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Summer is flying by a bit fast this year and projects are not. We have two major projects we are focusing on: the exterior siding on the second story and the floor joist sistering on the first floor. Since the last post I only have progress to show on the siding project:

Back gable siding progress

This is about 1 weekend worth of work installing siding. I have already spent countless hours painting the siding and there is also some hours cutting the angle on one end of the boards. The installation process takes a long time as it involves measuring, cutting, checking for fit, recutting,… then priming the cut, waiting a bit for the primer to dry and then install the board and repeat the process. It doesn’t help that its on the second floor so we can’t work on several areas of the house at the same time. So far I am really happy with the color combination.

Color combo

We are hoping that we’ll get a bit faster at installation as we get more practice but unfortunately, we won’t get much faster at climbing up and down the ladder.

Our 3rd big project will have to be our PV system which we don’t have much choice but to get done this fall. Wisconsin legislature has drastically cut funding to the Focus on Energy Program, although it is clearly obvious that this program has created jobs (both ours to an extend) and made the tax payers more money than it costs them. The program’s administration has also been awarded to an incognito non-Wisconsin company. (Talk about keeping jobs in Wisconsin) Even though our incentive is approved, the program is expected to run out of funding before the end of the year. We were also approved for a special rate from our utility company in a capped installation size program and have only a certain amount of time to install our system. In a way, a bit of pressure is good for us so we’ll just get this part of the project done. With out increased electricity cost (electric kiln) it will feel good to offset that use with renewable energy.

All black Sunpower modules on top rows.

We are planning on installing the all black Sunpower modules. This is one of the highest efficiency model that provides the best aesthetics. Since we only have limited roof space and want to maximize our production, we opted for these although they are more expensive. Installation should not be too complicated. With the standing seam metal roof we’ll be able to use S5! clips to install the rails onto which the mods mount. We already installed a second meter socket and the electric wiring should also not be too complicated.

And here’s a pic of my newest pet:

A swallow tail butterfly caterpillar.

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