ZUNDEL HOUSE IN WILLARD BUILT IN 1882
The following series of entries explain the need to remodel the old home, the progression of that remodel and pictures that show before demolition began, during demolition and completion of the entire project. Having not dealt with this website prior to now, I am not sure how this will all turn out. Please bear with me on this. I am a work in progress as well as this site is a work in progress. I will try not to bore you too much.
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All of the children of Stephen U. and Ethel M. Zundel were raised in this home.
The story of that renovation is what follows:
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Sherry and I have been planning taking over the ownership of the Old Zundel house for about one year. The partners in the Dutch A LLC, Bob, Dee, Steve, Jack, Monie and Rick have verbally said that for part of my inheritance, $99,000, they would sign the house plus the property to the West and the road right of way, over to me as soon as the house is cleaned out of the 5 generations of Zundel stuff.
This has been going on for two years and 10 months, since Mother died in March of 2002. The place is a mess right now, and lots of additional work is needed to get it cleaned out. Monie has contacted an estate auction place in Tremonton that is willing to move in at our call and clear out all of the stuff in the house. Of course they have plans on lots of antiques etc. We, as a family, are picking through the things and taking most of it to our homes. There won’t be much left for the antique guys. Mostly what will be auctioned off will be 50’s to 80’s things. Some is very collectible. However, there is the old pump organ, and some candle making molds, crocks etc.
Sherry and I have ordered respirator masks in order to tear down the old lath and plaster walls. We know we have to replace the wiring and bring it up to code in order to rent the place out. Our goal is to renovate the place inside and eventually take the façade off the outside and make it look like it did when it was built in the 1880’s. We don’t plan on making it look historical, but make it livable and the outside looks somewhat like it did in the 1880’s.
Our plan is this: Build a bathroom upstairs in the “attic” area. This will be the Main bathroom for the house. The current main bathroom is one that Dad and Mom had Roy Torgeson build in the mid 1960’s and has been very functional. Our problem is the placement of the bathroom in its relation to the main entertainment area of the living room. Not too good. This being said, we plan to make another bathroom upstairs, fix up the “old bathroom” in the hallway, and eliminate the current main bathroom. The room will be used as a storage room.
Why? Why undo the bathroom that exists? The main problem is the plumbing. It tends to freeze each year and we have to have a heater put in the crawl space under the house to keep the pipes from freezing. The pipes have a problem in that the water pressure is too low and must have something blocking the water flow. This is a secondary problem to the freezing issue.
By putting the piping internal to the house the freezing problem will go away and the hazard of catching the house on fire with the heater will also be eliminated.
Our plan also incorporates the removal of the lath and plaster upstairs and down. We do not plan on touching the part of the house renovated in the 60’s, only that part that houses the old wiring etc. It won’t be easy and we plan on taking our time.
What funds do we have to do this? We have been saving into an IRA for several years, this is what we plan on using to accomplish our task. It’s not much but should do the job. Once completed, we can recover our investment via renting the house out.
Septic tank: Currently it resides West of the house and slightly North, with drain fields out into the old orchard. We plan on moving it up to the North side of the house, with the drain fields going West and South along the West side of the house. By doing this we will be able to make the house and the property it is on, ONE piece, and not complicated by being on the orchard part of the property. If for some unknown reason the house is sold, it can be sold without involving the old orchard, outbuildings etc. area.
We plan to move in a dumpster to hold the lath and plaster and various junk we end up tossing out in our destruction. The prices for such a unit currently is $40 delivery, $110 per pickup and $38 for each ton of material taken to the dump. We feel this is fair. There is no time limit to keep the unit, and the family can take their time emptying the lower part of the house. We will toss the material we take off the walls out the upstairs balcony.
OK! Today is Jan. 10, 2005, Sherry and I headed to town and bought about $50 worth of gloves, hammers, and a small crow bar. We went into the hours to pull up the carpet on the stairs leading up to the upstairs. It was hard work, because Rick had put A LOT of staples into the carpet when he laid it several years ago. It took us about 2 hours just to get that carpet up. We worked without our respirator masks, as they have not arrived yet, and afterword, we blew our noses and the ugliest black junk came out that you can ever imagine! Never work with old house things without a respirator!!!!!
One of the neatest things that happened today. We were working on the stairs, and our curiosity has been for quite sometime about a landing that “just doesn’t seem right”. We tore into the covering etc. and got down to the wood. We didn’t see anything to make us think it was anything but a box built to cover something we don’t know yet. More to come.
Our plan is to keep updating this piece as we progress.
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Jan. 11, 2005
Weather Very cold, snowing occasionally, very wet snow! I plowed everyone out (all 1 inch of it) and headed to the house to work. No masks yet, so I can only do little things. Today is the day to undo the screw in fuses and stop the flow of electricity to the older part of the house. I did this, and behind two of the four fuses were pennies! Gotta keep the power going ya know! Funny why the house didn’t burn down.
I had turned on lights throughout the down and upstairs and removed the fuses. Checked to see which ones went out and then went back to the fuse panel. I pulled very hard several times on the “main fuse” breaker and finally got it out. In the process one of the pennies dislodged and fell on the porch floor. The other penny appears to be welded in place. I put the main fuse breaker back and went looking to see which lights went out. The downstairs, back room was dark. I went upstairs to the attic, the light burned bright.
Oh well. I proceeded to pull the square nails from the wall and save them in a container. Then the overhead hooks and odds and ends found on the floor. Cool things to discuss later. In the process I found a long piece of wood that could be used to dislodge the penny from the fuse panel. I headed back downstairs. When I touched the side of the penny, trying to pry it out, a large spark blasted forth and the porch light went out. I pried some more, more sparks, the light came back on. I pulled the main panel out and pried like the dickens and finally the penny popped out and onto the porch floor. I put the main panel back and no porch light. I quickly went upstairs to find the light out! This is good! No power to the “older” part of the house (I hope). I headed home.
Today, Jan. 12….No masks means no work. Sherry and I finally got over their about 3:30 to “do something”. She scraped at the mahogany wall while I pulled up some 3/8 inch particle board at the top of the stairs (leveling material). Once that was up, I pulled staples (lots of staples). Under the particle board was linoleum in various sizes and shapes. It appeared the ancestors used pieces to level the floor. I pried it up and found old newspapers under it. I tried to be careful in order to read them…they dated in the late 1942 time range. Lots of stories about European countries doing this and that about the Nazi regime. We haven’t read them yet, but Sherry headed downstairs to take a look. Was down there long enough for me to get the staples all pulled up and find an interesting view of “something” under a couple of pieces of flooring. There was a large crack between the floor boards I could see wiring, an eaten corn cob and something else I could not recognize.
I had to pull up those boards! Trying as I may, I did crack one of them, but managed to get them up and the thing I could not recognize was a partially eaten (mice no doubt) spent shotshell! Also the corn cob and the wiring through the floor joists made me shiver. Why hasn’t this house burnt down?
Tomorrow we have the “Green Disposal” company come with a large disposal unit we can toss old carpet, debris etc. into. The cost will be $40 delivery, $110 for each time we ask them to come and unload it and $38 per ton of “stuff” we put into it. We hope we only have to have them come once and the total tonnage is under 4. That would be around $500 and we feel that’s about right for the service. There is no time limit on how long we keep the 20 yard unit. The game plan is to park it out and under the front porch so we can toss the stuff into it from upstairs. Once we get downstairs, we can toss the stuff over the side of the unit (5 ½ ft.). Wish us luck.
We worked from 10 a.m. till around 3 p.m. with about a half hour bullshit session with Bob and Roy. Next time we work, probably Monday, we will change the mask filters and pull down the lath in the attic.
Jan. 24…The tarp was very tight, so I crawled inside the dumpster and cut it to relieve the pressure on the upstairs railing. This worked well, and still gives us a slide to toss stuff.
We hit the attic hard today, got all the lath down and cleaned up, sure looks different.
Sherry is some kind of woman, not many would do this sort of work! It isn’t pretty, and you never know from one hit to the next what is going to fall on you…bird nests, bee nests, dried up mice…whatever….always a lot of black ugly dirt.
Jan. 25….Today was finish the attic area, knock the plaster off above the stairs and then move into the NW bedroom. Here is what it looks like at that end of the attic now.
Notice closely the “pipe” that runs down the inside of the wall, left side. It is a solid rod and my guess is it’s a lightning rod. Why it’s on the inside of the wall instead of outside is another point. Maybe it’s not a lightning rod.?!
Notice the partial moon shape in the lath of the wall. It is some kind of intentional cutout which may have been an additional heat transfer port. I don’t know, because the lath on this bedroom wall had already been removed.
This light fixture is made of ceramic, and you take the other portion which has a wire and a light bulb, and putting the two together and making a ¼ turn, the power is joined to the bulb. The fixture the bulb screws into has a turn switch for on and off.
These next two pictures show what the SW bedroom looks like without lath and plaster.
Just like the NW bedroom, this room also has the brick at the South end, and most of the West wall. Some of the bricks are loose and for some odd reason you can’t see plaster between the bricks like I would expect. Because of this, we may have to change our minds about having the bricks exposed on the finished room. Time will tell.
Tomorrow is a clean up day. We still have to pull the baseboard in the SW bedroom, and clean up the plaster that has fallen behind it. Then we need to do a thorough vacuuming of all the rooms we have worked in so far.
Jan. 27…After pulling up the baseboards and cleaning up the bulky stuff, I went into vacuuming the rooms we have worked in. I used the wet/dry vac we purchased and began in the SW bedroom. The going was slow as the dust is sooooooo fine it would plug up the vacuum filter after a short distance. I worked feverishly from 10 a.m. until nearly 3:30 p.m. without a break! Killer move on my part, but the job got done.
Feb 1, 2005…Angela had her baby on Sunday, so yesterday we went to Logan for the day…All are fine!
Today was meet with the electrician and heating people. They showed up about 9 a.m. and saw the damage we had done to date. Both were impressed. The electrician (Delbert Nawyn) will have it easy estimating what he needs to do. The heating man (Scott Pettingill,[by the way, a relative on Grandma Clarrisa Pettengill Zundel’s side]) will have to see more demolition. I told him I would call when we have the entire upstairs down to just studs.
We hit the gun room hard today, but had a half hour break with Bob and Roy bullshitting. They have to see the damage and put their two bits in. The room was small, but took quite a bit to get the plaster and lath down and cleaned up. There were more wasp nests on the East wall than in the other two rooms, but none were occupied. The most interesting thing today was the fact that four of the upright beams between the gun room and the SW bedroom were not attached and when the lath was pulled from them, they fell into the SW bedroom with a crash! Also, overhead was a beam which we had noted was not attached to the roof on the West end, was not attached on the East end and it too crashed when the lath was removed under it. There was also a two foot 3 in. X 6 in. rough cut board just laying on top of the lath, which would have really hurt if it had hit someone on the head. Were all of these planted intentionally???
We worked over the wall board on the walls pretty good and then tossed those chunks down to the ground. Sherry went down and picked them up and put them in the container while I proceeded to knock down the overhead stuff and the closet.
Not the clearest of pictures, but you can see into the NW bedroom through the lath. The “bump out” to the left of the ladder is the old chimney which came through the floor from down stairs. It has been taken down above the roof line and I’m not sure if we will finish taking it down to the floor level or not.
Maybe I should set it on fire.!?.....NOT!
Today we had three good head knockers in wood form and several bricks that came down with the lath! One of the wood beams, had the overhead wiring from the NE bedroom, drilled through it. Man, why didn’t that house burn down? I had to chisel my way to the wire, work it out of the board and Sherry held the board while I undid the last of the lath and pounded it away from the roof joist. We then had to twist it and work it between the two electrical wires.
Here are the pictures showing what the upstairs looks like now. Pay no attention to the mess on the floor, we will pick it up next Tuesday.
We only took a couple of short water breaks and stayed with the task until just after 3 p.m., but it’s all down!!! Tomorrow, I will do the clean up, as Sherry has a hair appointment.
The brick is in a lot better shape than I thought it would be in. Only some minor stress cracks around the windows, and then mostly under the windows. Some rubbing of the brick is still in order, so as to remove the fine plaster that is still holding to the bricks. Then fixing the plaster in the stress cracks and I think we will be able to seal the brickwork with a clear sealer and the walls will look great!_
Just for fun, we studied the structure and found this remarkable slab of wood that was placed on the roof. It is 24 inches wide and 10 feet long!
What a huge tree that would have been cut from!
Feb. 9…Today I cleaned up the plaster from yesterday and brushed up the dust one time after getting the big stuff off the floor. I didn’t take any flicks of the rooms, as they are the same except the floor is cleaner. No big deal.
The day was pretty uneventful except that I did take down the chimney in the attic area.
Now I know everyone involved was a professional in every right, but these splices sure do look to be of the type that could cause a fire.
Tomorrow we have to move to the porch and take the wood back to the wood shed, tools to the tool shed and toss the bricks from upstairs into the dumpster. I have called the Green disposal company to come and get the dumpster. They will do this on Friday.
Oh, I killed a hornet today!
They will let me know after they weigh it as to how much we had, when we get the bill.
After the brick sorting episode and cleaning up from that, Sherry and I went to the porch and took all of the tools and assorted household things of use down to the shed. We also took all of the painting materials (except paint) down there. These things we will be able to use once we have the walls sheet rocked and ready for paint.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to show what neat things we have found so far. As usual, over time things get lost, fall behind something or are incorporated into a fix up of some kind. During dismantling we found these items and thought they were worth keeping (at least for a short time).
Overview of items: Left to Right…drapery hangers, stove pipe hole plug, assorted nails, washing instruction, sandpaper, post card, torn advertising paper, bank reminder note, round decorative wheel, “Uncle Wiggley” game cards, two small leather pieces, numerous puzzle pieces, assorted hooks and screws, advertising match book, Monopoly hotels and a house, small pearl, marble, bingo numbers, valentines card, 10 gauge paper shot shell, screw in hooks, screw on hooks, three spring catches and two hinges.
This fluttered down from behind the support holding up the closet in the North East Bedroom. That closet had a small door above the one you can see in the “before” pictures, as the ceiling in that room had been lowered. It must have been where they stored important documents, up and out of the reach of the children.
Notice the rope tied to the breaker pull. If needed, who in their right mind would have wanted to reach up there and chance touching one of the exposed metal pieces? Safety has been thought of in this case. “Jerk the cord Maria, I think I’m being shocked!”
Well that’s it! We can’t do any more demolition until the remaining house hold items are removed from the house. This has taken three years now, and there aren’t any guarantees that it won’t be another one pass before the stuff is gone. We have every thought that we can resume ripping and tearing within the month. When I start typing again you will know how long it’s been by the date of the entry.
The main thing now is that Sherry and I were able to move all of the items from the wash room, mom’s old bedroom and the TV room into the front rooms of the house. We did this early this morning in order to allow us freedom to begin destruction of the walls downstairs.
The door leading to the porch had been closed after someone intentionally squirted “Great Stuff” around the frame. When the door was closed it formed an air tight seal around the door. No doubt a way to keep the wind from blowing into the room.
Since the door has a large window in it, I had to tape it in order to be able to work on the seal without breaking the glass and having it shatter all over the place, possibly injuring someone (me). Once done, I was able to use the crow bar and hammer to work on the seal to free it up. The carpet had to be removed in order for the door to open and when it did open the bottom hinge had its screws loose.
After moving all of the items, we started pulling up the old carpet. In the TV room, was a gold colored carpet and under that was a green carpet. Heck why not use the existing carpet as the pad to the new? The room mother used as a bedroom had a pretty blue carpet and under it was a nasty orange one.
It took us longer than expected, but the job is done now.
Since the floor is in such good shape, we will probably sand it, apply a filler and sealer and then re-varnish it. It won’t look too bad and for a rec-room or some other play type room it will be fine. Should save us on carpet.
Feb. 16…Got a good start this morning. Sherry started on the plaster, I started on the suspected “box”. It didn’t take long for Sherry to begin yelling at me that plaster was falling on her. I was on the stairway banging and crow barring the wood on the top of the box. The ends of the box top away from me were actually the ceiling in the TV room directly over her head. I quit quickly!
