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high desert. small house.

Days 115-117: Putting Panels in Place, Part 1

Friday
We removed the panels and attached the 2×4 vertical studs/furring strips (going forward, called ‘studs’).  We reattached the panels (see featured image above), attached the remaining chamfer strip on the west side and then attached both chamfer strips on the east side.

Vertical studs attached with 4' spacing.

Vertical studs attached with 4′ spacing.  Notice only the one chamfer strip – the studs are attached to it.

Panels attached to the studs and the chamfer strip. We also attached the other chamfer strip.

Panels attached to the studs and the chamfer strip. We also attached the other chamfer strip.

This is the view going toward the south. We hope to get two rows of panels attached on each side over the weekend. Then we can disassemble the scaffold and work on the bathroom.

This is the view going toward the south. We hope to get two rows of panels attached on each side over the weekend. Then we can disassemble the scaffold and work on the bathroom.

Saturday
Great day number 1.  Not only did we get a lot done, but we got another section of our shower enclosure without having to drive to Las Cruces!  Awesome.  A friend was going to Cruces and offered to grab our shower.

By the time we called it quits on Saturday night, we had finished one row and started the next. We only attached full pieces and left the last piece (which was a partial and needed to be cut) until the next day when we had lots of light.

By the time we called it quits on Saturday night, we had finished one row and started the next. We only attached full pieces and left the last piece (which was a partial and needed to be cut) until the next day when we had lots of light.

Sunday
An absolutely awesome day!  We woke early, completed a tremendous amount of domestic responsibilities (ie. cooked bacon, vacuumed, cleaned bird cage, etc) and arrived at the property around 9:30am.

We recently discovered we can drive around the edge of the house and park where the tent house used to be.  I decided to make the pull-through a little easier by breaking off some of our hill.  It was a beautiful morning and that kept me busy for awhile.  Before heading into the house, we were interrupted by visitors (real visitors, not trespassers).

We frequently are asked by others to invite them over so they can see the house.  We have a list of probably 20 people who want to come over when it’s done.  I recently realized how long the list was and decided these people should drop in when it’s in progress.  I’d much rather show them a messy work-in-progress than be expected to have the house immaculate in the future, when we are living in it.

The ladies were lovely – one of them is planning on building something similar soon so she had a lot of questions.  One of them invited us to see her home.  We didn’t really want to lose time but said yes.  Thankfully, they were only a 1 minutes drive down the road.  Great house organization, layout and colors.

Back to work – We attached the rest of the second row, cut the partials for the end and attached those too.

We completed these two rows by around 1pm. Then we took a break to grab food and take the dogs home.

We completed these two rows by around 1pm. Then we took a break to grab food and take the dogs home.  Ahhhh, it’s so nice to work with abundant light.

After our break, we got right back to work.  We really really really wanted to finish all four rows but we didn’t quite make it.  Each panel requires another vertical stud to be measured and cut; then attached.  This is all tricky up high, where you’re leaning over the edge.  Each weight shift causes a shift in the wood you’re trying to attach.  We took it slow and safe.

The plan was to finish the four rows and then disassemble the scaffold.  However, we’ve hit a snag.  If we take apart the scaffold, how do we reach the high up areas to caulk the seams?  What about panels and insulation in the high up areas on the endcaps?  But if leave the scaffold up to handle those tasks, we have this giant object to work around while constructing the bathroom AND we have to buy more lumber.  The scaffold then becomes a $250 expense that serves no purpose once it’s disassembled.

We haven’t decided what we’re going to do yet but here are the rest of the weekend’s photos:

We were one full panel shy of completely the third row. We stopped because it was late and the drill battery was about dead.

By the end of Sunday, we were one full panel and one partial panel shy of completing the third row. We stopped because it was late and the drill battery was about dead.

This is the view from the ground.

This is the view from the ground.  You can’t really see the full affect because the scaffold platform is blocking the shot.

We created a bucket transport system for moving small objects up to and down from the scaffold.

We created a bucket transport system for moving small objects up to and down from the scaffold.

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Here is another shot of the bucket.  We share a battery and it’s much easier to move it safely with the bucket.  Brian measures the length we need for the stud, tells me and I take the battery outside to the cutting station to cut the 2×4 (using the circular saw).  Once cut, I bring the stud back in and pass it up to be checked in the space.  If it’s good, I put the battery in the bucket and he hauls it up (the battery then gets used in the impact driver).  I then pass up a panel.  It’s difficult to climb up the scaffold(s) with objects in your hands so the bucket was a smart move.

We repurposed the two A-frames that we built to get the center furring strip in place. By connecting them and putting a piece of plywood at 31", we were able to use them as an extended cutting surface for the cutting station. That way, the weight of the board was supported and not likely to flip up when the cut was complete.

We repurposed the two A-frames that we built to get the center furring strip in place. By connecting them and putting a piece of plywood at 31″, we were able to use them as an extended cutting surface for the cutting station. That way, the weight of the board was supported and not likely to flip up when the cut was complete.

We took down the metal tent house poles in order to use the area for our cars. When we flipped over the rocks to move them, we found this rather large egg-like sack. There isn't anything in the picture for size reference but it was about 2.5-3 inches across. Wayyyyyyy too big.

We took down the metal tent house poles in order to use the area for our cars. When we flipped over the rocks to move them, we found this rather large egg-like sack. There isn’t anything in the picture for size reference but it was about 2.5-3 inches across. Wayyyyyyy too big.

We also found two of these black spiders under the rocks. They look like they came from a horror film.

We also found two of these black spiders under the rocks. They look like they came from a horror film.

The weekend passed too quickly but was super productive. Sydney and Trooper got loads of exercise while we were at the house. Afterward, Sydney collapsed under the desk of her favorite person (Brian), reclining on his footwear.

The weekend passed too quickly but was super productive. Sydney and Trooper got loads of exercise while we were at the house. Afterward, Sydney collapsed under the desk of her favorite person (Brian), reclining on his footwear.

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