Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bonus Project # 1 - Log Rolling

Day #1
The fact that random projects popping amidst home ownership was something I was prepared for. Sometimes, things just come up that need to be addressed. I was not, however, prepared to have one of those projects crop up ON THE SECOND DAY.

While not unheard of in these parts, New England is in the midst of a fairly early Nor'Easter (I'm calling it Wintober and hoping it catches on). By itself, this wasn't a bad storm as far as New England is concerned but it was early which meant a fair amount of chaos.

I weathered part of the storm with Jay, his son Luke and Marc in the house, pulling up staples and nails from the floor. Marc had gone for the night and Jay, Luke and I had gotten back from dinner and were continuing out work. Then, I hear a rumbling. At first, I thought "Snow! Sheeting off the roof!" and then realized that there wasn't enough snow for that. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see motion and a loud, dull thump on the front yard. Next, I immediately think "CLOVERFIELD!" (not sure why...).

Turns out, one of the trees in the yard broke off maybe 15-20 feet up from the base and toppled over into the front yard. Happily, away from the house. I wasn't looking forward to filing an insurance claim two days into owning the house.

Day #2
Sometime over the course of the night, the weather decided to get a bit more aggressive around the house. On the drive to the house, I kept seeing more and more trees down. I actually had to detour twice to get to the house because of full on trees down across lines.

I arrive at the house and decide to walk the perimeter just to make sure nothing else happened. Turns out, something did. On the back corner of the house, another tree had snapped and fallen on the roof. The damage didn't look too severe. It's a good thing there were staples to be pulled, otherwise I probably would have had a very bad, very cold and very angry day.

After calling around to a few places, I managed to get someone with enough of an open schedule to stop by the house and estimate on the removal of the downed trees. I took a number of photos (and will be taking more tomorrow) and got a hold of the insurance company to let them know about the incoming claim. They are supposed to be getting back to me by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Day # 3
With the power still out at the house, doing anything that requires an outlet (such as power sanding) wasn't going to happen. So, instead I spent the day outside clearing falling branches and cutting up what I could using a hand saw. This is was all done in preparation for the tree removal service coming tomorrow. They have to bring in their truck to manage the tree on the roof and I am not really interested in giving them more of an excuse to stay longer and charge me more money.

I will say that the tree that fell down in the yard looks significantly less intimidating now than it did with all it's foliage and smaller branches. This was pretty much the majority of my day. There was a hand saw available in the basement and the day was nice enough. I didn't want to go out and rent a chainsaw and manually sawing the branches was another good distraction from the whole "You've owned this house for 3 days and already a tree has fallen on it" thing. There is now a decent pile of wood next to the shed that will eventually be turned into small starter logs and kindling. I need to see about getting some palettes to stack and dry the timber on.

Today was kind of funny for me. I have spent more than a decade trying to avoid helping my parents stack fire wood at their place in New Hampshire. And now, I am wondering what their reaction would be if I asked them to come down here to help me stack these two trees.

Day #4
I think, technically, this is more Day 5 or 6. Either way, this was the first day since Monday that I was able to have some progress made on the trees. The Landscaping Crew I had hired to come in to clean up the trees arrived bright and early in the morning. I'm very happy that I picked up some thermal long johns the night before because it was cold outside! It eventually warmed up big a cold clear night makes for a very cold morning.

The electricity was back on in the house when I arrived, which mean I could go about turning back on the water while the crew set up.

As I mentioned before, trees look a lot less intimidating when their foliage is lopped off. The crew and I worked from 8 until 2. Their chipper made short work of the brush and at the end of it all (once split) I should have about a cords worth of wood to stack and dry.

Now all that remains is getting a mason to come take a look at the damage to the chimney and hope I can get as much of the repairs covered as possible by the insurance company.

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