Friday, August 1, 2008
The air up here
So I am working on this job replacing and installing gutters and doing some repair work to the exterior window trim on this old Cape Cod house. The south side of the house takes the brunt of the weather when storms move in. The winds in Nor'easters seem to come from north by east, while the storms themselves move from southwest to northeast. How all of this affects the south side of this house I don't know, but the people who live there and who grew up there report that the south side gets the worst weather, and looking at the state of the windows and some of the rot in evidence, I would have to agree. Maybe the mountains on the island make a difference, or maybe its the way the wind howls in off Frenchman Bay, or maybe this side just catches the winds before they get around in the circle to come in from the northeast, but truly this side of the house takes a beating from mother nature.
So there are windows on the second floor that need work, and rather than take hammer and chisel (if necessary) to the trim while perched atop a ladder, I opted for the sane solution of scaffolding. Only the sane option has some not-so-sane pieces to it.
If you look carefully at the picture, you will see that the far right set of frames is perched atop a stack of cement blocks and some pressure treated lumber. What I did was put down a base of a solid 4 by 8 by 16 cement block, then a cinder block, then another solid block, and then I made a platform out of pressure treated lumber that fits over both stacks of cement and holds them in place so they don't slip around. Then I added one more block of two-by-eight PT and made up the rest with the adjustable screws pegs. It is not ideal, but it is a lot better than some things I have seen on big construction sites, so I can live with it.
To the top left is going to be a problem. I need to rig some kind of platform out there so I can get to the eave to install the gutters. I can reach the windows fine from the scaffold, but the edge of the top eave is going to be an issue. I'll figure something out. So long as I am tied off and secured safely, I'll be ok.
So I got all of this stuff set up yesterday in the brutal humidity, only to have a batch of thunderstorms move in right about when I was finished. No problem, I'll come back tomorrow (today now) when I am fresh and get started then. Only this morning I woke up to the sound of rain dripping on the air conditioner in my bedroom. Crap. Everything outside is soaked. Dew is one thing, fog I can work through. Scaffold work in the rain is just suicidal. Shit. And the indoor work that I could have done today is already done because Seal Harbor ceiling job lady had such a fit and wanted it done right away so I did it for her. Damn. Oh well. It may clear out later and I'll try to get over there. That or tomorrow. What a pain. At least the scaffold is up and mostly ready to go. I have a few more of the yellow pieces that I might put up just so I feel more secure working up top. I'll see how it goes.
I know this is not a terribly insightful or philosophical post, but for now it is where my attention and focus is. More tomorrow perhaps.
Oh, and that's me on top of the scaffold, securing the cross braces and showing the camera my better side.