Wild Rivers Habitat Build in Luck, Wisconsin: Weeks 3 and 4

We began week 3 of working on Callie and Adan’s house with a new, slightly-smaller crew and a fully-dried in house to work with. Our goal for the next 2 weeks was to get this house ready for the last crew who were expected to complete all the trim work and finishing during their 2 week build; this meant we needed to ensure the exterior was complete and that the drywall was finished and ready to be painted. On our first day the roofing crew of Tom, Don, and I were sent back up to shingle the garage and I got to shingle both valleys; I’m not exactly sure what about doing the valleys jazzes me, but I love the precision of the exercise, the chance to eyeball my lines, and the challenge of having my shingles meet at the peak. Don found it amusing that I frequently shingle upside down and that I move around a lot to sight whether my lines are climbing or falling into the valley, but I don’t think he could argue with the outcome. While we were finishing that out, ground crews were putting up soffit, skirt board, as well as j-channels and p-channels in preparation for siding.

Once the roof was completed Tom and I got moved down to the siding team where I had the opportunity to learn about vinyl siding. Since the majority of my building experience has been in New Mexico, I haven’t done siding on more than handful of occasions – and those I’ve done have been Hardie Board or LP smartside. Vinyl siding has it’s own vocabulary and its own methods but I think I picked up fairly quickly and I know the final product was pretty nice looking. I had the opportunity to work with Sue, Don’s wife, for a couple days and that too was thoroughly enjoyable as she is pretty skilled worker in addition to being a really interesting person.

We had a rainy intermission is the midst of our exterior work which provided the perfect opportunity to move inside and knock out the drywall. And knock it out we did – about a dozen of us completed the house in a day and half. I’d never seen care-a-vanners work as fast and as well as they did, and for that I have to give a lot of credit to Bill (our team leader) for organizing teams and keeping people busy.

With the drywall up and the weather improved we moved back outside and finished the siding and a couple miscellaneous projects just in time for the end of our second 2 weeks. My last task was fitting siding around the intersection of the gables on he front of the house, and then bringing it up to the peak. We were unable to finish putting the faux cedar shingles on the front gable since we were short on material, but otherwise we fulfilled our duty to have the house ready in time for finishing – which felt really good since we all were eager to get Callie, Adan, and their family into their new home.

Don and Tom shingling the garage

It’s valley time!

Me shingling the valley

Tom finishing off shingling

Putting up the siding skirt board

Nancy putting up the soffit

Sue making cutting the metal soffit

Tom and a local volunteer drywalling

Don striking a pose while rotozipping

Homeowner Adan screwing the last piece of drywall

Leon leading the gable end siding crew

Sue and Tom cutting siding

Leon and Nancy siding

Don assembling garage door

Kurt and Mary nailing up faux cedar shake shingles on the gable end

Mark and Sue fitting siding over the front door

Me fitting those tricky pieces of siding where the gable planes intersect

Our final view

Finally, a local resident donated a bunch of apples to us care-a-vanners; they were incredibly delicious and made a perfect apple crisp!

Free apples made into apple crisp