So far I’ve focused on all the work that we have done outside to tidy the place up. The big story is on the inside. The first thing that Peter said when he saw the place was, “that ceiling has to go. Who does that?” Obviously the ceiling became priority number one.
The Drop Ceiling - "Who Does That?"
As I mentioned, the cabin is old, so you never know what you are going to find when you start to take things apart. Friends of ours bought a cabin last year and thought they’d renovate, only to find out the whole place was so rotten it had to be torn down, all the way to the foundation. So, I held my breath.
When the first tile came out, the biggest issue was really old insulation and lots of mouse poop. Ick. I mean lots of mouse poop. Again, our friend Karen was an amazing trooper, put on her gloves and started hauling those ugly tiles out of the cabin. Darn it, Karen, why didn’t I take pictures of that? We got about a quarter of the way done on that first day before abandoning the ceiling for the sunny outdoors and the beach.
Peter went back to the cabin later in the week and took out the rest of the ceiling on his own. You know he likes it better when no one is there, and for such as ugly job, I wasn’t about to argue.
The good news is that there is no water damage or rot, and other than the mouse poop, it all looks really good. Cleaning the whole place took a huge amount of time, but getting it really well prepped made me feel like the whole place is cleaner.
Almost two weeks ago we started to put in the new ceiling. We opted for pine tongue and groove. At first we thought we would vault the ceiling, but once we got a good look at it, we quickly changed our minds. We had the first couple of rows installed when our friend George called to say he was at the boat launch and would be staying the night to help out.
George took one look at the ceiling and commented that it was a very daunting project. Peter is an expert at “chunking it off”, and simply laughed off the comment. Obviously we put George to work!
We cracked open the first bundle of insulation (mmm, new fluffy, mouse poop-free insulation) and the swearing started anew. Frickin’ Home Depot loaded the wrong size. 15 bales! All the wrong size! This means that every piece has to be measured and cut in half to fit between the joists. Just another slow down. Oh, can you imagine 15 bales of insulation travelling up the lake in a 17′ ski boat. We should have taken pictures. Unbelievable.
During the course of that evening, we managed to burn a huge circle in the bedroom carpet, make burn marks on the bedroom wall and find out that working by camp stove light really sucks. Remember, no electric.
We put up a good dent in the ceiling, made a great steak dinner on the new BBQ and settled in to our first ever poker game at the new cabin. Three handed, and I think I lost 🙂 The table was left by the last owner. At first we thought it was pretty cool, but it turns out that it is unbalanced and almost spilled our drinks several times.
This is how it looked after we took George home the next morning and got back to work.
End of Day Two
We spent the rest of the day making pretty good progress on the ceiling. Once we got going, it started to roll pretty good.
We were there again for one night last weekend and with Katelyn, managed to get a whole lot more done. Again, we spent a lot of time working in virtual darkness, but we did make a significant discovery. Electrical lights! We have a deep cycle battery to run our iPod (ha!) and the amplifier for the cell phone. It turns out that there was wiring to attach that provided RV lighting for the bedrooms and the bathroom. Happy days! No more taking a flashlight to pee!
We only had few hours, because we had a commitment to go for dinner and see Grease in Vancouver. It was all I could do to drag Peter away. Just for the record, Katelyn is a superstar with the nailer and the chop saw. Three sets of hands work even faster than two. Progress at the end of another day. We are past the dreaded half way mark.