Custom Classic Construction, Inc.
Those of you not familiar with the term.
A Blog is a weB LOG. A journal or open diary
A page where we will share our thoughts, new ideas, frustrations and information with you.
A personal view of us & our business
Click on a year below for older posts
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2016 2017 2018 2019
2020 2021 2022
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all
Made some serious progress today.
The deck boards are all fastened along with the trim boards along the outer edge
To finish off the day Jim got the landing and its trim and deck boards ready to screw off tomorrow;
Then we can concentrate on finishing up staining the post and spraying the handrails and spindles with our new tip for the spray gun.
I worked in the Greenhouse trying to caught up on months worth of neglect. The tomatoes are starting to ripen and we have an endless supply of cucumbers, hot peppers and celery right now
I pulled the onions and left them to cure for a week or so. They are small this year but I am grateful for everything we get to harvest this year.
Still working on the kitchen deck
Post caps and landing decking boards are ready for install
The last 2 posts for the stairs ready to install
A few more boards to pull
We were just starting to get into a rhythm of removing the deck boards, getting the screws removed, puttied. sanded, stain and installed when it began to rain
Got everything put away and headed to the shop to stain the handrails
That did not go as planned. We are not sure if it was the thickness of the stain or if there were clumps in the paint causes the blockage but the spraying was not going very well.
We had to call it quits before we finished the last two.
I will order fresh stain in the morning and pray it can be delivered right away.
Back to work on the Summer Kitchen Deck
Reinstalled the freshly stained deck boards so we could move our flat top cooker out of our way so tomorrow we can start to pull the next 1/3 of decking
The Handrails are sanded and ready for the spray booth.
Jim needed to change out 3 of the twisted posts so he recycled a few of the straight 4 X 4's from the old screen porch which involved pulling lots of staples and filling holes before they could be sanded and stained.
I spent the day cleaning and straightening up.
Converting a "Construction zone" back into our home.
Jim's Sister Rebecca and her husband Mike came over for dinner. It was nice to take some time to catch up on things.
Started my day with canning up some bone broth
It stopped rainy around 3PM so we were able to move the boards back to the deck and get them stained.
First coat looks very good.
We started tearing up the deck boards. Case hardened screws makes the removal task quite tedious.
The screw tend to either spin the head or break off and have to be driven out with a hammer and punch.
Once in awhile one will actually back out intact, but that is a rare event.
We got 1/3 of the deck boards up broken screws pulled from both the floor joist and the decking boards.
We puttied where necessary and then gave each board a good sanding and since we were expecting heavy rain over night we stacked them into the new 3 season room to keep them dry.
Took a few minutes at the end of the day and gave the stair treads a quick sanding also.
Carts are done
Landing pad for the stairs
2 Kubota bucket loads of crusher run worked out perfectly
We plan on measuring the height once the wind dies down some.
They are REALLY tall.
First coat of paint
Jim was chomping at the bit so to speak to get to work so we choose a couple of easy no strain projects.
Fist one was to double up the beams on each end of the 3-SR ( aka 3 season room)
He said it felt good to finally check that off his list.
Second project is building two firewood carts:
The 5 " wheels arrived so he got started on building the carts this morning
Bases are assembled and ready for primer.
With Jim recovering from his most recent surgery on his kidney ( July 11th) it has been awhile since I have had anything worth posting
He is required to lift nothing over 10 lbs for 6 weeks.
I did harvest the first bed of new potatoes.
They have cured so tomorrow I will store them in our walk in cooler
The cooler is clean and ready to start filling the baskets with produce.
It is mainly use it for winter squash, root crops and potatoes.
One year we had such a large crop of apple it is all I used it for.
No pictures of this but I harvested 3 times off of 16 broccoli plants yielding about 27 packages for the freezer.
Wild Flocks are starting to bloom
We needed a storage area for a load of crusher run we are expecting on Saturday morning so we cleaned up the equipment parking area
and moved the balance of the pea stone that was stored there to the front of the house.
