Slow Progress

Jeff Powell
5 min readSep 30, 2022

Greetings yet again from the disturbingly warm great white north. Yes, the weather has been “good,” with warm temperatures and little enough rain to give me pause, but at least the work on the house can continue with limited worry.

That said, the contractors weren’t particularly available this past week. Events have conspired to keep them away more time than they were actually here. Largely the issue was another project that got hit with last minute changes from a designer. They were scheduled to bring in an insulation contractor but those changes meant all hands on deck to keep the schedule in place. So we got bumped for a time. In fact we had one guy here for just two days last week, but there was still progress.

First, he removed the dumb (and rotting) door on the back of the house and installed a window in that spot:

The siding repair will happen soonish, maybe next week. But there will be other siding repairs too, so batching them up makes sense.

Also, we’re going to be “skirting” the bottom of that wall (and others) to get rid of rotten siding. We’re going to use 2x10 trim boards to replace the rotten siding, hide more of the flashing below them, and dress it up a bit. In the process we might find that water has gotten past the Tyvek and into (or beyond) the sheathing. The sill plate — the wood on top of the foundation — was fine where the door was removed, but it was probably replaced during the big renovation 27 years ago. What the condition of the rest of the sill and sheathing (and possibly other stuff) is remains to be seen. They’re going to replace the rusted white flashing as well. That’s being ordered and should show up next week. The new material will be black so it is less noticeable, particularly once the house is painted the new darker colour.

The other thing that happened was the side door to the garage was replaced. Here’s the new one:

That’s a solid core, fiberglass door. The old one was an interior door. Really dumb. The top piece of trim is temporary. They need another stick of 2x4 trim to finish it up properly, but the contractor hated the look without the top trim so much he stuck a piece of 1x4 up there so it didn’t drive him crazy. I approve of this behavior.

With luck we’ll see a larger crew next week — probably on Tuesday — when they will install this:

That’s the sliding glass door that replaces the mangled and improperly installed French doors to the upstairs deck. It’s also the very last window or door to go in. That means I will be close to getting my garage back!

The rest of the week seems to have gone by in a blur. I’m doing cleanup and hauling trash away so the contractors don’t get stuck doing it, and that takes a while. And I’ve spent a fair amount of time working on the October email for the community association. I need to finish that up this weekend.

But really I can’t tell you where the rest of the week went. I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that I am getting more worried about Covid rather than less so. Locally, cases are starting to rise. It’s not a spike, but rates are increasing. And speaking personally I know several people who were exposed and indirectly I’m aware of quite a few who have tested positive. I’m getting really tired of this.

I’d be less bothered except that the news about long Covid keeps looking nasty. When you get the disease you have a small chance of getting long Covid and/or severe complications. And each subsequent time you catch it the odds of those things happening go up. Avoiding this bug seems like a really good idea, and we’re (supposedly) heading into the colder season where we will all spend more time indoors, passing germs around. Thrilling. Not.

I know, I know. I’m double vaxxed and double boosted. And while I am older, I am not in a particularly high risk group. Also (as far as I know) I don’t have any comorbidities that would increase the odds of my getting really ill. In short, I am lucky and at very low risk. Still, I feel like avoiding this bug is the only smart decision, and I am doing my best to stay healthy.

Fingers crossed that we can get the rest of the house project done without infection or incident, and then simply hide through the winter.

Just to be thorough, there’s no news on my citizenship application. I figure I am at least three weeks behind Anne on that front, and I expect to hear nothing for at least another couple of weeks as a result.

Anyway, that’s all the news. I know at least two of my readers were also doing renovations of one kind or another. I hope they are going well!




Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.