I’ve been saying for weeks that we needed to see what was behind the walls. Simultaneously — from a position of perfect ignorance — I entertained the notion that we might move in, using existing walls and pipes and stuff.
We got the wallboard and insulation down in the kitchen.
The outer sheathing is made of rough-cut planks. Not clapboard, not lapped. Just planks, with as much as 1/2-inch air between them.
About 1/5 of them (in the area we have exposed) are thoroughly rotted. I can push a screwdriver through them as through soft butter. They are dank and wet.
I have pictures which I will probably share at a later date.
We need to remove the external vinyl siding (selectively), replace the siding planks, and replace the vinyl siding.
We need to address the root cause, about which I have many theories but no certain knowledge.
Friends who have been telling us about “gutting”: You were right. This was an evolution in my thinking. Not that I disputed it. I just hadn’t owned it. Blind optimism was not my friend.
But… I am totally psyched. Knowing is better than not knowing. And it’s all totally doable. Even if there are more surprises, we’re good. We have support, expert advice, tools, time, strength, and will.
We are in a new phase now. The dumpster is full and we need another. By Saturday night we will have exposed everything. Rot, mold, whatever.
And we go from there.