November 2008

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1 November 2008 — Turnaround Pad

By noon we had the forms set, wire mesh in place, and about 40 80-pound bags of concrete mix on the driveway and ready to go.

The last time I mixed this much concrete, it nearly killed me. But since then, I've learned a few things, and we were able to mix it by hand without too much effort. The trick is to mix about 8 bags at a time on the ground by putting the concrete mix in a circle and pouring water in the middle, then moving the mix into the water. Then the water does a lot of the work.

This first batch was too large (about 13 bags) and we made the circle too small, so it was still quite a bit of work.

The second batch was better (about 10 bags) and in a larger circle. It was a little easier. By the time we were really getting the hang of things, we were finished. It took a total of 37 bags and about 3 hours to get it all mixed, in the forms, and more or less leveled out.

Here's what it looked like after the first pass at surfacing.

2 November 2008 — Backyard Walkway

Although we were a bit sore from mixing the 37 bags of concrete yesterday, the weather was really nice today, so we decided to go ahead with the walkway into the backyard. We mixed the concrete the same way as for the turnaround pad, but had to move it in a wheelbarrow. This little job took 25 bags. So the two day total was 62 80-pound bags.

The turnaround pad was slow to set. The weather has been nice, but relatively cool, and maybe we mixed the concrete a little wet. But it did eventually get hard. Here's what it looked like after about a day.

Now that our stash of concrete mix is out of the garage and the mortar joints are fixed and the walls painted, we gave it a thorough cleaning.

Finally, a nice shot of the front of the house.

16 November 2008 — Second Bathroom and Attic

I spent some time doing demo in the second bathroom so we can finish the wiring in there and close up some other holes in the walls and ceiling, and move on with the floor in the attic room.

The wallpaper paste is much harder to remove in this room compared to the others we have done. It took several hours just to get one small wall clean! The lighter color in the picture below is the clean wall and the darker color is the yet-to-be-cleaned wall.

Upstairs, we are getting close to being done with the joists on the north side of the room.

I've been gluing and nailing the new 2x8s to the existing 2x6s. I'm just using the clamps to hold the boards in place until I nail them down.

22 November 2008 — Attic Insulation and Second Bathroom

Some of the wallpaper in the rafter spaces is now stapled down and most of the insulation for the floor is in place on the north side of the room.

The south side of the room is mostly cleaned up now, so I can do some more insulating and then tear up the subfloor on this side.

I've finished rewiring the second bathroom, including a light/fan combo. Yes, we'll have to take this down to finish the ceiling, but we need a light in the room while we work on other things. Don't pay any attention to that crazy framing job&emdash;we'll be covering that up. The two boxes with blank covers are for the sconce lamps that we'll be installing later. that

24 November 2008 — Diversion

I took a trip to Terre Haute.

On my way home, I saw this crazy accident:

And this, in central Ohio:

Just a few short months ago, I don't think anyone was expecting to see pricse like this ever again.

29 November 2008 — More Attic Room Subfloor Demo

It took two days, but the rest of the attic room subfloor is up, the rest of the old insulation is bagged, and everything is more or less cleaned up.

Of course, we found some more substandard wiring and some strange framing.

Here is an old ceiling box that was converted to a junction box and just pushed up in the ceiling.

And here is a strange framing job. They dropped the top of the bathroom closet about 6 inches lower than it had to be. I don't understand what the purpose of that could have been.

Finally, why move the light over an inch when you can notch out a joist?

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