The Bunkhouse, More or Less Today

As I’ve detailed previously, and also before that, I spent a little time and few bucks fixing up the old cowboy Bunkhouse here on the -X6.  Most of the detailing thus far involved the generally deplorable condition of the collection of buildings, as well as the cleaning up and demolishing of parts of ’em.  I’m happy to report that the foxes have moved out from under the floorboards (and I haven’t gotten a solid family of fleas on me for two years!).  Unfortunately, they just moved into the next barn on my list, the Half-barn…, shoot.


Shoulda kept the curtains


You can see the lovely teal corkboard used to cover the walls at the time


ALMOST DONE shoveling out shakes! Still have the bedsprings, if anybody needs ’em!

The entire roof of the Cabin (among other things) was piled inside the sleeping part of the Bunkhouse.  It was piled seven feet deep.  I removed the window casings, parked the bucket of the backhoe next to the openings, and got to shoveling.  It took at least a dozen trips.  Wonderful lead-based-paint kindling now, for sure.


Doubling a rafter that was a little worse for wear.

Having removed one roof from the floor, it was time to take a second off of the rafters!  Another not-really-all-that-fun job, as the roof was a very steep.  11 or 12 in 12, I forget which, for all you roofers out there.  It was also the teensiest bit rotten- go figure.  Anyways I eventually got it all off, and replaced or doubled-up a few of the rafters, which are the members that diagonally support the roof.


New decking….and a new window!

After getting the framing of the roof more-or-less in the shape I was looking for, it was time to re-deck the roof.  Decking is the term for covering the framing members with a solid layer of wood.  Some folks use planks, some use CDX plywood, and in this case I used OSB (Oriented Strand Board).  It is made in 4×8 sheets quite similar to CDX, but it is a little cheaper up here.  A little heavier too, and you have to be really careful to make sure it doesn’t get wet, but that’s the whole idea behind the roof, right?  I believe I did it right, as I haven’t had a leak yet in two and half years of rain and snow and wind!


Next up was covering the decking with roofer’s felt or “tar paper” (the black material).  It goes on top of the decking, but is referred to as an underlayment because it goes under the actual final roof surface.  The idea is that if you have some relatively minor issue with your roof covering (be it metal, shingles, whatever) that the water will still run down the roofer’s felt and off your roof without warping my precious OSB decking, which provides a lot of the strength of the roof, and indeed, the building.

I usually use 30# paper because it only costs a couple bucks more than 15# and I like the extra thickness.  I was using leftover stuff here from another project so I’m not sure what this is.  Normally up here in the colder areas of the world any eave or valley in the roof gets a special type of underlayment designed for snow and ice.  It is much heavier and is a rubber-and-asphalt mixture that acts to seal itself both to the decking surface and around any nail/screws that penetrate it.  Some folks even use it for the entire underlayment, although it is a bit more expensive.  In general, it helps to prevent leaks that form due to ice dams, which perhaps I’ll get into a later date.  I’m not anticipating any ice dams on this roof as the building won’t be heated, plus it is darned steep.  So I skipped that step on this outbuilding.

The next step was applying the final roofing material- in this case some beautiful brown steel roofing panels.  Steel is nice and strong, fairly light, and when screwed down it can add a fair amount of structural stability to a roof surface.  Plus it gets fairly close to matching the ole shakes and in short lengths isn’t too hard to put up all one’s lonesome.  Not easy, but with a low-to-the-ground structure like this it is pretty easy to pull ’em right out of the bed of a truck.


Getting close!

After finishing up the roof (which thank goodness was just about as short as it was steep) I turned my attention to the south wall.  The above picture shows the original window casements to the side of the new door.  I wanted to be able to access the Bunkhouse from both sides, particularly as THIS side is the GOOD side…now.  I happened to have an extra door laying around, so I cut and framed an opening and in it went.  I replaced the other two windows with modern vinyl single-hung windows which were the same width as the existing openings, just quite a bit shorter.


Still haven’t gotten around to trimming out the new windows!

The western and southern walls were missing a huge amount of cedar shake wall-covering, so I replaced them as best I could with the best used shakes I found as I cleaned out the building, and the best ones that were on the roof.  The result is a green-gray-brown frankenstein sorta deal, but it keeps the snow out!


After two and half years, the colors have blended together….slightly

I’m still not sure what the final, ideal purpose of this building is.  When I was fixing it up, I needed a place to store my tools out of the rain and to charge batteries and make phone calls.  It worked great!  Now it stores a lot of my “extra” tools and motor oil and basically stuff that I won’t get rid of but no one is likely to be able to make off with and pawn.


Storage for tools that I don’t use very often….or don’t work that maybe I’ll fix someday


This is the tiny “joining” shed between the two parts of the bunkhouse



It’s not much, but is has electricity now!  Nice step up from the tiny solar system that was in there when I was building my house.  Perhaps one day I’ll fix it up even more.  Guest house?  Artist studio?  Dog Mansion?  I’m not sure what these buildings were before they were hauled up here to Duck Lake….and who knows what they’ll be in the future!

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One Response to The Bunkhouse, More or Less Today

  1. Pingback: Excavation, Footings, and Crossed Fingers | Hillhouse Sawdust Co

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