The interesting note of the day was the way the plaster and other materials were put together. The upright walls on the North, West and South (all of which at one time were exterior walls) were made with wood siding outside, adobe brick just inside of the wood, then a filler layer of soft plaster like material and finally a finished coat of harder plaster on the inside of the house. The inside plaster was coated with something and appeared to have had a stain included (brownish). Over the years many, many layers of wall paper had been added.
We waited until the ceiling plaster was all down before cleaning up the mess in the TV room. While I worked on the ceiling, Sherry attacked the old bedroom walls. Following are a series of flicks of today’s activities.
When this portion of the house was assembled there was material and newspapers put together. Most likely a way of insulating the walls a bit more.
We still have plaster and lath to pull down from the old bedroom and in the wash room areas and I think the lath will fit in the pickup. If not it will mean two loads. The plaster will for sure fit in the dumpster.
Once the plaster was picked up and we had taken a short break, we started to take the chimney down.
Also there were two “clean out” doors, one on either side of the chimney, near the floor.
As we progressed, taking one brick off at a time, I would periodically have to stop and clean the soot and ashes out of the two chimney flew holes. Each one of the flew holes had numerous whole bricks jammed in them from when Rick and I were young and mischievous. We would find ourselves up on the roof, knocking the loose bricks off the top of the chimney and dropping them down the flews. We thought we were way cool to do this.
About one third of the way done with the job we uncovered a blocked stove pipe hole coming from the old bedroom side of the wall. This was the hole where the old wood burning cook stove (Monarch brand), used to vent. Once the folks got an electric stove, Dad plugged this one up.
The dismantling went pretty routine from that point to the end, with the job of cleaning out the soot and ashes getting more and more intense. As the layers progressed and got under the point of the cleanout doors there was a solid layer of bricks. There were two such layers of bricks we removed by the time we got to the floor level. But, the brick kept going down! How far does it go? One more layer and we soon saw a hollow space with only bricks around the outer edge.
In this hollow we could see a 1 1/2 inch metal pipe standing up. It looks like someone was “aiming it” toward the small bathroom at the bottom of the stairs. Was it intended to act as a sewer drain? No one will ever know. I will remove the pipe before we get too much farther along.
Feb. 25…Sherry and I took a couple of days and “ran away”. We got back to the house work yesterday the 24th. She spent the day at our house fixing and going through old items found in the trunks and boxes of things. I spent it tearing into the overhead of the old bedroom downstairs. It wasn’t expected to be a spectacular day of finding things, but check out the ceiling in this picture.
Today I started into the TV room and wanted to get the closet wall down and also the walls to the small bathroom. Our heating and AC man, Scott Pettingill, showed up to look things over now that he can see the structure. We spent about an hour with him going over possibilities. He assures us he can do what we need except in the newer part of the house. We will have to put up with the wall furnace in there just like it is today. The evaporative swamp cooler will have to go however, as he says it is counter productive to have central air and swamp cooler air going at the same time. He suggests we replace it with a fairly sizeable refrigerated unit. More will be discussed on that when we get that far.
Having lost a good hour of destructive time, I went back to my task. The wall leading into the closet was not a big deal, it came down fairly well. What was unique about that was that there was NO support holding up the beam overhead !!! It had been cut to accommodate the stairwell and never supported underneath ( a major “head knocker”). This picture shows the temporary post I installed for the support. When we install the new stairwell we will put a permanent post in place.
It seems that everyday we play in this endeavor we encounter something interesting about the construction, or special finding, wall paper etc. Today was no exception. The wall that was the West wall of the bathroom contained adobe brick as a filler. Check out this next picture.
The task at hand continued until I ran out of time. I knew I had to clean up at least a little and take the load of lath and wood I had in the truck to the field. I didn’t want to be doing this at dark or even tomorrow. Check out the reflection in the glass of the door…Coolers….Too bad they aren’t filled with cold beer. I could have used one about this time.
Again here is the second load of lath and wood we are hauling to the field. I still have more to tear out, but didn’t feel I had enough room in the truck this time.
We made an appointment for the appraisal in Logan tomorrow at 11 a.m. with Mary Palmer. I don’t think this write-up will mention anything more about that. Brian however was free to meet with us this morning at 10. He showed up with a worker friend of his and together they offered us many, many ideas as to what should be done to bolster up the joists, put headers over the doorways upstairs and to add fire blocking between the room partitioning studs.
The big thing he told us about was “termites”!!! The upright in the old TV room is not dry rotted, but termites have eaten it until it crumbles! This is ugly. He says that we need to look for boards, supports etc. that are in contact with the soil. We need a minimum of 6 inches of space between the boards and the ground. This is the minimum to keep termites from being able to access the wood. Brian says that termites live in giant underground colonies and may be hundreds of yards from the house. Sub colonies send out scouts who locate places like ours and then the reinforcements come in to finish off the wood. These colonies may be working on several homes or structures in the neighborhood at the same time. When a termite exterminator comes in, they spray local stuff to kill the termites that are currently on site, then they put dry chemical around which the termites carry back to the colony with them and ultimately kills the whole group.
Since his meeting I have had a couple of restless nights sleep thinking about what I have to do to see the rest of the damage, and you know there has to be more than just the one board. I think about a few years ago when Rick replaced some outside sheeting under the North window of the TV room. At that time, we all thought it was dry rot. Those boards are next to the one we can see in the room. I will have to pull down the wainscoting on the North and West walls in order to see what other damage there is.
Mar. 2..Yesterday was visit with Mary Palmer in Logan, today is “finish off the TV room, small bathroom and stairs”. Sherry worked outside on the gardens around the front and South sides of the porch, while I destructed inside. It was slow going, as I wanted to salvage the pocket door leading into the bathroom. And when I got to the stairs, I had to watch for “support” boards and beams. As I progressed I also ran into wiring issues that had to be addressed before bringing down some of the boards. Because I didn’t take pictures in progress, the only ones I have are the finished look. I uncovered the old window that was behind the wall in the bathroom. It had been replaced at some time, and the bottom portion of glass was removed and wood put in its place. The upper part of the window was then hinged on the bottom and a short chain put in place to stop the window from opening more than half way. This would allow ventilation in the room as well as some light. The panes of glass had been painted with several coats of paint on both sides, so that no one could see a person inside the bathroom.
I’ll have to rig a temporary ladder to get us upstairs for a while. In the meantime, my emphasis will be downstairs to figure out the termite issue and get things straight with that.
Here are some flicks of different viewes etc.
Inspecting the uprights on the North wall yielded a few signs of termites. Enough that I will have to pull at least 10 floor boards up inside the room to give me enough room to work at replacing boards and inspecting the floor joists. We sure are hoping the repair won’t take much of our limited cash.
Next week I will take down the “last” of the lath and plaster in the washroom. Once loaded in the dumpster, we can call Greene disposal to come and get it. We will be done with that phase.
We also have to take down the boards separating the washroom from the TV room, remove the old furnace flue pipes and take the wainscoting off the walls in the washroom and little bed room. Quite a bit left to go
New finds: I didn’t take any pictures of them, but I did find a nest of about 6 mice that succumbed some time ago, they were just skeletons and Sherry was OK with that. The other things are in this picture.
”Tinker Toy” peg.
Mar. 8…Today is “pull the last of the lath and plaster down”!!!! I started early, as Sherry went off to a yoga lesson. The last of the lath and plaster came down pretty fast, as all I had was that in the wash room. I also took down the frame work that was separating the wash room from the small bedroom. This opened things up real good.
When we came back we started pulling down the wallpaper and cleaning up the sawdust. Those two things filled the truck again.
Under the South and West windows we had wet sawdust! And it was really moldy. Not a good thing to be seeing. We also encountered rotten wood! Maybe more of the termite issue. I’ll have to pull the fake brick off the outside of the house to see the extent of the damage. That will be tomorrow’s project.
Todays find was quite a surprise. It just “showed up” on the floor and was quite a nice surprise indeed.
Mar. 9…Today is the day to rip down some of the outside wall stuff, in order for us to see the termite damage. I don’t relish this day. I took several “Before” pictures and of course lots of “after” flicks. Dad and Mom had a fake brick façade put on the house in the mid sixties so that “Mom wasn’t living in an antique”. She was sick and tired of living in a house built in the 1800’s and wanted something more modern looking. I quess no one can blame them for that. The next series are Before:
The bulk of the damage is on the bottom, and extends as high as the bottom of the windows. Some areas being worse than others. Some of it looks like it could be termite damage, while other looks to have just gotten wet, and rotted the wood siding. At any rate, the bottom support wood needs to be replaced, and some kind of support layed under that. It will require digging around the outside of this part of the house. I plan on calling in Brian Nawyne again to look things over and suggest a plan. I don’t want to pull up the flooring inside, but I might have to in order to see the extent of the damage.
On the West side, the ground, rock foundation and large cement step seem to each have taken it’s toll on the way the framing sits. There has been water getting behind the cement step, which has not been good for things, and the water dripping off of the “gutter less” eves has caused a couple of foundation rocks to fall into the cellar, consequently washing dirt into it as well. This has given a “freeway” for bugs and critters to crawl in and out at will.
Water has also gotten between the cellar door and the house and rotted those boards as well. When Mitch and I cleaned out the wood chips, this was one of the wet areas.
It’s sad to think this damage has occurred, but at the same time, this is why we are tearing things apart in order to find exactly what we are faced with on repairs. It’s better to find it out now, rather than after pumping in $20 to $30 thousands dollars in fix up and then find this kind of thing.
Even though it’s been a depressing day of looking at damaged areas needing to be fixed, there is still some bright things that have come from the day. We have again filled the eight yard Greene disposal unit and I called “Jamie” to have it hauled off, and for them to bring another 8 yarder. We were down to their shop last Monday clearing up the billing we had received, and while there I noticed a sign above Jamie’s desk that read something about Customer Service and “If we don’t take care of our customers, who will”? The last sign had the logos of all of their local competition surrounding the words.
The conversation went something like this: “Jamie, this is Wynn Zundel from Willard”, “Hello Mr. Zundel”, “Jamie, before you say you can’t do what I am about to ask, I want you to look up above your desk and see the signs about customer service and who will take care of our customers if you don’t”, with a chuckle in her voice…”You aren’t supposed to notice things like that in my office. Now just what is it that you need”? “I need you to come out here and pick up this full 8 yard unit and bring me an empty one…today”. There was a short silence…”He just left to deliver at another site, I don’t think we have enough time today to do that”. “Jamie, the signs”. “I know, but….” I interrupted her with a laugh, “That’s OK, what about tomorrow”? “Tomorrow it is”.
I had fun with her, even if she didn’t. And now we have another full unit! That makes a total of 38 yards of material that has left this house.
Mar. 10…Today is my day to take more of the fake brick off the back of the house. I called Brian Nawyn and asked him to come out and look my situation over and maybe give me a bid on fixing the foundation issue. He said he would later this day, but at that very moment he was picking up a box of items that fell off his truck and onto the freeway. He also had to finish building a bowery before he could come to my place.
I was delayed about an hour while I showed Jeff Beard and Bob the destruction so far. Jeff was impressed by the amount of destruction Sherry and I have done. I really think he can see the amount of work that’s been done. Others look at it, say they can see the work, but I just kind of doubt they realize all that has gone into it.
I had scheduled Greene Disposal to come out and pick up the full can and drop off another. When he arrived he was a bit apprehensive about the trucks ability to pick it up. We put the cover on it anyway. Much to my surprise the results of his attempt ended like this….
I have a meeting with Ted Baird on the farm property tomorrow, and maybe Brian will come over, other than that I plan to pull down more fake brick.
Mar. 11…Many interruptions today! Just as Ted Baird was leaving, here came Greene and Company to pick up the two 8 yard dumpsters. He had quite a time getting the fullest of the two out to the front of the house. It was easy for him to “pop wheelies”, which he showed us several times. I had printed two pictures of his truck in the air from yesterday and gave them both to him. One for himself, and one for Jamie to pin on her desk as a reminder to tell customers about loading the bins.
While he was here moving dumpsters, over came Jerry and Roy Torgeson and Bob. Jerry wanted to see the inside of the house, so we went in and made the tour. He offered his company discount on materials through Burton Lumber Co., in Ogden. He also had lots of opinions on how to fix the foundation problems in the back.
When the tour was about over, here came the Greene front load dumper, to pick up the fullest dumpster and empty it into his self container. He commented how heavy it was and that his truck was “barely” able to pick it up and dump it. I watched as the hydraulics strained to do the job. Wow! I really had that baby loaded!
It wasn’t very long and here came another Greene dumpster…this time a 15 yard unit and I had him put it out by the wood shed, so as to not take a chance on cracking any more cement. It will be a little farther to haul the stuff, but what the heck, I’ve already caused myself a lot of extra expense. Labor is cheap.
Todays labor ended early with a visit from Lynn Hill and her adopted Grandboy Reshaud. His family moved back down from Jackson Hole and now live in Perry. He just had to have his Grandma take him down to see Bears Butt.
The back of the house without the fake brick! Look at all of the holes in the wood! Some of them I caused, but look at the others. How could we have ever stayed warm in that house?
Brian has still not called, and he probably hopes I forget about him. I’ll probably have to seek another avenue to get the foundation fixed.
Mar. 12…Today was not a day to work on this project, but there is rain in the forecast, so Sherry and I took a few minutes to put up some plastic sheeting to cover most of the wood (holes). The wind will probably rip it down during the rain, but at least we tried something to protect it.
Mar. 15…The rain that was promised didn’t happen, we just had wind. So today I was able to recruit Dale Dixon, April’s brother to come and help me. It will be a chance for him to earn a little spending money, while I get help with clean up and assistance. We started at 9:30 this morning. Dale cleaned up the fake brick stuff, while I knocked down the North wall fake brick and then that little bit above the porch window on the West.
It took until 1 p.m. to get these things done! The plaster just held on and held on, especially that above the porch area. There was little or no weather getting to that part and therefore the metal under the plaster was still mostly like new. Plus they had used a million nails to hold the metal up.
We got the North side done, and put on the plastic, as tomorrow there is a 50% chance of rain.
My next move with these is to email everyone and entice them into coming down and going through them. Then next Tuesday, I plan on tossing all of them into the dumpster bin and being done with them.
The next few pictures show you the "dismal" looking cellar....the pictures are fuzzy and it adds to the eerie feeling of being down there.
Mar. 16…Mitch showed up late, like noon, Dale was ready, but unable to work because I was in the field with the Corp. Of Engineers guy and Ted Baird about selling the North part of the farm. Anyway, they finally got together and cleaned the shelving out of the cellar and made it ready to fix up the foundation. Later that day, after I came up from the field, we tore into the flooring of the TV room. You have seen the floor as it was, and now we have torn up the hardwood floor that made up the TV room. We saved what we could, but most of it was “tacked down”, with 10 penny nails making it impossible to pull up without breaking it.
We found that the floor under the hardwood was “quite humped”, check this out! The center of the room is about 4 inches higher than the surrounding room sides. Way out!
Believe it or not, from the lower center of this picture to the post, the floor drops 4 inches to that post!
As we progressed, we found surprising things. Like this hole in the floor, what was it’s purpose? Maybe, to see that the supports were failing.
Progressing slowly, we started to uncover things that had been dragged around under the flooring. Bones, Corn cobs, string, spam can lids etc.
Mar. 17….Dale and I started with the intent to pull up all of the floor in the TV room, remove the toilet and get ready for the plumber. Well, we hit it hard, the weather was cold, so we stayed busy. As the floor came up we began to see what our forefathers put together. It was great! Some of the wood used to support (to level), fell out from under the timbers etc. and it’s no wonder the floor sagged and humped.
As we began, we immediately started finding neat stuff. Two pennies quickly surfaced just under some old linoleum, with that our eyes were constantly focused.
