We libertarians are all about markets, right? Well, only if we use a very broad definition of markets (as I am inclined to do) that includes all voluntary exchange. But lots of folks, I think–most critics of libertarianism included–distinguish between market transactions and voluntary transactions that are non-market, like two people helping each other turn and turn about. And libertarians, being all selfishly individualistic and hateful toward society, aren’t supposed to like the latter. Except, of course, lots of us do. It’s voluntary after all, so what’s a libertarian not to like about it?
That’s all just a lead-in to pictures of the house work that Lancifer and I did this past week. I posted a while back about the rotted foundation beam I found in my house. Lance and I had already agreed to exchange some work, so I asked him to come up and help me fix that and replace some siding. Then I went down to his house and helped him replace some siding. Pictures below.
Here’s that rotted beam, still in place. Note also the complete lack of insulation under my dining room window. That’s the problem with old houses with blow in insulation; nooks and crannies that are isolated from the rest of the wall don’t get filled in.
Here you can see the extent of the rot in the cut out section of beam. Fortunately this was not a long section of beam, and was easily cut out and replaced. The only hard part was jacking up the house far enough to slide the new box beam into place.
Add new insulation.
And some house wrap to cut down on drafts (while avoiding the 2 by that Lance appears to be swinging at my head).
And then just add new siding.
It was a slower process than expected, because the diamond window did not have a consistent angle on its diagonals, and the walls of the house aren’t quite straight, so each piece needed an individually measured cut on each end. Above you can see Lance working around this window.
I would have had a hell of a time figuring out those cuts without his help. And finally, the finished (but not yet painted) product–new siding that hopefully will last as many years as the old siding–or at least until I move out–covering a much more well-insulated wall. Lance is a bastard, though. Noting the light cream color of our house, he pointed out that when I paint this part of the house I really will be an academic living in an ivory tower.
Then on to his house. The job at my house took longer than expected, and I had a flight to L.A. I couldn’t miss, so our time there was too limited to get as much done as we hoped, but we got as much done as we could.
Lance built this second story on his house himself, a decade or so ago. He spent a few thousands of dollars in real wood siding, but within a few years it had already started to split and warp. So off it comes.
Few things bug me more than the view of libertarians as solely self-concerned. I’ve got more work to do and I’d happily exchange labor with others who could use my help. Theu don’t even have to be libertarians. Because mutual interest is not as simple as self-concern.