Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

Sadly, the Painting Won’t Be Finished…

October 24, 2020 The weather has really not been cooperating, and we are getting concerned because not only will the painting not be finished, but it turns out that Caprioli’s 65′ lift is not really high enough for the back of the house. This would not be such a problem except that a lift was needed to repair the lightning damage in the tower, and Bob L has been waiting for this opportunity to get up there and do it. Discussions had been on-going around renting a taller lift, but now the forecast is not looking good for next week…. It’s always something! Meanwhile though, they were painting away to take advantage of the warm(ish) weather, and it was improving by the day.

Another item to address before winter was the front door situation. While the doors gave a very sleek look to the house, they really were industrial doors and the original installation was not very tight, and did not account for fixing the one side yet allowing the other to swing. Sometime in the summer, Adam drilled holes in the door frame for the pins to secure one side of the door, but it was still loose. There was a sizable gap between the doors and you could actually see through the gap as well as feel the cold air coming in with a blast. Since the house was unfinished, that didn’t matter so much, but the gap did allow any Tom, Dick or Harry to pop the latch with the flick of a pocket knife, which is how Adam and the guys got in an out of the house all summer! While the house sat essentially vacant for several years, there were at least two break-ins, so this added some urgency to the situation since we knew we would be away from the house for weeks at a time in the future.

We got a local locksmith to come on over and as it turned out, Gary is a former Porsche owner, so we had a lot to talk about. He wanted the tower tour of course, because everyone in the trades who comes over is in thrall to the uniqueness – no one has ever seen anything like it. And just like everyone else, he told us how much potential it has and how awesome it is going to be when it’s done. (Feeling no pressure, haha) Anyway, he sorted out and adjusted all the exterior doors in the house and the one key that came with the house does actually work on all of them, yay! Like almost everything else the former owner did, the lock sets were custom keyed for security and you can’t just duplicate the key anywhere, but luckily I had a few made at a locksmith in Maryland in the summer.) Anyway, he improved the front door situation by reducing the gap, and gave me a primer on all the ways people can break into houses, along with how to adjust door locks and general lock and key advice. Afterwards I went online looking at options for weatherstripping industrial doors, and although I have it fixed for the short term, the doors will join the list as a future problem to solve.

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