Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Windows Are In & A Solid Gold Find

Windows are done!!

This past weekend we were able to finish installing the last of the two windows, and begin the insulation process. We are still waiting for a good patch of weather to be able to put on the roof. We are aiming for the 4th of July. On Sunday, we headed up to Derry, NH to check out some reclaimed barn wood from the 1700s!! Turns out the barn was built in 1776- THE YEAR OF OUR INDEPENDENCE! We were able to collect all of our flooring and loft needs in that trip. We are SO EXCITED to see how it turns out. 

Another note-worthy accomplishment- we finally decided on what we are going to do for the siding. During my travel week from hell last week, I drove through the deep woods of New York and Pennsylvania to a town called Coudersport. It was an absolutely beautiful 2.5 hour drive to the site. The road gently dipped and rose, weaved and coiled around the natural shapes of the land. Everywhere I looked I saw farms of all sizes and specialties. I was also able to see many different examples of the types of siding we were interested in.
Example of batten board siding. Love it!
Our choice is a winner two-fold. Not only is batten board siding a classic countryside look, it's also super cheap. Original batten board siding is a series of boards, but the same look can be accomplished with plywood and strapping. Here is a picture of the siding style and coincidentally almost the exact color we want to stain it. We are still considering some horizontal strips across the bottom 2-3 feet of the house. We shall see. Can't wait!


So the last two windows we needed to install were actually replacement windows. That means no nailing flange. Based on our experience up to that point, only one nailing flange of the three previous windows was of any help. The flanges often did not butt right up against the sheathing...so they were kinda useless. We were a little overwhelmed at how to go about it any other way, however. So we decided to call it a day and mull over our options over the next week. What we decided on was not only secure and clean looking, it was WAY easier than the windows with flanges! We should have done them all this way! 

We ended up using 1x4s tacked to the sheathing of the house to hold the replacement window in place. Each one has a groove on the outside edge of the window. So I held the window from the inside and Dan slid the 1x4s into the window grooves, and then secured the 1x4 to the sheathing. Worked like a charm! We haven't foamed them, so we are considering cutting some new 1x4s that fit perfectly around the window so that siding will be easier, and the foam job will be cleaner.


During the week, I'd been Craigslisting like a mo'fo and got a few leads. The first was locating someone who can mill the big pine logs in my Dad's back yard. My Dad's house has been in the family for several decades, and that tree used to hold up my Grampa's hammock. I have a lot of memories with that tree. It finally fell last year and it has been chopped into smaller lengths. We are hoping someone could mill them, and we may use them as countertops!! There will be so much family history in this house!!


The second lead, by far, frosts the weekend. I had been exchanging emails with a woman named Kristen. She was selling a huge lot of reclaimed barn wood from the 1700s. My mind immediately raced to the fact that it was the decade of our independence. I could barely wrap my brain around the fact that the people who cut these boards, hammered them in place, and lived within their walls, were on the verge of becoming citizens of a brand new nation. Gives me goosebumps! They were selling it for $2.50/sq ft which is almost unheard of. Most reclaimed woods of that age go for $6 or more easy. 


We decided to jump on it. Not only was it going to finally end the woodflooring hunt, but it would give us a relatively low-key day from the physical perspective. My knee and ankle could use the rest and Dan was still feeling pretty tired, so sitting in the truck sounded much more appealing than installing more insulation in the heat. We headed up to Derry, New Hampshire to check out the wood. It was a beautiful ride, as is always the case in New Hampshire. We met Kristen and Chris at the site. The barn looked to be attached to the house. The house was getting a face-lift, and the barn was getting nixed. Kristen and Chris were both very enthusiastic about our tiny house venture. It was really nice to meet a fellow enthusiast. Kristen is an interior designer and has actually decorated a few tiny houses!! How great is that! Chris immediately commended us on our efforts as we first shook hands. It was really great to hear. 

The barn was still standing, but much of the siding had been pulled. Kristen and Chris were both very helpful, and let us look through all the different piles of wood they had already removed. They had grouped them in piles based on size and age. Chris explained that he did the deed research and the barn was built in 1776. Many of the original boards were still in place, they were easy to identify since they were generally much larger and had many of the old squared off nails. He explained that some repairs and replacements were made about a hundred years later, so our wood boards range in age from over 230 years to 130 years old. 
The quality of wood back then was exceptional. Old growth lumber is where it's at. The wood is incredibly strong and durable. We got some very old, very unique boards for the loft as well. These were boards cut on the out edge of the log, so they are very wavy, knotty, and some still have branch stumps! The wood looks amazing now, but with a sanding and coat of protection and shine- they will be gorgeous up there! We also chose to use such uneven boards because we want cracks for light to come through below, and we will only be in bed when we are up there, so a perfectly even and solid floor isn't necessary.
The roof boards are amazing!! That's what our loft
boards look like!

Our next task with the wood is to locate someone with wood planing services, remove all nails and divide up into piles to assign certain widths and then drop it off.
Laying it out to get a visual :)

The super old stuff..


237 year old square nails!!
Our loft boards!

We were able to get all of our flooring and loft flooring needs in one swoop for $500. Even if we were to use the cheapest most generic oak flooring, we would be looking about about $200. Typically, purchasing relcaimed wood of this age would have run us about $1200. So no matter how you look at it, we got a great deal. This was also one aspect that we are willing to go the extra mile for. There are certain things we want to be very nice and unique, the floor was one of them. I'd say having a floor made from a barn that stood in the year of our independence is pretty damn unique...and AWESOME.

Hopefully we get the roof on over the 4th!
Have a great Independence Day everyone and thanks for reading!




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