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Winterizing 2013

by on Oct.30, 2013, under porch, Security, Trim & Paint

Wow, time went fast this year.  We didn’t get up to the Ranch nearly as often as I would have liked.

With October coming to an end, it is past time to go up and winterize.  I got a late start on Saturday, and started work in earnest on Sunday.

To start off, I wanted to take take some readings on the batteries for the solar install.  Since the hydrometer that I bought on the last trip was broken when I opened it, I stopped by a Checker Auto and picked up another.  I let the batteries charge until they reached the float stage, then let them sit there in float for 1 hour.  Then I let the batteries rest for 1 hour with no charging and no load.  The hydrometer showed all cells (3 in each battery) fully charged.  So I have a good baseline reading.  IN the future, as I make the reads again, I will have something to compare against.

The hydrometer was kind of hard to read, but the line in the picture below was at 1.275 specific gravity, which represents 100% charged.  Specific gravity is reportedly the only way to be sure of the charge level of a battery.  Voltages can be deceiving.

Specific Gravity showing 1.275 = 100% charged, cell in good condition.

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Installing Metal Roof on LittleHouse Porch

by on Jun.03, 2012, under porch

Not many pictures this time, as I got a little lazy.  We went up to the Ranch over Memorial Day to install the steel panels on the porch roof.  It only took a day and a half to do all the work, and the rest of the time we spent visiting/barbecuing with the neighbors.

The place where we bought the panels no longer could get the exact same color, so this roof is a little darker than the house.  I expect after a couple of years of fading from exposure, they will be closer.  At any rate, you cannot see the roof from the ground, due to its low slope.  You have to go across the meadow to see it.  Anyway, here is how it turned out.  It’s dirty from walking on it in this picture.

Porch Roof Metal Panels

Again, I would ask, “Why would anybody install asphalt shingles?”  This roof goes on so easy, that it’s a little embarrasing that I took a day and a half to do it.

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Building Porch Railings

by on Mar.18, 2012, under porch

Over Spring Break this year, Tara & I headed up to build the porch railings on our front porch. Here is how we did it…

Porch Railings

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Building the Littlehouse Porch Roof

by on Oct.16, 2011, under porch

We went up in mid-October to put a roof over the Littlehouse porch.

Littlehouse Porch Roof in progress

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September 2011 Visit

by on Oct.02, 2011, under porch

John came down to help with the porch construction a little bit during September.  We started out by cutting a notch in the vertical trim pieces for the roof ledger board to fit into.  I used my “poor-man’s sawzall”.

Notching the trim

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