Friday, February 26, 2016

schoolhouse update

As usual, let's just skip the acknowledgment of how long it's been and just get right back into it...

We've been really busy, just not busy taking pictures since we've been finishing up after dark.  With the spectacular weather we've finally hit our stride with the schoolhouse (only 3 years into the project).  After all the hair-pulling about how best to use the original materials it's wonderous that things are actually going exactly to plan, and the siding is about 80% up.  I had intended to take some pictures this morning, but naturally everything's covered in snow again.  The most exciting development however is that we'll be laying the brick floor next week.

Laying the floor requires excavating some of the gravel we put down as a temporary floor, then laying and leveling the layers of stone and sand.  Given that neither of us are back in shape after babies and surgeries, we'll be happily paying our neighbor who did the foundation to do the heavy lifting for us.  We'll save money buying the stone by the truckload, which means our driveway will get a much needed refresh as well.  

As usual, one of the most satisfying parts of getting this done will be getting materials out of the way for good.  In this case, the bricks are the quintessential hard yellow brick Pittsburgh is known for - they and the sandstone came from a demolished mansion that used to stand behind us.  Previous owners dragged everything to the property line, where they proceeded to sink deep into the soil and get covered with decades of leaves.  Some of the piles are now sunk two feet down, and even with the warm days the most we can get out is the topmost layer that's melted, and then we need to wait another warm day or two for the next layer to melt....  We're hopeful that this project will use the majority of the brick (we'll still have a considerable amount of red brick and sandstone to contend with however) so that clean up and landscaping can begin this year.  

Another highlight of this project?  It'll mean that as soon as the floor is in, the huge yellow carport can go, although I dread the mudpit it will leave behind (and the malamute that will find the mud utterly delightful).  

And as an aside, I'm finding it easier to post real-time updates on instagram, so if anyone would like to follow along there you can head to


  1. Just dropp'n in to see the progress, and it all looks great!

    1. Thanks, hopefully I'll find the time to post some actual progress shots on Monday!

  2. The malamute and maybe the boy-child, too? ;)

    1. The manchild will have to be content with his tent this year, but I think next year the yard will be his kingdom!


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