Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cherry Picker Weekend(s)

So, we've been waiting for months to rent a large lift (aka a cherry picker) for a long weekend to take care of multiple tasks that we are not able to accomplish with mere ladders alone.  Did we get a small lift?  Nope.  The 50 footer that had to be towed with a truck (also rented).  Did we get it all done in one weekend?  Nope - the wind did not cooperate so this morphed from one long weekend into two. 

The tree trimming took the majority of our time and effort.  Rob was a master trimmer and feller of trees.  Branches that look small thirty five feet in the air appear quite large when they fall on the ground and need to be dragged and piled carefully in the growing brush pile.  I was the dragger of branches, sticks, debris.

As overgrown as the yard was when we bought Glenlochan, we've been clearing and clearing and clearing.  Now, we also want to give the trees that are remaining the best chance of survival.  So many trees were dying or dead from neglect, overcrowding and hideous vine growth.  Here's one tree that we are saving pre-vine removal.

Here's the large brush pile as evidence of our hard (exhausting) work and efforts.  It takes up more than half the back yard and is taller than all of us!

Next up was the removal of the exterior stickers from the second story awning windows.  Although the rest of the windows all had their factory stickers removed long ago, I could not reach these from inside the house because awning windows don't tilt inward.  And, being on the second floor made them impossible to reach without the lift. 

Tip - don't ever wait to remove the protective stickers from new windows - remove them immediately.  The sun and elements seal them to the windows and make removal a hundred times more difficult than a simple peel.  Three hours, several razor blades and half a bottle each of Goo be Gone and industrial strength window cleaner and the windows were clear for the first time since installation.  This was my turn in the cherry picker and I enjoyed using it (but not the sticker peeling task),  Pristine windows at last!

Last up was hanging the second story shutters.  Sadly, they are not all painted yet (still working through the caulking, priming and painting of the first story shutters) but I managed to complete those for the second story windows in time. 

The vintage look hardware and shutterdogs (the s-hooks at the bottom) were selected and ordered with care far in advance of cherry picker weekend. Rob expertly installed them on the upper three windows.

They look awesome, if a little lopsided/topheavy without shutters on the bottom windows.  Loving it.

Back to shutter painting....

Monday, March 21, 2016

Painting Shutters is Not for the Perfectionist

We could have just gone to Lowes and purchased vinyl shutters, installed them already, and been done with it.  Did we?  Of course not.  We wanted wood shutters, installed dimensionally, with period hardware.  Easier said than done.  Wood shutters are just that, unpainted wood shutters - hard to find, much more costly than their vinyl counterparts, full of extra work for the uninitiated, and likely to cause much more maintenance down the road, but we gloried in their authenticity.

We were excited when they finally arrived, less excited when we realized that the slats were quite moveable and as such, could allow moisture to intrude causing issues sooner than we anticipated.  So, my caulking skills have been tested as I carefully caulk BOTH sides of EVERY slat in 14 shutters.  Joy.  After some experimentation, it turns out that the Qtip is the tool of choice for caulking carefully without a lot of excess beading.  UGH.  It's painful and time consuming.  And NOT for the perfectionist.

Then comes the priming.  Painting each and every slat with primer, knowing that despite best efforts, there will be drips on the other side - it's the nature of the beast with slats. It's also painful and time consuming.  And NOT for the perfectionist.

One coat of primer, two coats of black paint.  It's an endless job that I'm only half way through, despite hours upon hours of effort.  I may have my 10,000 hour in on shutter painting (not the expertise I was seeking in this lifetime), fighting my perfectionist tendencies all the way.  After all, we'd like to get the shutters hung this decade, since 2015 didn't happen.   Vinyl is looking pretty good about now!