Shangri La

Shangri La

Monday, September 27, 2010

Finishing the Porch and the Septic

Two day trips followed the big porch weekend. The first trip was on a Monday, which 'felt' strange. It was a holiday, but somehow everything seemed different from any given Saturday or Sunday. It was a beautiful day, but I couldn't quite bring myself to enjoy it - I guess Mondays suck everywhere.

A nice porch to survey the equally nice landscaping

Always one to underestimate, I figured that the porch roof would take less than 6 hours. After a solid 8 hours I ran out of shingles and was forced to call it quits. A few things about roofing if you've never done it before:

  • It's hot work, even if the day is nice. The sun is bearing down on you from above when you start, and as soon as you get enough shingles down, it's radiating up, too.
  • It's murder on the knees and hands. Shingles are covered in asphalt and stone, so they tear up jeans and rub skin raw.
  • Due to the aforementioned asphalt, you'll be filthy when you're done.
  • Shingles are really heavy. Fortunately, Dan and Tom were on site to continue the septic work, so Tom passed them up to me using the front-loader. God bless him.

Guys who do roofing for a living earn every dime they make - take my word for it.

On the second trip I arrived to find that Dan had finished the topsoil, seed, and mulch. The place looked great! The weeds, rocks and stumps were gone, the land was smooth and open, and the hardwood Dan had removed for the leech field was neatly stacked by the well. The place was almost starting to look finished from the outside. Nice. The only rough landscape work that remains is to hardpack the driveway - something that will run me about $1,200 and so will have to wait for next year.

On the other hand, I'm going to have a lot to mow...

The remaining shingle work - about 1/4 of the roof, the two ridges and flashing against the house - took about 4 hours total. At that point it was almost 2 PM, and I decided to pack it in rather than beginning a new job.

All said and done, the Septic came to about $7,250. This was $500 more than originally estimated as I asked Dan to bring in enough topsoil to take care of the land all around the cabin, not just over the septic work. The porch - which I originally estimated at $500 - worked out to closer to $1,000. 

The leaves were beginning to turn, and the air already had a touch of fall in it - it won't be long until we're closing down again for the year. I want to get the front siding on and finish the 4 or 5 remaining pieces of EWP on the back and sides. Trimming the eaves and porch would be nice, but somehow I doubt it's going to all get done this year. We've done pretty good this year, though, so I'm not complaining: Well, septic, landscaping, siding, porch, interior framing and electrical - not bad considering that it feels like we've barely been up there this year...

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