Pulling up this last part of flooring meant we had to reposition the support beams holding up the ceiling joists. The one support I put in several weeks ago will have to be removed. This meant that I would have to span the joists overhead with a 2X4 and use two other supports. I figured it would be best to have them touch the ground and not be attached to the beams. Mostly because if I remove the beams later, then I would be redoing the supports.
Under the entry point to the living room we found this interesting little item.
In our zest to pull up boards, we didn’t see that one of the floor support beams was “floating”, and it came down pretty hard carrying the pipe that fed the toilet. The result was a leaking pipe. It’s not so bad as to warrant immediate repair, so I’ll let it go until next week when I plan to call KeithWitt, the plumber.
A couple of weeks ago Sherry was reading a hand written autobiography of Great Gandmother Abigail Abbott Zundel. In it she said that her second house had “all the modern conveniences, including radiant heat”…we wondered where that house could have been, or if she was confused in her older days. Well, the following pictures should be convincing enough that this is the house.
On the lower far right you can see the pipe that sticks out of where the chimney was. We originally thought that dad may have been trying to do something here, but it is clearly a connection for a heating unit, that would run hot water toward the front part of the house.
Large pipe would have been the heated water moving toward the radiators.
In the third picture, this would have been a radiator connection for the bathroom to be heated.
Questions continue to arise in my mind as I view this system. First, shouldn’t there be a “return” of colder water, back to the heating area? Why was the system abandoned? Was it too much work to keep the heating stove stoked up, or cleaned out? Was this the problem that caught the back wall on fire, and so as to be safe, they discontinued using it and eventually abandoned it? Perhaps some of the answers will be in Aunt Maria’s journal.
Can opening key, button (actually found two days ago), 1914, 1936, 1945 pennies.
Tomorrow is Saturday and we are all heading for Wendover the the annual “Sherry’s Birthday” gathering. The next scheduled day of work on the old house is Tuesday.
Mar. 23…No work was done yesterday (Tuesday), for some reason the enthusiasm just isn’t there. We awoke this morning discussing this fact and decided that we needed to renew the energy. It’s been raining very hard last night and this morning. What a better time to make some plans.
I ran over to the house and took the measurements of the old TV room. Since I was by myself, I had to break it down into short runs. I measured from door, to window, to door, to window etc., marking each measurement as I went. Then I came back home and began to plot it all out. When the outside dimensions were drafted I began to look at the bathroom layout for this room.
By using the smaller of the two pocket doors (4 ft. 9 inch), the plan looks best this way:
Mar. 24…Dale has to head back to Montana tomorrow, so I thought today would be a good “last day” to let him make $25 bucks. I called him last night to make sure he was available and made a plan to call him about 9:30 in the morning. My plan was to have him dig up the septic line just outside the NW window, but it was raining and snowing way too much for that. So, I asked him to help me inside with the old floor beams.
The beams had been cut on angles and pounded into slots shaped the same as the cut. No nails were used to hold them in, just plain old pressure. Some of the wood had shrunk over the years and the ends could be easily picked up out of the slot, but then there were those that we had to cut off.
I used a reciprocating saw to do the cutting and it worked very well. The beams were hauled outside one at a time and for their size, were quite light weight. All but one of them were made from pine, the other was a quakie. Next, came the huge rocks that were used to brace the underside of the beams. I know they would be in the way when I go to putting up 2X8 floor joists. The rocks were heavy and several of them took Dale and I both to pick them up and set them on the laundry room floor and roll them outside. Those that could be picked up we did, using our knees and legs of course.
When the job was done to that point, we took a lunch break.
After lunch came some digging. We had a corner that needed the dirt pulled away, plus I wanted to uncover the old bathroom plumbing so as to make things easier for the plumber. By the way, I called him last night and he might come by today, or tomorrow, but for sure next Monday.
I was very much surprised today, to find that the sewer line actually goes in the direction of the septic line! All this time I had thought it went out under the porch floor and into the cesspool on the South side of the house. This is a very good surprise and when I dig outside on the North I will make certain it is connected. The plumber should not have any problem connecting to this pipe and it looks sound, so as not to need replacing.
I really thought we were through finding “stuff” because we were scratching into the dirt and what are the chances that interesting items would be scattered under the floor. But to my surprise todays finds were quite interesting, just like all of the other times:
The doll leg has a hole in the top, which makes me think it was mounted on a dowel that allowed it to pivot, but then again what do I know about ceramic dolls? I had stepped on the smaller of the two clothes pins and broke it (dang), and the mid sized marble with the multi blue/red combo, is made of glass and is not very round, more oval. The large white marble seems to be made of clay.
Investigating the hammer head, it wasn’t real clear which way was “up”, but further investigation found that a nail was sticking out which would have been the top of the head.
Mar. 30…Well it is now Wednesday, we had some things to do on Monday and Tuesday, and so the work at the house has been delayed. I talked with the plumber, Keith Witt last night over at the house and we went over some of the things needing to be done. He promised he will be here Thursday and continue until he is done with us. My job was to finalize the upstairs bathroom layout and to dig up the septic line outside.
This morning I went over and took the necessary measurements of the attic area and then started digging outside. I started in the corner where the new bathroom meets the North side of the TV room. This is where that pipe on the inside was heading. The weather was off and on snow/rain mixed and the water melting off the roof was coming right down my neck and on my back. Very cold, but I kept at it as long as I could stand it.
I took the dirt out down about 4 feet and only hit the water lines and a gas line that went to the wash room. NO septic drain line. With the water pouring off of the eves, I moved down the North side of the house, exposing the wood that has rotted or been eaten by termites. When I got to the back step, I decided that I would try to locate the septic line down at that end. I figured the sink and washer drains should be attached to that line and it would be simple to follow them down to the main septic line.
I dug and dug and dug and dug! But, at about 2 ft. the two drain lines from the washroom turned from metal pipe into plastic and bent toward the West! Dad was famous for not wanting “water” dumped into the septic. He claimed it would fill it up too fast and have him pump it more often. Plus the fact that a lot of detergents and soaps tend to kill the septic bacteria. SO…I suspect he ran those lines parallel to the septic drain and ran them into a rock filled pit out in the West forty someplace.
Again, I dug and dug and dug. The weather proceeded to get worse, with heavier rain and large wet snowflakes. Pretty soon it drove me inside. The following series of flicks show you what I did get done before retiring to drier climates.
Meanwhile, I am drenched and it’s time to do something different. I had gone into the attic and took all of the measurements of the room in order for Mom and I to sit down and decide the layout of the upstairs bathroom. Keith will need to know something rather definite very soon. Since I was cold and wet, I went home and sat down to do some “scaling” and planning before Mom came home from working at Willard Bay Gardens.
I had several plans in mind, and had printed them out for her to see. I had both a floor layout view and a horizontal view, so that she could better relate to the look of things. Here are a few of the layouts I had come up with.
Mar. 31…Well, well, well…That’s what I felt like digging today…digging a well. During the night I awoke with a dream that paid off today. I dreamt that Dad would have only put those two water pipes down a trench that was already dug. So, the sewer pipe must be nearly directly below them. My digging started there and sure enough! There was that damned pipe.
Half a shovel out from the West side of the window casing. And down just short of 4 feet. Be sure and watch out for the gas line as it will still be active. The water lines will be cut off of use before I backfill. I will probably cut them off and save someone some grief in future years.
While I was outside, Keith was inside cutting out pipes and snapping off cast iron. When he took the vent pipe down, little things started to fall out of it. Things like squirt guns, darts, hoses, shingles etc. He was quite amazed. You never know were you are going to find treasures.
I on the other hand thought the finding of treasures was over, but while digging down under the “Y”, up popped a pretty red finger nail polish bottle. It looks to still have stuff in it and it would probably still be good. Also, other things popped up….take a look.
April 1…No Foolin. Today I started a bit later than I wanted, but started none the less. I had about an hour to dig around the rest of the back of the house and expose the “ugly” that I knew was there. Digging was easy, as I only had to dig down about the depth of the shovel. What I exposed caused chills to run down my back! NO SILL! Oh my God! Now what? From outside I could see the ends of the floor joists, resting on top of the rock foundation (where there was rock foundation). In another spot there were no rocks and the joist looked like it was sagging down. I almost cried. Another setback and decision to be made. Do I continue or tear the entire back of the house down, fill in the cellar and be done with it! Take a look at what I saw….
I went into the cellar and looked around at the situation from underneath. It was bleak at best and my thoughts raced to figure out how I was to lift up the joists and insert a sill etc. Nothing was coming to mind, even though I knew from reading a old home fix up book that people had raised whole houses and built foundations. I just don’t have that kind of money! My God, this will be a killer task. I figure I will have to raise this part of the house at least 4 inches and probably 6, and what will that do to the way the ceiling joists are attached and the way the roof is pitched etc.?
The scene from the cellar view looked like this….
It wasn’t long until Sherry came over to see how I was doing. I wasn’t a happy guy, but I tried to shed some light on the situation. I showed her the outside and said that there should have been a sill placed between the rock foundation and the floor joists when it was built, but there wasn’t any sill. We went into the cellar (which she hates to do…spooky you know). I explained the fact that three of the joists were not even full length and that they were cantilevered out and had no support underneath. It’s no wonder that part of the house sank. These would have to be lengthened via sistering the wood, and then raised using hydraulic jacks etc. and once raised to the proper height I could then insert a sill to take the weight. Do I have the knowledge? Hell no!
She calmly looked things over and said : “What about building a brace or wall or something under the floor that would support all of these floor things from down here in the cellar? Then you could seal off the outside with cement and get on with the rest of what we have to do to this house.”
Wholly Chit Man! What an idea. (Later I told her that was the best idea of the entire month, and she reminded me that today was April 1st.) So, I proceeded to write down all of the material I would need to build such a support and will go to town very soon to get the stuff and put the bearing wall in place. The game plan is to use 2X4’s as the main support beam. I will nail two boards together side by side and have them support by standing up, I will then nail another 2X4 to the under side of the others, which will act as the sill. My upright wood will be pressure treated 4X4’s and I will place them under each of the floor joists (11 total). These 4X4’s will be attached to metal saddles, placed in cement buried into the floor of the cellar. I should be able to jack up the three joists that need sistering and raise the floor a little, maybe even an inch. Anything would be good at this point.
I’d have traded two steelies for this one!
Direction of drain line from window toward bathroom.
This is located just inside the room under the North window of the TV room.
I’m not sure anymore what day things happened, but it was between Apr.1 and today for sure.
My 2X8 wood around the outside of the old TV room, and the center beam did not meet up exactly perfectly and so I decided to try something different. I pulled down the three boards from the South wall, and used the center beam as my level point and re-positioned the boards running up the South wall to level with the center. I worked from both ends toward the middle and it worked out quite well, even if I do say so myself. At least the outside wall boards look “level”, even if they aren’t, which they are.
One thing is certain. It is nice to be putting things back together and not ripping them apart.
There is something mystical to me about carpentry, why do the pros know exactly what needs to be done to get the job done quickly? Why can’t I do it right the first time? I try and think out all of the angles before ever beginning the project. Oh well!
April 9…The other day we went to “Home Depot” and bought the 2X8’s and were “under charged” by many dollars. The register person didn’t charge us for 10 of the boards, which added up to nearly $80. We went back and made the deal right, by explaining and making up the difference. The manager gave us a 10% off coupon for our next purchase, which was great, but not necessary. The problem with that coupon was that it expired tomorrow (10th). So today, we went in and bought all of the subfloor and underlayment material we will need to finish the rough floor in this room, the coupon saved us about $35.
That material currently rests in the bed of the pickup and is covered by a tarp to keep the rain from getting to it.
The next planned work day is Monday, after I take the motor home in for inspection. Also, some time next week a man from Logan wants to come down and review all of the old books that came out of the old house and give us an offer to buy them. Between all of the “other things” in the mill, I might just get this old house rebuilt after all.
April 12…Today is Tuesday, I took Monday off to goof with the motor home. I fixed up a few things and Sherry and I took a short drive….its cool.
All I can do today is dig under the center floor beam and pour cement. I dug about 12 inches down and 12 inches square in three places under the center beam. One in the middle and at equal intervals out each side from that. It only took about an hour and now it’s time to wait.
April 13….today I got started late (10 or so), but I have big plans to complete the floor joist installation. I have the material, the drive to get it done and the radio on. Let’s go!
I worked until about 2 p.m., when Sherry called on the two way radio for me to take a break. I took a short time for lunch and she went off to town for groceries, I hit the floor joist operation again. Sometime about 3 or 3:30, she paged on the two way again and I asked her to please bring a couple of beers. She did, but didn’t stay long, and I enjoyed them as I proceeded to do more work on the floor.
At 6 p.m., she called and asked if I was going to quit and I told her I was just taking pictures and I’d be home soon. This is how the joists turned out.
The next thing to do is put braces between each of the stringers, and it will be ready for subfloor and underlayment. I need to get really busy tomorrow, because I have the termite folks coming to spray the floor on Friday morning at 10 a.m. After they spray, I am not to disturb the dirt. When the spray is down, I can place a plastic tarp under the joists as a vapor barrier and then go ahead and attach the subfloor.
The guy is coming to look at the old books tomorrow at 1 p.m., (what a pain), and so I will have to have him set up in my garage before that time. I also have to go to town to get some more materials for the braces. I will be busy!
14 April…Well I got a good start with a trip to town to buy 5 more 2X8’s to complete the floor joists. Then, once back, I had to clean the garage and get ready for the book man.
When done with that, I only had about an hour, so I played a little with the motor home and the boat. I found that the wiring on the motor home needs some work, as well as the boat trailer. The tongue is too short, wiring not long enough, safety chains not long enough etc. I’ll deal with all of that later.
Next came the book man, he spent a couple of hours looking at the old books from the house, and offered us $2100 for about 50 books, the rest are junk. We will decide later. In the mean time I am excited to head to the house to work.
I made the best of the time and managed to get half of the room done with bracing boards. Sherry came to my rescue about 4 p.m. with a couple of cold beers. Thanks! What a welcome surprise. She still feels ill, coughing and hacking and with a fever. I’m not real happy about her illness. More work is needed tomorrow to finish these braces, and I’m not ready for the spray man to show up.
Sherry called the termite spray guy and delayed my need until next Tuesday. I figure I can get the rest of the floor braces on, and clean off the walls of the old TV room, getting the dirt and plaster off, that still hangs up there. It will be easier to do it now than if I had plywood on the floor.
Once the spray is done, I really should not disturb the dirt, even if the spray man doesn’t think its’ a problem.
Here is what things look like tonight. More to do tomorrow and then I need to contact the plumber again, once the spray is done and the plastic is laid down as vapor barrier.
Next is to finish this part of the job, lay down the subfloor and underlayment and then get back to the cellar problem.
April 15 (Tax Day), 2005….Well I was able to get over to the house and do a little work. I finished putting the floor bracing in, knocked down the loose material off the wall, mixed and placed some cement, and made it ready for the bug spray man to come on Tuesday. The pictures only show what’s under the floor.
April 19…The guy from Western Exterminators (Franklin, ID.) came today and hosed the cellar from spiders and everything else, and then added a termite protector to the mix and really soaked the tv room down good. Not only did he spray the dirt floor, but he sprayed the ceiling, walls and everything in there.
When done, he told me not to go in there until it had a chance to dry, maybe 4 hours. So, I went home. A couple of hours later Keith Witt came over to see about doing some of the plumbing he had to do. We went in, and it was still wet. We were only in there for a few minutes and when we came out, both of us had slight headaches. Powerful stuff!
It rained all afternoon, and is expected to rain tonight and tomorrow morning. Hopefully it will dry, because Sherry and I plan on hitting it first thing and lay the plastic vapor barrier down.
Apr. 20…After breakfast I went over to the house to inspect the dirt floor, only to find it nearly as wet as it was yesterday. I was a bit down because of that and it didn’t look like it would dry enough to let us work. It is still raining and will do all day long, which will make it slower to dry. I set up the fan to blow downward into the floor joists and headed back home.
