Of Mysticism……

Hello once again friends of Middle Earth and those interested in learning the ways of Hobbit house construction! Welcome once again to the Hobbit Hollow Construction blog! Thanks for stopping by as always and I hope all is well wherever you may be.

Just a few things before I get going here.

The wife and I went to Mystic Connecticut for the weekend to celebrate 28 years of marital bliss.  (How did a dope like me marry such a wonderful woman? I’m truly blessed. The best years of my life truly.) What a nice time we had there. Mystic is actually known for it’s aquarium and its famous Mystic Seaport. We had been to the aquarium when the family was younger but I never knew that the actual town of Mystic was so cool. There’s a drawbridge that separates the town and there are a ton of shops and restaurants. Everything is in walking distance to each other but the town is not really close to the Seaport or the aquarium. So the town was  a real eye opener for me. We stayed at the Whaler’s Inn. Very nice. What was surprising about the place was how busy it was in the middle of February. Which was nice. I was thinking that we would be the only people there but you needed reservations for almost all of the restaurants. It must be super busy there in the summer once all the boats are in the water. A great weekend getaway trip if you’re ever in the mood.

The Editor hiding behind a couple of delicious martinis at the Ancient Mariner.

They had a really good list of specialty cocktails at this place. If you get thirsty that is.

Anyway I’m driving over to the house the other day and I notice a huge bird high up in a tree. I was able to pull over but me being the legally blind fifty something that I am I really couldn’t tell what kind of bird it was. I took a picture of it because it was so huge but of course me being the dope that I am I forgot to use the close up on my phone. It was only after I got home and zoomed in on the picture that I could see that it was  a bald eagle! I knew it was too big to be a red tailed hawk but I’ve never in my life seen a bald eagle sitting in a tree before.

Bald eagle over by the house.

If you look close you can see his white head. Pretty cool. I probably need to get one of those seeing eye dogs that speaks so that it can tell me what the hell I’m looking at. By the way the Editor is making me an eye doctor appointment so we can find out how fast I’m going downhill in the eye department.

But I digress.

So on the Hobbit house home front we finished the durock in the bathrooms and the siding out front among other things. I also got started on the framing of the skylights which is going to be quite an endeavor. Let’s go through some pictures and I’ll fill you in on a couple of details.

The prep for the durock.

So believe it of not I’ve never installed Durock before. Haven’t done a bathroom in a long time. The last one I did I had the plastic wall sections put in so there was no need. Anyway I watched a video of a guy installing Durock and he went off about how it isn’t affected by water but how it does absorb water. So that was disturbing. I wound up talking to a couple of tile guys and I guess there’s differences of opinions as to how to proceed. My take on things was that if the cement board can absorb water the last thing you want is for that water to get absorbed by the wood studs. I look at it like a belts and suspenders kind of thing. I used zip sheathing tape (which is waterproof ) to cover the studs 24 inches up from the bottom of the shower. One tile guy said that he waterproofs the cement board 24 inches up after installation. We’re going to do that too later on.

Durock is easy to install though. Just like sheetrock. You score cut it with a sheetrock knife a couple of times to break through the fiber mesh and then you break it along that line. Simple. I used a drywall keyhole saw to cut the hole I needed in it as well. Check it out.

Durock installed in the Master bathroom.

So the skylights have to be framed out and insulated before we sheetrock them. I picked up the stuff one day and figured that I would work on them in the mornings before it got light out. The weather was good last week and I wanted to finish the siding out front during daylight hours.

Framed skylight ready for insulation

What I had to do was secure a 2×4 to the lower part of the sheathing box that formed the skylight. It’s all ladder work which is a pain in the neck.Once that was done I cut inch and a half thick styrofoam to fit in-between the skylight and the 2×4.

Styrofoam insulation installed.

This one is now ready for rock.

The last item for the week was the siding. Terence did the Lion’s share but the finish was a bear. I had the scaffold set up which was great but with the way the overhang of the house was and the way I had to work I was hunched over most of the days I was working on it. I also cracked my head  against the concrete bad a couple of times. (Sort of reminiscent of when Gandalf cracks his head inside Bagend.) A few foul things came out of my mouth when that happened which I shall not utter here.

But boy there were a lot of cuts. I mean a lot. Very very time-consuming. I’m not looking forward to the North side siding. Check it out.

Siding on the front now complete.
The last few rows everything had to be cut to fit. A lot of little pieces.
Terence did most of the cuts around the circular door. The boy did good!

I also started preping for the front door finish. I picked up the wood  the other day and primed it.

1×8 shiplap cedar for the front door. Primed both sides with a stain kill oil based primer.

I also preped the opening for the door as well. I had to trim back some concrete so that it would sit in the opening properly. Forgot to take a picture but I’m hoping to get that door in and painted this week. We’re supposed to have warm weather in the low 70’s on Wednesday.

On another note I did get the kitchen cabinets delivered but I am going to work outside this week on the door and North side trim and siding. Hopefully we’ll be installing kitchen cabinets the following week.

We shall see!

“We travel light…….let’s hunt some Orc!”

Aragorn after the breaking of the Fellowship.

See you all next week.


8 thoughts on “Of Mysticism……”

  1. Jim,

    I have to agree with John and Mike — the place is really starting to look great. The front facade looks really cool. As for whacking your head on the concrete overhang, I have two words: Hard Hat. Been there, done that. Whacking the hat against the roof hurts a lot less than whacking the noggin. 🙂

    Keep the faith,

    • Yeah Frank I know. I always wear a hard hat when I’m in Manhattan at work. Part of my gear. I’m such a lazy ass sometimes and I had an extra hard hat in my truck too. I’m glad you’re liking the look of the house. Been working on the door the last two days. Hoping to finish it up tomorrow if all goes well. Thanks for writing.
      Take it easy.

  2. Jim,

    Wow, looks great! Congrats on 28 years! Humbled and Honored to be part of it. Weather should be favorable this week for the outside work. Nice photo of the Bald Eagle. Very cool.

    Is Mystic Pizza still around? I saw the movie in 1988!


    • Hey Mike. Yeah Mystic Pizza is still there. I don’t remember the movie though. It’s a pretty cool town. I never knew. Working outside today, I think it hit the low 60’s tomorrow even warmer.
      So sad what went down in Florida.

      Take it easy Mike

  3. Hi John!
    Thanks for writing as always. Yeah it’s really starting to get there now. I struggled with the front door today.I’m hoping to get the siding around the door in place tomorrow. The salamander was gone when I went back the next day, I think the conditions were good for letting him go the day I did. Talk to you soon.
    Take care.

  4. Hey Jim, The progress is awesome! It really is becoming a house that any self-respecting hobbit would be proud to call home. On another note, I am glad that you took good care of that salamander. In legends of old, salamanders were considered “Fire Elementals”, which could be construed to mean that if mistreated, they just might be capable of morphing into a Balrog of Melkor! And none of us would want that. As always, best wishes……..john


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