Monday, July 02, 2007

It's Not ALL Fun And Games Here

It might seem like I just play in the wilds of Pure Florida during my forced summer unemployment period, but that would be a misconception. Pure Florida HQ has been in a state of remodel for ... I don't know, it seems like forever ... sigh.
This has slowed lately. We see an expensive year coming up with TWO girls in college, so somethings we'd like to do must wait.
The top picture shows an external "pocket" door I am installing in Jr.'s room. Over the past day or two, I've been sanding, staining, finishing, sanding again, and finally finishing this door and some bifold closet doors. This room opens into the kitchen. It used to be a dining room, but we converted it into a groundfloor bedroom.
We chose this type of door to save some floor space, plus the opening had been originally drywalled for no door, so it's not a standard opening.
Having hung it yesterday, I can see I'll have to change that light switch to one of those flatter, rocker types. As it is now, the door will slide past it, but bumps it. In case you were wondering, there is another light switch in this room.
The aluminum track above the door can be hidden with wood trim, but I am undecided if I will bother right now.
It is a boy's room afterall.
Now, this is a problem.
The pipes that ventilate the internal plumbing of Pure Florida HQ each have these collars around them to prevent rain water dribbling down into the house. There are 4 of them and 3 of the 4 look like this after 18 years in the Pure Florida sun.
That big gap is bad,bad, bad.
Of the 4 vent pipes, the one that is still in great condition is the easiest one to get to. (Doesn't that figure?) It's in the shade of two dormers, and apparently that saved it from the sun damage that the other collars suffered.
Since I never hire out work that I can do, I accepted the challenge of this rooftop work.
Plus, as you long time readers know ...
I love my being up on my very long ladder.

The most challenging of the three pipes was located only a few feet below the peak of our steep 9:12 pitch roof. This was a problem even for my very long ladder as it was beyond it's 32 foot reach, plus I needed to match the slope of the roof just to get near the pipe.
I knew what I needed to do, but first I needed to stabilize the very long ladder's base. In the picture above, you can see part of my solution.
There's a 2x4 stake at the foot of the ladder and I've suspended two 7 gallon buckets of water from the bottom set of rungs.
14 gallons of water X 8.5 pounds per gallon = 119 pounds of ballast. What's not shown is that I also ratchet strapped the ladder to a corner porch column.
Then (and this is where you may be shaking your head and muttering "Idiot!" ) I climbed to the top end of the very long ladder, stopped, and using a rope I hauled up a second, smaller extension ladder.

I then ratchet strapped this normal extension ladder to the side of the very long ladder. Even though that would probably have been enough, I want redundancy on a project like this, so I wove the rope back and forth between the two ladders and cinched it tight.
It may look scary, but it was very stable.
The work itself was hot, scratchy, and uncomfortable. To replace one of these collars, you first have to pry loose the shingle overlaps, pry the collar itself loose, and then work it around the pipes and shingles to remove it.
The new one is then slipped over the pipe and back under the shingles with a fresh dose of roofing caulk.
It's not rocket science, the real challenge was getting to it.
That was ladder science.

Of course, I've also been hard at work spoiling Mr. Flounder as he recoups from his recent foot surgery. That's the injured foot he's showing us.
Here you see him lounging in front of the porch fan on his doggy bed that his pal Gloria gave him. He's doing great ... look at that contented smile.
So now you know, it's not all fun and games around here.
It just seems that way while your reading this blog from work.

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roger said...

there you are doing that long ladder stuff again. hope the rain didn't get in thru that opening around a vent stack. looks like flounder is ok.

ImagineMel said...

brave/crazy? brave/crazy? HMMMMMMM..........

Laura, tired out from this post said...

Today is the first day off I've had in weeks. Instead of sleeping in all morning, as I had planned, the cat woke me up at 7a.m. So I thought I'd spend the morning relaxing, and lounging around and reading blogs.
And then I came to this post, which is about work.
work!!!! I was supposed to rest and take it easy today!!
off to find another blog that will take me to the wilds of florida and forget about working.. LOl

j/k ;)
Hope you'll get the gap fixed before hurricane season really kicks in!
And I can't look at the ladder pics. I just can't look down!
hugs to Flounder, hope she's feeling better.

Floridacracker said...

rain? what rain? oh that sprinkle... the vent was fixed before the recent dribble of sky water.

Jury is still out on that one.