It seemed like a wasted day, but because of the upcoming auction of the old “stuff”, we spent the day going through old books and odds and ends deciding if it should be auctioned or held onto. Tomorrow, the auction people are coming to look at what is left of the books and a few other things. Plus take some more pictures to post on their website.
Apr. 21…A beautiful Spring day is ahead of us! AND, I will be able to go to work on the flooring in the TV room! YEA! Sherry was going to be tied up with the auction people and the books etc. so I will have to work alone. First task…vapor barrier!
I rolled out the plastic (6 mm) put it under the joists and pulled the folds out, spreading it as evenly as I could. It worked out just fine, with two layers overlapping about 4 feet in the center area.
Once the plastic was down, I unloaded the plywood and other materials to be used on the floor. It all had been in the back of the truck, covered with a tarp, but still managed to get wet with all the rain we have had.
As I stood there pondering how I should start the project of laying the subfloor, Roy came over to see the progress. I thought I would start with a full plywood 4X8 ft. sheet centered on the doorway coming from the living room. And then I would work out both sides, cutting and matching as I went. He questioned my approach and told me it would be much simpler, and “normal”, to start in the NE corner, mark a chalk line out at the 4 ft. point and work down the North wall in that fashion. Then place the next full sheet alongside the ones that were laid and move East, etc. etc., until the room is done.
He helped me with the chalk line and setting the first board. Bob came over and the three of us BS’ed for about half an hour before they left. Then I went to work hammering number 8 penny ringed shaft nails. Roy also advised I should glue and nail so that there wouldn’t be any squeaks in the floor. I told him I didn’t want to go to town and waste my day. Since it isn’t “necessary” to glue down the boards, I am counting on the nails holding and God to be looking after us because of our honesty of the past.
Apr. 22…Excited to get started today! We got up in the normal fashion, sloooowwwwllllyyy! Had a good breakfast and Sherry headed into her garden, while I headed for the house. Today is the day to finish the subfloor. To make the matter short, I didn’t have any major problems, just the slow going of measure, re-measure, mark and cut. The room is not square and so every piece had to be custom cut today. Here is the end result in a series of four pictures. One from each corner of the room.
For the underlayment, I have purchased 9 pounds, but I doubt I’ll need that many. I don’t know what code is on any of this, but I suspect I will be using about ½ the number I used on the subfloor.
Once the sub was done, I marked out where the 2X4 walls will go for the bathroom walls because I plan on laying cement board in the bathroom. This is required in order to lay tile later on. So my underlayment will be just under the walls and then extend out into the rest of the TV room.
I’ll place the underlayment along the closest red line in the picture, this is the side closest to the inside of the bathroom. The wall will be placed on top of that and should line up nicely when finished. The cement board will be placed adjacent to the underlayment along this same line.
It took until about 1 p.m., but I got her done! Here are the looks.
I cleaned up the mess in the utility room, and then headed to the cellar to prepare for footings. The old potato bin is now history and the wood will be put in the hole to be burned today. During the cleanup down there, I found another marble. Not as cool as the last one, but OK. This picture of the finds, includes a pop bottle we uncovered a couple of days ago in the excavation of the sewer line. The rains had uncovered it in the side of the dirt wall.
Bireley’s pop and a cool blue marble. The pop bottle still has a lid (rusted) on it, but nothing inside the bottle. The way the marble is setting on the floor it almost looks like it’s floating.
Tomorrow is more footing preparation in the cellar. I need to lay a 12 X 18 inch footing to support a wall which will then support the utility room floor. I get a very uneasy feeling being down in the cellar, but I have to do it!
Apr. 26…Cellar day! YUK! I procrastinated all I could before heading over and down into the cellar. It’s very damp down there from all of the rain washing in from the two open window areas, but it made for easy digging. I marked out with a string the area needed for the footings and dug it out.
Next I scrounged materials for a form and put it all together, then back filled for support. It doesn’t look too bad for an amateur and should hold the cement when it’s filled up. I was happy to have this much done and get out of that room.
I waited until Mitch arrived from Logan and then I called Brandon, who had just woke up! My hell, we start work at 9a.m., Why is he still in bed at 9:15!!!!????? As it turned out he played on the computer (poker) until wee hours in the morning and drank way too many beers.
Mitch and I headed for Brigham to pick up the cart of cement. We were back at the site by 9:40 a.m. Bob showed up just at that same time to talk about yesterdays catfishing trip to the river. He had one huge strike, but missed it and then the cops showed up and had them move because the river was running so high, they were going to have to break a hole across the highway.
Anyway, I asked if he was ready to go to work because we had cement setting up. Without hesitation, we started filling 5 gallon buckets with cement and hauling them down into the cellar. Bob helped by moving the empty buckets over and underneath the cement hauling unit. Brandon hauled the cement filled buckets into the cellar, and Mitch emptied them into the forms. It only took about an hour to empty the cart of cement (1/2 yard) and the forms were filled and Mitch and Brandon smoothed them with the trowels.
We still had cement in the hopper when Mitch called “enough”! Well we didn’t want to waste it and he suggested we us it to fill the cinder blocks he had given us the day before. Great idea!
Break away from it all: The auction went very well last Saturday. The auction people (Livingstons Auctions) out of Malad were great to work with..Linn and LuAnn and Betty…They sold EVERYTHING in the house and we will net about $8,000 to be used for surveys, wetlands analysis and assorted other things we need in order to sell the farm property. The auction was fun and the oddest thing was that things you would expect to go for a lot of money, went for cheap, while other items went for LOTS, when I expected I would be tossing them in the garbage! Point to be made…If you have an estate auction, DO NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY!!!!!!
May 10…While the cement cured, Sherry and I headed out in the motor home over to Flaming Gorge. Had a great time, left on Wednesday about noon, and came back Friday about 4. We had a wonderful time and the picture coming up is a composite which explains nearly all of the trip.
Today was put in the bearing wall down in the cellar. Roy came over, thank God, and got me started on the right track. I would have used a lot more lumber, and would have spent all day on the task to get it done. He showed me how, and helped with half of the job, then left me to do the rest. A great learning experience and now I know how the pros do it.
My next project is to cement in the two windows and all of the spaces between the joists. This will not only add support and keep the rock foundation in place, but will slow down the entry of bugs, spiders and drafty winds.
May 11-12…It’s been raining now for two days straight, we can’t get anything done, it’s crazy. I called Brian Nowyne and he said he could come out and do the stairs maybe today. He called early and will be here. He works fast and with the material he bought did a good job on the stairs. He had to leave us and go on an emergency call to a satellite dish out on the mountain near Riverside, but he came back late and did some work which set him up to finish on the morning of the 12th. Here is the results of his efforts.
May 13…Today is my day to work on the cellar and the cement work needed to close in the windows and spaces. I attacked them early and got a bit of work done. Fabricating the forms needed to hold the cement is always a challenge to me. I jerry rigged these and mixed bucket after bucket of cement to complete what I was able to do. I mixed a total of four bags of cement, each at a different consistency in order to do the job. Some was mixed wet, others very dry. I hand packed several places and used the shovel in others. The following pictures will show you what I did.
This is a large area I will have to deal with as far as filling with cement. I think I will form to the joists, and hand pack until filled. Then allow to dry and hand pack the rest. Of course Great stuff will finish the job.
More to come as I progress with cement in the future. I plan on closing off the cellar like it has never been closed before! Cement at the entry door and all of the under the floor stuff locked in solid! Especially for cats!!!!!
I attacked the old house with the intent to “shore up” above the overhead of the stairs and then to build a temporary stair rail. The 2X8’s went in well over the West side of the stairs. I cut off the flooring and nailed on a couple of boards to fill in gaps. Now I was ready for a temporary railing system. This might be in place for a few months so I made sure it wouldn’t fall down and should stand up against someone pressing pretty hard against it. The idea behind a temporary rail is to let them know they are at the “edge” and to back off some. It didn’t take too long to put in, but for an amateur it had its challenges.
My plan for the next work session is to continue to do cement work in the cellar area. I need to close it in to keep those *?#@*)#$^*.@ cats out!
May 18….Went fishing yesterday with Brandon and Bob out to the river. I caught an 8 lber. Nice cat. Ate well too.
Today I attacked the Cat blocker with interest. I started at the usual time (late), and worked pretty diligently. I managed to get the windows both blocked with enough cement that it would take a pretty “flat cat” (one of my favorites) to get through into the cellar. I then spent time packing more cement here and there to get things “shored up”. I used another 3 ½ bags of cement mix today.
In the process I saw where the rain had helped make me some more work. The rocks of the foundation fell into the excavation of the septic connection for the new bathroom downstairs. Nasty! There is always something coming up to change my direction! Oh well. I called Witt, who showed up about 4:30 to do his thing. He connected all of the pipes to the septic and cut all of the ones from the old downstairs bathroom. Now there is no bathroom in the old house. But that’s ok! At least I can pour cement and redo the foundation and backfill the pile of dirt out on the North side of the house.
Here are some flicks from today’s activities. Don’t look like much, but it is a lot of work mixing cement from the bags in a bucket and hand pressing it into place. My thumb has a big old crack in it from the moisture and lime.
The rocks were part of the foundation that fell into the excavation. Look closely and you will see part of the plastic I put down under the TV room floor. I have to figure out a way to build up this foundation area!
_ While Witt was coming down anyway, today, he brought the shower stall. It measures 32 inches square and about 6 ½ ft tall. The problem we had was getting it into the TV room. We jockeyed it around and got it through the porch door, but no way would it fit through any of the other inside doors. I had to remove the casing around the porch door into the utility room and the frame of the “old door casing”. Here is what it looks like now.
This door way is one you should be used to seeing with a wire and metal piece hanging in the upper left corner. That’s all gone now! As is the frame around the entire door way.
I didn’t take pictures yesterday, but I finished the cement work around the foundation and prepared to put some plywood on the siding. Sherry and I went to town and bought 17 sheets of 7/32 chip wood boards and are now ready to start ripping down the old siding and putting up the new stuff.
Today I began the ripping and tearing and managed to get all of the South end of the utility room removed. I don’t want to take it all down at once for fear it will tip over. So I’ll do it in sections. After much trial and error I finally figured out which way to go about it and now the old siding is off. I promised April I would watch the kids this afternoon so I had to put the plastic back over it. There is a 50 % chance of rain tonight.
The opening to the cellar is in the lower left corner. With the kids, we are planning to go to town and buy some 8 penny nails and some silicone sealant. I will have to use it where the cellar meets the house and also where the back step meets the house.
Tomorrow I’ll put up some wood.
Next came the sheets of chip board and even though I took lots of time to install them, it paid off in a pretty nice looking job.
Sherry was a big help in holding the boards and encouraging me to build a couple of saw horses. My knee is killing me and all this time I have been cutting wood on the floor, using 2X4’s or 4X4’s to hold the wood up. Saw Horses are much nicer! Thanks Sher!
With still some time before quitting time, I fixed the window frame at the opposite end of the utility room in preparation for next weeks chip board installation. I plan on doing the North wall next and then finish with the West wall. Why? Just because that’s my plan.
When all of the chip wood is up, I will cover it all with a vapor barrier called Tyvek. It’s a breathable, waterproof material which seems fashionable in today’s building trade. I see it everywhere on new construction.
Outside, we managed to complete the North and West sides of the house. Every window frame had to be rebuilt, as each was totally rotten from decades of wet weather. In some places we even had to rebuild the flooring under the window. All is well now and it should last at least another 50 years.
Notice the large hole in the middle of the wall. This is where the old doorway used to be. I decided to fit a stud in the middle of that space in order to later attach sheetrock etc. I used one of the “head knockers” that I saved from upstairs to fill this job.
The ceiling could fall any time. So, I had to put a 2X4 across and nail up some joist hangers to give it the support it needs. Since the joist hangers are made to handle today’s 2X4’s and not the old timey true 2X4 inch boards, the hangers got a bit out of whack. They still work however.
Today, I got a late start because of two things…I had to empty the truck from last nights neighborhood cleanup project of Carol Barkers place and the house next to hers on the North (a new lady bought the house and needed help). Then when I got back from the field, here came the Duck(my brother Steve) and Hunter (his son in law, Karl) to load the four wheeler onto the trailer for this weekends outing. My work day on the house didn’t start until 11 a.m.
The days tasks included fixing the flooring between the studs and placing 2X4’s between the studs to nail sheet rock to. In some cases I had to build up the floor a little and all in all it took longer than expected.
June 20…Well the weekend is over and we did indeed have ourselves one GREAT time!!!! Now it’s time for some more work! We slept in, cuz the weekend took sooooo much out of us, plus the fact that the house is air conditioned and we had a couple too many cocktails last evening!
Anyway, I got started about 11 a.m. and managed to get the door way from the porch to the utility room framed out. It’s all I could do because of the spacing between the existing 2X4’s. I might have some problems fitting a 30 inch door into that space.
Anyway, my goal today was to get this door way in place and then put the CDX plywood down on the floor. It was one VERY hot day here in the valley, but I managed to get it all done. Sherry and I had to take a trip to town to get some “stuff” for Melissa’s surprise wedding party tonight, and I ran out of nails. So it worked out OK for me.
June 21… Today’s goal is to frame in the upstairs bathroom wall. This is in order that Scott can see where the bathroom will be and can drop a duct in place. I got a good start and it was definitely going to be a hot day! Working upstairs, the temp is at least 10 degrees hotter than down stairs. Sweat is prevalent.
Notice on the floor toward the window a patch in the floor. There was a very dangerous situation that existed there, as the floor extended about 4 inches beyond the floor joist and into the space left from where the chimney was. I cut that out and removed the boards. Then installed a ¾ inch composite board in it’s place. It withstands a man’s weight, but will need additional support from underneath. I’ll do that later. Additionally, at the top of the stairs, the floor was very weak and I patched that also.
I think the floor up here is now ready for an underlayment level. It will keep the dust from filtering down through the cracks in the existing boards and ending up in the tv room. That will come in the near future. I have to frame in the downstairs bathroom and prepare to frame the shower down there. I can’t do anymore framing in the upstairs bathroom until the heater is installed and I can frame around the duct work.
As I was cleaning up the mess I had created upstairs, low and behold, here came Scott to look over the heating situation one more time. He commented on the floor downstairs, the pipe for the condensation water (located in the cellar), and the ease of piping upstairs. His concern was still the return air from upstairs. He wants to put in the largest pipe he can to suck the air back down to the furnace and out of the bedrooms. This will create a more efficient furnace and air conditioning unit. After a little debate, he decided he would cut a circular hole in the brick at the top of the stairs, and return the duct inside the “hidden crawl space” on the South side of the attic, and then back down the old chimney hole. This will work, it just cuts out some of the storage idea I had for this space. Perhaps I can work on another way to use what space will be left.
June 22…Another hot day expected. Today’s goal is to frame the downstairs bathroom and get the pocket door installed. As with all of the projects in this house, there has to be a lot of work done, just to do the work you want to get done. For instance, where the West wall of the bathroom will go, there isn’t anything to nail to overhead. So, in comes the innovation and the creation of something to nail too.
As the day progressed, it got hotter and hotter. I was glad I was working downstairs, at least I wasn’t sweltering like I was yesterday. When the day was done, I had the pocket door temporarily in place while I took measurements for the rest of the studs. I ran out of lumber and needed 3 more 2X4’s to finish the task. Another trip to town. Oh well, we had to pick up some things from the grocer anyway.
All this week while I was busy in the old house, Sherry was pulling weeds, fixing up the yards and getting ready for Mellisa’s wedding. She is the “grounds keeper”, and Rod’s mother is handling all of the decorations. It will be an experience none of us will soon forget.
June 24…The wedding decoration crew is here to put things together and to get out of the way, I have work to do in the old house! I’d rather be cutting and hammering than decorating for a wedding. My goal is to finish the frame work around the pocket door and then add the support under the piece of work I fitted in the floor upstairs.