This will help keep the mud down until if or when we get around to building the deck
We chose Benjamin Moore color called: Dragon's Breath for the exterior doors
Now more functional and much nicer looking:
Drip cap is installed
7 pints and 1 quart of pickled beets
Harvested the last of the first cutting of broccoli
Will work on that this afternoon while I listen to the thunder roll in this afternoon
Finish coat on the inside surface of three of the four doors:
We ended up applying 2 coats of prime over factory prime before the top coat.
Walking back from the shop I spotted these beauties
Today we said goodbye to our Sweet Handsome Boy Jasper:
No words can express our heartache for his passing.
Aug 24, 2009 - July 5,2023
Walking our trail called Maggie's Lane 2015
Hanging out in the shade with his sister 2016
Let the games begin 2017
Chilling after a game of "Catch and Fetch" 2018
Ready for action 2020
Saying Good morning 2022
May 8, 2023
Rest in Peace buddy!
Happy Birthday America!
The hinges for the front door were a mess so Jim wire brushed them and applied a few coats of spray paint.
They look good as new.
The front door was also in dire need of work so Jim sanded it down and we applied the second coat of primer on it this morning.
We decided to enjoy our new space while we wait for the electrical work to be done
Early this morning I worked on processing some of our broccoli. With the cooler weather and planting them outside we have a really nice crop this year.
Thanks to Fred for bring us wonderful topsoil and aged cow manure for the beds.
We got the Fascia boards installed and had enough time to mow the lawn before the rain started.
Windows are trimmed and the battens are complete
May she forever wave!
God bless America!
We got the corner boards installed and the window wrap on before the rain started.
Otto still comes around every once and awhile for a snack.
See sometimes I am caught working. I try not to let that happen very often.
Jasper and Ruby enjoying some quiet time.
Starting to install the fascia, Window trim and batten boards
Jim gets a little help from the girls
Second coated all of the trim boards
Worked on the 3- season room:
Jim ripped the boards for the trim pieces:
First coat of stain on the battens and fascia boards
Second coat on the building
To end my work day I trimmed the fruit trees. We are keeping them dwarfed so no ladder will ever be needed to harvest the fruit.
In this small orchard:
1 Stanley Plum
1 Bubblegum Plum
5 Apple trees
We will add fresh wood chips underneath the trees once we start on firewood.
Gehl excavator arrived this afternoon.
Jim has wanted one since before we bought the backhoe.
It has very low hours and came with a few nice extras:
a trenching bucket
and rubber tracks.
It is the perfect size for our needs of digging out stumps and creating trails and digging ponds.
The foundation for the old screen porch is skewed on two sides and bowed on the third meaning Jim had to make several trips to the shop to customize the kick boards to make the transition from the main house to the 3 season room smooth making for a very long afternoon.
While we waited for our paint delivery Jim applied and stained the casings.
I harvested enough beets to yield almost a 1/2 gallon a jar of pickled beets and for dinner I made "Moc" mac and cheese from our cauliflower.
When the Sand castle stain arrived I double coated the kick boards.
After it dried we installed the doors which went really well thanks to all the pre work on the kickboard and threshold areas Jim had addressed.
He also took the time to reinstalled the temporary stairs on the front.
Two coats of stain on the windows
Windows are installed
I encourage you to Pledge Allegiance to our country ,put a flower or flag on a grave, say a prayer and to stop at 3:00 PM and take part in a moment of quiet remembrance.
God Bless the UNITED STATES of America and those that gave the ultimate to keep us safe!
Finished up some of the incidentals and got started on the first coat of stain.
We still have a lot of work to do but we are getting a feel for what the overall project will look like
We will pick up boards for the soffit window and door trim corner boards and hopefully some of the material for the battens in the morning!
Cantilever soffit installed
Starting on the siding:
"The Kids" hanging out on the front porch:
The West and East walls are laid out for a 36" Door and 2 - 36" X 48" Windows
I spotted a few blooming forget-me-nots.
I always smile when I see them.
My Dad gave me the seeds over 30 years ago and they have been self seeding all over the property ever since.
In fact this year they popped up in a couple of my neighbors yards.
Ran to Lowe's for our windows yesterday.
They had 5 of the 11 we need in stock The rest should be here in 2 weeks.
Jim can start to frame up the walls.
