There’s Always Something to Do

As I mentioned last post, we ran out of siding for Colin’s house, and we’re awaiting a new delivery. We were getting so close to the peak of the Barn’s south gable end, and psychologically it was difficult to change gears leaving this face unfinished. But never fear. Terry has a strong work ethic and keeps a list in his head of projects that need attention. I’m trying to adopt the same mentality – both at work and in life – so I don’t waste time.

To stay busy I installed F-channels and wide J-channels along the top of nearly every wall of the Barn. The J-channel is very visible (unlike the F-channel, which gets hidden by the soffit), so I overlapped the seams between pieces, much like the siding. To make the seam, um, seamless, I took my snips and cut off the last two inches of the “behind” piece, leaving only a tongue that slides into the “front” piece. Angle seams (like around the top of a door) required more ingenuity but followed the same concept.

Lots of channels (plus some siding and soffit) on the Barn's backside.

Lots of channels (plus some siding and soffit) on the Barn’s backside.

I also took on the tricky task of preparing the soffit returns. These are the places where the roof underside turns a corner. The soffit comes in from each direction, and to look good it needs a pair of channels back-to-back along a 45-degree angle. I had to cut narrow J-channel to exactly the right length, with an angle cut on both ends leaving no protrusions or gaps. Sometimes I then found nothing to nail them to, requiring me to install a short 2×4 or two above. Fussy work, but it was great to gain the confidence that I can do it.

Soffit return in the southwest corner of the Barn: two narrow J-channels back-to-back.

Soffit return in the southwest corner of the Barn: two narrow J-channels back-to-back.

Less rewarding was knocking down all the wasp nests in the gable ends, before we covered them with soffit. Standing on a ladder rung as far below as I could reach, I used a long rigid pole to scrape the underside and detach the nest. Then I made a dash for it. Surprisingly, the wasps seemed unconcerned with chasing the aggressor who destroyed their homes. I never got stung or even followed. But I couldn’t shake the fear.

One wasp nest, shortly before removal.

One wasp nest, shortly before removal.

Oh well. It had to be done. And the channel and soffit work is looking really good as this week closes out.

Miscellany: Terry made great strides installing aluminum trim, and Colin put up some lanternlike outdoor light fixtures. Indoors, a painting contractor and a tiling contractor make the house more livable by the day. Always something to do.

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