21 August 2006

Why I Love My Dad, and other reasons it's good to be a 2nd generation rehabber

My dad, though we don't always see eye-to-eye, is a great guy. He does things that drive me nuts (whose dad doesn't?), and amazing things that make me cry from their sheer wonderfulness. For example, when he helped us finance the house purchase, and what he did this weekend.

He's spent the past two days demoing out the powdered dryrot, painting what's left with Cuprinol (so I, breastfeeding mommy, don't have to), and reframing the now-missing bits. In between, while waiting for the copper green to dry, he's removing all the remaining carpet tackstrips.

I told him not to worry about insulating the addition or drywalling it, because I can do that, and also because he's one of those "lucky" ones that gets more than itchy from installing fiberglas (He gets a full-blown case of allergic dermatitis, no matter how well covered he is). If he can spare me some discomfort and exposure to things I can't be exposed to (mold, copper green), the least I can do is spare him some in return.

Thanks, Daddy. I can't even tell you how much it means that you've helped us out like this. Especially now. It's the best birthday present in the world.

17 August 2006

Powdered House

I finished demoing out the ceiling in the diningroom bay addition yesterday.

Me: "OH MY GOD. It's powder. This was a beam."

EMT J (as distinct from Wiring J): "Is that like cancer for a house?"

Me:"Yes. Hopefully, it's operable, and not terminal."

We discovered the dryrot. Lots of it. In a place I was hoping against hope wasn't dryrotted. And after I stopped swearing, I made a plan of attack.

There was a leak from the rain gutter, maybe 30 years ago, that was allowed to EAT AWAY THE SUPPORT MEMBERS of about a 2'x8' section of the bay roof. And the roofers who "fixed" it just put up a really heavy sheathing board over the hole (I'm guessing 1" ply, since I can SEE it through the approximately 2x1 foot ragged hole in the old tongue and groove sheathing). The 4x4 beam that runs across the face of the wall has been reduced to powder in one place, and to an uneven 1x4 in others. The crosspieces that allegedly rest on it are damaged, so they really more hang near it.

The bay is literally being held up by the roof sheathing resting on the house sheathing (thankfully, some hard wood in big planks, topped with good solid wood lap siding). Oh, and the windows, with their trim.

Shudder. SH@# F@#& D#^* M@&^*@#$^$@#!

So, we have a lot of yanking of trim and reframing to do, which puts us back a good week or two, optimistically. Last night, we bought a shopvac to "demo" the powdered wood with, plus some filter bags to catch the yuck. Today, we are off to buy the replacement lumber.

Good thing we already have a nice stash of salvaged 2x4's. We'll need them to build the temporary supports.

07 August 2006

We finished something! Call the press!

The living room is DONE (well, except for refinishing the floor, but we'll wait on that until the kids are older). We also got the carpet out of the dining room, and it looks an order of magnitude better, even with the hole in the ceiling. A million staples later, we have floors we are already happy with.

The bath is half tiled, all fixtures are in, and the only things waiting to be done (besides part 2 of the tiling) are the faucets on the shower wall (we must finish tiling and grouting first) and connecting the sink to the plumbing. All the weird, fiddly, awkward tiling is now complete.

The Amazing Debris Collection is almost gone. The next dumpster load is waiting next to the dumpster, and we have a few pieces left in the house.

I updated our budget sheet last night and we have spent about 4 grand on tools and materials so far. It sounds awful, but if we had hired people to do this for us, we would have spent 10-20 grand, just to get this far. Even if it would have gone faster, it wouldn't have gone much faster (and may have gotten slower). Our friends A and R hired folks to do all their work last year, and it took them 9 months to get into their house. It's a Stick style house, and it looks great now, but it was a fustercluck for a long time, there.

By the way, spellcheck hates "fustercluck" - and suggests I use "festers" instead. Apt.

06 August 2006

Some progress, some regression, and some blessings counted.

I'm counting my blessings, lest I sink into despair. There will be no moving in this week. FX will come home to an unfinished house, even if he will have a play area to use while we work.

Why? We have fixtures in the bath now, and even some tile (Thanks, MOM!), but that's not really done yet. That's the progess. However, in the process of getting there, we discovered that the toilet we wanted to keep was Done For.

After re-installing it. Sigh. Off to the Home Improvement Store (this time it was Menard's) for a new toilet, a cheap new toilet, and other necessities. Unforseen spending later, (under 200 bucks, really, so we got out cheap, but it was still not budgeted for) there is, once again, a toilet in our new bathroom.

Well, if we have to move for any reason, we can advertise it as having "all new fixtures" in the bath. I don't want to move, this house has ahold of my soul.

Now to the livingroom carpet. Remember the carpet dream? Well, it was partially prophetic - that horrible carpet was on a pad that was either glued down or that degraded in a manner most foul. We've been scraping for two days, and we only have 1/3 of the floor exposed. I see refinishing in my future - but, at least, not sanding. Scrubbing, on hands and knees, and revarnishing, but no sanding in this room, at least.

01 August 2006

The Clock is Ticking

We are supposed to be moved in, at least enough to to consider ourselves to be residing in our house, by the time my older son returns from Texas. We have until the 9th.

Tick, tick, tick...

Understandably, between this and the heatwave, I've stopped sleeping. I decided, therefore, to get out of bed at 4 am and go paint my living room. It seemed like a ggod idea, and lo, by 8 am, there was a successful paintjob, even if I had to stop and patch a couple of cracks I hadn't fixed yet, mid-painting. Our living room now only requires the border papers (2 hours) and removal of the Vile Pea-Green Shag Carpet (however long it takes, I'll enjoy every ripping, wrenching moment).

It already looks Really Nice. The greys I picked really set off the cherry-stained woodwork, and the wood floor, once completely revealed, should just make it that much more wonderful.


I still have work to do on the bath, but it should be in its temporary usable stage by Thursday night. Toilet, sink, tub, cheap plastic temporary flooring... Not lovely, but a place to go. A water-resistant place, at least, and that's always an improvement.


I've decided to just Make Do with our bedroom. I can re-hang the window skirting board, patch what needs patching, and paint, paint, paint. We have Way Too Much To Do left to really make this livable before moving in (like patching in the floorboards where the curtain wall was, finishing the raw flooring in the former closet, resetting the mouldings, and pulling down the boards the acoustic tiels were stapled to) to worry about things like scraping out two rooms worth of hideous layered wallpaper. Unless it comes down Very Easily. I already pulled up the carpet, but put iback down to protect the floor from our construction.


I Really Must finish the painting in the kitchen, for safety reasons. There's the old flaky wall that I'm still only halfway through scrubbing with a wire brush, which also needs patching (natch) as well as painting afterwards.


Then, we have our Fabulous Debris Collection. It's been preventing work on the dining room (we won't even go there - we plan to get that mostly done AFTER number one son comes home) and the porch (which, mercifully, needs little work done) for two months. The dumpster finally arrives tomorrow morning. I await its appearance with ... cynicism. There's a reason we've been collecting debris for months, and it was a dumpster shortage. I really do hope we can get it, though.

Tick, tick, tick...