The pocket door I had intended to go into the space, was too narrow. When it was closed, the back of the door came out of the frame. So I took the larger door out of it’s frame and fitted it into this one. I hope we never have to replace it, because it will mean a total dismantling of the pocket door to get the larger door out! Wish us luck in the future. I could have used quarter round to make up the difference, but by the time I thought of that, I already had the door secured in place.
The frame went up fairly fast, but the overhead spacers, took a long time. I had quite a fit getting one of them to hold still long enough to nail it. I ended up using 12 nails to get it to stay. It should have only taken 4 to do the job.
One last task for the day and I can clean up and go out to the wedding install. Fitting the boards under the wood I installed the other day should be easy. I figured I would cut them a little big, and pound them into place. That would allow me to nail them from the ends without having to hold the wood up. This worked very well and made for a nice solid floor upstairs.
I expect Scott will be here no later than next Tuesday to install the heater and AC. It should only take him a day to do that.
June 28…Well, last night I had several night mares….woke up sweating several times and my mind was racing about changing out that pocket door. I told Sherry I just had to go over and change the door back. So that is what I did…It didn’t take me long and when I was done it looked great. Why I did the door change over is beyond me. This one will allow us to change out the door if it gets damaged and life will be good in the future. Also, I needed to put in the flooring. I used CDX plywood, as Sherry and I have decided to put in linoleum instead of ceramic tile. Good choice in my opinion, after all it is just a rental unit.
June 29…Today was the day to frame in the shower..I am determined. My walls are not square, but what the heck. I have to do this. I measured against yesterdays’ measurements and changed some of them. Marked the floor accordingly and rechecked everything. Apprehensively, I proceeded to cut some wood and put it into place. I really don’t know what the heck I’m doing. I started on the East wall which seemed to be the most logical, making things come into the room squarely, and then moved to the South wall. Again making things come into the room square. My problem is the floor drain for the shower. It is where it is, and I have to work with that. 15 inches, one way, 16 the other. Here we go. I fought the thing the whole way and it took ALL day to get it done, but here it is and it should work. I even called Keith Witt to get advise on a 3/8 th inch difference, he said go for it, and here it is.
Anyway, it has a 10 year parts and labor guarantee on all of it. I’m pleased with that.
Scott and I went over the plan one more time, about where the piping will be put etc. He asked if he could remove a 2X4 in the wall. We looked it over and YIPES!!! NO! Don’t move that one!!! I have been in and out of the TV room how many times, working and pounding and never noticed that this one 2X4 was “barely” supporting the main peak beam from upstairs. All would have been OK except that Dad had cut the main cross beam that supports the floor in the attic in order to put the vent pipe for the tv room wall furnace. At that point, there really wasn’t anything supporting the beam that goes to the peak of the house in the back. I didn’t take any pictures of this “before” I fixed the problem, but you can see from this picture the old structure.
Progress is being made, and no stings from the nasty little wasps. I went through about a half a spray can of wasp and hornet spray, and when the wood was off the outside of the porch, the wasps were few and far between.
I was able to insulate the remainder of the porch and put on the last of the skin. Then the new screen. I still have to put strips of wood around the edges and up the center posts to make it look finished, but here it is so far. Guaranteed no bugs are going to get through that.
I don’t have any pictures of the work inside the porch area, but I did remove small panels above the screened in area to install insulation in there and I found a number of interesting things inside these panels. Why nobody removed them before covering them with plywood is another thing. But look at this picture of the things that was inside.
Work will not be too quickly for the next couple of weeks because it’s time to put the hay in the barn. Donnell Anderson is coming in the morning to cut, and will bale late next week. In the meantime we have lots to do down in the field.
July 12…The hay is all in the barn now, and the yards are in recovery mode from being neglected while we worked the hay. It’s been hot, and the hay process worked out real good. A great crop, 2035 bales, no rain and 1200 bales were sold in the field!!!
Now it’s time to get back to work on the house. Today the temp hit 101 degrees and I had to work in the bedroom area upstairs! Sweat, sweat, sweat!!! To assist the guys installing the heat and AC ductwork, I crawled up into the rafters and nailed some “flat wood” down so they could walk on it. The flat wood also helped stabilize the joists minimizing the movement back and forth.
Next I had to pull down some of the wall partition boards and install a pocket door between the master bedroom and the old gun room. I’ll call the old gun room “the small room” from now on. We wanted to put a door here, so that the people renting could use the small room as a closet and/or an infants’ room. We think it’s a good idea. The door went in without too much trouble.
July 13….The weather is calling for 104 today, so we got up and skipped breakfast and went right to work. The heat/AC guys were busy as well, with the same idea in mind…get the work done while it’s coolest. They should finish today.
I went right upstairs and started cutting and nailing. I built the rest of the framing above the pocket door and installed it. Next was to start in with the “fire stops”. I decided to utilize the wood I took out of the walls to make way for the pocket door. This wood is the same width as that which is still standing. It would make a better fire stop than one of today’s 2X4’s which are narrower. I cut and nailed and even pulled a few of the nails that were sticking out from the lath and plaster job. When I had consumed a full quart of water, I figured it was hot enough and anything beyond what I had accomplished would have to wait until tomorrow.
When I get the fire stops and floor space wood installed, the electrician can move in. Once he is on line, Sherry and I will take a short vacation. Go somewhere cool.
The heat and AC guys did a great job and here are some pictures of some of the work they did. Testing can’t be done until electricity is in. I’ll explain what they did with each picture.
32 inches wide, 83 inches high. Somewhat “plumb”, given it’s me that built it. I was only able to finish this one before it got too beastly hot to continue working. Meanwhile Mitch hammered out the rest of the door frames, and left me with an awful mess to clean up…tomorrow…
July 15…Started early to work in the cool. My goal is to get the remaining three doorways framed in and possible do a cleanup of the entire house. It took until noon to get the three doorways done, but they are finished.
July 16…The cleanup was hot, and a small load of wood went to the field, I failed to take a picture of it. I was able to salvage a bit of wood, for use later, if needed. A lot of what I’ve saved will probably end up in the field, but for now, I’ll hang on to it. I have used quite a bit of what I saved in different places, and believe me, the price of lumber is outrageous these days.
I have to tell you a story now…remember when I gave Scott Pettingill the swamp cooler in trade for a stub into the porch for future use? Well he came and got it and what we ended up with was a hole in the window where the cooler was placed. The sliding window that was removed to accommodate the cooler has been lost and therefore I will have to have one made to fit. In the meantime, I cut a board and put it in there.
I was bummed! Another money eating setback. I had him send his guys out to measure and give us a bid. It will take two weeks to get it at a cost of $302! Man! Does it ever end? I ordered the one, and will probably order a matching one for the South side later on. I know I have to replace all of the windows in the house before it’s over, but I would like to recover some of the money we have put into this remodel before that happens. Oh well! Life goes on.
We have approached the bank about a line of credit to be used as we need. The big expense coming up will be for sheet rocking. I can’t do that. A man has to know his limitations.
July 18…Monday and Mitch is coming down from Logan to help out. He has now graduated with a Masters Degree in Business Admin. We are very proud of him. His task is to find a suitable job for his education and get on with his life. Until then, he will move into our basement and continue to look for work. This week we plan on helping to move him from Logan to Willard. In the mean time work on the house must go on.
Today’s tasks include adding blocking between the studs and figuring out what to do with the door way at the top of the stairs. Mitch will do blocking while I rip out the door casing and see what we have to work with.
As work progressed, it became obvious to Mitch that I was having all of the fun, so he finished the room he was in and came to help me. We ripped the framing down, which really opened up the space. Then worked on the step landing by tearing out the old structure, down to the top of the rock and reworked it. We gained an inch or so of head room by lowering the step, while still maintaining a good footing.
Overhead, we raised one of the braces about 5 inches and when we framed in the 14 inch heat/AC pipe, the final product is a space about 73 inches (after drywall) high. Under todays specs, it should be closer to 80 inches, but where we are under a grandfather clause, we can get by. 73 sure beats the 62 inches that was there. We shouldn’t have any heads get knocked on that. These pictures show the work that we did today.
Using scraps, the one with the four holes had been shot from the other side at some time or another. I can fill the holes with putty before painting or carpeting. The mess you see in the corner is part of the frame. Now check the next flick out.
The frame came out “in tacked” and Mitch wanted to stand it back up where it used to be so that you can see how much head room we gained. It’s amazing what we were able to accomplish.
At least a foot of additional headspace. Good job Mitch! It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it! At this point the outside temp is 100 degrees, and the inside of the house must be 110, we have drank all the water we brought over and it’s time to quit for the day. Leave the mess for another day.
July 20…I called Bryce Wheelright about giving us a bid on sheetrocking and today he and one of his boys came over and measured. He also gave me some duties to prep the rooms for sheetrocking. There is a lot yet to do. Today is mow the lawn day, and we are also going to town, so no work on the house. Tomorrow is Thursday and Mitch wants to move back to Willard. So no work then either.
July 22…Friday! Mitch is moved in and he and Angela are cleaning up their old apartment. I get to work on the house by myself today. Lots to do. I started by finishing the framing of the vent pipe.
It’s hard to see what this is, but the newer boards form corners to work with.
July 23…Saturday and Mitch will help me today. The goal is to knock a small bit of lath and plaster down in one of the corners, fix that up with a sheetrock tie point and build the access to the attic. Clean up the mess and be done. We got a good start and when Mitch and I did a walk around, be found some small areas that still needed sheetrock tie points. We worked on different parts at the same time and then went to work on the attic access box.
One last thing to do…I remembered that I needed to add support wood for a fan light in the master bedroom. We used a string to locate the center of the ceiling by coming from opposite corners with two pieces of string. It probably isn’t perfect, but it will do. Then Mitch scrounged a really pretty (NOT) piece of wood which we cut two pieces to length and put them side by side. This will be more than enough to support a ceiling fan.
The “above” view of the heat/AC exchanging box with all of the piping going to the various rooms. Looks like a giant spider or octopus. Notice how the ladder comes up through the access box. Good job fellas.
This is looking North while standing at the South end. Notice the hole. This is where the power used to come into the house.
This is looking South while standing at the North end. Notice a bit of light coming in just under the peak. Mitch decided he needed to fill both of the holes with some “great stuff” before we quit. What that will mean, is he will fill these two holes, and then I will have to run all over the house finding more places to use the great stuff on. We did this and filled in many places where bugs and air could get in. Day is done, house is cleaned up and we are off.
Next week Sherry and I are heading for Montana on a week or so vacation! It’s our 31st anniversary on the 28th. Time to go dangle my worm in a hole. Our plan is to hit Henry’s lake, maybe Wade lake, possibly Hebgen, and see the sights around Virginia City, Dillon and maybe get over to Darby to see our friend Helen. No real plan, just go North!
Oh Yea. I almost forgot. While working on installing sheetrock attaching wood, I noticed some writing on one of the beams that go from the top of the brick, up to the point of the roof. It says “pattern”, written in pencil. Can you read it?
August 14…Sherry and I headed North on a weeks vacation in the coach and so no work has been done until this past week. Our electrician was supposed to be working on the house while we were gone but he never showed up. We called him yesterday and he said he will be here no later than next Tuesday (August 16). In the meantime, we had Bryce Wheelright measure and give us a bid for sheetrock. He will start as soon as we are ready for him. His bid was MUCH lower than I expected, $6300 plus change. I really expected 16K at least. I’m glad and this will give us a bit of financial room to work with.
After coming from vacation, and getting caught up on yard and house work, I was able to spend a couple of days working on the old house.
August 8…I called the window guys and told them we would accept their bid on the windows. But, I reminded them that they had to take some final measurements to make sure of the sizes they needed to order. They came out and measured again, and told me that I needed to rebuild the frame work around all of the downstairs windows. I have about two weeks to get this done.
Just to make sure I have plenty of things to do, I took on the assignment for the Dutch A LLC, to contact a private company to do a wetland delineation, and another company to do us a survey of the North property. I spent most of Monday and Tuesday on the phone.
Between phone calls, I was able to do a little work on the house, but I didn’t take too many pictures at the end of each day. Rather, I took a series at the end of the week. On Wednesday of this week, Brandon and I worked on replacing the sod in his backyard, after removing the old sod, and digging out 4 truck loads of gravel. Thursday, August 11, I was able to spend all day on the old house working in the bathroom area upstairs, putting down flooring and preparing for the tub and sheetrock.
Friday the 12th, I worked with Bob and Tracy on putting in a duck box down by the lake. A guy might as well stay busy.
Saturday, 13th….I worked most of the day on finishing the area where the tub goes, and getting it all ready for sheetrock. Here are the pictures of the progress so far.
Tomorrow, Monday August 15, will be to finish preparing for sheetrock at the top of the stairs. My next priority will either be to frame the windows or build a 2X2 wall for the TV room down stairs. My priorities are being dictated by “which contractor is coming next”.
August 15…I got a very early start considering everything, but it wasn’t a very productive day. My goals were to complete the prep work for sheetrock at the top of the stairs and also box in the return air pipe. I had “one of those days”, nothing seemed to go right. My cuts were bad, measuring was wrong, nails bent…you have the picture. Mitch came over and helped me finish the box around the vent and it has it’s problems, but the sheetrock will cover most of the mistakes.
August 16…Delbert Nawne, my electrician promised to be here to start the wiring today. The weather has changed and it actually “rained” early this morning and then about 8 a.m. it poured like it had never poured before. I had to stop working and just watch it rain, because it was so dark in the house I couldn’t see to measure or cut.
My goal is to fir out the West wall in the old TV room and hopefully make it straighter and more plumb. I laid out all of the 2X2’s and then nailed them once I was satisfied with the whole thing. Sherry was home doing her thing and waiting for me to call for her assistance in raising the wall. She came when I called, and about the same time Mitch came home from taking his last “practice” test to get his real estate sales license and the three of us lifted the wall into place.
At the same time “here came Delbert”!!!! He brought his son who is a two year apprentice electrician and the two of them dove right into their work. While I was busy tacking up the furring strips, they were hammering, drilling and making quite a mess. I thought I was making good time, and suddenly they were surrounding me with the need to get their work done. When the day was over, they had installed all of the receptacle, switch and light boxes throughout the entire house and had began to run wiring!
Tomorrow, Delbert tells me they will complete the electrical work on the house and be done! He says his daughter will be there to help the two of them and that she is quite the worker. It’s hard for me to believe they can complete a job this big in just two days.
Aug 17…Got a good start with the goals of the day to make the bathroom downstairs ready for Keith and to start on framing the windows in preparation for the Mullen Glass guys. I began by removing the one stud in the wall centered on the shower and moved it about 5 inches to the East. Then installed a second stud 5 inches to the West. This gives Mr. Witt 10 inches of space to work with. As I finished this, in walked Mitch. He was going to mow the grass, but it was too wet from last nights beautiful rain.
So, I put him on the task of installing a mounting board to the wall, which the back of the shower will be attached. Measure, cut, install only took a couple of minutes. Then it was upstairs to take off the old screen and plastic covering on the window in the new bathroom. I was out on the roof when Mitch came up from the inside of the house. I was anticipating “Dry Dog” to come and discuss this years rendezvous and the gun range we are in charge of taking up. Plus the targets and shooting we will conduct. He showed up about 9:30 and I disappeared from the work scene for better than an hour. Meanwhile Mitch kept up the good work.
When I got back, he had the old frame all torn out, the wood cut to accept a larger window and was about to install the new frame. But, it stuck out too far from the outside of the house. We redid the work with 2X2’s and it worked out perfectly. Installed and caulked, it was now ready to have the plastic put back over it to keep out the crawlies and the rain. Mitch noticed that the ceiling joist under this window did not have any support, as it had been cut at some time years ago to allow someone to access the space above the utility room, most likely to install wiring.
We had to do something about that. So I went to scrounging some wood and fix the problem. Mitch did the hammering from above while I worked on the top of the ladder below. The final work looks atrocious, but it supports quite well.
At one point I went up to do something and noticed they were cleaning up their mess. I said “Hold it, your job is to wire and make all the mess you want, mine is to clean up”! Delbert stopped his daughter and said “You are too nice”! And the two of them went back to wiring.
