Mid-June Recap, New Horizons
First we finished the flooring above the old stairway space. Here’s a view of the finished floor joists — alternating simple supports with full sistered beams:
The floor partially laid in:
The finished floor from below:
And from above:
Flora-fauna interlude. Cue Final Jeopardy music.
Also seen the past 3 days: Deer, coyote, squirrel (non-flying, regular gray), turtle, snake, and … Sagan “made her bones,” I’m afraid! As far as we know, her first kills — two mice on the porch last night. I haz spare you the imagery.
Things we’ve heard this week that we’ve heard before:
- This wasn’t done properly
- Did you know what you were getting into when you bought this place?
- Did you think it would be this bad?
- Too bad the camper isn’t 50 feet further away. Someone could, you know, accidentally drop a match…
Our latest subcontractors have joined the club. The only thing they haven’t said (yet) from the list of greatest hits is, “Oh, that’s completely illegal!” I’m giving them two days. But there’s been some jollity and some head scratching over the methods of construction they’ve uncovered.
We have a builder on-site — Jason and his helper/partner Reed — and he is positive, dynamic, knowledgeable, keeps his commitments, and they worked like heck today.
They are here to replace the rotted planking under the vinyl siding, where necessary, and especially where it’s out of reach without professional ladders and staging. (“Staging” is anything like scaffolding, ramps, lifts, platforms, etc.)
Secondly, they are here to wrap the eaves and eave fascia with sheet metal, finishing the weatherproofing that was never originally complete, and preventing further water damage.
They arrived about 8:30 and started setting up a pump lift, twenty-five feet across and twenty feet tall. By 11:30 all the vinyl siding was off the back, and the tyvek and sheet-stock insulation under it. All that could be was saved to put back up.
Really, not all that bad. But the scale of the work grew as they got the rotted planking off, and found rotted framing members under it.
By the end of their work day around 3:30 a slew of studs had come out, along with most of the corner framing and several strings of the header and sill between the first and second floors.
But they never showed any hesitation, aside from the odd wise-crack. They dug in, probed for rot, and demo’d what needed to be demo’d. They also seemed to have an instinct for our objectives — if we’d wanted “perfection,” perhaps we would have demolished the place and started over. But we’re building on what’s there, and despite the intensification of today’s work, neither the process nor the end are changed. We just agree where the dividing line is between “too rotted” and “slightly rotted but still ok,” and keep going.
We’re lucky in one thing: after every roofer/builder we attempted to engage, we ended up with one who is a true “general contractor” type, with the same encyclopedic knowledge as our friend Mark, the same professional grade equipment, and an easy, practiced answer for every predicament.
Tomorrow, already, they’ll be putting new planking up on a mix of old and new studs, and then moving on to the next wall.
And this truly does begin to feel like the light at the end of the tunnel: Our insulation and wallboard will ultimately still conceal a few flaws, but they’ll be OUR flaws, and we own them. Meanwhile, as Jason and Reed progress, we’re madly queueing up all the dependent tasks that have been pending, in priority order.