I’m sure there are lots of others way to earn street cred around here, but hauling 16-foot pieces of wood on a flatbed truck must get you some points. This is the happy photo, the morning after we made the hour-long trip from Turner, Maine back to Portland, on the back roads all the way. Nick saw an ad on Craigslist for something like 700 square feet of standard and better grade pine wood, and after a round of emails with the owner (Moose Creek Log Homes), we set out after work one day with a rented flatbed from Home Depot.
We were to meet with a warehouse employee at 6pm, after Moose Creek had closed. Of course, this being me and Nick, we took a few wrong turns and didn’t get there until 6:30, but luckily the guy was still waiting for us. What we weren’t expecting was for the flooring to be 16 feet long. We’d just assumed that it would be closer to 8 or 10 feet, and would fit snugly in the back of our flatbed. The reality was this:
It looks like a drug deal gone bad, but that’s just a photo of the forklift that was used to put the flooring on the back of our truck. It took about three tries before we got the wood to come to rest in the center on a pair of scrap 4x4s. And then, as the flooring swayed heavily over the back end of the truck, we realized we had nothing on us that we could use to tie down the lumber. The Moose Creek guy helpfully offered us two lengths of nylon strapping, which we jerry-rigged around the wood. At the last minute he also found a bit of rope, and a scarp of yellow caution tape that he stapled to the end of the wood. For visibility.
It was in that state that we lumbered out of the parking lot and got onto Route 4 South back to Portland (but not before taking a wrong turn and driving around the front of the showroom and onto the front lawn; we misunderstood the guy’s directions to drive around the back of the warehouse). I kept watch on the wood while Nick drove white-knuckled down the dark back roads of Maine. The overhanging edges of the lumber dipped and bowed with every minor bump in the road, flapping up and down like a diving board as we drove.
Our plan was to get the truck back to the Home Depot by 10pm so we wouldn’t have to pay for a full 24 hour rental. Of course, we didn’t make it, so the next morning Nick woke up early to drive the truck over to the house and unload the flooring before work. As he was parking, he scraped and dented one of the carpenter’s trucks with the back edge of the wood.
When we started this renovation, we once admired some reclaimed pine flooring we’d seen for sale at $7/square foot. Three months later, we realized that this stuff, at 88 cents/sf, was more our speed. But between the white-knuckle drive, the extended flatbed rental, and the damage to the carpenter’s truck, I’m not sure it ended up being the bargain we were hoping for.
Then again, it looks good. Nick’s dad flew out for a power work weekend on Thursday, and by Sunday he and Nick had laid down flooring over 3/4 of the kitchen and dining room. But I can’t show you that photo until I write up a post on the drywall. That is an unveiling that deserve a post all its own.