Making a Cottage Art Studio : Part 6 – Old Ladies Mixing Concrete

Me mixing concrete in a tub

As Cheryl and I continue working along this southern wall, taking out paneling and putting in windows and French doors (I know, the North side is better for lighting an art studio, but we have a South side to use so we’re using it), we are finding that almost everywhere along the base of these walls, the pressure treated wood is rotten.  Not only is the wood rotten in this particular spot, there is no concrete below the rotten wood either!

We are removing the rotten wood, bit by bit, and “pouring” concrete in the empty spaces that should have had concrete from the beginning.  Cheryl and I have to take this job in small bites because we are mixing the concrete by hand, and that is a tough job, especially for old ladies like us.

The little space you see prepped for concrete will hold just the amount I have mixed in this photo, which is about half a bag.  Maybe one day I will rent a little concrete mixer if I have a large area to fill.

Cheryl and I have limited energy but we don’t let that stop us from accomplishing our goals.  We work for only very short periods of time, like an hour at a time, which is why this project will likely take us forever.  Not only that, but we are both pretty sure we have that attention deficit hyperactive disorder thing.  This may be obvious to those reading my blogs.  I tend to jump from one project to another, one subject to another, then back again.  That is how we work best though.  Our brains go fizz, fizz, fizz, then we have to lay down and rest!

Making a Cottage Art Studio : Part 5 – Saggy No More!

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This earlier photo, with your’s truly pulling off siding, shows the left side of the building ridge line sagging noticeably.  This side  was built earlier using 2×6 lumber.  The right half of the building was built years later, using prefabricated 2×4 rafters which used triangles for strength.

My big, strong, grown up son, Matthew, has become my hired labor since he is out of college for the summer.  It is soooo handy to have him helping me for a few hours each day when he is available.  I was intending to let the sag stay in the roof, and just strengthen the rafters against more sagging, but I got a big pouty lip from my sister Cheryl, the masters in architecture student!  That was just not OK, she informed me!  Blasphemy!  Lol! So, Matthew and I tackled the raising of the sag with car jacks, which is working very well.

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The two car jacks poised on the 4×8 beam, jacking up the ridge line 2×6 piece of lumber.

Matthew looked like a Tai Chi practitioner as he moved slowly and carefully, setting the jacks and boards (above) in place.

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After the de-sagging!

Tomorrow we will finish stabilizing everything, including adding the necessary triangles to the rafters for stability.