Thursday, August 1, 2013

Parge Coat

On Tuesday morning, Phil went and had a long talk with the window and door guys, until he felt confident in his order. They will arrive in about two weeks, and the two sets of four windows that will fill in the south wall will come ganged together. I don't know that I was expecting that. I'm a bit concerned about the weight!

Tuesday afternoon, we had two friends come to help. We had considered assigning them gravel to shovel, but they come from an artistic family, and we thought it would be more fun to do some parge coating. Seeing how many bags of mortar we have left over (more than Phil can lift on the pallet forks), we mix the mortar with water to make a runny mixture, then use trowels to put that over the blocks on the interior wall. Eventually, we'll prime the surface and paint it, and we hope it will look like adobe. This buys us about three inches on all the exterior walls, since we won't need framing and drywall there. Perfect!

Because Phil had never done this before, it took a bit to get the consistency right. Phil would mix batch after batch, and our friends would smear it on the wall. We wanted to finish a specific corner, in hopes of using that corner to store materials as we go forward, and they finished it up.
As night fell, they expanded, but I mixed up a batch that was so wet as to be unusable, so that was the end.
Phil had also tossed up enough insulation on the roof to finish one layer. The cantilevered edge doesn't get any insulation (no need to insulate empty space).
On Wednesday, Phil ordered a few more needed items (the small local hardware store didn't carry them, and the big box store in town hasn't had them the last two times he's checked). Then he headed out to do laundry, remembering to take both baskets this time (last time he forgot one, which meant he had enough clean clothes to get him through the week, barely).

This morning, after rain yesterday and rain predicted today, he started framing out the interior.
He quickly ran out of 2x4s, though, so he ordered more. The older boys went down to help him cover the drainage tile with gravel. They did a good job over several hours.
It's fabulous how much better that works at dispersing the water than the moat we've had thus far.
Phil used the backhoe to bury the drainage tile away from the building site.
Phil also put some concrete blocks up on the roof so the insulation won't blow away. And in the afternoon, we spent some time parge coating, while a nice rain fell outside. Yes! Continued productivity despite inclement weather!

We finished the west wall and made good progress on the south wall. Phil figured out how to make the consistency best for more easy application. I would smear the mortar on the wall, thickly and roughly, and Phil would come behind and smooth it out. After two hours or so, my arm was about dead from smearing with the heavy trowel, and so we called it good for the night.

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