September 2008

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1 September 2008 — More Siding and Trim

First thing this morning, I touched up the paint on the trim boards and painted over the nails in the interior of the panels. Once the paint was dry, I removed the top level of the scaffold. Then we installed two full-size siding panels, one on either side of the window. We were able to get them up the stairs and take them out the window onto the platform, then lower them down into the gap between the platform and the house. I screwed some 2x4s to the lower platform perpendicular to the house to support the panels while we positioned them.

2 September 2008 — More Siding

Today we put up two more panels. We cut them in the garage so they only weighed about 55 pounds. Having the corner cut off and reducing the weight a little bit made them easier to get up the stairs and out the window.

3 September 2008 — More Siding and Trim

Today I put up the two small triangular siding pieces, caulked all the joints, and painted some more trim boards. Then we installed the horizontal trim board above the window. Ah, finally it feels like progress.

4 September 2008 — More Siding and Trim

Today I put the second coat of paint on the rest of the trim boards that we will need and installed the siding panel under the window. Then we installed the trim boards under the edge of the roof.

5 September 2008 — Siding, Trim, and Insects

I spent most of today cleaning up the attic space. I also filled the nail holes and caulked the trim under the edge of the roof.

I also cut the floor boards back from the edge of the room. We will be pulling up all the floor boards soon to reinforce the floor, but I needed some room now to work in these spaces as I put up the trim on the outside. In one stud space, I found the bee hive that was active last year. I don't know what happened to the bees this year, but they have not been back.

In the next space over, we found this. Is this also from bees? The debris at the bottom was about two or three inches thick.

Yuck. But it is all cleaned up now.

6 September 2008 — More Trim

Today we installed almost all of the remaining trim boards, including the lower horizontal trim board at the bottom of the siding. The only thing that's left is one trim board below the window, but we can't get to that one until we remove the second level of the scaffold.

7 September 2008 — More Trim and Scaffold Removal

Today I touched up the paint on the trim boards above the second level of the scaffold, then we removed the second level and installed the last piece of trim under the window. By the end of the day all the nail and screw holes have been filled and painted.

Next we can remove the lower level of the scaffold and clean up the roof, then paint the trim around the porch and replace the gutter and downspout. The list seems endless.

Here's a look at the other end of the house for comparison. It's tempting to forge ahead and try to also do this job before winter, but I'm afraid that it will have to wait. We just have too many other little projects to work on that have been put off for a long time now. I think it will be better to catch up on those and then attack this problem first thing next spring.

11 September 2008 — Almost After and Before

Yesterday we removed most of the scaffolding, but by the time we were finished it was too dark for pictures. Here's the current status this morning. We will try to remove the tower and clean off the porch roof later today.

Here are before (way before, when we were first looking at the house more than four years ago) and almost after (we still have to take down the tower, fix the gutter, and do some painting on the side porch) shots. I didn't realize how much the little trees and shrubs have grown. Even the Aspen tree by the front door is much larger and I thought that was mostly mature when we bought the house.

13 September 2008 — Garage Door Trim

We trimmed out one of the garage doors today.

We also removed the rest of the scaffold.

14 September 2008 — One Small Step for the Garage

Today we poured a small concrete step (to nowhere!) in one corner of the the garage to cover up the remains of the closet that we took out a few years ago. Sorry, no pictures.

Just as I was finishing up for the day, the remains of Hurricane Ike blew through town and our power went out.

15 September 2008 — Walkway Prep

The power was still out today, so I worked on things that did not need electricity, like pulling weeds in the yard and preparing for the new concrete walkway that we're planning to pour in the back yard.

15 September 2008 — Attic Subfloor Demo

The power was still out today, so I started removing the subfloor in the attic, which is something else I can do without power. Here's what it looked like at the end of the day. It was a lot of work to get this far, as many of these tongue and groove boards were toenailed throught the tongue and also face nailed with two nails in nearly every joist. Ugh.

Check out this classic framing job. All of the other joists are complete, but these are short. I guess they figured they could get away with it since it is over the closet. Brilliant!

20 September 2008 — Side Porch Trim

I stripped the paint off of the side porch trim and also pulled the gutter off, then put a first coat of paint on the boards. Sorry, no pictures.

21 September 2008 — More Trim

Today I replaced the brick mould trim on the side porch and started reconstructing the trim under the ski-slope roof detail. I was worried that I would end up pulling the shingles off since they are really mostly supported by the trim boards here. But I lucked out and was able to remove the trim boards without too much damage to anything else.

By the end of the day we had the curved part of the flat trim board up, and a bunch of kerfs cut in a peice of brick mould so that we can bend it around this curve. It will go up later, after the siding next to the chimney is replaced, and the upper flat trim board is in place.

It was a lot of work to get these cuts made and to put the boards up. I installed them with anchors and short stainless trim screws, so that also slowed things down, but I hope it will keep them securely in place.

Once the joint is filled and painted, I think it will look pretty good. The triangular spot that appears to be missing will be completely covered with brick mould, so I don't plan to fill that spot.

26 September 2008 — Masonry Work

We've had some masonry restoration guys here all week and they've started work on the chimney and some lentils. Here are some pictures of the lentil work they've been doing.

Here are before and after shots of the repointing work they did in the garage.

And here are some shots of the chimney scaffold and some of the joints around the stones in the chimney.

28 September 2008 — Hearth Border

I spent a few hours getting the maple-walnut border trim installed around the fireplace hearth today.

I'll install the rest of the cement board soon, then set the tile once we refinish the living room floor. garage.

I also finally finished installing the rest of the Azek trim around the front door, along with a new magnetic gasket. I even replaced the exterior part of the threshold with Azek since the oak that I put in last year was not holding up too well. I hope to get this all painted soon.

30 September 2008 — More Masonry Work

The masonry restoration guys finished most of their work today, including rebricking the opening that the PO cut into one of the chimney flues to try to reuse as a return air duct(!?). Needless to say, this did not work very well. They did attempt to plug the flue, but they just did it by stuffing what looked like the top of a coffee can up into the flue. When we opened it up, the plug was wet, rusting, and about to fall out, so I pulled it out. Above the cap, there were several inches of wet sand, then a plug about 6 inches thick of the last N years of organic material that had fallen down the flue. I worked it loose and it all headed for the bottom of the flue that is open in the basement. Now I'll have to clean that mess up. Yuck.

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