Mitch and I had our job ahead of us. I was to take the old frame down from the tv room window, while he did the utility room North window. My frame was supporting adobe bricks above and I wanted to do the job without disturbing the bricks. Nice try, but it didn’t work. Mitch came to my rescue and the two of us worked together and finally got the job done. Both window frames got put together and covered with plastic before the day was done. Sherry came over and cleaned up the mess upstairs and by the time we were all done, the day came to a close.
We still had to mow the lawn, so I did the lawn around our house and Mitch did it around the old house.
Small lipstick with lipstick in it still usable, a button and the ceramic top to a childs tea pot or sugar bowl. The lipstick came out from somewhere around the utility room window, the ceramic piece was in the loose adobe above the tv room window frame and the button was upstairs where Sherry was cleaning. Will finding things ever end?????
Mitch came over about 10 or 10:30 to help and we moved everything upstairs into the master bedroom. We worked as a team at that point, I cut 2X4’s to fit in the spaces between the verticals just above the bricks. Mitch nailed them down. We then pulled all of the nails in the beams upstairs. Mitch bonked his head with the side of the hammer and has quite a knot on his head.
While we were making the noise upstairs, the electricians were all over the place, pulling wires, cutting holes and striping the insulation. It was a day to remember with all of the noise. Roy came over and hired Delbert to do the electrical in a house he is about to start building in Perry. I showed him all of our progress so far and he was very impressed. It gives me a great feeling to know someone who is in the business can appreciate a novices work.
The wiring is done for now. Delbert says I can contact the inspector anytime I’m ready. He won’t be back to finish and “power up” until the painting is done. That means the time line is pretty much on the insulation, sheetrock, brick finishing and painting. Go, Go, Go is what I say!
August 22…We hit the house early today and put down all of the flooring we could. Starting with the full sheets and then moving to the cut pieces. It took us all day, but it turned out pretty good. Mitch helped until about noon, and then had to go for an interview with Century 21 real estate. I continued to cut and place wood. I was unable to complete the job, as all that remains is the pieces around where the old flooring had been placed. I will have to “fill” in these tomorrow.
As for today, here are the results.
My next task is to remove the window from the down stairs bathroom and frame in a wall. I think I will retain the “indent” where the window was, and have it available as a magazine rack. The window I will salvage, but I don’t know where I might use it. It is a very cool window.
My plumber showed up just as I was finishing with my task for the day and he should complete all of his work up to the setting of toilets and connecting water to the other furnishings.
August 25…It’s nearly time for the Fall Rendezvous and I still have lots of work to do here at the house before we take a week off to play. I got an early start today and the goal is to box in the window that exists in the downstairs bathroom. The window looks like this from inside the bathroom.
It’s a pretty cool window where the glass portion hinges into the bathroom area and is attached by a chain to keep it from coming open too far. It just lets the steam out of the room. But since we will have a vent fan, there is no need for this window.
I removed the old siding and installed new, it looks like this now.
I then used a full can of “Great Stuff”, to fill the gaps from the outside and also went around all of the exterior receptical boxes and closed them in. I’ll bet the critters are beginning to hate me. By the time I cleaned up the place, it was time to call it a day.
We then made a few cuts and bends to the metal, put some caulking on the wall and nailed it up with roofing nails (lots of them). It will have to be caulked somemore before siding, but it will do for now.
It would cost too much just to replace the glass with insulated glass, plus the frames would still allow air to flow and cold to get in, heat to get out etc. Out with the old, In with the new!!!
The framing went pretty well and pretty soon we had a “nearly” square frame, ready for a new window. Sherry called in the dimensions and ordered the window. It will match the others which are scheduled to be installed on Sept. 7th! We can hardly wait. They will make the house look sooooooo much better! Back to the framing. This is what it looks like now.
Meanwhile Mr. Witt, finished with his plumbing in the TV room, and we went to boxing in around the pipes and heater vent pipes. We finished about 5:30 p.m., just in time for cocktails and cold “other” drinks! It’s looking real good now, and time for rendezvous. I think we are nearly completed with cutting wood. There is still the door frame to the new bathroom upstairs to “narrow down”, and then I think we are done!!!! Yea ha!!!!
Please take note of the “clean out” point if you ever need to access it. My choice if the system plugs up, is to try the outside clean out first, then the shower drain, then the tub drain or toilet upstairs, and lastly this drain which will be behind the wall. Good luck and I hope nobody ever has to use it.
As usual, today was another good day, and I have said it a lot, that we should be finished finding stuff! Well, when Mitch was removing the siding material from the North side of the doorway leading into the utility room, guess what he found, deep down between the siding and the porch cement floor…..
On September 7th, just as planned, the guys from Mellen Glass, came in with the windows for the house and put them in. It sure looks different, and they slide up so easily it’s almost scary. Here are the views of the house as it looks today.
Meanwhile, I have been busy inside doing various things. Somedays I had help from Mitch and Sherry and I hope I don’t forget to mention them in this writeup. We are on a tight schedule to get things done in order for the sheetrock to be put up while I’m on the Muzz deer hunt which begins Sept. 28. We are planning to head for the hills on the 27th to set up camp and before that Sherry and I are going to go out to Wendover for a needed break the weekend before that.
The plumber had come over and finished up all of his needed work before I called for an inspection of the wiring. We figured that without a building permit the inspector would not say anything if the plumbing was completed. I called for the inspector and he came out the next day to look things over. After about 15 minutes he wrote a note that it was “OK to cover”, the electrical. And then he discussed the vent pipe upstairs and later the windows upstairs.
I told him I just had the windows replaced and that I wasn’t about to take them out and redo the window frames and compromise the structure of the house. There must be some sort of Grandfather clause that would protect me. He said that the windows needed to be a size that could allow a fireman to enter through the window in case of an emergency. Then he talked to himself about the fact that there was an upstairs door etc. Before he left he said that when he comes to do the final inspection he did not want to see a bed in either of the rooms upstairs on the East side of the house. That these rooms were storage or offices and not bedrooms. I agreed.
Now it’s back to work getting ready for sheetrock. I figured the next thing would be to order doors and get them hung. It didn’t take them long to build them and since I had never hung a door before I thought it would take quite a bit of time to get it done. Little did I know, it only took one day to hang 5 doors and just a couple of hours to hang the last one down stairs.
Most of the things on the list are backing materials, blocking in pipes and drains and assorted other things that will make the place look better when the sheetrock is done. I started upstairs with blocking and putting in a permanent short wall at the top of the stairs.
Keith Witt also told me the pedestal sink in the downstairs bath would need a backing as those type of sinks are really hung on the wall and not self supporting. So I fixed that too.
Notice the “cat blockers” on the bottom! Now the only things that can get into the cellar are the bugs and spiders.
Mitch was able to join us the next day and he and I worked on the area above the stairs and in the upstairs bathroom, while Sherry worked on the utility room. It was a hot day, and we all suffered a great deal, what with the itching of the fiberglass and the sweating and barely able to breath with the masks on. We got all of the work done upstairs and nearly all in the utility room.
Oh, ya, I mentioned the inspector asking me about the flu pipe coming up from the downstairs wall furnace and what was I going to do about that. I have Scott Pettingill coming back to inspect the furnace, clean it and fix that pipe. Code says the pipe needs a minimum of 1 inch clearance to any flammable material. It’s a wonder the place didn’t burn down, as the pipe actually contacts the wood going through the roof, all around the pipe.
Sept.22….Mom and I are going to head over to Wendover for Friday night and Saturday, so today is my last day to be able to work on the house this week and then I will be getting ready for the Muzzleloader deer hunt which begins next Wednesday. So in essence, today is the last day I have for the next two weeks! Still lots to do to get ready for sheetrock.
My goal for today is formidable, with finishing the insulation downstairs, furring out the bathroom South wall, squaring up the passageway to the front of the house and framing and furring out under the stairs. Let’s go!!!!
Picking up where we left off yesterday Sherry and I cut and fit the rest of the insulation in the utility room. We left two pieces of insulation cut but not stapled that will go into place once the vent pipe is fitted for the water heater. Scott will do that for us.
It took until almost 11 a.m. to get the insulation installed in the utility room and also in the furred out wall between the tv room and the utility room. Our thoughts on that wall being insulated is as a noise barrier rather than needing to retain heat/cold.
Mitch cut his work day short and came over to help in the afternoon. Before he arrived Scott was here looking over the situation and deciding what he needed to do to fix up the vent for the water heater and to do the cleaning and repair of the wall furnace in the front of the house. He had to leave before he could do any of the work…problems at home.
With a fever to get everything done that was left on the list, Mitch and I began by cutting the wood flush with the wall in the entryway to the front of the house. I didn’t take any pictures of that. It took us awhile to get that done, but it will cover nicely with sheetrock and then we will trim the edges.
Next came the furring of the South wall of the bath downstairs and also above the shower. It has to match and cover the edge of the shower stall. I had purchased 1X4’s at the lumber store and we had to cut them down lengthways using the skill saw. That done, and we were off to build a wall.
Once this wall was up, Mitch had to go and I was left to fix a large gap between the floor and the wall in the TV room, North side, and then sweep up a little. The time was 5:45 p.m. when I quit. The only thing left on the list is under the stairs! What a nice feeling.
I called Bryce Wheelright and told him he could move in anytime he was ready. He said that if all goes right on his other job, he will begin our sheetrock on October 3rd! Yee Haaa!!!
Oct. 11…Well we took some time for the Muzz deer hunt…3 bucks killed and I had a fair shot at a large 4 point at 80 yards, but I missed his head and he ran off a smarter buck!
Back to work on the old house. While I was off hunting Sherry decided to refinish the old door that mounts between the porch and the tv room. It’s a really pretty door but has many, many coats of paint on it. She started by putting paint stripper on it, but it only took some of it off and made the rest real gummy. But with perseverance and elbow grease it will come off. I had the camera so she didn’t get any before shots, but here is part of the door in progress.
Meanwhile, Scott came back and made the wall furnace in the front of the house safe, by cutting away the flammable wood away from the heat duct. My job now is to add some 1X2 strips and screw sheetrock up to cover the pipes downstairs. Then in the future if we ever decide to get rid of the furnace, or have to replace it, we won’t have to tear the wall down to do it.
My final job before the sheetrock can be finished, is to add strips around the stairs and make a door frame (of sorts) for access under the stairs. Bryce is going to rock both the outside and inside of the stairs. This will make it better for storage. I got that job done today.
While I was busy doing this task, the guys from Mellen glass showed up with the downstairs South window and the two big windows for the front of the house. They work really fast and are quite good at what they do. Here they are pulling out one of the old windows and hauling it away.
With these new windows installed that makes every one of the exterior windows new, double pane and insulated! Things will be warmer in the winters to come.
Bryce was not able to start when he said he would, and only yesterday did he stop and tell me the rock will be delivered this Thursday. They will put some upstairs via a lift and the rest downstairs. He will begin hanging the rock next Monday and figures it will take him about 3 weeks to finish. He is planning on going deer hunting during this time as well. I can’t blame him there.
Sherry and I are going to Wendover with Bones and Dee this Thursday and spend the night. So no work will get done until after we are back. I have lots still to do, like fir out that furnace pipe, sand and put mortar between the bricks and sand the wood going up the stairs. Once the rock is hung and sanded, then there will be painting and finish work on the wood, plus installing cabinets, shelves, large sink, bi-fold doors and many other finish type jobs. This is all hoped to be done before snow flys! Wish me luck! Oh ya, I plan on taking a couple of weeks off to go Muzz elk hunting up on the Gilmore Ranch, near Kamas on the 2nd of November. Life is good!
Oct. 19…Well the sheetrock was delivered on the 13th and Bryce started putting it up on the 18th. They started in the bathroom downstairs which surprised me. I figured they would start upstairs and work their way down. Oh well…They decide! It’s amazing how the place looks as the rock is being put up. It closes it in, but at the same time gives you a feeling of a place you could live in.
Oct. 21…Well, Bryce and Ben worked most of three days this week and have now taken some time to go deer hunting. I guess they will be back on Monday. In the meantime, I needed to clean up some of the excess sheetrock and make room to move around a little. I am not sure which rock pieces are scrap and which are not, so I organized them by size and put them all in the utility room up against the wall out of the way until I can ask Bryce whether they are garbage or not.
The have managed to get nearly all of the TV room and the “white board” part of the utility room completed and here are some of the flicks.
Since they are out of the way and the mess of scrap is cleaned up, Sherry and I decided we needed to start on the re-pointing of the mortar and start sanding down the brick upstairs. We don’t want to be in the rockers way, so this will be a good time to start that project. My job is to mix the “spec mix” and put the mortar in the holes and cracks between the bricks. Sherry will begin the sanding. We are using a modern brick to sand with, as it is harder than the old bricks that are in the bedrooms. A lot of work ahead, but it will look really nice when it’s finished.
Mostly knocking off the white plaster from the lath and plaster job. But some shaping of the brick and cleaning out mortar from between bricks.
Our goal is to complete this brick work before Bryce moves upstairs to lay the sheetrock. We won’t finish the job until after the painting of the walls and ceiling is done. Any paint spilled can then be cleaned off before sealing the bricks and putting on a finish coat of clear material.
Re-pointing: Putting mortar in cracks and spaces between bricks. We are using a mortar mix called “Spec Mix”, which is mostly cement and lime with a bit of really fine sand. I have found mixing two cups of mix with one of water makes a slurry just the right consistency to be squeezed out through a funnel looking rubber device that is fashioned after a cake decorating tube (or vise verse).
Here are some of the views to date.
The next day they went hunting deer and on Oct. 25th were back at the sheetrocking.
The next two weeks I will be gone hunting elk with my trusty muzz. Sherry plans on cleaning up the kitchen cabinets downstairs. That way she has something to do while I’m gone, it will get her away from the house and kids, and get a job done that desperately needs doing.
Nov. 11…History was made today!!!!! Scott Pettingill came over, hooked up the gas to the furnace and fired the motha up!!!! First time in the history of the old house to have forced heat in the upstairs part of the house!!!! Wonderful!!
Lots of things have happened in the past two weeks. First off, I did not get an elk! Boooo. But Sherry and Mitch finished the sanding of the bricks and Brice did a lot of mudding on the sheetrock. It really is taking shape and looks great.
You have to see what the “modern” bricks look like now that the old bricks have been sanded. Keep in mind these bricks started out as a full size brick, fired and hard. I broke it in half, so that two people could work at the same time using them as sanding blocks.
The following are a series of pictures of the upstairs areas showing them all sheet rocked and ready for mud!
What a nice job and every day it looks better and better! We are loving it now!
Nov. 12…While I was away hunting elk, the windows we ordered for the porch came in and Sherry went to Mellens and picked them up. So, we went to town yesterday and picked up the material we needed to “fill in” the spaces on the porch where we were not going to put windows. They needed 2X4’s for framing and 7/32 inch wafer board to form walls. Insulation will be put in the space and we sure have lots of bags of that laying around.
Mitch was there to help with this and we went to work as quickly as we could. There is a cold front on its way and the sooner we get this job done the better. The screens I put up last Spring had to come off and I didn’t try to salvage any of it. Then the 2X4 framing went in and the wafer board cut to fit on the outside. As the spaces were filled and finished, I put the windows in last so as not to crack the glass with our hammering. The windows fit very well and appear to be straight and square. I’m glad too, because I didn’t have any room to move them once they were in the space.
It closed off the porch and the only down side is now there is less light coming in. It will help with the heat and forever there will not be a need to screen or put up plastic sheeting.
Speaking of painting. Bryce and Ben have been working very hard to finish the sheetrocking and mudding and only have the four bedrooms upstairs to do the textured ceilings. It looks very nice and absolutely like a house at this point. Bryce said he should be completely done with the mudding by Wednesday! After that we can paint and begin the finish work. We are excited (but running out of money very quickly).
