August 23, 2014
Not Plan A
I was not supposed to work on my bathroom this year. I had planned on getting to it in about 5 years (or sooner, but figured 5 years). It needs extensive work, the linolium is horrible, the plastic sheeting walls are ugly and show every patch, the sink is broken, and although the oversized shower is nice, I wanted to put in a tub. Unless I want to pay big bucks for a built-to-spec tub, I would have to rearrange the whole room; tear out the wall that is between the shower and toilet, move the door, place the tub where the vanity is, move the vanity to where the shower is etc.
Well, with the water damage to the ceiling, at least part of the plan has been moved up. My reasoning is that when they replace the ceiling with sheetrock (instead of the acoustic tile that was used on the whole house for the ceiling), that would end up covering up the side wall coverings. If I wait to do the side walls then I would end up damaging the new ceiling - not the optimum outcome.
So, I asked the roofing contractor to hold off on replacing the ceiling until I have removed the wall coverings. I started ripping out the bathroom walls this week (I had ripped out the exterior wall for the window instal and insulation project). Here are a few before pictures
More interesting things were found under the plastic sheeting.
Like the 3' x 8' area of the wall between the shower and the toilet. It had, 17 pieces of various types of sheetrock, plus a piece of laminate behind the plastic wall.
I couldn't get far enough back to get a picture of the whole wall, but trust me, there were 17 pieces, all nicely screwed in (at least that made it easier than nails). Se that bottom right corner? See the large patch of white? See that small strip of non-white between the floor and that patch of white> Well, that small strip was a separate piece of sheetrock, the white spot another, etc. etc.
Then the odd pieces of trim filling in around the shower enclosure.
Oh, and the beer can walled in above the doorway (Edgar Allen Poe anyone - LOL). My guess is that there were a whole lot more cans involved in the building of this house.
I still have a couple places to tear out - mostly behind the vanity. However, I will probably try to just take out the top coupld of inches so I don't have to remove the medicine cabinet and light yet. I am thinking at the very least I can turn the sink 90 degrees so it's back is to the wall that is presently at its left. That will gain me enough room to actually open the door all the way (It now hits the center of the sink.
But, the end game is to get the ceiling up and enough sheetrock to protect the walls, without doing too much that will be ripped out later. So, that nice shower door project will have to wait. In fact it may never happen (means I have to get it back in its box and store it somewhere until I know for sure).
Ahh, boredom, at least, is not my enemy.
August 17, 2014
A Roof Over my Head
Last Monday, the roofers showed up and started stripping the roof. Surprise, surprise, there were two layers of shingles, so those companies that quoted as being able to lay the metal over the shingles (2 of the companies bidding), were full of it. Laying metal over one layer is okay, but it is a definite no-no to lay it over two (same with regular shingles).
By Tuesday they had the roof totally stripped and the weather tight membrane in place. Good thing because Wednesday was a rainy day. In fact, there was a small issue with a leak that followed my vent pipe to the bathroom - I will be getting a new bathroom ceiling installed in the future (It wasn't horribel, but he did come right out and make some adjustments with the underlayment when I got home and discovered the issue).
Thursday they were back to work and they finished up yesterday.
I am quite pleased with the results, and my selection of color (yeah, I know, after all the bitching I've done about the green paint in this house). I had originally thought to pick a color that would come close to matching the bay window trim. Then I thought that would be too light, so maybe go with a brown to match the top portion of the house. But when it came time to give him my selection, I typed out Forest Green in my email - glad I did!
We agreed upon a hold back for when he comes back to do the bathroom ceiling. He was willing to do it right away, but I want to get the rest of the walls at least partly stripped. My reasoning is that the sheetrock (I'm replacing the crappy soft tiling with sheetrock) will but up against the walls, so if I don't at least tear out the top portions, when I go to really do the bathroom, the ceiling would get damaged anyway. Yeah, because I was running out of projects - not.
Bathroom ceilin aside, I am quite pleased with the guys, and they were very responsive when I did have an issue. Hey, and they let the dog out at least once a day, so Prince didn't have any accidents while they were here :)
Last weekend I happened to go out to the front yard when it was getting dark (I think I forgot to grab my mail). As I was coming back up the driveway, I looked up and saw something amazing.