Flounder wants you to know he's a boy. He reads this blog and he's noticed that twice recently you referred to him as "she".
He does appreciate your concern, but wants you to know he's a manly sort of dog, unlike his sister Feather who actually is a "she".
The vent gaps are all fixed so let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Ericka said...

*cringe* your "ladder science" seems possibly shaky to me... and scary. very scary.

ooh, i like that shade of blue on the wall.

glad flounder looks to be recovering.

and your canoe trip was neat! my parents have several canoes, of various sizes, at home. i think i need to steal one.

Deb said...

I checked in before you added the text, and I thought "Uh-oh...FC's on his ladder again!" The looking down picture makes me queasy!

Cathy S. said...

Heights. Oh, no. How about canoeing down Rainbow River tomorrow and taking some pictures that I can enjoy while at work. :0) I am on my mandated 15 minute break right now. Sigh.

robin andrea said...

Oh okay, the second ladder is securely latched to the first, and leaning on the roof. That makes it somewhat better, but still, scary scary scary. And you do this while you are home alone? I don't think I like that at all.

Glad Flounder is recovering and getting pampered.

Floridacracker said...

Definitely steal one of those canoes. I thought that blue was too dark for a small room, but the warm wood seems to balance it. I like it too.

That ladder has probably saved me 10 times it's cost by now. Pretty handy piece of equipment.

Cathy S,
I'd love to, but Emma asked me to go with her to the Megalodon exhibit at the FL Museum of Natural History tomorrow. Maybe I can get there soon though.

No way I do this when I'm alone. Mrs. FC's wrath is way scarier than being up on this ladder :)

Flounder responds well to pampering.

Hurricane Teen said...

There you go with another "rube goldberg" ladder monstrosity! Agh, I don't know how Mrs. FC deals with all of that.
I'm glad to see a nice big smile on Flounder's snout...How could he not smile while laying out on the front porch in a really nice house in the greatest state in the U.S., and to top it all off, having his own personal fan to keep him cool? Oh, I wish I could live the life of a dog!

Cathy S. said...

Oh, even better. Take lots of really cool shots of the butterfly rainforest. It costs extra, but is well worth it and you can stay in there all day long if you like. I went in and out all afternoon. Fascinating. I can't wait to see what you shoot. Digitally speaking of course.

Laura said...

just sneaking back in with a big steak bone for Flounder, a manly sized steak for a manly dog. My apologies to the old boy, and I promise never to make such a mistake again!

(slinking back out with a fake tail between my legs)

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you know the ladder trick is crazy, so I guess there's hope.

Glad to see Flounder doing well!

pablo said...

I hope you're well insured.

(And just for the record, I don't go blog surfing at work.)

Floridacracker said...

It does my heart good to hear someone under 20 mention Rube Goldberg!
And yes, Flounder lives the high life.

Cathy S,
Costs extra?? Oh no. Oh well,I guess some delicate butterflies will balance out the megalodon exhibit.

Flounder is looking over my shoulder right now and smiling (drooling too).

"Adapt and overcome"
It's my general philosophy.
Yes, Flounder felt so good today, he was chasing the roosters around the yard.
He hasn't done that in ages, so I think the thyroid medicine is beginning to work.

The rope, the wratchet strap, and a good plan are my insurance :)
Me neither, no time. At lunch (my time) I can surf to you, Wayne, and Laura. Everything else is blocked, but I wouldn't have time for more anyway. Twenty minutes goes by fast.

Floridacracker said...

Oh, and I have to add this.
Jr.had been away while I mounted the door in his room. Within 5 minutes of being home, he joyously slid open the new door to his room and snapped off the light switch with a puff of smoke.
So, needless to say, there's not power to his room or the porch lights (same circuit) tonight.
Sigh ...

Rurality said...


You could avoid all that pesky roof work if your builder had done what they did in my shop... just vent it into the attic.

Not kidding.

But no, this county doesn't need inspectors, heavens no.

Floridacracker said...

I bet that attic is fragrant.

Sharon said...

That door looks great against the blue. It pays to be handy, man! And I am impressed that you took your camera up there with you...a shutterbug after my own heart ;)

Floridacracker said...

Thanks, our house is a bit of a plain brown wrapper on the outside, but a rainbow on the inside.
The camera has become just another appendage. I take it even when I know there's no chance of using it... because I'm usually wrong.

Cathy said...

Can't tell you what a pleasure it is to see caution redundancy.

Broken bones are a pain.

Flounder relief. Bless you.

Floridacracker said...

Always redundant safety plans.