Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First Week Long Trip: The Reveal!

Our last installment had us finishing up the barn and picnic pavilion clean ups, and we were in the middle of power washing the siding.  The power washing of the siding went very well.  The power washer we bought for this project worked every bit as well as we could have hoped.  We performed all of the cleaning without any chemicals, just relying upon water and pressure.  Because we're on a well we really didn't want to put any harsh chemicals into the ground water.

Additionally, we needed to do some work on the back porch.  This was an add on to the house, and it was never completely finished.  The soffit was never installed, and there were a few missing pieces of siding.  This was making for a good home for birds and wasps, but we're all about keeping the wildlife outdoors.  Here are a few before shots.

Our youngest son Kyle and I tackled this project.  We're pretty pleased with the results.

This finished up the final step prior to sealing the siding and finishing the painting of the foundation.  We had a few rainy days, so we couldn't tackle the sealing until Saturday morning when the siding was dry.  After a few false starts the sealant went on fairly quickly.  We bought an inexpensive garden sprayer to apply the sealant, but found that inexpensive = cheap and useless.  We had a good quality sprayer we used for spreading weed/grass killer on the driveway.  We knew that using it would ruin it, but use it we did.  The difference was HUGE, and the sealant went on quickly.  Here are shots of each side of the finished house.

South Facing Side

Front - West Facing

North Facing Side

Rear - East Facing

Rear of the Porch - East Facing

Rear Porch Entrance

Before and After

The "Crew"

The best part about this project for me is that it was truly a group effort.  We worked hard, but we had fun while we were doing it.  We also took time to just have some fun, swimming in Black Lake and Ocqueoc Falls.  The week went by all too quickly, but we left feeling like we had truly accomplished something.  Our sore muscles told us how hard we worked, and the house told us that it was all worth it.

Throughout the week we had a few visitors.  The dog belonging to our neighbors down the road had very recently had puppies, and every day we were there one or all of them would come to visit.  Here's "Mama" and the kids.

This one is so cute it's painful.

We're not sure yet when our next trip up will be.  We have a few things on the agenda to be done, but nothing nearly on the scale of what we pulled off this week.  Thanks for stopping in, and we'll see you all soon!

Monday, July 5, 2010

First Week Long Trip - Day Three: Siding, Deck, and the Barn

Day three began much the same as day two.  Up, eat, and outside to work.  I tackled the front siding and the deck, and Shelly and Kyle tackled the larger barn.  This is going to be primarily a pictorial update.  I'm whipped, and not feeling particularly verbose.  :)

The short story for the day:  The front of the house and the deck are cleaned.  The barn is emptied out.  The dumpster is full.  The painting of the foundation has begun.

Now, the pics.

First, a few "before" shots of the inside of the barn.

And now, the "after".

Where'd it all go?  TA-DAAAAA!

Now for the progress on the siding and the deck.

Here's a before and after shot of the deck.

In progress.

Cleaned and ready for sealant when it dries.

This is close to what she'll look like when we're done.  Here are a couple shots of the foundation in progress of being painted, and the finished product.  Just the sealing of the siding to go on this side of the house.

Back at the siding again tomorrow.  Hoping to get an early start and finish the remaining two sides.  With any luck, and if the weather cooperates, we'll be spraying on the sealant on Thursday.  I'm pretty darn psyched at our progress!

Just to show that we're not all about work, here are some pics from last night's fireworks.  :)

First Week Long Trip - Day Two: Siding & Picnic Pavilion

Good morning!  Busy day around here yesterday, and we're feeling pretty good about what we managed to get done.  Shelly and I started the day driving to Cheboygan, about a 30 minute drive.  We decided to let Kyle sleep in.  We needed to get the grocery shopping done for the week, and we also figured we'd swing by Shelly's uncle's to pick up the scaffolding on the way back.  After nailing down the grocery shopping we stopped by Shelly's uncle's place.  The gate was closed, so nobody home...and a no-go on the scaffolding.  Fortunately Shelly had suggested we bring our extension ladder, just in case.  Even more fortunately, I had listened to her.  :)

Back at the house we rousted Kyle and unloaded the groceries.  After a quick meal I headed out to get the power washer going, and Shelly and Kyle started in on clearing out under the picnic pavilion.  The power washer is working extremely well, but it quickly became obvious that cleaning the siding is going to take much longer than I expected.  Good thing we have the whole week.  I managed to get one side of the house done before we broke for the day.  Here's a few shots of the work in progress, and the final result.

Shelly and Kyle busted their butts clearing out the picnic shelter, and consolidating a bunch of lumber into one area.  They made good of the dumpster we had delivered.  It was a hot day, in the 90's, and they didn't have the luxury of having back-spray from a power washer to cool them off.  They didn't let that slow them down, and now we'll actually be able to use this area! 

This is what this area originally looked like.

...and here it is after Shelly and Kyle finished with it.

What they cleared out.

We'll be doing our best to fill this up before we leave.

After we broke for the day and had dinner we headed in to Cheboygan.  A friend from high school, who we hadn't seen in about 20 years, was up with his family.  Thanks Facebook!  We met up with Jim Miller and watched the local fireworks.  It was good to get caught up and to meet his family.  Afterward we headed home, and crashed.

The game plan for today:  I'm back at the siding, which will likely be my sole project for this trip.  Shelly and Kyle are going to tackle clearing out the barns...and filling up the dumpster.

I'll be back tomorrow with today's update.  Have a great day, all!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

First Week Long Trip - Day One: The Drive

Hello, and happy 4th of July to all!  Our first week long trip to Shangri La has begun!  We arrived last night at around 9:00 PM after an blessedly uneventful drive.  We hit the road from Ohio at around noon.  Kyle marched with the Central Crossing High School Marching Band in the 4th of July parade.  This kicks off the marching band season, and it sure was good to hear the band.  I was at my usual pit crew station, loading and unloading gear and walking with the band in the parade.  When Kyle and I returned home afterward we found that Shelly had the Explorer and trailer mostly loaded and ready to go, and she had lunch ready for us.  She rocks...she truly does. After loading a few more items we hit the road. 

One good thing about leaving Saturday instead of Friday.  No holiday traffic!  We clipped along the whole way up, only having to pass a few farmers once we turned off of I-75 on to M33.  We stopped for dinner in Rose City at the Faull Inn restaurant.  Awesome pizza, and root beer from a keg.  

After arriving at the house we quickly unloaded the truck.  The mosquitoes immediately began their aerial suicide bombing runs.  SMACK!  We'll be going through the DEET this trip.  We relaxed for the remainder of the evening, Shelly and I watching a little TV and reading, and Kyle playing some online games. 

This morning we have some shopping to get out of the way.  After that, the work begins.  We had a dumpster delivered on Friday, which will make the clean up a whole lot nicer.  While we're out we're going to swing by Shelly's uncle's place to pick up some scaffolding.  As promised, I'll be posting daily updates of all the "fun" we're having up here.  :)  We'll also be taking some time to play.  We're thinking maybe a tubing trip down the Ausable River would be nice. 

Talk to you all soon!  GOD BLESS AMERICA!