Bryce created a special tool to help him texture ceilings and I thought you might like to see it in action. It’s some sort of padded circle on a stick. He places mud on it and presses it against the ceiling. Pulls it away and moves to a different place and presses again. It creates a mass of hanging down mud of various sizes, shapes and thickness’. When he is done using this tool, he then takes a trowel and smooths the hanging mud out. He trowels this mud in light strokes and in different directions to form the textured ceiling. It looks absolutely great!
Nov. 16 through 19…Bryce suggested that we use a material called MDF to trim out the inside of the windows, so we included a 4X8 sheet of that in our latest purchase of finish materials. We plan on using 1X4 pine for the base wherever the sheetrock comes in contact with the floor and where there will be carpet laid. In areas like the bathrooms and utility rooms, the linoleum will be coved; therefore no base will be required.
Other trim will be a more decorative type around the door casings and windows. The window seals will be cultured marble and has already been ordered.
I measured each window and custom cut the MDF to fit, as each window has it’s own unique shape and degree of “squareness” (or lack of square, as you see fit). Here is one example of what the MDF looks like installed.
Sherry and I made another trip to town to try and find some sealer material that would seal the sanded bricks and hopefully bond the brick material together. We hit several places and none of them knew of any material that would work for us. Interstate brick manufacturing company in Harrisville, suggested we hit some of the paint stores behind the Newgate mall, so our travels eventually lead us to ICI Paints company. They specialize in paint and supplies for contractors and people like us. Sure enough they had a material called “Bond-Prep” and they reassured us it was exactly what we were looking for. Coat one, would penetrate the pourous brick material and bond the loose material together. Coats two and more would add a “sheen” to the finished brick and we could coat it as much as we wanted to get the look we desired.
They sold us a 5 gallon bucket and suggested we spray it on. I have a two gallon sprayer I bought a year or so ago to spray water repellent material on the deck (which didn’t work for that), so I’ve been using it to spray insect spray on the roses. I will use that.
My fingers were crossed as I filled the sprayer with the liquid. It came out of the bucket like milk…watered down white milk. The sprayer worked like a dream as I painted the milky liquid on the brick walls. The bricks sucked up the liquid like no tomorrow, and I was having doubts about it actually bonding the loose material together. Time will tell, as I had to wait for it to dry before touching it. What a welcome feeling when I first touched a dried brick and felt a rather hard finish, with none of the reddish dust coming off on my hand. I pressed harder and still no dust! YEEE HAAA!!!!!! Success again!
A second coat was all that was needed for us to get the desire we wanted. Just a slight sheen to the finish, and a harder finish on the outside of the bricks!
I came in the next day with the belt sander and thought I would knock that stain off in minutes. After several hours and using 23 belts of sandpaper, I was about half done with the wall, and out of sandpaper. Another trip to town was in order! More sandpaper needed here!
Between the “gumming up” and the belts catching nail heads, it was a frustrating day on the stairs.
By the time we got materials and back home, the day was pretty much shot. So today was a day to attack the work left to be done. I went to work on the trim around the doors and windows and Sherry cleaned up the horizontal blinds that will be put back into the big windows up front.
I tried to use the backsaw and miter box, but had very little luck getting the cuts to align, and so I built a make shift jig to get this job done. It doesn’t work perfect, but I did manage to get the trim around the doors upstairs done and the trim around the upstairs bathroom window. Now that bathroom is ready for paint!
I also put some trim downstairs, but as the day progressed I began making stupid mistakes and decided it was time to quit for the day. My thumb is very sore from smacking it with the hammer trying to get those miserable number 6 nails to start. Sherry cut her right index finger while using my knife to try and get old putty off of the stair window frame. So we are both calling “owwie”.
I plan on continuing to trim out the windows and doors downstairs until it’s all done. Then I will break down my jig and set up for base and trim around the brick. The brick trim will offer the greatest challenge because the cuts won’t be 45 degree cuts. I’ll have to use the old fashion angle devise I got from Sherry’s dad after he died.
This old door has stood in place for many, many years and definitely has seen better days.
This picture was actually taken the day after the installation, notice the snow outside! Good thing we got the door put on! It also has a threshold to help keep out the critters and now the bottom of the door doesn’t hit the cement like the old one has for years and years. We still need to insulate around the frame and put up some trim, but it’s on and done!
Next was to go upstairs and work on the balcony door. That one should just slide in place with the frame they built it in. Simply take out the old door and install the new one. Maybe an hours work!
We took the old door off from the hinge side and removed it. Pulled up the old carpet and did a little repair to the old threshold. Then tried to slid the new door and frame into place! Trouble was noted very quickly. When I measured the door, that was exactly what I had done, “measured the door”. Those were the dimensions I gave Wheelwrights when I ordered and that is what they made the frame to fit! What I didn’t notice was the way the old door frame was built. Remember way back a few months, I said the old door frames were part of the structure of the house? Well this one was no different and they had cut the door stop out of the frame. Therefore my door measurements were ½ inch too wide and thus the new frame was that much too wide. What now????
Well we can’t take the door back as it is a custom made door. So there had to be a way to use it. We pulled off the frame from door latch side, that allowed the hinge side, top and threshold to go into place. Then we cut the latch side of the frame in half lengthwise and that fit nicely into it’s respective place in the old frame work. Then with a little modification on the outside portion of the frame we had ourselves a working door!
While we waited, we didn’t waste any time as we still have a lot of trim work etc. that needs installing. I worked on the trim around the stairs, and Mitch worked on fixing a problem with the downstairs sliding door, the small door that allows access under the stairs, and the trim between the stairs and the tv room walls.
Nov. 29…I hit the house early and finished painting the bathroom upstairs. Just after I completed that job, here came Steve Bingham to make a final measurement on the vanity cabinet that will fit in the corner of the bath area. Things are coming together quite well at this point. Steve said he would be over to install the cabinet tomorrow and then the cultured marble folks will be here on Thursday. They can measure the vanity top at that time. Good things are happening.
It’s amazing to us, the difference paint makes the place look. We are loving it!
With no time to waste, I went to filling the gaps between the brick and the molding with fiberglass. Some of the spaces are quite large, while others don’t require any filler. The plan is to make it look better by filling the gaps with painters caulk and when it is painted, it should look more finished than it does with the open spaces. Last night I filled and caulked a bit of the wall in the old gunroom (SE bedroom/infant room/closet) without the aid or anything to guide my caulking gun and the “mess” shows it.
The masking of the remainder of the brick areas was then completed by myself, while Sherry finished sanding the wood on the stairs and then went to work on the small door frame and window that will be painted and put back on the stairs above the landing.
She finished the sanding of the stairs and when she was done I was able to finish the trim work around that sanded wood. It looks like it’s ready to sand, stain and oil finish! We plan on doing that as one of the last phases in the painting. We will mask it to keep the white paint from ruining the sanding job.
Dec. 1…Yesterday was spelled out pretty well above and no work was done in the old house. But today!!!! YES!!!! More work got done. My goal was to get the door to the utility room installed and trimmed out, and maybe the bi-fold doors installed as well. There is a lot to do, and Mitch has the pressure on to get the painting done soon. I attacked the door to the utility room (tv room to utility room) with earnest. I wanted it to go smoothly and be done quickly. Go slow to go fast! I heard that at work one time.
Anyway, it went in pretty good, but I had to cut the door frame down some, in order that it would fit.
You can see the “small wall” on this side of the bi-folds. I’ll have to sheetrock this in order to finish the trim etc. Notice outside, there is no snow!! These doors had to be cut down in their length and width in order for them to fit. Sometimes I wonder how I get anything done, with all of the modifications I have to do. It seems that just as I think I have everything under control another thing comes along and messes me up.
As I have been messing around the guy from R & K has been upstairs installing the cultured marble around the tub and shower area in the upstairs bathroom. Let’s check on the progress so far.
Actually, this writing is covering from the first of December through the 6th! Fooled you huh? Lots and lots to do, and very little time! Mostly because of Mitch’s time line for painting! He has guys lined up to spray paint on Wednesday Dec. 7th! “D day”! I have a lot to do and little time to do it.
Here comes the guys from “Better Way Insulation”, to blow in the insulation into the attic of the house! Another milestone, as this house has never had insulation! They are going to blow in from 10 to 12 inches of insulation to give us at least an R factor of 38.
As the chute empties, it need refilling with cellulose material. They are putting 12 inches of insulation up in the attic and that is 384 square feet of space! A lot of insulation will be needed.
One small thing that needs doing is to trim the entry from the living room to the tv room. Sounds simple but everything takes time. Here is the look of that entry. By taking two pieces of molding and putting them together at the 90 degree corner, things turn out pretty good.
I guess it will be the trim around the tv room door to the utility room, I have to add wood on the utility room side in order for it to look good and to be able to trim it out.
As with every job, especially at this point in this task, everything has to be done “right now” (and not “in a minute”). We bought a cabinet from Steve Bingham and his son, who make cabinets, and they installed it on Friday (Dec. 2). It’s one they built special for someone else, but then that customer cancelled the order, so they have been looking to sell it for a discount price. We are the lucky ones! Take a look at it installed. _
Sort of a cool picture!
The stair treads and risers need to be installed, but we had to make sure no other contractors or people would be using the stairs while we were doing our thing. So Mitch and I attacked the stairs early. It didn’t take too long to rip up the temporary treads and figure out how to attach the treads and risers. We chose to use the glue we have to help attaché the treads down and maybe eliminate the squeaks. The stairs look real good and absolutely do NOT squeak!!!
I sanded upstairs, while those two finished the stairs. Then they both had things to do for the afternoon and that would leave me to continue to work on the place.
Viewed from above! Solid!
Dec. 6…Tomorrow is paint day! And all are lined up. I have to put up the wood, trim etc. plus clean up! Oh my! Can I do it????
Yes! I’ve always said, “You can do anything you want WHEN you want to do it”! I guess that has been the story throughout all of this reconstruction. From a guy who doesn’t know anything about construction to this. It’s amazing it hasn’t fallen down yet.
I got over to the house early (7 a.m.), started by cutting and installing sheetrock in the “small wall” by the furnace and trimming out the door way. It looks quite nice, except for a space that needs “mud”, but I don’t have two days for the mud to dry, so, it will go un-done.
Next, the base in the utility room where the carpet will go and then on to bigger and better things. The upstairs vent pipe!!!
The slant of the roof gave me quite a time, as I don’t know how the “real” contractors figure out angles, and so I started with a squared off top and trying to figure what angle and how much to cut off in order for the bottom of the wood to be on the floor, at the same time the angle would touch the ceiling. I kept trying and trying. Cutting off piece after piece until I finally had it. The funny thing about it all was what I had left when I completed the job. Check this out!
Well the vent pipe cover is in place and I hope we will be able to remove the old radiant furnace in the dining room/living room area next year and pipe in heat from the main furnace and use this vent pipe cover to hide the new pipes that force heat into these areas down stairs! Heaven will decide!
This is sort of cool! Today we had the carpet measured and the guy said that the installers would have to use a “Z” mold above the trim to “tuck” the carpet into. I think it will look wonderful! And Sherry and I are excited to see the finished product!
Isn’t that nice? Add some hardware and the bathroom will be lovely!
Cody Wright and Stacy Younger, came over to paint on Wednesday the 7th at about 8 a.m. Cody had borrowed a paint sprayer that worked “air less”. Stacy took a day of vacation with the Willard City to help with the work. Cody is his own boss, and the day was cold (10 degrees) and so he couldn’t lay rock (his profession), so this would work out real well for him. I have never spray painted a house before, but they assured me that we would be done today (7th). OK! Let’s go.
We masked the entire house. We used “red” colored tape similar to duct tape to put around the brick and then used the usual “blue” masking tape to attach painters plastic to the red tape. It went on rather quickly with four of us putting it up. Cody, Stacy, Mitch and me. It took about two hours to mask everything and then the fun started. Cody got the sprayer ready; we stirred up the paint with a drill and paint stirring rod and ran an electrical cord. Time to paint!!!
Cody took charge and even though he isn’t a painter by trade, he did an excellent job of jumping and running from room to room painting the ceiling, the walls the floor, himself and the rest of us. It was quite a show, but when it was done it looked “WONDERFUL”!!!!!
Stacy kept track of the hose and marked unpainted areas for Cody to hit again. Mitch ran the “spatter brush” and I watched with ahhh! Occasionally, I would notice the paint bucket running out and I would mix up another batch and pour it into the bucket.
The first day (Dec. 7th) we got the primer on and one coat of finish. Cody reminded us that the paint that was on the painters plastic would “flake off” the next day, after it dried and would make a mess on the finish coat of paint. We would have to do something to take care of the flaking. But what? We didn’t know. We did know that we were out of paint. We had used 15 gallons of finish and that was only the first coat.
Mitch put a call into Matt Rowley, who works for AIS in West Ogden. He is the one who we have purchased all of the paint from so far and he was on his way home from a swan hunt in West Box Elder County. He would call in the order for 15 more gallons of paint and we could pick it up in the morning at AIS about 7 a.m. It’s been a long day, but we will be at AIS at 7 in the morning.
Mitch and I were there at about 7:10. The sign on the door said they would open at 8 a.m. Not good for us…Cody would be at the old house at 8 to go to work. We drove around the side and found an open door, went in and found a lady who gave us chocolate drinks and said they are always open at 7 a.m. (I think they need to change the sign on the door). We had our paint by 7:30 and was on our way home.
Once home, we assessed the “flaking” and started to put up painters blue tape over the areas on the plastic that were most susceptible to flaking. We used about 6 rolls of tape, many pieces of newspaper and much discussion. But we got it done and Cody approved.
He went to work and soon, it was done! Halleluiah!!!!!!
Cody gave one full day and half another! What a guy! Thanks Cody and Thanks to your wife and family and those that work for you who waited patiently while you helped the Bears Butt do his job!!! I will never be able to repay you for your kindness.
Stacy gave up a whole day of “vacation” to help! Stacy why would you ever do that, when vacation days are supposed to be used for fishing, hunting, camping or sight seeing.
Thanks again Stacy! I will never be able to repay you for your kindness either.
When the job was done, the clean up complete, we were at AHH to see the end result. I could not believe my eyes! And I don’t suppose any of you would find this anything but amazing either. Check out these flicks.
Dec. 9th, in the early afternoon, Sherry and I headed to town to buy light fixtures and some of the other necessary finish items needed. Delbert will be here Wednesday to finish up the electrical and this should include the mounting of the light fixtures. Of course any time we go to town it pretty much destroys any daylight left to do any more work.
Dec. 10…With hardware purchased yesterday for the doors, my task today is to install it and then get ready for a Christmas party with Sherry’s family. I only have until about 2:30 p.m. to work, so I started about 8:30 a.m. on the task. I thought it would not take long, as the doors are pretty standard and the hardware should just mount on and I’ll be done. Not so! None of the doors had been notched for the latches. So I had to try and router out the wood to accept the latch plate. I used my dremel tool to get the job done. Since I don’t have a template, I had to freehand the work. I got it done, but some of the doors don’t look too good.
I was able to get all of the hardware installed except the door from the porch into the utility room. Since we painted, the door has swollen up and now it strikes the frame. I will have to take the door off and cut the face edge down about the width of a saw blade.
Oh well…what’s new?
Dec. 12…Today is a day to sort of catch up with some of the little things that need doing. I didn’t get too early of a start, but earlier than some days. First thing was to sand down the face of the door in the utility room that leads onto the porch. The paint has swollen it just enough that it would not close.
Next was to caulk between the trim and the wall (painters caulk) and again between the trim and the shower (clear silicone). This should prevent water from getting behind the wood trim. Paint will protect the wood trim for many years to come.
I started by masking all of the areas I knew needed touching up and this took quite awhile. Now is not a time to splatter paint on the brick or to paint a window etc. The day went quickly and when it was done all of the painting got done.
While he is messing around, I plan on staining the wall going up the stairs and the boards in the brick work in the four bedrooms.
