Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Even a heat wave won’t slow him down


As many housebloggers have noted, temperatures in the Northeast are so high that I’m fully expecting to burst into flames at any moment. While all of the sane people locked themselves in an air-conditioned room and are sipping iced tea until the heat subsides, we continue to soldier on (somewhat).

On Saturday, Teague framed up the third kitchen wall even though it was 94 degrees and climbing. It’s really looking great.

He doesn’t like the feel of sunscreen slathered on, and tends to tan rather than burn, but baking on a black roof without any sunscreen can lead to a nasty burn. The moneyshot:

I have been stripping one of our downstairs doors with the heat gun, which is REALLY great entertainment on hot days. I scorched myself pretty good when I accidentally tapped my leg with the metal end. For the second time. Oops. They should make it look less like a hair dryer and more like a dangerous weapon, so I remember to hold it away from my body.

In other news, we got some must-haves with our Home Depot gift cards, including:

– a Rigid 6-gallon ShopVac (our old one only had three wheels)
– a Skil circular saw
– accessory tools for the heat gun


Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Graham had this to say on 06.14.05:

Glad I’m not the only one baking outside! The framing is looking good. Just be sure to have good ventilation when using a heat gun on what might be lead paint. The fumes are not so good for you.

Jason had this to say on 06.14.05:

Am I to understand that you are straightening that roof out over the kitchen to match the rest of the house?

Alex had this to say on 06.14.05:

Well, it is really looking great, despite baking like human cookies. Just think, before too long you will have that back area enclosed and cooled to the sweltering temperatures of the indoors. We have also been working outside on our small back yard area. This weekend we took our first shot as masonry in order to put up the brick archway over the new back door.

At least we had a hose nearby and had the shade of the tree. It was about 92 or 93 degrees around us as well.

Also, I feel your pain (literally) with stripping doors. We have stripped a couple of ours so far, and I end up using the heat gun for the detail work in the nooks and crannies where the stripper couldn’t get. That is the aftermath of the work. I use Peel Away 1 for stripping since the paint is thick and the door is to be painted. It works well and you can buy it at Home Depot for about $25 per gallon. And surprise surprise, you also need lots of vinegar on hand to neutralize the paint stripper, and we all know the versatility of vinegar.

Ann had this to say on 06.14.05:

Wow, what I would do for a little heat in Seattle. It’s so freaking temperate here that I’m actually wearing a wool sweater and boots in June.

So, if you want a break from the heat you can head out here and be naturally cool.

I hope the burn goes away quickly.

mindy had this to say on 06.14.05:

Graham – Not to worry, I had all the windows open and the fan going to help with any possible lead fumes. I was going to bring it outdoors, but our sawhorses were otherwise engaged so I used the living room coffee table. Conveniently, this allows me to watch tv while stripping paint ;)

Jason – This has been quite the build/rebuild. We took down an old back room and are rebuilding a kitchen addition in it’s place. The raised roofline you see on each side is for aesthetics. From the sides, it’ll have the same profile as the rest of the house (flat roof), but if you stand in the back you’ll see our trickery. The roof needs to slope because this is where all the water from the main roof drains to.

Alex – That looks great! That really makes a huge difference in the look of your entryway. I am a big fan of brick. Did you get salvaged brick from somewhere? It looks like it has character!

I stripped our first door with Peel Away, but the smell and the goopiness of it was a turn off for me. What I like about the heat gun is that I can do the project as I have time for it, and put it away when I get bored.

Alex had this to say on 06.14.05:

Mindy, yes, the brick is salvaged, sort of. When we moved in there is a 4 x 4 foot stack of bricks about 3 feet high on the side alley area of our house, right next to the air conditioner. We used bricks from that stack. They are all different colors, rough, etc. So it was convenient to use.

As for stripper, I know what you mean. The peel away 1 smells like fish to me for some reason. Now whenever I smell it I immediatly think of Hurricane Isabel. Wendy and I spent the entire storm stripping the paint off of the kitchen hutch that we restored. I find it pretty funny that paint stripper makes me nostalgic for the first days and months we were in our house.

There is also this other thing. I’ve never used it but hear it is pretty sweet. It isn’t cheap, but I know they have rentals available. I may rent on soon and see how it goes. If I do, I will surely let you know. It is an infrared heat gun. Kinda cool.

Oh, and for the lead, yeah, it is an issue. I ended up getting a lead safe respirator. I have a bit of an issue with lead though. I used to work in a window restoration shop in Cleveland. Its what I did for money during college before I could get an internship. That summer my lead levels went from 2.2 parts per million to 16. Anything over 21 starts to get bad. After I bought this house and started stripping paint again, it went up to 19. So now I am really having to watch it. Be sure to get your blood checked to get a baseline.

Meggan had this to say on 06.15.05:

Make that boy wear some sunscreen…it may feel gross but skin cancer is far worse! :) I live & die by Bull Frog Quick Gel Sport Spray. It sprays on and dries almost instantly. You never have to get your hands all nasty and no gunky lotion feel. I’ll climb down off my soapbox now…. The house is coming along very nicely!

Trissa had this to say on 06.15.05:

The framing is looking great. It’s fun to start to be able to see what it might look like when it’s complete. I bet that’s what helps Teague to keep working during the heat!

Chris had this to say on 06.16.05:

Hey Mindy & Teague!
I love reading your site as I find it motivational for my own project (quite a bit smaller house and brick but also a very run down former duplex rental). I was going to e-mail that to you privately but realized you didn’t have an ‘e-mail us’ link, which made me realize that I didn’t have one on my site either. hmmm.

At any rate my project is on the opposite side of lake Erie/Ontario to you but have had the same heat wave for the past few weeks (thankfully it’s finally over and temps are more reasonable (This spring has been entirely about rebuilding the backyard so the heat was not so much fun).

Have you noticed a big difference in the cat smell from your post a few days ago? When I bought my house last June it was being occupied by 7 cats, 3 dogs and a rabbit and all of them were using the house as their own personal litter box (did I mention the house was cheap?), hence I have the problem in my hardwood too. I installed central air that definitely helps but doesn’t really solve the problem.


Mindy had this to say on 06.17.05:


The baking soda/Nature’s Miracle DEFINITELY helped. I don’t notice the smell anymore. I’m sure it’ll surface up again at some point, but this time I will be ready!

Kristin had this to say on 06.20.05:

Darwin refuses to wear sunscreen also, in spite of all my harping about it.

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