It is with a resigned resolution that we announce Phase Two of the building plan has been postponed until spring of 2021. We had three amazing teams of work crews coming to the farm to help demo and begin construction on the bunkhouse/meeting area in the existing livestock barn. Covid has pretty much knocked that out for the foreseeable future, hence the postponement. Things are still happening, but at a drastically slower pace with only the two of us (Chapel too when she can) doing the work. We’ll touch on what that looks like for Phase Two later in this blog. Thank you for staying with us!
The watchwords for this month have been repurpose and recycle. In order to be good stewards of all the support, materials, and encouragement we’ve been given as well as to honor the history of the property, we’ve incorporated materials from demolished parts of the house into new building projects. Last month, you saw those practices in action with the raised beds from our garden and the barn door we built for the coat closet in the foyer. This month, we’ve continued that in other directions.
In the house, we’ve narrowed our focus and made “punchlists” for each room. First was the foyer, which needed the beams sanded and stained, as well as lighting. The last two items were baseboards which will need to wait for the floors to be stained and sealed. The lighting Patti wanted was to be made from a plow harness we found in our stock barn. We’d already run the wiring and the switch so it was just a matter of wiring the new fixture. Patti had chosen some Edison bulbs, with industrial baskets to go with the harness. We think it turned out well (see above photo). Chapel sanded the beams and Patti then stained them, finishing the foyer punchlist.
Moving on to the living room (we made the early decision to focus on the house common areas), the ladies did a similar job on the beams in that room while Gil installed the mantle over our stove and under the TV. That involved taking down some of the accent wall planks and attaching the corbels directly to the wall studs. The corbels were made from a log from the original cabin as was the mantle itself. We planed and stained the corbels before mounting them. Before re-attaching the accent planks, we left a message for future occupants on the wall behind the mantle. This is a tribute to the family who owned the farm before us who had left a similar message. Installing the mantle beam went fast after the accents were up though drilling and screwing through decades old oak was an issue by itself. We opted to leave the mantle unplaned so the original saw marks could still be seen.
Next, we began work on the vaulted ceiling over the dining table. We opted for exterior panels instead of drywall to make installation and painting easier. The three of us working in a confined space like this made for some comedic moments. The light from the vaulted window, along with the white panels has already brightened the room below. Fortunately, an elementary/high school classmate of Gil’s loaned us his drywall lift so finishing the remaining ceiling in the upstairs should not be as labor intensive. Once the window is trimmed, the lighting fixture (another reclaimed beam) is installed, and the drywall is taped/mudded/painted we’ll be ready to open the stairway (no more bending over to walk up!).
On the bunkhouse front, we’ve done some demolition in the stalls that will become the sleeping quarters and bathrooms. The actual construction of those will need to wait until next spring after Covid has run its course and we can get able-bodied help out to the farm. That said, we’ve decided to move in a different direction between now and then. We’d planned to eventually make the loft into a meeting area/lounge anyway so we’ll be working on that part for the near future. That will include building a wide set of stairs on the outside of the barn for easy access and fire safety compliance. After that will be addressing the flooring to eliminate trip hazards and make it more uniform. That should keep us busy for a while.
To help from a social distance, please consider:
Thank you again for being a part of this crazy project to build something where others can get what they need to be healthy.
Where you can give to the Phase Two Building fund.