I have a blanket hanging in the living room bay window until sheetrock is installed. The pattern is to the inside, and the side facing the outside is white. It looks that way all day long, but once it is dark, and I have the LR light on, transformation:
August 10, 2014
Would a Thimble Make You Nervous?
I have one exterior wall to finishup before I can have sheetrock put up. Yesterday, I tackled the job that had me nervous, but I had to complete before I could finish up the insulation and plastic installation; installing the thimble for the small pellet stove I got last spring for the upstairs.
Why did it make me nervouse? Because the stove is pretty much in place, so I would have to move it to have access to the inside portion of the wall. Because I had to cut thru the exterior wall. Because I had to use a sawzall, of which I have never used before. Because it was something that people would be able to easily see if I messed up badly. Because there would be no re-dos. Because it was something that was not related to anything I had ever done before. Becuase there is a shortage of how-to videos on the interwebz (the few on there involve cutting thru concrete, or completely skip the step of cutting thru siding). And becaues this had to be placed just right to go between two specific studs, that were exactly the right distance apart to just fit it in there, but the majority of work would be on the outside.
Here is the stove as it sat in May, on the left side of the picture:
I had previously asked EX to help me with it, and he agreed. Unfortunately he has had to work the last several weekends, and at this point, this was the only thing holding me up (ok, I could have worked on the bathroom, but that also has issues that I need a hand with).
Another issue with this particualr thimble is that it has two holes; one for the outlet pipe, and one for the fresh air intake. The large hole for the outlet is the part that is centered between the studs. I got the stove moved enough that I had a little space to work. Then I set up the pipe from the stove, so I would know where the thimble should be placed. I traced the outline to the outlet hole on the plywood with a Sharpie marker, then drilled a pilot hole in the center of that circle. The pilot hole was really a location marker so I could tell where I needed to work on the outside.
Then I went outside, placed the thimble against the siding and traced the placement of both holes on the siding. In the picture, I had already enlarged the hoile to accept thte drill bit for guiding the 2" hole saw.
This gave me enough room to get the sawzall blade in and have room to work.
I used the sawzall to cut the hole to roughly the size I needed, then used an oscillating tool to do the precision work. It didn't matter so much on the siding, but I wanted the plywood hole to be just barely big enough for the thimble flange. After that, I cut the small hole with the 2" saw bit, and enlarged it to guide the corrogated flexible air inlet hose into the house.
Once I had the holes all set, I turned to cutting out the siding so the thimble base would sit flush with the siding. I put it in place, then traced the outline with a utilitiy knife. Then I used my oscillating tool to cut thru the siding, but not into the plywood underneath. this was the work that had me really nervouse as a major mistake here would be readily apparent.
However, after taking my time and many dry fits, the thimble was finally in place.
i wish I had taken more pictures, but as it was it took me about 5 hours to do a very simple job. But, I got thru it with a slow and carful pace without making any major errors, so I am happy with the results. Now I just need sheetrock so I can install the inside portion.
I will also have to caulk around the outside, but that is an easy project that will get done when I do some other outside caulking. I can finish up the insulation and platic install on this wall, which will take place next weekend.
August 08, 2014
Hand Sign Singalong
For Cop Car, who should appreciate I'm pretty sure is a fan of the movie and song.
Originally shared by a FB friend, but I had to go find it on HuffPost to one of their posts to find the youtube video (couldn't find it thru Google - my Google-fu was not strong this evening)..
August 03, 2014
Great Stuff and Crappy Stuff
My goal last weekend was to get the office wall and long wall of the craft room plasticed - mission accomplished:
I got absolutely nothing done during the week, unless EX coming over to bolt down my long gun safe to the basement floor counts :)
Unfortunately, this weekend is commited to getting a whole lot of little stuff done, so I'm not going to get much sense of accomplishment; I've already replaced the minimum fiberglass batting insulation over the livingroom bay window and door with foamboard, sprayed foam around the front door frame and the window in the bathroom, given all the front windows 2 coats of polyeurathane, and taped the joining edges in the plastic to the BR and CR.
