Friday, January 09, 2015

2015 House Goals

Now that 2014 is behind us I am ready to look forward to a new year that will hopefully involve more progress on the house and fewer broken bones.  Here are the major projects for 2015.

Finish the garage so we can work on the actual house - We were close, but then decided that the floor needed more work than we had originally planned so now we have another big task to finish in there.  But we are getting close to finally being done.
Gut and rebuild main floor bathroom - We'll be changing the layout to free up a little more space for the kitchen. The new bath will be a little smaller but much nicer than this mess.
Kitchen addition and full remodel - In addition to stealing space from the bathroom we are also creating a cantilevered addition to give us some much needed kitchen space.  Right now the kitchen is only 8x9, the same size as our bathroom.
Replacing rest of the roof, siding and insulation - We did not replace the roof on the back of the house because of our impending kitchen addition.  Between the roof and our mix of old and new siding the back of the house is really an eyesore.
Install stone veneer and paint house - We left the house wrap exposed on the lower part of the house all winter and the siding is all still primer colored.  The neighbors are starting to wonder if we're going to finish this, or just like the half-done look (They have valid cause for concern.  A house on the next block has been in house-wrap since before we bought our).
Move staircase to basement - We need to remove the wood stove and move the stair case toward the south wall.  This will free up space in the dining room.
Install radiant heating system - Without wood heat we will need a way to keep the house warm.  We plan to install a staple-up radiant system like the one we had in Butte.  As part of this project we will have to bring gas to our electric-only home.

Lay hardwood floors upstairs - We are getting rid of all the carpets and cheap laminate in favor of hardwood floors.  We prefer the look and they are very effective with radiant heating systems.  We would like to do something similar to the maple we put in our Washington house.
In addition to all this I also have to find time this spring to have the screws removed from my ankle.  While it should be a much easier recovery than last summer's surgery, it will still slow me down.  Hopefully not too much though, I've got a lot of work to do.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Fall Project List - How Did We Do?

In August Luke and I made some serious revisions to our remodeling plans.  After delays caused by the concrete and my broken ankle we had to scale back our tasks.  We identified six major projects that we wanted to tackle.  But how did we do?

Pour driveway and sidewalk
To quote Monty Python "Completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute".  But at least the concrete is done and we can move on with our lives while our original contractor rots in jail.
Dry in garage
Finished over Labor Day weekend.  We still need to finish the interior, but now that the garage is dry we can work on it over the winter.
Frame kitchen addition
Postponed.  Our cantilevered addition is going to cause some problems with the existing plumbing for the upstairs bathroom.  We decided to delay the addition until spring so we can do the kitchen and bathroom at the same time.  For now we have to leave the back of the house looking like this.
New roof on the house
3/4 Done.  My family helped us get the new roof on in just one weekend but we were unable to replace the roof on the north side of the house because of our plans to add on to the kitchen.  That will be another project for next spring.
Replace doors and windows
Mostly done.  We did not replace the bathroom and kitchen windows because they will both be affected by the addition in the spring.  We'll keep them covered with plastic this winter.
Replace siding on house
Mostly done.  The siding is up (except for the back of the house and east side) but it was too cold for putting on the stone veneer.
While we didn't complete everything we had hoped for we were able to accomplish quite a bit considering the circumstances.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

New Siding is Up

We had another weekend of beautiful weather which means another weekend of busting our butts on the house.  We finished installing the siding on the front of the house.  I will be installing stone veneer on the lower portion next year.

We also installed the shake-look siding on the gable ends.  Eventually they will be painted a little darker than the garage to add some visual interest but even now they’re looking pretty good.

And the view from the street is really starting to come together.

We still have a few more projects to finish before winter, but we're getting close.




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Windows That Work

Part of our weekend project was to replace the windows on the south face of the house.  The living room is on the left and the master bedroom is on the right


The living room windows were replaced a few years ago.  But the windows are poor quality with installation to match.
The master bedroom casement window was cracked on one side and fogged on the side that actually opened.
We decided the house would look better with matching windows on either side of the front porch.  A little symmetry certainly couldn't hurt anything.  Luke had to frame up a new, larger header to span the window opening in the bedroom.
We still have a lot of work to do, but the house just looks right with matching windows.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fixing Up The Facade

Now that we have siding on the garage we can turn our attention to the disaster that is the front of the house.  A few weeks ago we ripped off the siding on the west end to install the new soffit.  Then we realized that we needed to remove the sheathing and replace the wall insulation before we put in the soffit.  So the house has been sitting like this for a few weeks.
 We removed the remaining siding and tore off the buffalo board sheathing so we could remove the foam insulation.  You can see how the insulation had shifted, leaving a large gap at the top of the wall and smaller gaps on the sides.
 This left the house looking a little interesting.  We had studs and drywall, but nothing to protect the house.  Fortunately the weather was fantastic.

