Wall Three


bracingWe weathered Hurricane Arthur very well. Two tall spruce trees at the end of the driveway came down and there were lots of twigs and leaves to rake, but no damage to the cabin or the greenhouse.

Time to remove the extra bracing, clear the deck, and bring out the tools again!

Wall three has a 65” x 30” window facing East. It has a frame of its own to extend from the exterior, through the wall to the interior. This window had old foam insulation from its previous life that I cleaned off with a scraper.


nailsI used 1 x 6” tongue and groove lumber, some from a Freecycle donation and the remainder purchased, laid horizontally across the studs to construct the exterior wall. The tongues faced up and the lumber was fastened to each stud using 1.5” exterior Robertson screws. For the window opening I cut the tongue and groove just shy of the interior edge of the window opening.

Cleaning up the Freecycled wood involved pulling nails and cutting to length around damaged tongues and grooves. I was able to reuse over 70 % of the Freecycled tongue and groove at this stage.



I used scrap 2 x 4 pieces to lift the wall off the deck to ensure that when I set the window in place, the window would rest firmly against the tongue and groove and not catch up on the deck. The window was heavy and awkward to work with by myself but I managed to drag it onto the wall as it lay horizontally on the deck.

windowlever2   windowlever1

I used scrap boards to create four ramps to take the weight of the window, to ease it into position between the studs, and to butt it against its upper block.

screwwindowI screwed through the upper block and into the upper end of the window frame using 2” Robertson screws.






tgwindowtopI added a piece of tongue and groove at the top edge of the window between the window frame and studs and screwed that into place.

I then screwed into place a lower edge block and added 3 cripple studs as support beneath the window.



I left the last 12” of the wall without tongue and groove so that I could attach lumber guides to assist with the raising of the wall, one on the exterior of the wall and one on the inner side of the interior end stud. The interior guide was screwed on as we began the lift. I had enough Freecycled tongue and groove wood to complete about half of the back wall. Some of the tongues and grooves were damaged during demolition, so I cut and pieced it to take as much advantage of this free wood as I could. Some of the damaged wood may still be usable when I build plant benches later.

crewFriends visited for the weekend so we planned the raising of this heavy wall for Sunday morning. I and my mighty crew of three received a wonderful surprise of assistance from my neighbour Marion’s family. We had literally lifted the wall about three feet when a parade of cars pulled into our shared driveway. The men of the family all came over and helped us to move that wall into position! What wonderful timing!


My now enlarged crew held the wall steady as I screwed it to the joists and adjacent wall. Many thanks to my crew of three and to Henry and his extended family!

One wall left to go!


Walls Two and Three

photo6Driveway volunteer.

Thphoto1e second (East) wall was built using the same techniques as the first (South) facing wall.







photo3 I tied the second wall to the first using screws.

The back wall design differs due to the type of window to be installed. I am measuring and cutting, but haven’t yet added exterior 1×6” tongue and groove boards or the windows to these walls. The recycled tongue and groove contains a lot of nails that I am pulling using a hammer, nail punch, and pliers. With a storm coming, I’m glad that the wind won’t be on the windows before I have them in and properly sealed.

I have a 65 x 30” window for the East wall. This Freecycle gift includes the window frame. It will extend completely through the wall and host its own sill. I built the studs, a header, and will build a below window block to measure. I’ll then screw recycled 1 x 6” tongue and groove boards to form the exterior wall over the studs.

photo2 The tongue and groove board edges are to be set 1/16” in from the window opening, and vertical wall ends. The upper horizontal edge of the tongue and groove will extend 1.5” above the top plate to accommodate reinforcing 2x4s that will tie the four top plates together, and add strength and rigidity to the walls.





Because the third wall will be heavier, I will need a crew of four to raise it safely into place. Hurricane Arthur is predicted to hit us within the next 48 hours, so I’ll wait until after that to complete and raise the third wall.

photo5Securing the existing two walls with additional bracing, and adding 2 x 10” to solidify the base to its 4x4s will be Friday’s priority.