Shangri La

Shangri La

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wrapping up 2011

There were two more trips to Shangri-La in October before we closed up shop for the season. Both were to be family trips, but the vertigo the LSW has been battling combined with a forecast of sub-freezing temperatures, cancelled the second, and I went up alone.

On the first trip, we managed to install the rear porch light, fix the dodgy job I did months ago on the front porch light, fix the non-working heaters (as suspected - loose connections), complete the downstairs drywall and install half of the kitchen tile backer board. Why only half?

To properly install the rear porch light, I had to remove the sheetrock we previously installed around the back door. In doing so, we noticed that the sheetrock and the floor to the left of the door was wet. Somehow we’ve got a little water coming in around (through?) the back door, and I don’t want to do any more work around it until we fix it. I really hate having to ‘revisit’ work we thought was done, but there you go. is this happening?
Given the wood rot at the base of the door, I suspect a bad seal.
 Another exciting experience that Saturday: I have a habit of getting to the basement door by using the rock wall next to it as a ladder, leaping from stone to stone like a mountain goat. Or not, the LSW and The Boy can attest by my writhing on the ground, clutching my ankle and spewing obscenities for 10 minutes. By nightfall, I was limping around the cabin contemplating a trip to the hospital. It was a little better the next morning, however, so I soldiered though. Took almost 2 weeks to be back to 100% again, though.

Before we left, I drained the water from the house, and - while I was at it, replaced the well filter. In the pic below, it becomes apparent why we need one.

Old and new filters - see if you can tell which is which!
The second trip was just for the day, and focused almost exclusively on installing the ceiling insulation. This is an awful job. It seems easy, but you end up covered with millions of tiny little prickly fiberglass hairs that drive you crazy and make you feel filthy until you’ve had about 3 showers. I wish I could say I’m done, but there’s still half the ceiling to do.

More lessons learned, by the way: The only cathedral ceiling insulation I could get to fit 24” rafter spacing was 10” thick R-38. This worked insofar as I have 12” rafters and need 2” of airspace for roof ventilation, but it is well shy of the R-50 that code recommends. Thankfully code is not an issue in Shangri-La, but if I had known, I might have opted for 10’ – rather than 8’ – walls to provide room for foam board insulation above the tongue-and-groove ceiling. As it is, there is precious little headroom in the lofts, so R-38 will probably be our max.

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