First thing we wanted to do was to set a couple of windows to check for spacing between and the height off the deck.
Jim decided to move the window down 1/4" more and we like the double studs in between so now he can get started on framing walls.
After we primed the soffit boards we took a break to pick up some of the siding material and got a sneak peek at our soon to be new piece of equipment.
(More on that later)
When we got home I got on the mower for over 3 hours and Jim looked after Jasper while he framed out the north wall.
Seven 36"Wide X 48"Tall windows
Except for bringing home our five new Boven Brown pullets and getting them settled in to the chicken tractor with Meg the day was filled with boring tasks
Jim got the deck screwed off and I did a major errand run.
One exciting thing did happen. We had a Mama Bear and her cub show up, Unfortunately I wasn't ready with my camera but we did enjoy watching them as they walked across the field on the far side of the pond. She was huge.
Jim ran the ice and water shield over the entire roof to hold us over till next year when we have the entire house re-roofed by " Other"
We torn down the scaffolding and cleaned up the area to get ready to frame the walls
A toast to my Husband. Best Friend and Partner
Happy Birthday Jim!
On my way to let Meg out of the coop.
Ran to 84 Lumber for 15 sheets of AdvanTech. As soon as we got home we started installing it.
Thank you Tony!
Squaring up the roof to the deck and installed a few temporary studs to give us an idea of what our window layout will be
Removed the bottle jacks, cleaned up the area and got ready to start the roof
Jim tapered the old rafters so we have a flat area for our new wall we have increased the depth of the room by 2 ft.
Jim starts to raise the rafters and hears sounds that tell him to stop and re-evaluate how his attacks this step in the process.
He decides to remove the flashing and the short sections of roof plywood before he tries to jack up the rafters again
This is what he uncovered:
Two of the bearing rafters will need to be replaced
We did get the area cleaned up and ready to go at it again in the morning
I spray foamed the gaps
Jim ripped the 2" foam board
And then we installed them.
It went well.
Next job on our schedule was to install the OSB ( 3/4" AdvanTech chip board )
Jasper joined us for our first break on the new deck.
He is one handsome boy
We stay focused and finished installing all of the subfloor.
The reason for redoing this room was for the view.
Our pond is about a 1/4 to 1/3 of an acre and has lots of wildlife visitors throughout the year.
As a screen porch it only got used a couple of months out of the year
Jim spent the day ripping and installing all of the support boards for the 2" Styrofoam and the blocking for the soffit
Jim had his bi-annual CTscan today which cut our "work" day short, but we made some good progress in a few short hours.
On the way home we stopped to pick up the decking and 2" foam board at 84 Lumber.
The "Inspector" Meg is here to check on our work
It has been a struggle for Jim to get "OUR" floor joists level and square off the mess left by the previous owner.
There is not one redeeming quality on anything he touched.
From the Guest house interior, to the kitchen porch, to the Glass room( which is now our dining room) to the Master Bedroom walk bay and now the screen porch.
Thankfully this is the last of "His" special add on projects. Just because you might own a hammer does not make you a Carpenter. nor does owning a wheel barrel make you a Mason.
Fortunately the man that had the main section of the house built hired professionals.
We stayed at it and ran the remaining joists, Snapped a line, cut the tails and ...
ended the day with one section of the box installed.
From this point on we will be working off our OUR Framing.
Forecast calls for more RAIN
Ordered a Hammer drill from Amazon to drill out for the Tap cons.
Forecast calls for more RAIN
Removed the L brackets from the support posts and cut the screening off.
Then we ran to 84 lumber for materials,
Finished the day by raising the rafters and removing several of the 4 X 4 posts
Forecast calls for RAIN
Time to rip off the plywood
Easier said than done.
Got the first row off and it started to rain again.
Rain let up long enough to cut the tails off the rafters and install the sub fascia boards
The previous owner got carried away when nailing off the plywood.
We were thankful he did NOT use ringshank nails which we had to deal with on other projects around here.
After having to wait out a few down pours at the end of the day the sun came out.
Forecast calls for RAIN
Gable ends removed and the last rafter extensions are installed
Jim takes a break to spend a little time with Jasper
Completed the main run of rafters
Before Jim can install the gable boards we have to remove the bolts that hold the frame together.
