Barn Is Coming Along

Wow, I haven’t posted much recently have I?  Looks like it’s been about four months!

My barn project is continuing to come along nicely if slowly.  I had been hoping to pass final inspection in late February, but it looks as though I’m not going to be quite ready.

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The siding is done on three sides, and I have exterior lights installed on the East wall.  Wanderingsofbaloo came out during what turned out to be the rainiest week of the season and helped me spread ten yards of gravel all around the building, and it looks much more like it belongs now.


It’s shaping up to be a pretty Spring season up at the building site.  I’m looking forward to some warm and productive weekends in the coming months!

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Drywall On Two Walls

The 3-day weekend wasn’t as productive as perhaps it might have been, I ran into problems getting my soffit boards.  I’ll have to talk to the pro desk at Hills Flat and see whether they can order them for me.  My door flashing is backordered with Tractor Supply so I don’t have that yet either.

Lacking the siding materials which I need, I turned my attention indoors and installed insulation and drywall on the two downstairs walls which are ready for it.  It’s looking pretty good!  Sheetrock isn’t really my area of expertise, which is apparent when you look at the cutouts close up, but it’s nothing that some joint compound won’t take care of.  🙂


Passed Electrical Inspection

I passed my electrical inspection on Monday!

Over the weekend I cleaned up the site and made a couple of runs out to the McCourtney Road transfer station.  Grass Valley has to have the most beautiful dump that I’ve ever been to; you could practically take your date there. I snapped this picture out the back window as I was leaving.


On Monday the inspector came out and he signed me off on both rough electrical and rough framing.  That’s the last inspection I’ll need before the final, so it’s starting to feel like things are really coming together!  After he left I installed my permanent outdoor work lights, which seem to do a pretty good job lighting up the area that I most often find myself woking in after dark.


If you noticed that the floodlights seem to be different colors you are correct; one is 5000° Kelvin and the other is 3000° Kelvin.  I ordered them that way because of my theatre background.  The neighbors will probably think I’m weird.

No, I do not intend to produce Shakespeare at the barn.  🙂

Ready For The Next Inspection

The barn is finally ready for my electrical rough-in inspection!  I’ve been saying for a while now that it’s almost ready and nearly ready; now it’s finally really ready!


I got all of the exterior fixture boxes installed last weekend; there are seven of them.  After that I spent about an hour looking for things the inspector might ding me for.  I found a couple of missed cable staples and nail shields, which I fixed, and I think it should be ready to go!

I’m going to schedule the inspection for next Monday.  I’ll make a dump run on Saturday to get the job site looking clean and organized.  Neatness doesn’t officially count, but I think the inspectors tend to give you a little more benefit of the doubt if the place looks organized and professional.

How’s The Barn Doing?

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted an update!

I have been working on the barn for the past month, with the exception of one weekend that I took off of that project.  I’ve got the electrical rough-in competed with the exception of the junction boxes for the outside lights.  The cable isn’t really much to look at, but the breaker panel is interesting.  It’s not the prettiest panel you’ve ever seen but it’s perfectly decent.  For next time though, I will seriously look into plug-on-neutral breakers.


After the electrical work I spent a couple of days installing more siding.  It’s coming along nicely.


Happy Independance Day!

I had a nice 4-day weekend for the 4th of July holiday.  I had some family time and also worked on both the barn and my house.  I spread 6 yards of bark mulch around the chicken coop in my San Jose yard to make it look a bit nicer without a water-guzzling lawn.  I think it meets that objective pretty well.  The hens like to dig around in the bark so I’ll probably be raking it fairly frequently, but it looks a little more well kept than having them dig around in the dirt and weeds.


I also worked on the barn, adding an exterior electrical panel where I want to eventually put an AC compressor and perhaps an outdoor receptacle, and I also added more siding to the west wall.

The panel took a while to install.  Or to be more specific it took a while to install the interior blocking, the outside mounting block, integrate the flashing with the building wrap and fit the siding around it all.  Actually installing the panel itself only took 20 minutes once the other stuff was done.


The auxiliary panel is bigger than what you would usually use for an AC disconnect, but it only cost me $45 including the accessory ground bar kit and it allows more flexibility for me so I think it’s a good choice.

Barn Siding Progress

The barn siding is slowly but surely coming along.  Here’s what I’ve managed to complete so far.


The west wall up to the deck ledger should go pretty fast, but above that level I have to worry about accommodating the gable end trim and the wall penetrations for the exterior light fixtures, which will slow the work down a bit.


Barn Stairs

I built my deck stairs this weekend!


It was a bit tricky getting the geometry correct, as there’s no floor to which I could directly measure the rise and run.  I had to establish a level and plumb reference point and then measure off of that.  Eventually I got it worked out.

The stair treads are construction heart redwood, which seemed like a good choice for a California project.  The stringers are ACQ pressure treated.

I didn’t finish up until about 9:30 Sunday evening, which is kind of late but I really wanted to complete this part of the project.  The center supports aren’t installed yet but the stringers are plenty strong to support one person even without the additional bracing.

Planted A Hedge

I was up at the barn project again this weekend, but things didn’t exactly go as planned.  I brought a bunch of seedlings up with me to get a hedge started along the property line, and I had thought that I might have help in planting them.  As it turned out it was just me again this weekend, so I planted them all myself.  I think that took 4 or 5 hours.  Planting them in the ground was one thing, and there were a couple of stones to dig out and then there was the watering. That all took perhaps two-and-a-half hours.   Then there was mulch, which was pretty quick to spread around.  What took me a surprising amount of time were the wire cages I put around each plant; you can see part of one in the image below.  I bent them myself from 36-inch rabbit fence that I got from the home center because that was cheaper than anything else.  Then I staked them down and put little flags on them to keep then from being accidentally trampled or perhaps driven over.  It took a while but hopefully it will all grow up into a nice little hedgerow.  I’ve got western redbud, desert olive, manzanita and coffeeberry.


I also finished framing the deck!  The beams were already up, but I installed the joists and the frame is ready to go.  I went shopping for redwood deck boards, but I was not as successful as I might have liked.  The lumber that Home Depot had was pretty badly split on the ends.  Hills Flat had better stock but it’s green, so I have to wait for it to dry out before I can back-stain the planks and then install them.  Depending on how long that takes I might just put some OSB on the deck and proceed with building the stairs and installing the 2nd floor door.


Having finished those tasks, I had about two hours left before I needed to be getting in the road.  Not enough time to start any big tasks, but I was able to cut and install the trim around the downstairs door.  I think it looks good!