Sunday, October 6, 2013

Committing To The Homestead

Anyone who has followed my recommendation to read Joel Runyon's Blog of Impossible Things will be familiar with his theory that the first step to doing the impossible is to make a commitment. Between the constrained budget, the fire evacuation, and the ongoing struggle to find an apprentice who actually helps me to produce cloth faster, I've got a great set of excuses why my homestead development is behind schedule. These excuses are almost good enough to make me believe them.

But an excuse won't keep me warm and dry this Winter, so I'm deciding that enough is enough. I really want to live there, and I really need to stop paying studio rent. So I've committed to leaving that comfortable space. If it was all up to me, I'd be out by November first. In reality, though, I've got to wait for someone else - the supplier of the waterproof cover for the second yurt.

So now that I've made the decision, it's time to manage the project and make it happen. The studio serves two main functions - storage and work space. The homestead can serve those same functions with a little (or a lot of) work.

Here's the space that can suffice as storage in the short term. It's the tall half of the space under the yurt platform. In order for it to really work as storage, the deck surface needs to act as a roof, forcing all of the water off the front edge of the platform instead of letting it flow through the cracks like it currently does. After that, I'll need to install some palettes to keep things off the ground and store everything that goes down there in sealed plastic tubs to protect against ambient moisture.

The first step toward waterproofing the deck happened in August with a thick coating of linseed oil. (17 gallons altogether) After that came the Bondo, an epoxy that is capable of filling in the spaces between the deck modules. I finished applying it today. The next step will be to see if the Bondo stops all of the water. If it doesn't, I'll apply roofing tar or caulk (or something) to the areas that leak.

This photo shows where the second yurt will go, to the left of the first one. I haven't sealed that portion of the deck with Bondo because it's not critical. The space underneath is too short to be used for storage and I don't need that much storage anyhow.

This larger yurt will be the one that gets more attention this Winter. It will receive the wood stove, serve as my weaving studio, and probably be where I sleep. The key factor in this decision was time. Yes, I have the materials to insulate the smaller yurt, but I don't have time to design and create that insulation layer. I would also need to create a solution for the stove pipe if I put one in the smaller yurt. The larger one comes with a stovepipe port pre installed in the "roof ring cover".

There are a number of things that need to happen before I can move out of the studio. To make it easier for me to understand, and to ensure that everything is done on time, I've sorted the major tasks by priority.

- Acquire and erect larger yurt with insulation and cover
- Acquire and install palettes for storage beneath the deck
- Acquire many plastic boxes for storage

- Sandbag both yurts
- Diagnose and seal deck to serve as roof for storage area

Needed for comfort:
- Install wood stove
- Get wood

Before I had made this decision and applied the laser-focus that makes it possible to meet goals like this, I was noodling around with lots of little things in no particular order. The one-winter wood shed was one of those projects. It's not the highest priority, but it's done now! Those of you who've watched my blog for a couple of years will recognize it as my first show booth. It's 8'x8' and totally homemade. It will do a fine job of keeping the wood dry.

Oh, yeah, and all of this homestead development has to happen in between the time-consuming task of running and continuing to build my weaving business. Soon I'll write about the software that I use to really keep everything on track. If it weren't for some amazing tools, I'd be floundering in an endless sea of todo list items.

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