Still Here

Sep. 3rd, 2011 12:06 am
balzacq: (Default)
Right. The earth did not open up and swallow us whole along with our house.

The back bedroom project is still underway, though. After gutting it back in March and April, we pretty much ran out of time and money. In May I was able to get all the framing done: I filled in the existing exterior door, framed two windows, added a real closet, and created a rough door opening where the end of the hallway once was. In June or thereabouts I was able to buy a roll of wire and run the almost all the electrical. And there I stopped for a couple of months.

Originally published at Casa de Lovely
» Click here « to leave any comments.

balzacq: (Default)
Last weekend I started on the back bedroom/hallway project. The plan is:

• Gut down to the studs
• Frame in the door to the outside
• Add a window to that wall
• Take out the existing closet wall and move the doorway back to the bathroom wall
• Add a real closet and a reading nook
• Rewire properly
• Add attic stairs to the hallway ceiling
• Lay down a plywood floor in the attic for storage
• New drywall and moldings


Originally published at Read more at Casa de Lovely
» Click here « to leave any comments.

balzacq: (Default)
Half the tax return went to making the rubbish pile go away. The treehouse six or eight months ago was the beginning of it, and then there was huge amounts of demo from the basement. See, the previous owners finished half the basement, but they did it wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. So I had to take out all the non-pressure treated wood in direct contact with concrete, all the badly nailed-up drywall, and all the slightly mildewy insulation.


Originally published at Casa de Lovely
» Click here « to leave any comments.

balzacq: (Default)
After all the adventures in plumbing, the next project in the queue was taking out the crappy stairs down to the basement. For reference, here's a photo of the stairs:

Originally published at Casa de Lovely
» Click here « to leave any comments.

balzacq: (Default)
We're finally able to go ahead with upgrading the electrical service from 125 amp (and a totally-full, out-of-date, not-terribly-safe panel) to a nice shiny new 200 amp Siemens panel.

The plan is to install a new mast and meter in a better location on the house (where the wires won't cross over the roof at no more than five feet clearance), run conduit back to the same room in the basement as the old panel, install the new panel there, put in a 100-amp breaker and run a feeder cable to the old panel. That way I can leave the horrible mess of electrical spaghetti untouched for now, and as I remodel rooms put new circuits in the new panel and retire circuits from the old panel until I can remove the old panel completely.

Originally published at Casa de Lovely
» Click here « to leave any comments.

balzacq: (Default)
The treehouse is down. Went up on the ladder with the sawzall a couple of weekends ago and made pretty short work of it, considering that it was fairly sturdily built -- except of course it was built of non-treated lumber so the roof was bowed in and the 2x4s were soaking wet. It's really amazing how big the pile of junk lumber is from such a small building.

Originally published at Casa de Lovely
» Click here « to leave any comments.

balzacq: (Default)

Originally published at Casa de Lovely. Please leave any comments there.

At the same time as the work in the bathroom, I've also had another project foisted on me by our home insurance policy carrier. Apparently the insurance inspector took a little tour around the grounds and had some issues he wanted fixed or they would CANCEL OUR POLICY!!

Read the whole thing »

balzacq: (Default)

Originally published at Casa de Lovely. Please leave any comments there.

I haven’t been posting the last few days because I’ve either been too goddam busy or too goddam tired.

The difference between the DIY reality shows and reality is that the shows never show people covered in filth on top of a ladder working with heavy tools at arm’s length in the middle of the night.

Monday I pulled down the ceiling and dropped a huge pile of rockwool all over everything — I pulled one nail off the corner of each sheet of drywall and the whole thing came down. There were a bunch of nails in the joists, but the drywall must have been completely rotten. After I cleaned all of that up, I scraped up all the vinyl flooring and the linoleum underneath it (at least I hope it was linoleum). Also, the building inspector showed up for the preliminary inspection, and signed off on all our plans, including the stairs; what was especially useful is that he let me know that on old existing buildings they’re understanding about what’s possible and what isn’t, and with respect to the winding stairs that the 6″ inner width of the tread was the most important part and that if we missed the 10″ middle width by a quarter-inch or so they could let it slide.

Read the rest of this entry » )
balzacq: (Default)

Originally published at Casa de Lovely. Please leave any comments there.

Edited to add: The original graphic theme for this blog wasn’t working out, so we’re trying “Arclite”. Please let us know if there’s any issues with the UI. Thanks!

Yesterday after getting the permits all straightened out I got to spend about three hours working in the bathroom. Today it was about the same — got there about 3:00 and left at 6:00.

