Fear of Falling

Fall has been a time of catching up on a last few road trips before the cold sets in and this has slowed down progress on my never ending hotel to do list. We did; however, manage to get a few things done.

The first order of business was the rain downspouts. It used to be that the rain coming off of the roof would just pour down the back wall of the hotel and saturate the wall all the way through to the interior. This is why the back wall was ready to fall apart when we bought the place. To remedy the problem, I had the contractors install scuppers with angled spouts below them to kick the water away from the wall which worked but it was only a temporary fix. The real fix was to install the full length downspouts below the scuppers.

The task looked simple enough with the caveat that I would have to climb a 26′ ladder to install the brackets holding the downspouts. Now, I don’t have a fear of heights but I do understand how bad a fall from that high up can be and also understand how ladders can fail. All I can say about this process is I’m very glad it’s over and I hope I never have to do it again.

On a more down to Earth task was the sewage clean out near the back of the property. It was a problem in that it was right in the path of our RV parking spot and we had already run over it once, shattering the clean out cap. Well, concrete can fix a lot of problems and this is how we fixed ours.

A little rebar and lumber and we are set to pour.

The finished product turned out pretty nice looking. Once I took the forms off, I packed roadbed gravel around the slab which should protect the edges of the slab from chipping. It will take a few winters to see how well this works.

After getting a few outdoor tasks completed, I got completely squirreled on a few indoor projects that could have waited until the rainy season. Of course, after the high altitude adventure with the downspouts, I figured I deserved a reward and the basement closet door had been pleading for attention for quite awhile.

Making and installing the door casing trim was tricky but with a bit of drywall adjustment it worked out fine. The problem was that the door frame was vertical but the drywall was not and I had to shave the drywall near the door so the casing would lay flat.

All the while I was getting plaster dust on Katie’s floor, the basement trapdoor inside the closet was hijacking my attention. It needed some sort of lift system since I don’t fancy bending over to pick up a 50lb slab of wood on a regular basis. Below is my first attempt. It is a single pulley system which, by mechanical advantage, decreases the lifting weight of the hatch from 50lbs to 37.5lbs.

37.5lbs is still too much so I will be replacing the single pulleys with doubles. This will allow me to rig it in such a way that the pull required to lift the hatch will be only 12.5lbs. When I learned this stuff in Boy Scouts a billion years ago, I never thought I would actually have a use for the information but here we are. By the next post, I should have this all figured out and if I’m lucky, someone will give me a merit badge for being so clever.