Can a city boy build his dream homestead on a mountain, by himself and with no mortgage?

Archive for April, 2010

Drinking beer is way better than installing drywall

The weather report was magnificent for this past weekend so on Friday morning, I headed up to the mountain. I want to get the drywall up so I can finish the interior and actually start using the cabin. I stopped at Lowe’s and loaded up the truck with 11 sheets of 1/2″ drywall, joint compound, trowel, screws plus the utility connecting stuff I need, out the door for $158!

Before I put up the drywall I needed to mount the phone and electric outlet boxes on the outside. To keep the cabin “street legal” as a storage shed, it can NOT be attached to any utilities. I’ll get around this by using a male power inlet for a hookup to the generator (eventually solar panels).

These 2 exterior boxes back right up inside to the interior outlets, each required only a small hole drilled through the siding to minimalize critter and insect access. A touch of caulk and it be done.

The concept of sheetrock is simple. Lay out the full sheets on the open expanses of wall and then cut and fill-in the rest. News flash…drywall is easy to cut in theory but rarely cuts cleanly in the field. It’s heavy, dusty, chips and breaks easily, never fits the first time, and is never flush with the adjacent pieces.

Full sheets seem easy enough to hang as long as your studs are on 16″ centers. A 4×8 sheet should just fit perfectly against the studs. This is a lie. None of my sheets fit as they were intended.  While all my studs were 16″ on center, the ends of the framed walls ran past the perpendicular walls so that my alignment was always off by an inch or two. I was forever shaving and adjusting sheets so I could share the studs with each adjacent sheet.  In other words, a gigantic pain-in-the-a**.

I used 1 5/8 course-thread drywall screws. This was the easiest and most reliable part of my task.

The angled ceiling presented me with the opportunity to cut long, angles sheets to fill in the gaps above and simultaneously hate that my walls were not all 8′ high.

Once all the gypsum was up, I needed to test the ports. I plugged the generator into the outside power inlet and my circular saw ran beautifully off of the inside plug!

By the time I was finished with the installation, I decided I never want to see another piece of drywall as long as I live. This grouchy-pants attitude prevented me from taping and spackling the seams. Screw it. This will have to wait for another day. For now, I hate sheetrock and love Stella Artois.

While sipping my third Stella, I noticed that my once gorgeous siding boards on the back wall had warped and were separating. I guess my experiment in using the cheapest fence boards possible has ended in failure. Combine this developement with the fact that the tar paper on the front window wall is staring to fray tells me I better get the exterior siding finished stat.

Installing cedar shiplap siding on the front and back walls before the sun burns the tar paper off. Woohoo, sounds like a party!

I put the word out to my buddies.  in 2 weeks, be there or be square.

bring Stella.