I also spray foamed around the frame to the door to the garage that was put in last winter. Unfortunately, I used a different type of foam than I did for the front door (although one supposedly for windows and doors, that wouldn't put pressure on the frame), and now the basement door sticks badly. I'll have to figure out how to dig the foam out, but it really ticks me off and will tell you NEVER use Touch-n-Foam No Warp! Only use Great Stuff brand Window and Door as that worked well for the front door even though I over filled it (heck, the basement door frame gap is only half filled and the TNG stuff still turned a nicely working door into a barely useabe door)
Here is the note I sent to the TNG makers thru their website, "I am extremely disappointed in your "No Warp" window and door. It turned a nicely functioning door into a barely functioning door. I would have understood if I overfilled the gap, but the gap is only filled half way. I used a competitors formula on another door, way overfilled the gap, and the door is still working nicely. Now I have to figure out how to get your stuff out from around the door frame so I can actually get the door to close without slamming it so hard that it shakes the whole house."
The only reason I switched to the TNG stuff was that is what our local hardware store carried - I got the Great Stuff from one of the big box stores. Guess I learned a lesson the hard way.
July 27, 2014
I took a long break from working on the house yesterday; 2 hours of mowing then 2 hours of cleaning up my bike. This pic was taken after washing, but before "polishing" with Bug Slide (not a true polish, just a spray-on protectant that keeps grime from sticking too badly).
The bike hadn't been washed since I picked it up from storage in the spring. As much rain and wet roads as I have ridden on, it was filthy and needed a bath. Add to that the lovely day (low 80's and lo humidity), and I decided I couldn't stay inside all day - expecially since today is supposed to be rainy / stormy so I wouldn't get the chance to get outside if my house work goes more quickly than I expect.
And, as a finale, I actually got a picture of Tory.
He doesn't venture out the door much, and when he does, he sticks close to the door, but he does like to survey the backyard every once in a while.
Monday the window company installed all the double-hung windows (order of pics: craft room and office windows - figured they all look pretty much the same, just office window has 2 side-by-side).
I proceded to stain the seats of the bay and garden windows (bath, bedroom, living room is order of pics).
They still need polyeurathane, which I probably won't get to this weekend as I am on to another project; putting the plastic vapor barrier over the insulation, in preparation for sheetrock, which is the nex post.
Obviously that picture was taken before I cut out for the window and outlet :)
The plastic is slower than I would like as I have been finding issues (or creating them) that need my attention before the install. I found nails and sheetrock that I had not completely removed from behind the FHW fins - took my 2 hours to get out 4 nails and about 8" total of sheetrock. Not an easy job when you only have 2" work area and are trying not to cut the hell out of you hands with the fins (now I remember why I left those for later :) ).
Also switched out the insulation above the windows in the office. That space is very shallow, When I had installed the insulation over the plywood inserts, I had to strip the R13 insulation down to about 1/3 of its thickness before installing it. After consideration, research, and having a bunch of pink insulating XPS insulation pieces from my work in the basement, I decided to redo it.
The XPS, at 1" thick, almost completely fills the space available. The XPS also has an R5 insulating factor for that thickness, where as 1/3 of fiberglass insulation is about 4. So, the XPS will insulate better, plus I will fill the space left with fiberglass, so may get the isulating factor a bit higher. After gluing the XPS up, I calked the small gaps, so had to let that set up overnight - hence the delay in getting plastic up. Still have to do that over the living room bay window too.
I did manage to get the plastic up over both bedroom walls, and the bare wall in the craft room yesterday. Today I hope to be able to get the 2nd craft room wall and office wall plasticed.
July 20, 2014
Bug Eat Bug World
Yesterday I was out back and saw a dead bug on the railing. Didn't think much about it, but thought it a strange place for one to pick as its final resting spot. But I placed a finger next to it, and it moved - but didn't fly off.
Strange. So, I got my reading glasses to take a closer look. I could barely make out what seemed to be wings below the bug.
Got my camera, put it on macro (it has the BEST macro ability - I can get as close as my fingers, or the subject, will allow me to get - and this is what was going on:
After his/her meal, it was time to wing away to parts unkown.