It is supposed to rain all day tomorrow so it will be a good day to work on them
Forecast calls for RAIN
Shingles are gone.
Plywood is in bad shape It will all have to be replaced
We gave some of the moss that was on the shingles a new home around the fountain
Our Bostitch framing coil nailer needs to be rebuilt. We bought it for our framing crew in 1985.The gun owes us nothing we made a good living with it.
We considered ordering a new one and or a rebuild i our old one but according to Amazon it would not arrive until the second week of May so instead we picked up a framing stick nailer at Harbor Freight
and stopped for the rafter material on our way home.
After all our running around getting our equipment set up we got a late start in the day but wanted to at least get a start on knocking the blocking out and installing a few of the rafter extensions.
By doing it this way we can increase the depth of the room without replacing all of the existing rafters
.A win win for our budget
Setting scaffolding boards
A quick walk through the Greenhouse
The fruit trees are starting to bloom
We put the bug screening on the 2nd bed.
I planted Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes in the raised bed and started another tray of seeds
Jim leveled out the remainder of the crusher run .
Then took the York rake off the International ,pulled the bucket from the Kubota and installed the forks
We even took the time to mow the lawn before we set up for the next project.
Next project is to the screen porch
Moved the scaffolding with the Kubota.
Since Jasper isn't able to run along side the Gator any more he rides along with his sister in the back when we are working outside.
As we finished setting the scaffolding it started to rain so we called it quits for the day.
The crusher run is done and we have done a little more work on the Raised Beds
A close up of the rails and brackets for the roll up bug netting.
We will cut the end pieces of netting after we cut and install the second bed's bug netting.
It is too winding today and tomorrow it is supposed to rain.
The first bed is planted with English Peas, Diakon Radishes and fancy Sunflower seeds. ( Normally I just plant black oil seeds )
The trellis will be planted with cucumbers.
The radishes are starting to come up already
Walking back to the house I spotted some Mayflowers
Jim started his day by mixing the cow manure with the top soil with a fork while I worked in the greenhouse prepping a couple of bed and planting celery, spinach and onions.
Then he fired up the Kubota and moved the gravel and got it spread out around the front and rows of the raised beds.
Tomorrow he will finish up the back side.
My Niece Tara popped in for a visit and she came bearing a gift. She lives and works in the New York City area as a makeup artist so we don't get to see here very often.
She brought us some New York City Bagels from her favorite shop.
I wrapped most of them for the freezer but we did have a couple of them while they were fresh.
DELICIOUS! Thank you Tara.
Ready to get to work
First machine put to work was the backhoe
Jim loads the soil into the beds and my job is to rake it smooth.
Best laid plans. The heat got to me and sent me to the shade for a portion of the day.
Jim worked through the day taking breaks as he needed to.
After he finished with the topsoil he used the Kubota to top off each bed with several inches of manure which will get tilled in tomorrow.
With the remainder of the topsoil he filled in the leach lines for the guest house that had settled over the last 2 years.
Using the International that has the York rake he smoothed the areas out.
The pile of topsoil is gone.
We have enough of the cow manure left over for next year
1. Topsoil ( sandy loam)
2. Cow manure
3. Crusher run.
We will be mixing 60% sandy loam with 40% cow manure for each bed
The weed guard is in place and the frames are leveled and ready.
In the morning we will lay down few layers of corrugated cardboard in the bottom of each bed.
We are ready for our deliveries.
Jim has been working on building the new 14' X 4' X 12" deep raised beds.
The Kubota is a blessing! It moved the frames from the shop to the site quickly and with hardly any effort from us.
We use the Japanese method of Shou sui ban also called yakisugi method of preserving the boards.
Inside the High Tunnel
I made a fruit flan for dessert. My sister used to make a fruit tart every year for Easter, Since she moved to Florida we no longer get to celebrate the holiday together so I decided I would continue her tradition for our Easter table.
I started to set the table.
Key lime is blooming. They give off a lovely scent.
