Monday, May 11, 2015

A Finished Roof

Over the weekend my brother and his wife came down to help us finish the roof.  The synfelt has been great and we haven't had any leaks despite a few rainy days, but it was time to get the last side of the roof finished and the pallet of shingles out of our yard.
Despite having to take time to install the sun tunnel for the future bathroom we were able to get the shingling done in one day.
Sunday was spent on wrapping up some small projects but I did find a few hours to continue repainting the garage door.
It was a little dark when I took this photo but you can see some hints of the color variation that makes this look like wood.

Once I paint the raised panels on the lower three rows I cans start work on the horizontal painting.  It is slow, tedious work and I'm not sure the end result will be worth it.  For now I am getting lots of strange looks from my neighbors.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Wrapping Up the Back

Luke had a basketball tournament this weekend so we did not get a lot done on the house.  But he was able to find time to help me get the rest of the sheathing and house wrap up.

I dug out the basement window well that ended up under the addition.  But it was getting late and I didn't want to pour concrete into the opening by myself, so I am using a piece of osb and the boat trailer tire to close off the window. 

I also started painting the garage door.  We bought a used white door that looks okay from a distance, but has a mildly sandblasted look up close.
This is the first step in making the metal garage door look like wood.  This color is a base coat that will eventually be darkened to a mahogany color.  But for now it looks like I'm really bad at choosing a matching color.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Framing the Kitchen Addition



While sensible people were indoors watching this weekend’s snow and rain through the windows Luke and I were framing the kitchen addition.  This required that we rip the rest of the sheathing off the back of the house.
Luke removed the rim joist
Then it took both of us to sister the floor joists for the cantilever.  Once the new floor framing was place and the subfloor glued on we let the dogs test its weight bearing capacity.  We spent the rest of the day framing the walls, but did not get any of them set before dark.
Sunday was cold and snowy but Luke got to work on framing the walls while I built trusses. 
When we knocked off for the day the house was open to the elements with the roof and wall completely open and uninsulated so Luke and I came home early on Monday to get the roof sheathed and dried in. 
We were able to get most of the addition sheathed, but ran short of materials just as it was getting dark last night.  Still, we are now mostly ready for some snowy or rainy weather.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Other Half

It's been a while since I've shown any of the work on the back half of the house.  It was never much to look at and the deck was in rough shape.  All but one of the posts had rotted off.
Things looked even worse when we added the garage and replace the patio door last fall.
The view got much worse last weekend when we removed the siding and the deck.  Luke also stripped the old shingles off the north side in anticipation of our impending kitchen addition.  
As with the other sides of the house we pulled down the buffalo board to replace the insulation and sheathing.  We discovered that the builders did not put vapor barrier behind the bathtub which led to a mold problem in the foam insulation.  This looks worse that it actually is; the mold was just against the outside wall, not all the way through.  But still, it needed to go.

After removing and crushing the insulation we framed the new bedroom window, put in new fiberglass insulation and nailed on the sheathing.  We boarded over the bathroom window, which will eventually be replaced by a sun tunnel.

Sunday night was all about running out of materials.  We were short 6" of Vycor flashing and about thirty feet short of house wrap.  But at least we were able to get the window in the bedroom.

We plan to start on the kitchen addition this coming weekend.  We're both anxious to get the structure framed so we can put a roof on the back of the house.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Gutting the Basement for a Fresh Start

We are finally getting started on the house.  There's a lot of work to be done this year but one of our first major projects will be building an addition on our kitchen.  Because the addition will be cantilevered we need access to the floor joists.  Unfortunately for us the basement is partially finished so we had to tear our the drywall before we could move forward.
This is the "family room" at the bottom of the stairs. We had drywall on the ceiling and the interior wall and stained osb on the exterior walls.  The office is through the door on the left.
 We tore down the drywall and also removed the studs and insulation to get back to bare concrete walls.  We saved most of the studs and insulation to be reused later, but with much better installation techiniques (like actually attaching the bottom plate to the floor and not turning the studs sideways).
 This was our "office" in the basement.  It happens to be under the kitchen so we needed to get everything out of this room to run new plumbing and floor joists.
It looks different without walls, but we think the house would have actually been more valauable this way instead of partially and poorly finished.
Now that the demo is done we can start building the addition.



Monday, April 06, 2015

Garage Interior Finished

It's been three months since I posted anything.  I've been thinking about letting this whole blogging thing die because I've lost interest.  But Luke pointed out I will be in big trouble with my grandma if we are making progress on the house and she's not seeing any pictures.  So in the interest of family peace here's a quick peek at what we've been doing.

The garage is finally finished.  We worked our butts off and spent a ton of money, but at last we have something to show for it. At 24x30 there is plenty of room to work even when our large truck is parked inside.


I splurged and bought Luke a 48" tv with a sound bar and streaming blu-ray player for the garage.  It's part of my not-so-secret plan to get him to watch sports in the garage instead of in the house.
Now that the garage is finished we are actually working on the house.  Luke and I spent the weekend gutting the basement.  If all goes well I might post some new photos this week.

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.