Tuesday, January 6, 2009

BUILDING THE VARDO: Mini steps and Maintenance

The snow comes and goes, and this morning it is purely rain. The ground is soggy for the moisture, the mold spores multiplying in glee. Winter conditions are teaching us to continue taking action in mini steps, and to watch what happens to the work we've already done. As VARDOFORTWO rests under a tarp roof, we take these mini steps, take a step back before moving forward, and maintain what we're already done:

1. All the steel brackets in the ceiling have been covered with oak corner pieces. These are small and delicate cuts that need to be fit just right. With his characteristic work ethic, Pete has found small patches of time when the break in weather allowed him to set up the saw to cut and fit the pieces.

2. The 4 inside window frames are finally completely painted and waxed. Working with dry milk paint is very different than opening a can of pre-mixed paint of the shelves. We chose milk paint in this form because we could mix it as we need it. But we're finding you need to write down the proportion of dry mix to water once you find the color you like ... otherwise, it's a different tone of color everytime you paint.

3. Waxed Milk Paint on the exterior means you wax your house often. "Often" will vary I guess, dependent on the weather. After the month of snow, the outside needed another coat of wax. It takes about 2 hours of elbow grease to get another coat on.

4. Milk Paint over metal paint isn't a good idea (see the picture). The milk paint is good at taking up the metal paint on the wheel wells. We've gotta come up with some other idea here.

5. Insulation. Samples of wool insulation from New Zealand, a product called LATTITUDE is sitting in jars getting ready for me to do a sniff test for reactions. The insulation came from Bend, Oregon where our MCS friend Leslie Lawrence is also building her tiny home. I'm testing the stuff today.

6. More milk paint has been ordered to work on painting the door, and mixing colors to decide on the shade(s) we like on the ceiling and walls.

7. Still waiting on the roof.

8. Floor. We're pretty sure we're laying tile instead of a wood floor. Many choices in safe materials involved with this ... more on that as we take this project on.

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