Building a Log Home in Maine:
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~ The bLog Home ~

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2007

With warmer weather ostensibly on the way, and a growing displeasure on my part with the appearance of the house--still grossly weathered and shabby  looking after the rains of last summers' construction--I decided to order a small pressure washer to have on hand, rather than go through the efforts of renting.  The machine arrived last week, and one evening I assembled the tool.

Today was gray and gloomy, so it seemed a perfect time to try out the pressure washer.   Along with the machine, I also bought a pail of house cleaning solution that I hoped would help brighten the wood without the need to resort to bleaches or scrubbing.

I began on the back of the house--better to make my initial mistakes there--and, after becoming acquainted with the machine, found that it made a significant difference and improvement to the condition of the logs.  I think I was a bit shy with the hose the first time around, so with a desire for somewhat better results, I washed the back side of the house--by far the most weathered--twice before achieving the results I hoped for.  With the wood still wet, the color approximated what we hoped the house would look like when stained.

As the wood dried, some gray areas appeared; these were some light fuzz on the wood, and given the appearance of the wood when wet, I figured these would disappear when the stain was applied.  As of this writing, I had not yet determined whether any additional cleaning would be required before staining.


Flush with success and with the satisfaction of the job, I continued around the north side of the house, which was nearly as badly weathered as the back.  With my technique now enhanced, the results here seemed even better.


I was on a roll, and I decided to just continue and wash the whole house.  The front was a breeze to clean, and came out extremely well (I will add some pictures of the front after it dried a little later), and the south gable end, off the large deck, also cleaned up nicely, though since I didn't feel like getting out my big ladder I only reached up as high as I could off the 6' stepladder I was using.  Later, I'll complete the small remaining area.


TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2007

Well, it rained a bit this morning, so no Bob and Meister.

However, Gary Hickey was here with his pulp truck to begin picking up the brush piles in the back, which had grown so innocently--yet inexorably--during my previous clearing efforts.  (Well, one pile of huge white pine trees was already here when we bought the place.)

It was a slow process, but he managed three loads during the day, which nearly took care of the large pile of brush that I had cut down and pushed out of the courtyard a year or more ago.  Probably half a truckload remained at the end of the day; I wasn't sure when he'd be back, thanks to some rain in the forecast, but hopefully very soon all of this will be gone.  I only wish he'd come last week, when it was sunny and dry every day.  Sigh.

Bob was here briefly in the afternoon to pick up some things from his trailer, and we talked about some of the other things I was trying to accomplish here.

The grapple could only pick up so much, so there remained a bit of detritus in varying stages of composition--but mostly quite mulch-like.  I spent some time with the tractor cleaning up the low remains that you see in the first two photos, resulting in what you see in the third photo.  The remaining pile is probably 1/2 truckload, or a bit more.  Looks are deceiving.


MONDAY, MAY 14, 2007

I was out all day, but Bob and Meister finished up the siding on the north wall of the house today.  It looks great.

I have a pressure washer on the way, and soon will begin to wash the poor weathered logs that have soldiered on, untreated, since last summer and the rains.  I am looking forward to the day when the house is clean and properly finished against the weather--and for better looks, too.


THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007

Today, Bob and Meister finished up the back side of the house--it looks great!

Then, they moved the pump jacks around to the north side of the house and started work on the siding there.



After a two-day hiatus (while they finished some other job), Bob and Meister were back this morning, and made some progress on the back side of the house.  Tuesday afternoon, I had made the trek out to Moose Creek to pick up some pine 2x4 trim stock that we needed to finish up the trim around the windows on the second floor; since they sort of needed this trim to continue, I suppose it didn't hurt that they weren't here for a couple days.

Bob said that they were having a challenge fitting the pieces of siding in between the overhanging rafters, so that progress was slower than they had hoped.  Once more, I was happy that it was they, not I, having the difficulty and frustration!


FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2007

Bob and Meister continued today, and made further progress with the little roof, corner boards, and log siding on the shed dormer.  They might have finished the back dormer wall, except that I didn't have the 2x4 pine trim in stock that they needed to finish out the bow window...I had planned to pick the stock up next Tuesday in Turner.

I remember when  all the logs on the first floor were that fresh color...and then the Rains of 2006 began.  Soon, I'll be addressing the exterior house cleaning and finishing, though.  The stuff that I'm supposed to use on the logs requires warmer temperatures, though, so Moose Creek won't even start stocking it till later this month.



Today, Bob and his helper, Meister (thereby combining conveniently into "The Bobmeister") arrived to begin work on the remaining outdoor projects at the house, which I seemed unable to get done on my own.

They managed to build the bulk of the small little roof section on the back of the house--decorative only, really, as it breaks up the back face of the house, and enhances the illusion that the dormer is really a separate structure perched on the roof, although the little roof will also prevent water from running down the logs, not to mention sealing up the transition between the upstairs framed wall and the first floor solid log wall (which had been a source of leaks when easterly-driven rains hit the house, both last fall and this spring).

More to come.  I won't be going into great detail on the processes, but at least you'll be able to see the changes each day.    I've very excited to get all this work done, and to soon be at a point of NON-construction with the house and surrounding area.


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Photos and Text 2006-2015 by Timothy C. Lackey.  All Rights Reserved.

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