DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

House Update Post

I’m overdue for a blog update post.

In late January/ early February, the roof was re-done with help of Rooftop Chimney while we were on our honeymoon.

We then proceeded to gut several rooms in the house including the corner bedrooms that had water damage. It’s amazing how a new roof solves that water problem!

Here is the house from the back.  You can see the terrible state of the deck and the new roof.

On the third floor, in the rafters, we pulled out tons of nesting material from the water damaged section.  That was the primary source of the problem.  Because there was nesting material from squirrells, mice, pigeons, and other birds all in that corner of the house, the house remained wet even after the rain had subsided.  After pulling all the debris out, the beams dried out and everything looks solid with the exception of some destroyed plaster. If you are planning on pulling out debris check out BCRS for more info on how to properly remove it without damaging your house.

The drip continued down into the second floor where the ceiling had already fallen due to the water as shown in the picture below.  We pulled out all the destroyed plaster and completely removed the ceiling in that room.

The second floor bathroom is being completely re-arranged as described in The House Floorplan. That meant more demolition.

Here it is in mid-demo. Most of the time spent doing demolition involved carrying debris out of the room in 5 gallon buckets. We started using full size trashcans until we tried to carry that first one down the stairs. Horse-hair plaster is heavy!

We had a header in the kitchen moved up into the ceiling and the second floor bedrooms opened up into our large den. I’m so glad we hired someone to do those major projects. In fact, we’ve just decided to hire out the re-framing of the 2nd floor bathroom. We are running out of time and frankly, running out of energy and we need the help!

Here you can see the header moved up in the kitchen. You can also see the scrap metal box and the new table saw and Mitre saw. Clearly we don’t eat in this kitchen yet!

Early in March we removed the chimney. The roofers tore it down into the attic but it was up to us to get the rest of it out. Removing the chimney was integral to the bathroom remodel on the second floor so it had to be done. We managed it in about 3 hours with the help of a couple friends.. Their knowledge of how to handle asbestos was quite useful.  Plus having 4 people made short work of removing the chimney. 2 people to sledge-hammer and 2 to carry bricks and toss them out the window. It took another 4 hours or so to whittle down the pile of bricks outside the window and stack the bricks but it was such great exercise that I’ve never looked better!

Here you can see the remains of project Chimney removal in the 3rd floor.

As with all projects, we had a bit of scope creep. After getting 2 stories of chimney done, we decided to go ahead and do the rest. It was going to need to be done eventually and the HVAC guys are loving the space to run duct-work in the residential heating area. My father-in-law finished the last story of chimney himself this last weekend using the best architectural concrete techniques. In that space, we are planning a built-in microwave cabinet. It’s going to be awesome! Another project resulting from the Chimney demo was replacing the basement windows… Obviously, some of us have better aim tossing bricks from a 3rd story window. Replacing those windows was tricky because the old wood windows sat below-grade. They deserve a blog-post themselves but here’s a teaser photo:

Another project we completed in March was the framing of the 3rd floor bathroom. That framing was relatively easy. It took us forever to figure out what we were doing but we managed eventually. There were no structural issues to worry about so we were able to do that ourselves.

The most recent project was the deck. My brother-in-laws came out and helped us dig and pour footings for the back deck.

We are waiting for the footings to cure and then we will start hanging the rafters. My plan is to get the rafters hung hopefully this week and throw some plywood down so that we can actually get to our back door!

Next weekend, I’m hoping to get the kitchen floor put in. We picked it up from Lowes on Sunday and it is beautiful. I can’t wait to see how the kitchen comes together. With custom concrete lets you do just about anything that you want in the house for the floor decorations.

That’s the update for now. Still a mess but progress!

– Sarah

  1. 4/3/2012 | 6:31 am Permalink

    Thanks so much for the update. I’ve been curious to know what all has been done. It looks like things are going well.