As I mentioned Friday, Haida Gwaii has a temperate coastal climate which means our temperature range is between 10*C and 20*C year round and rain fall is between 150 cm to 500 cm depending which coast you are on. Our driest months of the year are usually June & August but some years it just rains, and rains and rains. For the past three years it has been endless rain summer and winter. So when the sun shines and shines for long periods of time everyone goes into overdrive to paint houses, stain decks and replace roofs. This beautiful home belongs to friends of mine and they hired me, a 60 year young to do the job!
The house is huge, five bedrooms and three suites and at it's highest point is nearly 50 feet tall! It is cedar sided. So every three or four years it needs to be restained(painted). In a perpetually wet land cedar is the best building material. It has a natural perservative which prevents rot and mold and if you have a cedar home you will have no problem with bugs as there is a natural bug killer in the cedar....it really is a remarkable wood and is why the Haida call it the "tree of life". The Haida just let the cedar season naturally which is a drab grey which fits in with the surroundings during the rainy months however "city folks" like there stained siding!
So I have been contracted to paint the place. I have sanded and stained the railing around the upper deck, stained the upper deck floor...
stained all the walls on the upper deck, done all the trim....stained all the walls on the lower part of the building, the posts and I am currently doing all the ceilings in the lower deck and will end with all the lower deck floors which wrap around the house!
I don't know if any of you know the movie "Karate Kid" but there is a scene where the Sensei is preparing the "kid" for karate by having him stain fences, up and down with wrist action and decks with wrist action from left to right and waxing cars, "wax on" with one arm "wax off" with the other arm.....well that is pretty much what I feel like plus adding squats!
There are some benefits, they supply lunch with a view!
After I finish work here I travel up coast to help a friend who also has a bed and breakfast(oh, did I mention that the paint job is a B&B?) and has waited two long years to have a new roof put on her 40 x 60 foot building (approx 2700 sq feet of roof).
The cedar shakes have been on the roof for just over 20 years and it was time to replace them. The roofers are working from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. to get the old roof off and the new tin roof on.
Each night I drive up, have dinner or watch a Stanley Cup final game and then when the guys are done Cacilia and I go out and pick up the shed shakes and put them in the dumpster. It is a race against time to get as much done as possible before the "Noseeums"(little bugs you can't see that have voracious appetites) find you!
We have to sort the shakes from the tar paper, from the insulation, from the flashing. This was the first nights load. The dumpster is 8 x 8 x 20 feet.
The plastic sheeting used to cover the exposed roof and eight sky lights was 60 x 30 feet.
Day two on shake patrol and the dumpster is about half full and not quite half the roof has been shed of shakes. We have worked as late as 12:30 a.m. to clean up the shakes and then I head back to Charlotte or overnight and go down in the morning to continue my painting on the Dorothy and Mike's.
The new roof is going on under the watchful eyes of Cacilia and Marley! What are friends for eh? I can tell you my body doesn't know what's hit it!
This is the type of frenzy that goes on when the weather is sunny and warm on Haida Gwaii!
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