Journal: October 28th, 2010

It’s gotten cold. I got back from the city on Tuesday night, and was greeted to sub-freezing temperatures for the first time in a while. It was 28F when I went to bed, so it probably got down to the mid-20s later on. I’m still sleeping in a tent, but fortunately, unlike last year, I have a nice thick duvet (and a sleeping bag liner) to keep me warm and comfy. Unfortunately, my tent is starting to leak, so when it’s pouring rain outside, it gets rather damp and miserable inside.

On the plus side, this cold, wet misery makes for great motivation to work on Hut 2.0. Yesterday morning, I finished putting up the remaining purlins on the north-facing half of the roof before menacing clouds rolled in, forcing me to tarp up the roof again. Rain didn’t actually materialize until late last night, but this morning, I woke up to an unexpectedly bright and beautiful day, which I utilized to work on the northern-half of the roof. I got the insulation boards down, secured the purlins, and taped up the gap between the insulation boards up on the ridge. Next, I have some OSB strips I want to put down on the ridge, and after that, all that’ll remain is the Ondura roofing panels and ridge cap. If I could get two or three more days of decent weather, I’ll be done with the roof for good. After that, I’ll cover up the gables and knee walls, install the 3 windows in the loft, and then I can take down the scaffolding. I’m planning on putting up a tarp canopy-skirt all around the structure, so that I can work on the lower level through rain or snow. All told, I need 7 to 10 more days of decent weather, before I can switch to all-weather construction. It’s been raining 5 days a week for the last two weeks, but let’s hope I get a break.

Depending on how long Hut 2.0 takes to finish, I’m also considering taking a few days to upgrade Hut 1.0, so that I can put my mattress in it and sleep in there instead of the tent. I’ll need to take down the existing loft, put in a bigger bed, move the “kitchen” to the opposite corner, then put up a bunch of shelves to stow away all the materiel that I have piled up on the floor. While I’m at it, I might wrap up the hut with insulation boards. Even without insulation (except for on the roof), my body heat and a few candles, and occasionally using the stove to boil water or cook, is enough to keep the temperature about 20F warmer than outside. So, some R-5 polyiso boards wrapping up the exterior might go a long ways. On the other hand, it might be better to endure a few weeks of misery and focus my time, energy and money on Hut 2.0. After all, if Hut 1.1 proves to be too comfy, I might never finish Hut 2.0…

All in all, other than the wet and the cold, life’s not too bad. I’m enjoying the smells and colors that the rain accentuates, at least when it’s not actually raining and I can be outside. The crisp autumnal air reminds me of my childhood days in Germany, when I’d run around in the woods until it got too dark, and my hands went numb from the cold. Of course, back then, I had a warm home to go back to. But, I remind myself that once Hut 2.0 is done, I’ll be able to stretch out in front of a warm stove, and that’s something to look forward to.

Update Nov. 1st – Weather for this coming week looks pretty clear, so I’m pretty optimistic the roof will finally get done. Also, a friend is coming to visit next week, and will be staying for a while. With her help, hopefully the pace of construction will go up…

2 thoughts on “Journal: October 28th, 2010

  1. You really should look into a Buddy Heater. I have one for cold camping trips, they are cheap and safe. I saw one today at lowes for $88.00

    I have it hooked up to a big propane tank, but you can use the little disposable bottles. 28F is no fun.

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