Lots of progress on the house project

We hooked up with Tom and Tina last Saturday night for dinner in Deland. Deland has long been nicknamed “deadland” due to the lack of anything resembling a night life but that’s been changing with frequent announcements of grand openings for craft beer, trendy, one off restaurants, cheese and wine social spots, dessert shops and the like. I was blown away by the number of people on the sidewalks and had to leave one brewery because there simply wasn’t any room. Anyway, it was a fun, surprising evening.

It’s a big deal in August, in Florida, to lose the A/C. That’s where we found ourselves the other night. Luckily Garrett, George’s grandson and the owner of the house we’re building, is an A/C guy. So all the hours I’ve spent working on his house paid off. He had it up and running a few hours after he found out we were down. I had speculated that it was the thermostat and he was able to confirm my diagnosis in just a few minutes and just happened to have a couple of older, working thermostats including an exact replacement for our defective one. While he was testing he verified that all the pressures and levels for the unit itself were right on the mark. The unit is about 15 years old so it wouldn’t have been a giant surprise if it was failing but he said it all looks just fine.

While writing about Garrett’s house, we started the external siding and have about half of the west side done. The siding is 12’ x 7” x 1/2” thick planks made of concrete – a Hardiboard substitute I think it’s going to be a real challenge to keep it all in alignment over the approximately 20’ from ground to roof but so far, so good. By the end of this week, we’ll have the west side completed. It’s not a physically demanding job but requires care in handling the 12’ flexible planks.

siding almost finished
siding almost finished

One thing that makes that job easier is the mobile scaffolding rig on George’s truck. He modified it to add a working platform which provides an easier way to cut wood while on the scaffolding plus better access to medium heights.

Mobile scaffolding
Mobile scaffolding

The mystery vine is absolutely confirmed as watermelon. Without really digging down into the vines, I count 5 melons, each in the range of 2 pounds. I would have to guess these will be table ready in September if the critters don’t beat us to them. The vines keep growing and adding blossoms so no telling how this will all turn out.

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