The floors! The decks! The sanding! The staining! The weatherproof coatings! It is fun work, but very tiring.
Today we tried a new routine with the dogs, but it was less than satisfactory. Eventually we’ll figure out how to keep them contained while we work. All those recent years with a dog who knew boundaries spoiled us. Eventually these puppies will learn too, but for now, someone still has to look after them.
I am realizing a certain tendency of Mr M to be perfectionistic. Either that or he has an inordinate fondness for decks.
He keeps saying he wants the deck to be like a boat deck. Really smooth. So he is sanding and sanding and filling in cracks and sanding some more. I on the other hand would cheerfully finish up the inside sanding and move along… But this is his passion now, so I spent some time this morning gathering moss and ferns and planting them in a bare spot, and pulling down a certain kind of climbing fern that wants to block the light in the forest. Only one person can sand at a time.
It’s really hard to work with the pups around as they want to help with everything, and that means pulling up anything I plant. They are hilarious running about with moss hanging over their lips.
As soon as the floors are done we can put in the heater and finish the food prep space. That will leave two major parts of the project to go: installing the wind turbine, and completing the lean to.
Today when I was plastering I took a picture downstairs of the inside. The plaster is two different colors and will be painted some kind of white – looking frankly weird like this.
Still, it’s exciting! The floor will be sanded and treated. Right now, it’s pretty messy. And the food prep area will be completed. We’re still working on how that will be put together. I’m thinking concrete board and tile. Mr M is more in favor of a fancy slab of wood. Nice, but may prove outside the budget.
R is over there working away as I write this. He will return for lunch and then stay on with the puppies while I go and work there.
The really good news is that R is making this his project. He is loving being there and putting the finishing touches on the place. Touches is too light a word for trimming out, varnishing, plastering, putting in the food prep space. People say finishes take as long as the build, and that may be true.
In my sleep I seem to catalogue all that remains, and wonder truly how long it will be. Another month perhaps … but the trim is on that sweet curvy door, and that is nice. I’ll be back with a photo later.
Today the door trim was supposed to happen, and I was going to wait.
No door trim yet – sometime soon. But here is the door.
These days Robert works over there every day. almost all day. He continues to plaster walls, apply various finishes to the bamboo, finish up the outdoor shower, and plan out what is needed.
I meantime work outside and in keeping up with the hapu’u, household tasks, puppy watching etc. The puppies and the treehouse are not great together just now. Pups way rambunctious and could push one or the other over the edge somewhere, so need to be contained when up. They go up but have difficulty still going down. And they tear up plants. They are especially interested in newly planted plants and certain water containing plants, and will shred them. Much easier to manage them here at home where they have lots of places to run and play where they do no damage and will stay out of harm’s way.
As we do the finish work, it becomes more clear what hardware we need to complete everything, and that gets ordered online, after hours of shopping. You would be surprised how difficult it is to find speakeasy door hardware, and solid bronze strap hinges that don’t cost a fortune. Bees wax finish bolts, push plates for hobbit doors. Fun yes, now it’s done. Yay!
This week the window trim and door trim goes in. The floors will be sanded, and there will be another layer of marine coat applied to much of exterior and part of the interior.
The marine coat is essential because it is so very wet here. It is difficult to appreciate how the wetness permeates everything, coats everything. Condensation like what happens on a cocktail glass can happen on cloth and furniture and walls. With marine varnish, it will not get into the wood or bamboo – and bamboo is a grass. It is more like paper than wood in some ways, even though it is very strong.
When we made some alterations in the two doors we bought for the shower and bathroom with the fancy glass inserts, we discovered they are paper thin veneer over particle board. Our carpenter found them and apparently didn’t think to ask about their composition. He knew they were veneer but not the rest. Particle board will disintegrate here. We cannot return the doors, and spent far too much money on them to consider another option at this time. So we will coat them with so much marine varnish they will be fossilized and perhaps they will survive.
Robert is over there now planing boards for the trim, and Andy and Mark are ripping them and sealing up the window and door frames. I tend the dogs and work on the web site. The dogs now go up the stairs at the treehouse, but cannot quite make it down, and try anyway. So, mom here has to manage the perilous adventures of the pups. They follow me wherever I go, so my time at the treehouse is limited for now.
Does it make you feel you are somewhere up there?
I am not sure the shots I got were any better than the cell phone ones, even though they have better resolution.
We are aiming for a November 1 completion date.
It is cedar and amazingly fragrant. You relax under the stars or in the mist. The stars form a total canopy at this height so you look out and there are stars in a hemisphere around you, winking through the trees.