Once everything was wired up we replaced the crumbling foam insulation with fiberglass and installed new sheathing and house wrap.
 By Saturday night the house was wrapped up tight and had windows again.
Sunday was spent installing soffits and fascia, trim and getting ready for the siding.
I actually put up most of the siding on Sunday night, but could not get any photos in the dark.  I'll try to get more photos up once the siding is finished.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Starting on the Siding


I haven’t posted since we installed the new roof a few weeks ago.  Over the last few weeks we’ve been installing soffit and fascia on the garage, which is slow work and a little too dull for its own post.  But on Saturday Luke wrapped up the last of the garage fascia and we started prepping for garage siding.  Little projects, like installing siding corners , starter strips and building mounting blocks for our lights took up a large chunk of the weekend, but on Sunday afternoon we were finally able to start putting up a few pieces of siding.
We selected LP SmartLap siding for the exterior.  It's more expensive than Hardie Siding, but it's also easier to work with and has a much better warranty.  We also installed this siding on our Washington house so we already knew we liked the finished look.  (I really miss that house, but not Washington).
For now we are focusing on getting the regular siding installed.  It leaves the garage looking a little odd because it's still missing the stone veneer on the lower portion and shake siding for the gables.  Still, despite the exposed house wrap and bland primer color, it's beginning to look like an actual garage.
 
We plan to install the gable siding later this week.  I'll post photos as soon as we have something worth looking at.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The New Roof

This is our forth house, fifth roof and the first time I have not been involved at all.  Because I am still recovering from a broken ankle my doctor forbid me from setting foot on the roof.  So I don't have many photos and they are all shot from the ground.
The old roof was tolerable but nearing the end of it's life.  It had two layers of 3 tab shingles so it was time to remove all the old roofing and start fresh.  Plus our new porch roof needed to be tied into the main roof.
My family came out to help with the project.  This is the third time they've helped us with a roof and we are so grateful for their help, especially since I am out of commission this time.
In the past we have used Owens Corning and IKO shingles.  This time we upgraded to Malarkey which have a much better nailing strip. Our color is Storm Grey which has a nice color variation.  The colors and high profile on the laminated shingles make the roof look more like shakes than architectural shingles. When we had finished the roof on Sunday my dad commented on how the white, 3 tab shingles dated the house before.
Obviously a lot has changed since we bought house a year ago, but I think my dad is right.  The new roof color gives the house a fresh, updated look.
 The back of the house still looks odd.  We are planning to cantilever a kitchen addition next spring and did not want to replace the roof back here just to cut it up again in a few months.  So until then we will have an mismatched looking roof on the north side.
 We still have a lot of projects we would like to do before winter, but we are now done with everything that needs to be done before winter.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Doors and Windows Make It So Much Nicer

Over labor day weekend we managed to get the garage dried in, but it was by no means finished or secure.  And since cooler temperatures are on their way we thought it might be nice to work without the wind ripping through the garage.  We put a window over the future workbench (right) and one looking out to the west.
 Our back door worked out better than expected.  We snapped up this fiberglass half light door on clearance even though it was an unusual out-swing configuration.  Fortunately our vintage heater will be tucked inside this corner of the garage so it will never be blocked by an open door.
The side garage door is just down the sidewalk front the front door so I wanted something that would not look cheap in comparison.  My solution was found in the clearance bin.
Yes, we used the same door twice.  I think they look great together but I do have slight obsession with this door.
We even managed to install the used garage door we purchased last winter.  It still needs a good cleaning after being stored under our deck, but at least the garage is secure.

We also have another, bigger project coming up this weekend...stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Labor Day Laboring

Labor day lived up to its name this year.  Luke and I labored our butts off.  I'm still not fully recovered from my broken ankle, but I am doing well enough to work on the house again.  I puttered on small projects like installing flashing and working on the porch while Luke tackled big projects.
He sheeted the garage roof which really made the garage seem a lot more finished
He also installed synfelt on the roof and we managed to get the house wrap on as well.
I built real steps for the front porch.  We've been using a temporary set since April so it's nice to have something sturdy and facing the right direction.
My doctor forbade me to on the roof this year, so I sent Rikka up to check things out for me.
It's really amazing how different the house looks with the garage and porch.  Here is a photo from this spring before we started work.
 And how it looks now (sorry about the cars in the way, we're protecting the new driveway).
Obviously we still have a long way to go but it has changed a lot since April.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Finally, A Driveway

Despite four months of misery our concrete saga is almost at and end. Our new concrete guy set the forms on Monday.
And poured on Thursday.  Originally I had designed a semicircle sidewalk that created a garden between the garage and yard, but our contractor suggested this instead.  Although I lose the little garden between the house and garage I really like the way this worked out.
Did you notice that gap between the sidewalk and the house?   We are keeping that window well and did not want it to project into the sidewalk so I'm going to turn this into a garden.
And now that the concrete is done, we can go back to to working on the never ending garage project.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Bonus Project - Patio Door

On Monday I posted pictures of our new front door but I didn't mention our unplanned project, the patio door.  Unfortunately since I was not planning to replace the door this weekend I did not take any before pictures.  The best one I could find was an old listing photo.
The old wooden door leaked a ton of cold air and the cat figured out how to open it any time she wanted.  It was always surprising to find the door wide open in the middle of winter but the cat obviously was not concerned about pipes freezing.  Anyway, the boys pulled the old patio door out and installed our "new" door.
We found this fancy Pella door at Lowes as a special order return.  We picked it up for $300, marked down from $1800 and aside from missing a latch keeper it was in perfect condition and the screen door slides like a dream compared to the old one.
The internal blinds are nice for privacy without curtains, but I was really amazed at how much brighter the room is when they are closed it night.
I would love to say that we are going to be working on the windows next, but it's time to get back to work on the garage (at least until it starts raining again).