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I’m Ready To Be Done

Well, pretty much the last several days of work on our super-duper, French, country home have been taken up with trying to get the tie rods and Clee put together on the house, more framing and running the flex for the electrical, putting up insulation and then the dreaded drywall. I hate not writing, but these last few days just wouldn’t allow me any fun!

We spent an entire day and a half just drilling holes (yup-like we need more of those in this house) on either side of the third story. The tie rod is going to run next to the south facing wall in the library and in Tinki’s room with the Clee on the library side and a large bar on Tinki’s side. The walls of the house are more than two feet thick and full of cement and rock so that is the reason why it was taking so long.


Poor Dude was having the worst time with the Metabo and a 30 mm drill bit. Finally when he was able to get through the wall, the rocks were in the way and he couldn’t get the tie rod through. He just had to keep drilling away! He went back and forth from drilling, to chiseling to using the tie rod as a file, but each time he got through a little more, rocks would fall in and get wedged in the way and he would have to continue drilling. Then it would just happen all over again.

The same exact thing kept happening in Tinki’s room. For some reason we just keep getting stuck with these huge time wasting projects. Sheesh! All to save a messily 10 grand in Euros! What some of us put ourselves through just to save a buck…


By mid day on the second day, he finally broke ground and we were able to hook all three tie rods together with large couplings. Now came the really hard part. How the heck were we going to attach the Clee to the side of the house when we didn’t have a ladder tall enough and the dang thing was more than 50 lbs of dead solid weight and was made of iron?

Welcome back to “Let’s re-enact what we saw on MacGyver!” Dude ended up tying the Clee to the end of one of the metal studs we used for framing and then hanging out the third story window and moving the Clee into place over the tie rod. I was getting weak in the knees just watching because our third story window is not a safe place to be hanging out of with the dead weight of the clee (or just hanging out of at all!). One could easily get pulled right out and that is no lie, folks! He had to wedge his feet to brace himself in the frame of the window.

Now this didn’t work the first couple of times. He really had a hard time getting the Clee to hook onto the tie rod. Then once he got it on, he had to figure out how to cut the metal stud off of it so it would hang there! I took hold of the metal stud and Dude took another one and used the long, sharp edge to cut the tie that was holding it on.


Then he used the metal stud to tape his wrench to it so he could hang out the window again and screw the nut on the tie rod so the Clee would stay on. He did that while I was over on the floor turning the tie rod to tighten it down!


What a team of crazies we are! But guess what?! It worked! It was totally stupid to hang out that window and use up two whole days to do this whole project, but we save 10 000 Euros. I’m feeling a new pair of shoes and a diamond ring coming way soon…hint, hint…

After all that, Dude mixed up some cement (it totally looks like he is playing in a big pile of poo 🙂 )


and put it on the interior side of the wall to fill up the HUGE black holes that we ended up making for this and to be sure the rod was all set in place. Goooo Team!

After the near sudden death of Dude, we continued on with the framing of the library wall and the wall in Tinki’s room to hide the Clee. I am so sick of framing! I wouldn’t want to do it for a job and get paid and here I am framing for free. Something is wrong with this picture, I tell you.

Then we were onto putting insulation up (I got lucky and didn’t have to do this because I don’t have a cool enough mask and breather for it). Dude politely said. “Get the heck outta here, cuz you can’t breathe this stuff!” So, I took up his offer to go do something else and went and ate a snack (by the way-if you see these in the market,


you gotta try ’em cuz the rock-they’re called “What Aya Nuts?!” check ’em out at ) and then I had a nap. This construction stuff is hard work, people, and ordering him around is super tiring.

Then it was time again for drywall. Double yucky. This takes forever, too, with all the special corners and rounded edges that are on this house. Dude had to spend a great deal of time measure and making his calculations and then drawing lines on the drywall and cutting them just right. Me, I just watched mostly and as usual, handed him his tools. Why change a great thing?

