Background Switcher (Hidden)

Here Come the Amish!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Before September 2019, the only Amish folk who'd ever been here to Indigo Hill had been birders, chasing a waay out of range Pacific Slope flycatcher that spent part of a winter around our compost pit in December 2015. That was unusual, to have vans pull up and quiet black-clad men pour out to look at a fidgety flycatcher in my yard.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher (identified by its responsiveness to playback; it ignored Cordilleran Flycatcher calls)

I loved knowing that this vagrant bird had such a pull on the birding community, especially the Amish birders, that they'd get up in the dark and pile in a van to come see it. Getting up in the dark: nothing new for Amish folk.

I really wish now I'd gone out and mingled more, but it was all a bit much for me, and I stayed out of the way while Bill (second from left in yeti hat)  acted as Ringmaster. I, who was here TCB all day every day, had not wanted to make the bird's presence public, and he, who was rarely home, really super did. He won, as he usually did. It was a thing. I'm glad a lot of people got to see it. But I felt guilty about not letting them in to use the house and facilities and have a looky-loo around, which was a wise choice on my part because I would have been at it all day every day. As it was, I spent the period of invasion hiding like a rabbit.

Back to the house...

Now that it was all gussied up, it was clear that the house was past needing a new roof, and I knew what I wanted. I'd already taken the leap to paint everything barn red in 2014, and never looked back, but the job wasn't done. Uccch that old brown asphalt roof! 

 I wanted a blue metal roof. Really blue, like the bewitching cobalt blue asphalt roof on my uncle Howard's north central Iowa barn, that I loved so when I was a kid visiting in summers from Virginia. I imprinted on the combo of barn red and cobalt blue, and that stayed with me for life, until I finally had a house to adorn the way I wanted to. My friend Marcy, who knows all the good stuff, hooked me up with Amish Builders out of Patriot, Ohio. Those men, young, middle-aged and older, came out and swarmed all over the house like carpenter ants. The younger ones were running the ridgepoles. I could hardly look.

The man in red is "English;" he works, drives and oversees. I just loved watching the crew work. How to get the panels on the high part of the tower addition? Just walk them upright, then hand 'em up. My gosh!! I was flabbergasted at their ingenuity and strength.

I got the feeling I was watching the human body work the way it's supposed to. Man as lever, man as fulcrum.

ooh I love this shot!! Can you imagine standing on a steeply pitched roof, reaching for a giant heavy panel of metal to haul up? No machines, just men! Hallelujah, it wasn't raining men! No Amish were harmed in the making of this photograph.

In 5 1/2 hours, the crew had finished roofing the house and the garage. Arrived in the morning, left in the mid-afternoon. I had been thinking it would take a week or more. Clearly, these gentlemen work on an entirely different level than I was accustomed to witnessing. And I was swiftly hooked by that.

Now, with it all done and resplendent,  I could see that I had a problem. Because now the craptastic cheapo siding on the garage was thrown into stark relief by its gorgeous blue roof. And the peeling, horrifically rotted cedar siding on the tower part desperately needed to be replaced. Company owner Daniel Yoder came over and just started tearing off siding as if it were wet pasteboard, which at this point it was. I grabbed his arm. STOP!! I can't watch! 

Obviously, the next thing to do was get the garage sided--and the tower addition, too, in HardiePlank Fiber Cement Lap Siding to match the main (low) part of the house, which we'd had done in 2014. Who you gonna call? Amish Builders! As he worked up his estimate, owner Daniel Yoder warned me several times that HardiePlank was very expensive. Yes. I know. I also know that, having nobody reliable to fix things, I am done with rotting cedar and cheap board and batten pine siding; I'm done with cedar; and I'm also real done with peeling paint. We're going HardiePlank and metal here, and then we don't have to worry about it any more.

We started in the orchard and ended up on the roof, I am aware, but it's all a continuum, and it'll all make sense in the next post. I was buoyed by the energy and positivity of the Amish Builders, and I wanted to keep this good snowball rolling.


Hardie plank is great, however, you may still need to paint it eventually. Nowhere near the every few year that wood siding needs paint. The house I'm in now is 20 years old and we did some renovations. Had to repaint sections to match properly.

An Amish group from up around Kidron put together The Dance Hall with Jeff and his uncle helping. They slept here and I festival them. I loved meal time with all the chatting and candid "getting to know you" conversation. As to walking the beams 6'4" Marvin said some days it is easy and some days I can't do it at all. I am happy for you getting these repairs/updates taken care of. Good for you!

Such a great story. We have several Amish built bookcase that. Mr. Enos (sp?) Bender made for us in Maryland. He actually lived in Springs, PA. He did great work, and we still love and use them.

I am so happy you are able to get this done. Looks fabulous!

They are incredible and creative workers.
Have you seen the video of 300 Amish men picking up a barn and moving it?

Isn't wonderful when you can find a contractor that shows up and does a phenomenal job?! We just had a small addition put on - we could only afford the bare bones; my husband is doing the finish work - and we are so happy with the quality of the work. Wish I'd known about the HardiePlank before we put clapboard on the exterior, though.

Hardieboard and metal roof - our combo here, same reasons. Who has time to do maintenance when you could be out... cutting down trees in the woods to haul back for firewood? Our switch to solar and heat pumps helped decrease that task too... Growing raspberries, much more time-worthy.

[Back to Top]