Time Thief

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

doing the 'siding is finished' happy dance

Dance, dance, dance!! Can you feel it? That's some big-time relief and excitement.

Here it is in all its completed glory. Looks better than the neighbor's vinyl, doncha think?

Okay, so I still have some painting to do, but that's cake. Assuming I can get a few days above 35 degrees with no precip. A bit of a stretch this time of year, especially since this is on the west side of the house. And since it'll barely be warm enough to apply the paint, they recommend 24 hours dry time between coats. Luckily my schedule is pretty flexible. I'm watching weather forecasts like a hawk so I can get out there as soon as it breaks 35. I'm really anxious to get the trim painted because then I can call the gutter guys. Anyway....

Also got the garage cleaned out enough to put a car in there! It's a miracle.....sortof. The car still sits outside because my nasty garage door has a broken spring and tends to jump off the track. I lack the finesse to open it on my own. (Yes, I know it does not look nice with the trash sitting in front of it, but that's the point...I can't get in! Work with me, people.)

It will remain unused until I can find someone to put in a new garage door that is not the generic four-panel "colonial" thing that HD sells. A guy down the street who is a contractor by trade mentioned years ago (not kidding) that he could help me out when I was ready. Said he had a whole catalog with garage doors and he could get me one that looked like the original (much more in scale with the house). I feel a bit silly about it at this point, but I do know the name of his business, so I might have to call him up and ask for a little help.

And for good measure, here are some pics from my trip through the woods and over the lakes for turkey-day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

halfway there, thanks to the fairies

Yes, Ry, new wood had to go up. And it does indeed suck.

I was too busy/forgot to take actual progress pics, so you'll have to trust me. A couple of studs were replaced/sistered/dutchman-ed and a portion of the soleplate had to be replaced as well. The framing was rotted and very, very wet. Yet another argument against cover-it-all-up-style siding. It was evident from caulked holes in the steel siding that the electrical service had likely fallen off the house one or more times.

It was never really attached to the house, just the siding. This led to all kinds of opportunities for water to get behind the steel and be trapped there with nothing to do but eat the wood.

Anyway, framing fixed, new insulation in the open bays, new plywood, and new window on Saturday. Surprisingly, I didn't run out of daylight, but it started raining on me. I cleaned everything up, then it stopped raining. (sigh) At that point, I lacked the motivation to dig everything back out, so I just grabbed the tar paper and started papering. I'm all out of Tyvek and I'm not going to go spend 100 bucks on a roll for this one little wall. Paper probably does a better job anyway. I put up as much as I could without making my ladder bigger, and it looked like this Saturday evening/Sunday morning.

Greg's fairies had visited overnight and ripped some of the trim for me, so all I had to do before siding could start on Sunday was cut the cornerboards to length. (Seriously....I don't remember cutting the trim for the window at all, but all the pieces were there, in correct widths and lengths, and already primed.)

The corner boards were a bit of a pain, mainly because the housewrap/paper that wraps around the corners has had one side flapping in the breeze/rain/snow since the adjoining wall was put up. Many staples, coaxing, and curse words later.....Cornerboards...check. Window trim....check. Many tubes of caulk....check. Then the siding began and it now looks like this.

Just another few hours and it will all be installed. Yay! Wednesday is supposed to be nice, as is Saturday (nice meaning high above 40) so I'm trying to coordinate my holiday schedule with my helper's schedule to see when it can be finished.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

holes in the house

It's getting cold, so you know what that means....

It's dumpster season!

Seriously, why is it that I'm always heading outside to work on something when it's cold? Gotta tough it out one last time to finally get the siding finished up. I got the dumpster to take the siding debris along with a lot of miscellaneous crap that tends to pile up from projects. I may even get a garage back soon.

I knew before I started that this last wall was going to be in pretty bad shape, but I didn't expect it to be this bad.

On the bright side, I didn't have to strip as many shingles as I normally would, since some had actually disintegrated.

The black stuff in the middle? That's the back of the kraft paper on the insulation. No wonder that room is so cold.


I also found a nice ant colony living in the wood above the window.

I sprayed them with some poison and will let them marinate overnight. Just gotta love the <plop><crack>....<plop><crack> raining sound of ants falling to their deaths. Ugh. So disgusting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

pass pass pass pass pass

Yay! Electrical service has been replaced, inspected, and approved. The new/month-old HVAC was inspected and signed off also.

nice and neat


new fancy furnace

intake/exhaust pipes

yes, it's HUUUUUGE, but quiet

The electricians trampled some plants but I'll overlook it since the guys were outside working in a snowstorm and it's D.O.N.E. Clearly, the other three guys I tried didn't know what they were doing, and these guys did. I don't have a pic of the breaker box "before" because posting it would be a liability. :) That corner of the basement has been a tangled mass of spliced-in wiring the entire time (4+ years) I've lived here. The basement seems like twice as big now since you don't have to navigate the jungle.

sad, old meter

the last wall for siding! the holes demonstrate where the old meter was (just barely) attached. no, that piece of siding at the top didn't come loose as a result of the electrical work. it's been like that since day one.

like a work of art!

Oh, and the electrician witnessed Quin make another mouse-kill attempt. She was only given the opportunity to stun it. It was discovered lying on the floor with a wet leg while she watched from the stairs above, waiting for it to move. It was re-located to the compost pile. I'm sure it will be back to entertain her again soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

will it ever end?

After several years (I'm not kidding!) of trying to get my electrical service upgraded/moved so I can finish the siding, so I can get new gutters, so I can get a new garage door, so I can get the new furnace inspected, so I can .... (you get the idea), there is finally someone lined up to do the job tomorrow (after having to postpone today because of a promise he made to someone else), and this is the forecast:

Rain / Snow / Wind 44°/24°


And now blogger is down for network maintenance, so I don't even get to vent to the blogosphere. I used to think I was lucky. Maybe it was just a series of flukes.


OMG! They just showed up! I'm off to find wi-fi hotspots for working. Fingers-crossed!

Friday, November 11, 2005

mouse in the house

The cats have earned their keep for the year. Yesterday while doing laundry, I noticed some kitty sick. I kneeled down to investigate if it was just hairball or other, then I saw some more. I moved in the direction of the second spot and I noticed the furry little guy lying in sort of a corner between a trash can and an old broken-down laundry basket. Fortunately, my cats are kinda wimpy, so he wasn't torn to bits or anything. He looked like he could've died of natural causes until you looked close enough to see a couple of puncture wounds around his neck.

I'm conflicted about mice....they're pests that carry disease and can destroy property, but they're also so dang cute. That said, I don't want to take up residence with any, so the cats were adequately praised. I think it was probably Quin that did the deed. Meda would've brought it upstairs to show me. Quin has been spending more time in the basement than usual, and ran up to me meowing when I was investigating. She rarely talks, so I figure this was the best Lassie impression she could pull off. Way to go, kitties!