Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Week 14: Chimney and harth demo.  More windows in

Was nice to take some days off, but had to get back at it. We are facing a long hard stretch ahead to get this house move in ready.
We brought in laborers to remove the chimney and harth ($400 for 3x laborers and $300 for dumpster #4).  We discovered the harth base was a solid concrete slab, so I had to rent a jack hammer ($150) and take it out the next day.

The dinning room looks (and smells) way better with the old masonary gone.
Amazingly there was hard wood below the harth that, except for a couple jack hammer gouges, is in pretty good shape.

A before pic:

We haven’t yet decided where we will relocate the stove.
My goal for the week was to get the rest of the windows in, but fell short.  We did get three rough openings prepped and two windows installed:
Cutting away the siding on the attic window:

We cut a new hole in the house to add a second window in the back bedroom.  D and I got these two installed before rushing off to a New Years party.

I saved the worst for last:

The library window was definitely the most poorly installed window in the house. The siding did not extend all the way to the window.

Anyone could have broken into house by simply bending back the few nails that held the window in place and removing the window.

Bad waterproofing left the sill pate along much the wall rotted and needing to be replaced.  This needs to be done before I can finish installig this window.
Garage cleanup:
Our house project started out with a single item or two. Item by item we have gained and now we have a whole garage full of items.
D joined me for a couple days to help get organized.
We reinstalled the wood stove In the garage. After a little clean up, the garage is now a comfy little workshop.

She also continued removing the attic insulation.
Here’s an example of how not to secure a wire:

Roof update:
The roof is still not compete and no sign of the roofers this week.  They did install our three new syights ($1,500) before xmas. This greatly improved the light situation in what was a dark living room.

Additional costs:
-$100 for more framing and window install materials.
-$300 weight and rental overcharges for last dumpster
Running total for renovation: $36,850

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Week 13:  Xmas break

It’s the shortest days of the year this week.  The weather is cold and stormy.  A good time to take a few days off for some Xmas relaxation.

I think the roof is complete, but I haven’t been out to confirm.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Week 12:  Family lends a hand 

We had a work party with D’s family this weekend.  We lit a campfire and kept the coffee hot.  With eight of us working, we got a lot of clean up done.  The house looks the best it ever has. 

Cutting up the cherry tree :

We installed five more windows:


Roof update:

2.5 weeks later and the roofers are still at it.  Maybe next week is the week they’ll get it done. 


Septic update:

The septic was finished this week - Three days before the bank started dinging us with a daily late penalty (a condition of the escrow holdback used to pay for the septic).

Rather then fix the cracked water main, the septic guys dug us a new trench so we could replace the broken water line with a new one.  This is a better long term solution, but it means we will be without water and toilet for a time.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Week 11: Septic install

It’s a big work week at the house!

Finally we got the dry weather we needed to install the septic system.  It's huge.  Way bigger than expected.

Unfortunately they had to tear up our yard to install the tank and the 300ft of drain field.  Looks like we will be living with lots of mud until the grass grows back in the spring.

Drain field looking forward:

Drain field looking back:

New plumbing and electric lines

Filling the tank up with 1,700 gallons from the garden hose for the test:

The install has gone pretty smoothly, but they did mangle our water main with the excavator, so we will be without water (and toilet) through the weekend.

Before they covered up the ditch, we dropped in a pex line that ran out to the end of the drain field ($150).  Adding a hydrant and tieing in with a water line will be a project for another day.


The roofers are still at it.  1.5 weeks into the job and only a quarter of the new roof has been installed.

The difference between a well run and poorly run operation is especially apparent with the roofers and septic installers working at side by side.

The roofers leave early and don’t work much when they are there, they make messes they don’t clean up, they stomp on and dent the metal roof of my patio cover, they borrow my tools and leave them on the roof, they go to the bathroom in toilets that no longer flush...

They did get around to replacing some of the rotted rafter tails and facia boards. 

Marking a measurement:

...and the result:


We picked a bad company, but we're locked in now.  I'm ready to be done with these guys.


Also this week:

I took a couple days off of work to continue the window installation.  I framed in 5 windows and installed three.

Trimming the aluminum siding for the new window openings is a difficult and unpleasant job.  Below the aluminum siding is an asphalt shingle siding that also has to be removed.  

The extra studs I added to support the headers means the lap siding and tar paper don't extend to the edges of the new window opening. The new openings have to be patched with scrap wood and then the exposed wood is covered with flashing tape.  The window is then caulked, screwed in and more flashing on top to cover the nailing fins.    (The cost of supplies (flashing, caulking, fasteners, tyvek... ) needed for the window installation was ~$650. )

Lots of work, but the results are worth it.

Bedrooms windows before:

Bedroom windows after:

A few pics from outside:

Framed in and ready for a window:

Fastening the window:

One side done:


Derra came out for a couple days and continued removing the attic insulation. It had been infested with critters and needs to go.

Feathers and nuts in the attic:

Randy broke up and removed the front porch landing.  He is preparing the area to pour a new concrete slab:

The running total took a big jump this week with the septic install ($20,050). 

Running total for renovation: $34,100