Friday, April 06, 2007

Paint It Black

Actually, I see a black door and I want to paint it red instead of the other way around. Sorry Mick. I have had the door up to the house for some time but just never put it on. The was a salvage door off a job but it was about 4 inches too short as all of my doors are a full 7 feet instead of the standard 6'-8". This requires a little more effort to find what I want. I plan to cut out some of the recessed panels in the door in some sort of pattern and replace them with architectural glass. But that will be one of the last things we do since I don't want to break the glass moving stuff around. Allen added 2 inches of a compatible wood to the top and bottom of the door and since it is going to be painted, you will never see that. The door is solid fir and such a nice wood I hated to throw it away. Plus, it is from a friend of mine's house who is a really cool lady and so I will always think of her when I see my door.
I meant to elaborate more on the last post about the trials and tribulations of building your own home but I was in a hurry and lost my train of thought I guess. Pablo's comment on the lady writer who built her cabin reminded me of what I meant to say. I also did not realize that I had put up one photo that I had already used on a previous post! I am probably repeating myself on some stuff and if I am, please bear with me. I have been pretty tired lately; the schedule I have been keeping and the type of work I am doing now has been taking it's toll on me. The Big House was a very unusual job. We don't normally get stuff like that. The job I'm on now is typical. I will try to post some photos from that job as it's a little hard for me to explain some of the stuff. We have a 3-day weekend though as they gave us today off and we were all very excited for that.
I would encourage anyone, who felt they had the ability and desire to build their own home, to do so though. What I meant to say on that post was that even those of us who do it for a living experience mistakes and problems. We are not roofers and ran a little of the roofing lapped the wrong way, I did a little layout wrong, drilled some holes in the wrong places etc. We all mess up but as we always say, you can fix just about anything. Some mistakes take a little longer than others to correct than others but it can be done. I think doing things yourself makes you appreciate the effort more also. I am really going to love my house and cherish it. The bloodshed has been very minor on this house and I would probably be ridiculed (sweetly though) on the job for even mentioning such as we have seen some REAL bloodshed there. In fact, the week before I made that post, the HVAC man cut his hand on some duct work and we had a fairly exciting time there for a while. It was just me and the super so I grabbed the guy's wrist, held it above his heart and applied pressure to try to stop the bleeding. We had moved the first aid kit up to the next floor where the work was going to, so while Gary ran to get that I also held 2 Kleenexes, that I just happened to have in my pocket, on the wound while the man called his boss with his free hand. By the time we got him bandaged up there was blood all over me and the floor. We are supposed to wear latex gloves when doing stuff like that but you don't have time to look for that.
One thing that I also thought about recently is that even among my fellow carpenters, very few of them build their own houses anymore. Of the older men I know (say nearing retirement age) it was very common, in fact, an odd thing if you didn't. But the younger ones rarely build something like that; they have someone do it for them or purchase homes already built. I wonder what the reason for that is? Is it our society's "want it now" conditioning? or the way the carpenters are trained now? It's more of just a job now, not a way that young men are raised up anymore. I don't know. I know that they all look at me like I have 2 heads when I say I am building mine. Probably partly because I am a woman but they also seem quite proud of me and encourage and advise me.


karl said...

i believe that building today is more specialized. every trade has their divisions into almost manufacturing granularity. henry ford would be proud. a wheel spoke polisher doesn't make a car builder.

Rurality said...

Do you think you'll stay on that job once you get your house totally finished? Or will you go back to a store, or pottery full time?

I had a wild thought about a soap store but rent downtown is higher than I'd thought, so probably not.

pablo said...

All of the photos of you I have seen only show one head. So what is architectural glass?


karl said...

Happy Easter

Anonymous said...

Money is probably the main reason carpenters don't build their own homes. The price of land and materials. Developers control the houseplans, materials, and time frame for building on lots in cities. Rural acreage is expensive. You have to own at least x number of acres to get a permit to build. All this and you still have to feed and house a family. Most carpenters work for sub-contractors that do specialize as Karl said. After a few years in the trades it is hard to get a job in another field of carpentry. Apprentices should be rotated to different contractors like they did years ago. Plus when you are building your own home you don't have a life. You need a very understranding partner that hopefully is involved in the building process with you. You are doing a wonderful job and inspiring many people. I love this blog!

edifice rex said...

Hello Karl! Yes, it is more specialized than it used to be. Even among our carpenters there are form carpenters (do concrete work), framing and trim carpenters. I was brought up a form carpenter actually. Our company apprentice program teaches all of the different forms of carpentry but each carpenter usually gets pegged as one type of carpenter or other. Some are just better at trim etc. than others. Happy Easter to you and your family too!

Hey Karen! This job is supposed to end about July so who knows where I'll go afterwards. I know I won't go back to my store; too boring. I imagine I will keep with the company for a while but it's getting harder on me. My back is in shambles and other parts are starting to hurt that didn't used to. I would like to work part-time for Brice or the BFA and then part-time on my pottery. We are going to abandon this store by the end of the year ( I am trying to get my studio moved to the house), maybe Suedean would rent this place to you for the same rent we pay?

Hey Pablo! Good to hear from you again. Architectural glass is clear glass with various patterns imprinted in it so as to make it, not opaque, but where you can't see through it at all. I'll try to put up some photos. I know you've seen it. They use it a lot in commercial settings.

Hey Anon! You got that not having a life part right! And yes, you do have to have a very understanding partner or not have one at all. Thank you for your encouragement. I hope somebody is getting some use out of this. But I have fun with it anyway.