Sunday, March 29, 2015

Day by Day

It feels like winter is still trying to hold on around here but we're moving forward anyway!  Siding is starting to go up and the house is looking so much better.  It's finally getting easier to see what the final product will look like and I'm quite excited about it!  We've also started getting back to work ourselves, knocking off small projects on the weekend to help move things along.  We did two tasks today - first, we installed a ledger board for the back deck.  Our lot slopes and our French doors are quite a bit off the ground.  We'll eventually have a small landing deck and five steps down to a big patio so we put the ledger board in for that eventual project.  Next, we installed a new egress window into the basement.  For reasons that are unclear to me, the basement originally had two separate doors on either side of the back of the house.  We decided that we only needed one way in and out so we closed up the second door and turned it into an nice big egress window instead.  Eventually this window will be in a bedroom so, in addition to needing to be big enough for egress, we wanted to make sure it let in plenty of light and air.  The contractors did the stone work to change the opening from a doorway to a window opening and we installed the new window today.  Since we're still living in the basement, the added light is a nice bonus for us too.

Let's get to the pictures...

Hardie plank siding is primed but not painted yet - we're thinking a dark blue color with white trim but final choice still TBD

Back of the house, without ledger board

And with ledger board and drip cap flashing

This is not energy efficient

This is much better!

You can see from the unpainted brick where the door used to be - now fully converted into a window instead

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thawing out and getting back to work

We may be setting a new low on frequency of blog posts but we are still moving along here.  The weather is finally starting to cooperate and the contractors are working (slowly) on the exterior again.  We've also started tackling a few repair projects of our own.  The house had an existing garage in decent shape but we pulled off the vinyl siding and are putting on new Hardie to match the house.  In the process, we uncovered a little bit of damage that needed repair.  We had the garage treated for termites before closing on the house so we figured there would be some patching to do but the real problem was the lack of house wrap and flashing by the original builders.  So, there was a bit of rot around the garage door that needed to be ripped out and replaced.  Lesson of the day, though - no matter how compromised wood might look, it's probably still relatively strong!  There's a double header over the garage and only the exterior 2x12 had any damage.  So, we thought we would just pull it out and put up a replacement LVL.  Getting the old header out, though, was quite the task.  That wood turned out to be incredibly strong still and it took a good bit of effort with the circular saw and Sawzall to section it out.  Then, of course, it was time to lift the LVL into place and add new sheathing.  Happily, it was finally a nice day to be working outside so a little extra time outdoors wasn't too bad.  And it was nice to check this off the list so the garage will be ready for wrapping and siding along with the rest of the house.

Porch roof, band board, and some window trim added.  There's also a nice front door lurking behind that plywood but we're keeping it covered for now to protect it.

And the back, with roof overhang to protect the outswing French doors, band board, and window trim
Garage with siding removed, bit of rot showing around the door

Close-up of damage - this needs to come out!

Old 2x12 out, new LVL waiting to be put in

That's better!

And all sealed up again