Saturday, February 09, 2013

Dusty, Dirty, and Smelly

That's what it's been like around here. But we've been getting work done.

A couple weeks ago, Troy and I worked on cleaning out the last of the insulation, dirt, and dust from the crooks and crannies of the walls. While I was working, I noticed this eerie hand print that showed up in the light.
Once things were cleaned off, Troy could fill in the cracks with expanding foam.
And some of the "cracks" were huge gaping holes. Especially on the south wall where some of the bays were completely open to the outside area under the porch roof. It is so satisfying to think of closing up those gaps. I'm also hopeful this will keep out the vast number of bugs that make their way in each fall. (I'm thinking of box elder bugs and "fake" ladybugs.)

We also did a bunch of work on the foundation area on the north wall. Troy found some termite damage and the rim joist had to be replaced. In order to do that we had to remove the concrete that was poured into each bay. It wasn't very robust concrete, but it still involved working a hammerdrill at eyelevel to clear it all out. Then Troy replaced the eaten wood with new pieces.

To help prevent further damage, Troy poured Borax into all the cracks around the perimeter of the room.
Once that was done, he sealed it all with expanding foam.
Troy has also replaced two of the three windows (the third window is becoming a saga, and it's still not in) and the front door.
We threw the old front door in between the kitchen and back room.
Hopefully it will keep some of the heat in the kitchen, and it's also a way to "try out" a door there. I think I want one there, but I worried it might make the room feel too closed in. But I think it'll be good.

Another thing Troy has done is move the woodstove:
It would have been too close to the new walls in its old location. When I first walked into the room with the stove in the new position, I didn't see how we were going to fit furniture in the room! It felt very small. I've since gotten used to it, and Troy tells me that the final position will likely be closer to the corner. For now, he wanted more room to work.
The first time Troy lit a fire in it, the new pipe billowed black smoke off it from the fresh paint. Since then, the smoke doesn't billow and it's not black, but it's still setting off the fire alarm in the bedroom upstairs. Pew!

Last night we knocked out all the cross bracing between the second-floor floor joists and ground off the remaining nails. We have some 2x12x20s that are going to go up to "back up" the existing joists. Wish us luck!

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