appreciating the progress that is being made on a daily basis, is the human factor. Each and every person I have encountered and dealt with from the very beginning of this project has been efficient, honest, talented, reliable, energetic and genuinely interested in the house and proud of their own participation and workmanship. That's pretty amazing.

Maybe I should flip through those invoices again and consider trading my position as the "world's oldest living truant officer" for a career as a full time "hand".

It was about 3:00p.m. on Friday when I stopped by Superior Interiors to pay for the work the sheet rock hangers had done.....(by the way, is "sheet rock" one word, or two?)......and the boss and two young men were getting into their van and just leaving for a float trip on the Current River. He took the check and said he would be out there the next morning (SATURDAY!!) to start taping and putting the mud on the walls.

I knew I was having some fun lately.


Hannah said...

Hey Marti,
How is it going, are you getting close? We can't wait to see the finished product. Hope things are going smoothly, you must be into the fun part now!!!!
Best, Hannah and Kyle, Placerville, CA.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marti,

You wondered about the word sheet rock. It is one word, Sheetrock. It is capitalized because it is a trademarked name. But, like Frigidaire and Kleenex, it is often used generically. The more correct term would be drywall or gypsum board if you are not using Sheetrock brand.
Congratulations! How is the house coming? I just thought that I would be one more person in the Universe to ask you that question. Your new home is truly impressive. I have been in the trades for, um, 48 years and your house looks good to me. Again, congratulations.
My wife and I are embarking on a shipping container home of our own here in the country of Panama. My blog is We like your choice of Pure White paint for the walls. We may steal the idea.
Did I say congratulations?
Best regards,
Fred (and Cynthia) in Panama