Dec. 14…I got a fairly good start on the day’s activities and began staining the boards in the bedrooms. I was only planning on staining the large pieces of wood the run horizontal to the floor and are about half way up the wall. As I went, however, I went ahead and stained all of the wood in each of the rooms. It really made a difference in the appearance of the rooms. The contrast between white, orange and “chestnut” is very nice. Check out the pictures.
We might paint the little inside part of this with white paint. It wasn’t possible for us to sand the paint out of this area, and it looks sort of bad the way it is right now. The added white paint might just give the look of the window and the wall added character.?! We will decide later.
I don’t know what it is for sure, but both ends have been pounded on so I’m guessing it is some sort of “tie” to hold two pieces of wood together while the rest of the supporting structure can be hooked to them. When the support is completed, then this thing is popped off and used again later.
I got a good start and had the first coat of finish on the stairway wall within an hour. Then headed to the bedrooms to do the same. By the time I finished with the bedroom areas, the stairway wall was ready for coat two. It went pretty fast and now looks very good. It isn’t “smooth”, but it sure is protected and looks very nice._
The white paint in the design was intentionally left in to show the design better once it’s stained and finished. I don’t think this is a bad thing to do. There were several layers of different colors of paint on this door and a lot of it could not be gotten out. We left it and also left a lot of the “stress” marks as well. More character you know.
I packed “a lot” of insulation into this space.
Next, put up some plastic as a barrier to keep the moisture from getting to the back of the sheetrock. I used a 6 mm thick plastic that I had used on the outside of the house last summer to protect the old wood and to keep critters out of the back of the house.
I called Bryce Wheelright and asked him for about 10 ft. of sheetrock tape to cover the two seams. He said he had one and would drop it off. I’ll try my hand at “mudding” once the tape is on. I feel pretty good about the day’s work and left the house ½ hour earlier than usual.
While I was doing this, Mitch patched all of the holes in the kitchen and dining areas and added another coat of mud to the patch under the window. He used so much mud that it took two days to dry, even with the furnace turned on in the dining area.
By all means not professional, but it will do and it really isn’t that bad for novice sheetrockers doing the work.
The upstairs bathroom seemed the most likely place to start, mostly because the rest of the upstairs is waiting for carpet to be completed. I read and re-read the instructions, watched the tape on how to do it easily and then began. The first piece was centered on the doorway opening and I figured I’d align all of the “tile spaces” throughout the project area. I was amazed at how easy the task was, each piece snapped into place and the seams are nearly invisible. Keeping a gap around the outer edge of the floor for expansion was sometimes difficult to me, because it just didn’t look right, but I used spacers and got it done. Some of the pieces were quite small and took a bit of pressure to finally get them to snap into place. It turned out pretty good.
Downstairs bathroom with all of the trim and it’s ready for installation of the toilet and basin. Bring on the carpet!
We changed our minds on installing the laminate in the utility room because the video said the floor could only be 3/16ths out of level and we have a problem with the NE corner of the floor dropping 3 inches in the width of the room. So the lot of laminate we bought for there was returned to Home Depot for a refund and we ordered vinyl to be installed. The measuring person came out yesterday and did a measure and will turn it in for Home Depot to tell us the cost.
Dec. 22…Today is the last day I have to work on the old house until after Christmas. My goal is to mask the kitchen and dining areas, cut in the corners and paint the first coat of finish on. It’s a big task, but I think I can do it. Sherry is working on gifts for the neighbors and other friends. Tomorrow I have scheduled to go to town and do some last minute shopping for Sherry’s gift. I have a great idea (at least I think it’s a good one), and a $60 gift certificate with which to buy it, and Sherry won’t know what I bought.
I got a late start, but was scheduled to be un-interrupted all day. So I started with final sanding in the kitchen and then masked the entire two rooms. Masking takes a long time! I did manage to get it done and in time to cut the corners and get the first coat of finish on before 4:30 p.m. (dark). The final coat will now have to wait until probably Tuesday. I would like to go ice fishing on Monday, the day after Christmas, hopefully up to Strawberry for some of those 20 plus inch Cutthroats.
Dec. 26 through 29…Well, now we have something to hang our hat on! Delbert came and did some of the installation of the electrical, plus Sherry washed the walls in the Living room and moved some of Mitch’s and Angela’s stuff into the newly painted dining area. We are getting quite excited to have them move into the old house and we are also excited to get our own life back in order. Our savings are gone, our borrowing capacities have been met and we are at our wits end. Do I need say more.
We have been blessed with Delbert coming and finishing the electrical part of the house. He is a trooper! He and his crew (kids) finished the lighting and all of the receptacles, switches and getting ready for the outside connection stuff.
Delbert is really trying to do us a great job and is doing a fine job as he goes.
As we progress, it becomes time to paint the front room of the house and the associated parts of that portion of the place. Mitch comes over to help as does Sherry. She washes the walls and ceiling and Mitch removes covers and such, patches holes and basically gets things ready for paint.
We discover “wet sheetrock” again! Nasty thought. What now? Is my thought. Why now? Do I have to rip up the front of the house and rebuild what is there? I am beside myself again! Mitch tore out the portion of sheetrock that was moist and here is what we found.
I vacuumed the area up after removing the base and I don’t see anywhere water is coming in. The flooring under the base is dry and this leads me to believe the water damage happened some time in the past and the sheetrock just hadn’t had time to dry. It’s best that we replace it anyway and give it a fresh start.
Meanwhile, the carpet is still scheduled to be installed on Thursday the 5th and Roy says I have to have the banister in place before they put down the carpet. He came over and told me what I had to have to do the job and that he will lend me a chop saw and nail gun. He also said that it’s best to set up in the tv room and do the cutting in there rather then on the porch. He says it’s easier to be close to where the installation goes to do the cutting and that it will make a big mess with saw dust. I hope I’m up to this challenge. We can’t pick up materials until Tuesday (unless they just happen to be open tomorrow..New Years holiday).
I cut these and installed them in a couple of hours and then painted them with a primer. I hope to get over there today (Sunday) to put on two coats of finish paint. If not, I’ll be over there early tomorrow.
I called Witt, and asked him when he could possibly come over and do some of the things he needed to do and he said he could come over right away and do a lot of the finish work. I told him about the carpet and linoleum scheduled time frame for finish of the floors. He again assured me that he would be over this evening. He showed up about 5 p.m. and worked until around 9 p.m. and he got a lot of work done.
Roy is insistent on the banister being done before the carpet is installed, but I’m not going to delay the carpet because we have waited so long as it is. We are going through with the carpet install even if it means we have to extra “clean up” of sawdust while we install the banister. This writing is getting mixed up at this time, but we are within a couple of days of the actual time frame and I guess over time, no one will care if it’s off a day or two of actual time. We had to install the “newel” posts (I had to learn the stair lingo on this one) before the carpet could go in and I asked Roy to help with the entire banister scene. He came over and we decided what needed to be bought to put in the banister and all of the parts.
With Roy’s help setting up, marking and cutting the posts, and then Mitch’s help in the early morning hours before the carpet came in, we were able to install the Newel posts. Check this out! We are really excited now!!!!
He had to build another service connection more toward the front of the house, but still on the South wall. Code calls for the meter to be about 10 ft. from the corner and about 6 ft. above the ground. Then the wires need to be above the roof eve. Once he did that, he moved into the porch and put in a new service panel and wired it up. The temporary power hookup is coming from the old service panel which will be disconnected once Utah Power makes the new connection outside.
The following series shows the outside electrical changes.
Now let's look at the new service panel.
Of course all of this had to be inspected and I spent all day waiting for the inspector to show up. At 3:30 p.m., I called the county and they said that the inspector had been out to the house early in the day and passed the inspection on the job! This is great, but I never did see the guy. Oh well, I guess since I was painting in the living room, I didn’t hear him come and go. That’s hard to believe since the windows were only covered with painters plastic and you can almost see through it. We found the inspection paper on the ground yesterday, barely readable because it got snowed on and wet.
The county will call in the passing of the inspection and set up Utah Power to come and connect us up. Delbert said they usually take a couple of days to show and once they are done he will be over to finalize the electrical hookups, and give us back our hot water in the front of the house.
I mentioned painting the living room. Since I had to be in the house while the carpet was being installed, I went ahead and prepared the room for painting.
And even though the patch where Delbert had made the hole to thread the wire wasn’t dry, I decided to paint the walls where the sanding dust wouldn’t get on the wet paint. I was able to put two coats of paint on the North and West walls, and one coat on the South wall before the day was done.
Again, things have been so very crazy this week, I’m not sure what day is what, and this journal has gotten way behind. The next series may have taken place earlier in the week, but you still need to see the end results. We had purchased some faux wood blinds to put in the windows upstairs and in the TV and utility rooms. They went in quite easily and look very nice. If you ever need blinds, I suggest these. They are cheap, easy to install and they say they are easy to clean.
I can nearly stand up in there! Sometimes it pays to be short! Notice too the touch light on the right side!
View into the living room area. We were afraid “spunkie” might have made some messes on this carpet, but we had Quinn put a disinfectant in the cleaning solution and we did not smell anything that was like cat urine. We were very thankful for that. Most of the old spots of soil came up and the carpet looks really good. The carpet is over 10 years old and still in great shape. We are fortunate.
The sun is shining in a bad way for you to see this flooring very good, but believe me it’s nice and of course Sherry and Angela picked a perfect color to match the carpet, and still be neutral enough for any changes to the décor in the future.
This is the view with tape still down, because I went right to caulking the nail holes and painting. The floor is 4 inches lower in the far right corner than it is by the door, and the base shows the slope. I’m not sure if we will caulk between the linoleum and the base or not. I’ll let Mitch decide. In the meantime, I’m going to move the washer and dryer into place, and Witt will install the water heater and hook up the old sink.
I moved the back rain gutter, installed the North window (living room) blinds, hooked up the front door weather door, painted the base in the utility room and moved a LOT of stuff from the porch into the cellar. I also put up some weather tape on the seams outside the porch to help keep water from coming into the porch. Things are almost completely done. Sherry and I are very glad to be nearly completed with this project, Mitch and Angela are ready to move into the place and the bank would like to know when they might expect a payment on the debt we are in to them. Come on lottery!!!!!!
Jan. 11 through 14…Roy was over about 10 a.m. to get started on the stair rail and we started off real slow. He says that first step in building a rail is very important, especially the angled rails. Because of that, we started with the easiest rail first….the flat one.
The wood under the rail is to help hold it into place, like a “third hand”. This helped in getting accurate measurements.
Next we installed the spindles under this piece of railing. Roy started in the center and then planned out the placement either side of that. He used a 1X4 to make his plan and then we went to the real work under the rail. I’ve found that Roy is a perfectionist in building this rail. He says he isn’t, but when I see him make small cut after small cut and use shims under the rail and against the saw wall I see the other side. All of the rails fit as close to perfectly as anyone could possibly make them fit. Very nice indeed!
Roy is well into his 70’s and so can’t get around like he did when he was younger. Plus he has to take water pills which makes his working days rather short. He can work about 4 hours before he has to go home. This is fine with me, as I can get some work done before he gets here and then work a bit longer after he is gone. Mind you, however, I don’t do much on the rail while he is not here.
The picture above shows the far side downstairs rail pretty good. Roy wanted to have the rail the same as the closer one and then take it straight into the newel post, but I talked him into just putting it into the newel and cutting down the time it would take to make it “better”. There is no doubt his way would have given the stairs more character, but I think it has enough this way. By the way, the upper end of the far rail is about 1 inch higher than the same end of the closer rail.
Roy suggested I get a coat of stain on the hand rail, because of people coming in to see the daily accomplishments and putting their “greasy” hands on the rails. The stain would be better served on a rail that didn’t have hand oils impregnated into the wood. I stained it after he had gone home on day one.
As for the spindles, I will have to stain and varnish the first set we put up while they are in place on the landing. The others I will take down, mark them as to where they go, and finish them on the porch. I can also repaint the skirt where we have pencil marks and holes from the jigs. I’ll wait until all of the spindles are in place before I start that process.
Notice the tops of the newel posts. I glued them on the night I stained the rails. But couldn’t stain them because the glue hadn’t dried yet.
While this work has been being done by Roy and myself, Mitch has been busy touching up the caulking and building the closets in the two small bedrooms upstairs. Mr. Witt has also been around trying to finish up with the plumbing. I think he has about one day left and he will be done.
I have called in to Utah Power for the service panel to be connected and their technician made a quick trip out to make sure it was ready. He said that I will be getting a call early next week, probably Tuesday the 17th, and they will tell me when they plan on being here to run the new power line from the street pole to the new meter. He also said I need to clear a path through the pine tree branches to give them a “clear shot” from the pole to the house. This means I will probably have to “top” the tree.
Jan. 16…Martin Luther King Holiday, but work needs to be done. I passed on an ice fishing trip to Causey in order to get the banister completed and I’m glad I did. First order of business this morning was to plug the 1 inch holes in the newel posts. That didn’t take too long, and Roy showed up just as I finished with that.
We are only 5 spindles from completion!!! Roy went right to work calling out orders for cutting the last spindle on the East side lower portion and I cut what he said. That spindle went in without any problems. We predrilled a couple of holes and nailed it down with some number 6 penny finish nails.
Then we measured and marked the last four hole placements up top. Roy had to head for home and my job was to complete the drilling. That was done again in short order and I picked up a few things while I was waiting for him. Oh ya, I took a picture of the last 4 holes.
After a lunch break, Sherry and I went back to the old house to prep for the staining. It took a lot of masking tape and painters plastic to get it ready. But now it’s ready and tomorrow I’ll hit it hard!
The rest of the day was spent taking Roy’s equipment back over to his shop and reassembling it like it was the day we took it apart. Thanks again to Roy for the use of his equipment and his knowledge in building stair banisters!
Jan 17…I was on top of the work by 9:45, but not feeling very well. It seems I have the beginning stages of the flu that is taking it’s toll on the families. I figure if I can get the staining done and a coat of varnish on the banisters then a few days of rest could be “enjoyed” while throwing up and having the chills etc.
There is a bad storm coming in starting tonight and lasting through Thursday, so I figured I had best climb up in the pine tree out front and remove some of the branches that are blocking Utah and Power from connecting us up. It was quit cold, but I figured with gloves and a “quick about the work” attitude I would be able to get the job done and not get too cold. WRONG!!!! My hands got colder than I can ever remember and I almost cried when thawing them out. Man did they hurt. The job got done, at least to my satisfaction. We will see what Utah Powers’ attitude is whenever they get here.
Meanwhile, I have staining to do. Trying not to make too big a mess, it took longer than it would have to stain the spindles than if the carpet wasn’t down, but what the heck it’s done now.
This is Keith calking around the floor drain. He is pleased with the job and happy to have it behind him. I told him I would hook up the water lines to the sink I have yet to put on the wall, and he reminded me that he would have to come over and attach the drain. Call him when I’m ready. I forgot about the drain! Dummy me.
The blue tape is holding the trim in place while the caulking dries.
At any rate, I will be prepared to climb up the tree and cut branches if they say they need to come down.
Today we are getting a real pounding of snow and by days end we have about 2 inches on the ground. I had to climb on the 4 wheeler and plow the neighborhood. It’s better to clear it than to have it freeze in place.
While the snow was coming down, I varnished the banister. It is now finished and only cleanup and touchup on the white paint needed for absolute completion.
With the electrical the main “last thing”, I still have to install the sink in the utility room, cut off the sliding door in the master bedroom (even though Mitch thinks it’s ok as it is) and install the microwave in the kitchen. Without having my “list” in front of me, I believe this will finish the job and I can go fishing!
Jan. 19…Utah Power actually showed up a half hour early this morning. I ran for the old house! He was a nice guy and wanted to make sure the electrician was there before he cut and spliced any wires. So I called Sherry and asked her to get hold of Delbert and let him know. In the meantime I toured the man through the house. He was impressed.
When Delbert arrived the UP guy jumped in the bucket and quickly had the incoming line cut and in his hand. Then he jump-roped it over a tree branch and hoisted himself and the line up to the new mast on top of the roof. He had plenty of cable and line to reach and had it spliced in very short order.