Cider House, Part 8

Now that it is blisteringly hot, it’s time to work on the sunny side of the cider house. Actually, Virginia and Michael have been working on this side in Part 7, it just seems particularly cruel that they are here again in July. Now they are replacing the rest of the sill on the west side and repairing and rehanging the sliding door.

They have decided that they will do the interesting stuff whenever I walk away for a few minutes to check on sheep or spin or bake bread. That’s why I missed the toppling of this post. Both of the posts here have been cut off for reasons I can’t explain and so they must be lengthened. This one could be removed to be repaired because there is no tie beam attached to it. That makes the repair easier. The corner post has to be repaired “in situ”.

Toppled post

A concrete and stone foundation wall that was built under these posts has been demolished and will be repurposed as a small mountain for the sheep to climb on. That’s good for their hooves.

Broken concrete wall

The corner post was sitting on an upended stone which itself was just sitting on the ground. After taking the weight off of the stone, Michael trimmed it to begin repairing it in situ since there is a tie beam attached to it.


While I stepped away to collect eggs or pull weeds or trim all those boxwoods, they put it the rest of the sill on this side of the cider house. It seems a little bassackward but now Virginia is placing stones under the sill for the foundation. Whatever works.

Building the foundation

Once the corner post is repaired, it is secured to the sill. Then the repaired center post is put into place.

This completes the structural repairs to the west side of the cider house so the rigging can be removed. Now you can see scarf joint in the sill and the three repaired posts.

The south half of the upper level of the cider house

Now we need some siding. Virginia dragged old floor boards from the north end of the upper level and power washed them to make “new siding”.

So then I sent off to do some plying with Red’s help but she just doesn’t seem to understand how the process works.

Plying with Red’s help

When I came back a drainage ditch was dug, the large doorway was framed out, the siding was up and they were repairing the old barn door.

After adding a plywood backing and replacing the bottom of the door, it was very heavy. Fortunately, Michael read a book about how to move heavy stuff.

And it works!

Closing the barn door

Although the south end still needs a new sill as well, this won’t require lifting it, it’s already where it belongs. So Virginia can now finish repairing the siding, install windows and paint.

The front (south side) of the cider house now has windows and Virginia has replaced some of the siding around them. The door is original and has the date “1859”. With a fresh coat of paint/stain, it’s almost as good as new.


The east side was finished some time ago but has now been painted and looks really spiffy.

On the north side, the door will get a small roof to keep the rain from getting on the sill and prevent the rot that destroyed the old sill.

North side

Finally, the west side, which faces the house, has a person door and the large sliding door.

The room in the south half of the upper level still needs a floor so there will be another post once we get the flooring and joists from the sawmill. And the cider house will also get a new metal roof, but that will be next year.

In the meantime, here’s Ivy out grazing with the lambs.

Ivy and the lambs

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