The permits and plans “prominently posted at the job site”:

IMG_0678

The bathroom before yesterday and today’s demo. I’d already removed the chair rail molding, the sink and the toilet:

IMG_0664IMG_0665

I pulled off all the remaining moldings and door casings (carefully for the main door, since I’m putting them back). I got all the drywall off of one and a half walls, and all the towel hooks, mirror, etc., which are in pretty good shape and will be appearing in a Craigslist ad very soon.

Bathroom at end of day today:

IMG_0667IMG_0668IMG_0670

So I now think that, in the 1930 floor plan, what is now the parlor was the main bedroom. Either in the original plan or very soon thereafter, they framed in a closet against the wall opposite the bathroom with 2×2s, which is why the bathroom side of that wall is narrow horizontal T&G instead of the wide vertical T&G on the room side that’s used everywhere else.

Much later, very possibly in 1994, the owner knocked out the part of the bathroom/closet wall and drywalled the bathroom.

You can see the framing of the wall between the old closet and the old bathroom in these two photos:

IMG_0671IMG_0672

You can see the end stud and the top plate of the 2×4 wall that was removed, along with nail and pipe/wire holes.

I say in 1994 because I found a bible hidden in the walls with a note inside reading “Hid 12-17-1994″.

IMG_0689IMG_0686

The T&G cladding in the old bathroom was removed (assuming it was ever there), so in there the drywall was 1/2″ and fastened to the studs. In the old closet, the T&G was not removed so they put 1/4″ drywall directly over it. This still didn’t make the walls even, so they had to add wider moldings to the bathroom side.

It wasn’t a load-bearing wall, so I don’t understand why they cut the bottom plate and removed the intermediate studs, but didn’t cut the top plate or remove the end stud. It would have been so much easier to make it look good.

WTF #1: Notice how the cold stubout comes up from the floor but the hot stubout comes down from somewhere:

IMG_0691

Here’s the plan for the next couple of days:

  1. go up in the attic and scoop away all the rockwool insulation from above the bathroom ceiling so I can demo without having all that fall down on me
  2. find the shutoff valve for the tub/shower and then remove the faucets and handles
  3. remove the window casing, the rest of the drywall, the T&G cladding, the vinyl floor, and the plastic shower surround
  4. turn off the power and trace and cap the wiring (removing the hidden junctions or unboxed splices that I’m sure are up in the attic)
  5. drop at least part of the downstairs bathroom ceiling and disconnect the bathub drain
  6. trace the water lines back as far as I can to the earliest common point where I can cap them
  7. hope like hell the subfloor is okay and doesn’t need replacing

The building inspector is scheduled to come by sometime on Monday to review and approve the plans, and I want the bathroom completely opened up by then so he can see the stub wall I want to move isn’t load-bearing. Hopefully he won’t make me reframe the 2×2 old closet wall.

First Day

Sep. 10th, 2009 01:45 am
balzacq: (Default)

Originally published at Casa de Lovely. Please leave any comments there.

And we’re demolishing things already.

Really, we only went over there after we got the final confirmation to look around and poke things and claim the house as ours. Which we did.

IMG_0637

Jen, Thekla and I on our front porch

After which I smudged the whole house with white sage, and then — my Wiccan ex-wife would be so proud — walked clockwise around the perimeter of the property, athame* held high, and invoked the protection of the four cardinal directions. Now, I’m not pagan or Wiccan or anything else, but I got used to the ceremonies, and at times like this it seems like an important symbolic and metaphoric thing to do.

* Since I didn’t have an actual athame, I used a utility knife. Which came in handy when I had to cut through some blackberry stems behind the garage.

While we were waiting for our friends who live nearby to show up, Jen started poking at the “decorative” plaster in the dinette where it was flaking off. Underneath it was another of the tongue-and-groove boards that clad the walls almost everywhere, and that particular board was bowed with moisture damage. The previous owner who applied the plaster didn’t bother to repair the board; instead he just skim-coated over it to hide the bulge.

IMG_0639

Lousy stupid ugly falling-off plaster

I got out the hammer and the wrecker bar and started scraping away. In about five minutes I took off about three square feet — the stuff just came off in huge flakes, since obviously they didn’t do anything to prepare the surface and just slapped the plaster onto smooth boards. Yeesh.

Then we noticed there were more areas of flaking, and it came off there just as easily.

Jen gets her demo on

Jen gets her demo on

Jen originally sort of liked the Venetian plaster effect, but now she just wants it gone. We hadn’t really intended to do the dinette right away, but it looks like we’ll have to move it up on the schedule.

(I’m hoping that once we get all thousand-plus square feet of original 1930s tongue-and-groove board off the walls and ceilings, it’ll actually be worth something on Craigslist.)

January 2015

S M T W T F S
    123
45678 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 26th, 2017 02:41 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios