Friday, January 25, 2013

Photo Book

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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Day 2

After Monday, Tuesday was almost a cake walk, although it started with a jog. Me jogging in the rain home from school at 7:45am to meet the delivery guy dropping off our new toilets, tub and shower hardware and valves. Then it turned into a case of buyer's remorse about our tub. After some web searching, we decided to swap out the acrylic tub for another cast iron one. I just can't go plastic yet.

Ok, as far as work goes ... The guys finished punching out the layout and replacing all the studs that should have been there but were no longer after all the rot. It was a bit of a loud day with the air compressor running, the concrete hammer drill thing shooting nails into the concrete and saws cutting studs down to size. Sadly, since one car is in the shop, Drew took the other - and that left Ben and me stuck inside. We did our best, but I was stir crazy by dinnertime. We made cookies for the guys, and Ben made a friend with the youngest one (Josh). Ben told me multiple times, "Josh and I are friends." before he left, Josh gave Ben a hot wheels car he had in his truck. They were good guys! Ben loved following them in and out as they made trips back and forth to their trucks during clean up.

They installed insulation and left things ready for the electrician & the plumber. Everyone is still hoping to figure out the true source of the leak. It rained on Tuesday, and there were no leaks thru the ceiling. So that's good confirmation that it was not the source (even though the insulation was soaking wet all the way up to the ceiling).

The opening to the far left isn't supposed to be open ... but they had to cut it out since it was also damaged from water. For now, the boys like using it as a pass thru.

Framing for the new shower, with a niche.

Framing for new pocket door into the closet.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Day 1: Demolition

Oh my land!

The things we uncovered today have been shocking. I feel like we could be on a Mike Holmes tv show. A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, but these leave us speechless.

In case you're wondering, those studs are supposed to be continuous from floor to ceiling. No wonder the tile grout was cracking it had nothing left to hold on to.

The house now smells of bleach, but thankfully not so terribly that we can stand to be here. In fact, you only notice it when you first walk in. The office/playroom is closed off and being aired out. We're waiting for all that moisture to dry out so the repair can start.

As best our contractor and team can figure out - the bathtub waterline nearest the wall was leaking. And there are no weep holes along the foundation to remove water pooling such as it was ... So the insulation wicked it up. It was soaked all the way to the ceiling.

bathroom remodel

Today we started the remodel of the "master bath." We've never used this room as a master, but technically that's what it is.

This bathroom has been yucky since we moved in, and our attempts to seal cracks in the shower tile grout have never held up. So, we got to the point where we weren't comfortable using this bathroom anymore. Then we noticed baseboard grout changing color and most recently water damage outside:

Thankfully by the time this was spotted, we already had scheduled the remodel. So, last week (happy new year!) we toiled to completely empty the office/playroom AND closet. This is how it looked last night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Post-Oil Application

You can see how the color of the decking really darkened with the oil application.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's Done! (mostly)

Yes, just in time for Stacy's shower (Oct 27th) and the 30 women who were guests for that fun event, Drew finished the deck railing. We did not finish the steps, so Drew just blocked off the opening in the railing to prevent anyone from falling off. The steps will get completed this month. We're in search of stringers cut to the right step depth, but if we don't find them, we'll have to make our own.

Here are some photos, pre-oil application. Drew finished applying the oil this weekend, and I don't have photos of it yet. More to come on that. The color deepened with the oil application.

We could not have finished the deck even to this point without the help of our friends.

We are completely indebted to Mark and Teri Burchfield. Mark came over to help almost every night the last two weeks we were putting down the decking. He actually installed the last row of decking one night while Drew was busy for work. Teri often came over to take care of Jasper while I either helped on the deck or did other projects around the house. They were a huge encouragement to us as we neared the final hours.

Since the start of this project, Yobany has let us use many of his tools. His miter saw is still in our garage and has been vital to the completion of the deck. His biscuit cutter was also critical in our hour of need, and his table saw enabled Drew to make the railing. Mark Foohey lent us his electric drill so we could "double fist" it during the decking installation. Sarah and Jorge Angulo helped us the first day we were learning about putting down the decking. Sarah took care of Jasper while Jorge helped us cut boards and install them. Andy and Kathryn came to help at various critical points, either to take care of Jasper or work on the deck. We are so blessed to have such generous friends - generous with their time and effort.

**Update** I'm not sure how I forgot this the first time around, but another big help during the project was that Chris Roth let us borrow his behemoth pickup truck and 17-foot trailer so Drew could pick up the bull wire for the fence. As Chris stated, "It has the turning radius of a bus," but Drew still had fun driving it. He couldn't figure out where to park it, so for the 12 hours or so that we were borrowing it, Drew just parked it in front of the house. I meant to take a picture of Jasper in relation to the truck. But trust me, it's B-I-G!

Much to our surprise, the portion of building the deck that we thought would be the most straight-forward (aka relatively easy), ended up taking the longest. Laying down the decking boards ended up being much more tedious than we ever imagined and thus really drew out the length of the project. Oh well. Live and learn.

Here are what Jasper's pants looked like after he crawled on the deck the first time ... kinda dirty. I'm very hopeful that with the oil application his clothes will stay a little cleaner.

Friday, September 28, 2007

To be or Not to be ... Square.

Who builds a house with a "90 degree" corner that isn't really 90 degrees? Apparently the builder of our house. As we were trying to finish up the framing (oh, two weekends ago), we determined that the corner into which we are inserting our deck isn't square. This means we couldn't finish the framing and will have to wait until the decking is down to "square" things up. Oh well ... two steps forward and one step back.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Since our new deck is going to be our outside kitchen, I decided it would be ok to hijack the kitchen remodel blog to post our progress.

First, let's take a walk down memory lane to recall what the old deck looked like. It was small and low:

(we can't forget about the Mary statue)
And you can take our word for it, it was very unsafe! Up close, you can see how yucky the deck is. Also, the surrounding foundation looks like it has mold or lichen growing on it. Neither are that appealing. (yes, yucky is a technical term.)

Two summers ago we embarked on the task of replacing rotten siding and repainting then entire backside. This photo is midway through the process.
In June, while Jasper and I were in Kalamazoo, Drew ripped down the old deck. It was a big job, but he put his engineering mind to it and got it done in a fairly methodical way. In the process we discovered that the deck was original to the house, over 30yrs old, and not well attached to the house. The original design did not have a water drainage plan, so water pooled up against the foundation and made the now exposed foundation look bad. Thankfully, it's all superficial, and we're going to raise the deck up to the door height so it will cover all the unsightliness of the previous deck.

On Saturday, August 25th, Yobany and Denise came over to help us on deck work. Denise hung out with Jasper, while Yo, Drew and I dug the 2' x 2' x 16"deep holes. On two out of the three we hit big rocks that jutted into our hole space. We left them in place and just dug out around them the best we could. Drew then built box liners for the cement slab tops and took off for Home Depot with Jasper to pick up the cement.

Drew called me from HD to tell me he'd have to buy 12 - 80lb bags of cement. It didn't really sink in what that meant. That meant a 1/2 TON of cement. And as you might expect, our Pasat does not have a payload of a half ton. So Josh Benefield graciously offered to go to HD w/ Drew on Sunday to pick up the cement in his pick-up. I don't even remember how many bags they bought - but it was around a half ton. (After this project, I have a new-found appreciation for pick-up trucks. Our 4-Runner's payload is 300lbs.)

Drew poured himself into getting those slabs done during the week, and on Monday night he had blown through 4.5 bags on ONE HOLE and knew he'd need to head back to HD for more. He borrowed another truck from a coworker (Cha-Cha) on Tuesday and picked up more cement after work. He worked hard pouring holes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights - working even when it was dark so that we could keep the project going. The only reason he didn't work on Wednesday was that it was my night to take a break from Jasper 24-7, and I went to see "Becoming Jane" with Kathryn. It also rained that night, so he wouldn't have been able to pour cement anyway. By the end of that week, we were both spent.

This is how the back of the house looked two weeks ago after the three cement slabs were poured.
On Labor Day weekend we made progress, but there was such little visible progress that it was depressing. We worked on getting the two ledgers lined up and hung. We used a water level and rented a hammer drill to drill into the foundation. After poor naps on Friday, Jasper napped well on Saturday and gave Drew and me a good amount of nap time to work outside. He even came and hung out in his stroller in the backyard for about 40 min while we tried to finish as quickly as possible. We didn't finish before he got fussy and had to work under the pressure of a crying son while we wrapped up. Of course, it's not advised to try and use a water level when under pressure. It isn't a tool that's meant for speed.
Last weekend, Andy and Kathryn came over to help with the deck. Andy and Drew made really great progress! It was such a huge help to have them here. Andy and Drew got both beams hung and level:
They finished putting epoxy into the holes in the foundation and got all the bolts into the holes and then got both ledgers firmly attached to the house:
Andy hauled all the joists from the garage to the backyard (2"x8"x16") and helped Drew line them all up.
Drew then attached all the joists to the ledger.

And in the end, it really looks like a deck is just going to drop down on this surface. :) Our neighbor Dean came over to inspect the progress on Saturday and said "Wow!" We still have about 5 joists to hang, and I think we might try to knock that out tonight.

The overall dimensions are going to be 20' x 16'. It should be considerably more accommodating of a group of any size than the old one. How that old deck could accommodate more than one person, working around the three trees in the middle, is a mystery to me. We're excited about the prospect of being able to really use our back yard now with a more functional and safe and more aesthetically pleasing deck. Won't you come over to check it out?

More updates to come, as work progresses ....