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).

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Front Door

When we moved in the house had and ugly storm door over an even uglier white metal door that had seen better days.
 
 I debated painting the door, but decided it just was not worth the $2.97 for a sample pot of paint.  And since the door has to be body slammed to get it open it would just get scratched up anyway.
We knew which door we wanted, the same fiberglass door we used on our house in Butte.  We fell in love with how well fiberglass help up to construction and a giant malamute.  Our previous steel doors tended to dent and scratch but the fiberglass just needed a little cleaning to look brand new.
 
The only problem is that our door never goes on sale and we just did not want to spend $519.  So we waited and checked clearance at Home Depot for a year with no success.  So when my grandma gave me a 10% off coupon we decided to to just buy the door before winter hit.  We went to Home Depot to pick it up and found exactly what we needed, including the 2x6 jamb with a right hand swing, on clearance because the brickmold was broken.  We hauled our prize home for $350.  Luke and his brother took advantage of a rainy Sunday to get it installed.

The lighting makes the door look espresso instead of a warm chocolate color but either one provides a nice contrast to our nickel lock set.  Obviously we have to get the siding replaced before the house will look good, but new front door is a nice start and we're already getting compliments from the neighbors.


Monday, August 18, 2014

The Game Plan

Our construction plans for 2014 have really changed.  Between delays getting the concrete poured (our contractor went to jail mid-project) and my broken ankle (out of the cast but still need a cane to walk) we are not going to accomplish everything we had planned for the year.  After a great deal of thought and discussion we have revised our plans and come up with the following goals for the remainder of 2014:
          • Pour driveway and sidewalk
          • Dry in garage
          • Frame kitchen addition
          • New roof on house (mandatory, the roof is leaking)
          • Replace doors and windows (hopefully)
          • Replace siding on house (maybe)
It's not a long list, but there is a lot to do. Here is where we're at so far:
Driveway and sidewalk - Scheduled to be poured on Friday

Garage - Still no roof and a long way from dried in
Kitchen addition - Not even started
Roof - We cut a hole in it for the porch gable end, but I don't think that counts as progress
Replace windows and doors - We have chosen the new door, but for now we get to look at this dingy white mess.
Siding - We removed some to build the porch.  It's pretty much a disaster

Given that I'm still pretty useless around the house this is a long list to accomplish before too much snow flies. We'll just have to see how far we can get before then.