It's official. I can pull the shingles off my house. The Historic Preservation Commission said so. My neighbor Bob H, who's the Commission's president, explained, "It's a bit of a post-mortem approval, because she's been working on this for awhile." I knew I was in like Flynn when another Commission member responded to that with, "I know! I cheer every time I drive by her house!" Some discussion followed, more out of their curiosity than necessity.
Are the clapboards in good condition? And how much do I have left to uncover? Yes, I said, mostly excellent. Less than half a dozen so far which need repair or replacement. Mr. Maib, the City Codes Officer, chimed in on that one, "They're in great shape!" Bob H explained that indeed they are, and even the paint is mostly intact. I have just the east wall left to do, I said, leaving out that I don't plan to strip the rear wall of the house this year. Hey, they didn't ask and I didn't offer any additional information.
What are you doing with all the debris? I had to cringingly admit that I have 20-some bags of shingles piled up between my carport and Martha's garage, another 15 or so on the front porch, and 5 or 6 in the side yard. For now. But soon my friend Mike and I are taking them to the Lee's Summit dump. One of the Commission members pointed out that the city's trash contract states that the trash company's required to pick up any bags of trash next to the bin which have city trash stickers affixed. This was news to me. The stickers are $1 apiece, and there's apparently no limit to the number of trash bags you can set out. Bob H excitedly said, "There you are, just buy 40 of them tomorrow at City Hall and set the whole mess out by the trash bin!" Sounds like a plan. For 40 bucks I can have 'em all hauled away, and Mike and I don't have to load up his truck and trailer, drive all the way up to the dump, and pay $30 to leave them there. And just like that, one of my biggest issues was solved.
What color will you paint it? Well....I sorta changed my mind about that, and the paint chips I stapled to the application aren't even close to the colors I've decided on. So I produced my little Valspar paint card and showed them. Carolina Inn Brass for the main part of the house, Baked Scone for the soffit boards and the trim pieces on the corners of the house, and Churchill Hotel Ivory for the rest of the trim. (Reluctantly, I'm giving up on the Aubergine for the windows, because they have storms over them and I think it might look odd.) Bob H was impressed. "Two of the paint colors have the National Trust for Historic Preservation seal on them," he said. "You can't beat that."
Don't you work nights? And when do you work on the house? I do work nights, and my days off are Wednesday, Thursday and most Fridays, so that's when the house mostly gets worked on. On other days, I pull shingles for a couple of hours in the morning after I get home from work, sleep a few hours, and pull some more shingles in the late afternoon before going to work again. Then the next day, the whole thing starts all over again. Just like it will tomorrow.