Picked up lumber for the raised beds and Jim got started on building a few of them in the shop on Saturday
First outside project of the year
We added drain tile to the south side of the High tunnel
After wrapping the drain tile with landscape fabric and getting a 1/8" pitch Jim filled trench with peastone
"May your Troubles be less.
And your Blessings be more.
And nothing but Happiness come through your door"
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Nor'easter arrived around 10PM the 13th.
According to the weather station up the road as of this morning we got 30" of heavy snow
It snowed last night It was a very heavy snow. I didn't get a measurement but the weather station nearest to us said 14.2 inches and the next closest one say 10.4 so we figure we got something in between those amounts.
A rare sighting:
Ruby knows Jasper is not feeling very well she is being a good sister and stays close to him.
Spring will be here in 38 days. Time to move the cole crop seedlings into solo cups so they can continue to establish their roots
There was a few ripe tomatoes so I added them....
along with a variety of leaves from the lettuce.
A few store bought spinach leaves and some feta made for a perfect salad
Woke up to see this:
Meanwhile on the Seed Starting Rack tomatoes are starting to ripen.
Jim's abdominal aortic aneurysm repair went very well and he received excellent after care from his compassionate nurses on the fifth floor at Albany Medical Center.
A special Thank you to Dr Hnath, Dr Darling, nurse Anthony and nurse Gabby.
Jim was release this morning..
Now I have to try and keep him from overdoing for the next 2-5 weeks so he can heal completely.
I bought this last year mid summer It was not in great condition but it was almost free so I thought I would "once again" try and grow rosemary. It lived in the high tunnel all summer and bounced back enough that I decided to try and keep it going until I could return it to the high tunnel in the spring.
I have never had a Rosemary plant ever that flowered. I am hoping that this will continue to grow into a beautiful plant
Yesterday I planted the last tray I have until my order arrives. This time it was a mixed of
Red Robinson Chrysanthemum
Peppers: (never have too many varieties)
King of the North Sweet Red
California Wonder Sweet Bell
Antohi Romanian Sweet Yellow snacker
Never throw out outdated Detroit Red beet seeds. I decided since there was plenty of time for failure I would use an overlooked package of beet seeds that were dated for 2015
It looks like almost all of them are up or breaking through.
Spinach is also starting to come up along with the Kohlrabi. I will see if the trays are worthy of a picture tomorrow.
According to the Farmers Almanac and the moon it is time for me to start planting our spring crops.
We are expanding our garden bed and I do not have enough room on our current seed starting rack so...
Jim is building another one and I ordered another ten of the 10-20 trays and domes.
I use the 36 cell cups for most of the seeds and 72 cells for beets and spinach
Got the shelves and lights installed on the new rack so I started planting our 10-20 seed trays
So far I have:
Detroit Red Beets
Jalapeno, Red Marconi, Anaheim, Cayenne
King of the North (Red)
Sun Bright (Yellow)
Sweet Habanera (Orange)
Salad Delight Red
Nero Di Toscana Kale
Yellow Sweet and White Sweet Spanish
On the bottom of the furthest rack are 3 Pepper plants I decided to winter over from last years garden
They include a cayenne, Red Marconi, and Big Bertha. So far they seem to be surviving.
Close up of the lettuce shelf
And a close up of the Tom Thumb Tomatoes.
reference the size the largest are about the size of a "shooter" marble at this time.
We spent a few days searching for a new clock for over the fireplace and nothing truly sang to us, but we did like that this one had a glass bezel. It also was the right size and we really liked the style of the numbers and hands but........
Not exactly what we were looking for so Jim headed to the scrape lumber to find an oak board long enough to make a surround for the clock
He had "just" enough for the top layer.
He added a backer of 1" MDF, this will allow the clock to sit flat against the wall that I will paint black
After a few trips around the boards with the router we had a perfect fit to insert the clock.
I love it!
We are not concerned with the color difference at this time At this point there is only 6 coats of Danish oil applied to the clock surround.
Jim built the mantle in 1994 and it has at least 50 coats of Danish oil applied over the years.
Happy New Year!
Tiny Tim Tomato
Lettuce is doing well:
Otto still visits the pond once and awhile.
I call his name and he turns his attention to me.