It took another three days to complete all of this. I’m really ready to move on especially since we now are only a week away from needing to move in. Man, our house is a total mess and we are nowhere near being finished.


Framing Is Not Fun

Today was the day we were going to tackle the framing for the drywall in the master bedroom. This room was going to be the most work since we had to frame two walls, one of which has a large window.

Before beginning, however, Dude wanted to take the remaining 10 pieces of drywall that we had left in the garage the day before and take them up to the third story to get them out of the way. I was definitely not looking forward to that since the second flight of stairs is a little steeper than the first flight and the doorway is shorter, as well.

Off we went carrying each piece one at a time. This took a while. Here’s how it looked.

Now, I believe, I can call myself Wonder Woman, but only because I wonder how the heck I was able to help him get that stuff up there!

Now it was time for the framing. We got all the metal studs and the rails we needed, plus got all our tools; screws, anchors and nails, drills, the Metabo (yes-we were able to find something to use it for), measuring tape and level. One tool eluded us, though. The tin snips. I had no idea what the heck these were, but Dude told me to go and find them anyway.

“I don’t know what they look like”, I said.

“You know, TIN SNIPS”, yelling at my like that was gonna suddenly enlighten me on what the heck these were.

“Dude, I don’t know what you are talking about. You have to explain to me what they look like or how am I going to find them?”

“Oh, come on! They have yellow handles on them”.

Cool, thanks. That helps tremendously. So off I went searching for something with yellow handles. I went hunting around the tools and after what seemed like a lifetime found my little, yellow-handled tool.

“Here”, I said, “Found them”.

“Those aren’t it. Those are the wire cutters”, he said.

Dang it! I went back to the tools for some more hunting. Luckily I found another tool with yellow handles. Back upstairs I went.

“Here”, I said, “Are these it?”

“No, those are pliers”.

“Dude, can you just come look for them cuz this is gonna take too long. I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Off he went and guess what?? He couldn’t find them either! We must have looked around for those things for like two hours, no kidding. He was so pissed. The problem is that we just have stuff everywhere and it is making it really difficult to work and find things we need.

After our hunting trip that lasted FOREVER, Dude finally found the tin snips.

We started framing the outer wall of the master bedroom. On this wall we also hung some orange sheets of insulation, but needed to leave a small space between the insulation and the wall so that the wall could breathe properly. There are a lot of moisture issues with the wall.

I swear this framing business is a bunch of hog wash! I totally know what I DON”T want to do in my next life. It took us into really late in the evening before we finished and with all the loud drilling and clanging of the metal studs and rails, we probably are already on our neighbor’s hate mail list.

Framing for drywall takes entirely too much time. All the measuring of the studs and rails and walls, the drilling of every single hole to put the screws in, the anchoring of some screws, the custom cutting of the studs and rails before hanging them so they fit onto the wall, the screws that don’t work and you have to keep working at it to get them to hold the metal studs and rails together because they are not well made,

(by the way, don’t buy these screws, they’re stupid and don’t work well)

the fact that you have to be extra careful or you’re bound to cut your hands on the metal, you have to use three different drills, five different screws, two different levels, a couple of measuring tapes, pencils, markers (so you know where to drill and where you need to put all the electrical stuff later on) and on, and on, and on. By the end of the day, Dude was super frustrated cuz this was not going well. I was taking us entirely too long.

I, on the other hand, thought we were doing well and was completely oblivious to his point since I had never done this before, so I was feeling pretty good about the day. He sure was working hard to burst my bubble and bring me down to his level of feeling crappy. I was just glad that we finished the framing in the one whole room! Yaaay us!

He had a point, though, we still had a lot more to do and our moving day was getting ever so closer.

Guess what we got to look forward to the next day??? More framing. Yuck.


If you want to see more photos of our framing extravaganza , they appear on Flickr. To get there just click on the “More Photos” option under Photos on Flickr.

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