12big1

Big Progress: Pt. I

Part One: Harry Potter and the Built-In Bookcases

It was another two-week long wait for updates, we’ve kicked it into high gear to prepare for carpet. However, working every night leaves little energy for website code.

In any case, here is PART ONE of the update, The rest is on the other camera, so they aren’t necessarily from the same day/week.

1shelf1

Ron and Mike started the bookcases next to the fireplace.

1shelf2

Here is a basic layout of how high they will go.

1mikenotes1

Ron yells out a massive amount of measurements and angles, while Mike scribbles things down, man they’re fast.

1mikecarry1

The yard is filled with sawdust after this week.

1ronshelf1

They’re starting to take shape.

1sandyshelf

Sandy threw a coat of primer on the cases.

1primedshelf1

Here they are! The shelves are not installed yet as they’re movable and we dont know what goes on them yet. Also you’ll notice in this picture that the walls are painted (more on that in Part 2).

2kitchenprime

The kitchen was so gross that I had to use a palm sander to get the grease/food grime off the walls. Then I had to wash them and put this primer on.

2contactpaper

Sandy and Heather pulled the gross contact paper off of the kitchen cupboard shelves.

It smells terrible.

2jesstrim

Jess primed the trim upstairs in the hallway.

3crownbath

The moulding is up in the bathroom!

3wainschair

The wainscoting and chair rail are in and ready for paint.

3wainstrim

Mike caulked the wainscoting.

4baytrim

We are going to be recycling original casing from other windows and doors in the bays, but, Ron had to build a new windowsill.

4baytrim3

We decided to recess the sill into the curve of the bay.

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Here’s the sill installed.

4livingcrown

The crown moulding is installed in the living room.

4livingcrown2

This stuff really dressed up the room.

5scrap

Also this week, Ron and I loaded the scrap metal form the house (690 lbs. worth) into the van. Then he and Mike unloaded it at the scrap yard. Finally it’s out of the way.

to be continued…

 

 

11bay

Two Weeks?!

I’m sorry!

I am a week behind on posting new pictures.

It’s been a very busy fortnight.

Last Saturday, Ron and I prepped the front of the house for major surgery. We installed new windows and basically tore the front of the house off and rebuilt it.

Sunday, I went to visit Mom and Dad, while Sandy, Rachel and Jessica stayed here and painted!

All week small projects were done… Then, on Saturday, I was by myself and got a lot done.

Sunday we hit the place hard again….

1frontwindow1

For those of you who don’t recall, here is our front window. Its old, painted shut… who knows how long its been since it was open…

1windowout1

We opened the window, somehow without breaking it! … we also found out how long it had been since it was opened…

1june29th1952

…June 29th 1952 was close to the last time this window worked. I found a bunch of newspapers that were used as insulation before the window was sealed. They were too crumbly to really unfold, much as I tried. Apparently though, a horse called Whimsical Mood had won some sort of honors at the races.

1greatbighole2

When our next door neighbor Andrea was outside, she said ‘woah, you really did mean a giant hole would be in the house…’ I then challenged her to a fight for doubting me.

1framing1

We started to build out the framework for the bay.

1mikemiter1

Ron yelled out angles and lengths, and Uncle Mike answered with the noises of a miter saw…

1windowsin2

Windows installed.

1bayinside1

Drywalled! Check it out! It increases the perceived size of the living room, and makes it much breezier and brighter.

Yeah, but what’s it look like on the Outside?

2frontofhouse1

Here’s the street view with the old window.

2frontwindowoutside1

Here’s a closeup of the old window, with the proposed angles mocked up with bits of scrap on the porch.

2sidingoff1

Of course, that old siding was in the way.

2holefromfront1

Big hole…

2holefromside1

You could probably drive a jeep through the hole we cut in the house

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Framing in.

2trimstreet

Outside trim installation.

2trimoutside1

Close up of the trim going in…

2primedstreet

I put some waterproofing primer on the outside.

2baystreet1

We took the good siding that we removed for the bay and used it to fix the bad siding. It’ll be ready for paint this summer.

3frontdoorwithlight1

Mom and Dad gave us a new motion sensor activated porch light.

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Here’s a close up of the new light, man that siding is gross.

3rachelpaint1

Rachel, Sandy, and Jessie painted the floor of the 3rd level.

3finished3rd1

The girls did a fantastic job of painting the floor.

The third floor is DONE!

3mastercolor1

Jessie painted the master bedroom, its a very calming color.

3mastercolor2

Here’s another angle of the master bedroom with color.

Saturday I spent the day by myself…

4sconce1

I finished a lot of wiring…

4sconce3

We got these cool chrome sconces for beside the bathroom mirror.

4fandownlight1

I got the fan and the recessed light over the shower to work.

4masterfan1

I built and installed this new Hunter fan for the master bedroom. Go GREEN with energy saver bulbs! (They finally make them in the 4500k color range so they look incandescent, instead of blue)

4rondeck1

This is why I spent the day by myself. Ron said he had a job to do that day. At the end of the day I got to see what he had done. He built this whole deck and stairway in one day.

5diningpatch1

We got the hole in the dining room patched.

5diningpatch2

A little mud smooths the edges nicely.

5diningroompatch1

This is where the radiator was, it had been neglected for many many years. Ron is trying to feather out the plaster so it looks nice.

5jesspaint1

Jess painted the insides of the closets.

5mantlefix1

Here, Ron gives the chimney a final touch on plaster.

5mikewire1

Mike came over and wired the new wall sockets around the house.

5newsocket1

See?

6birdfeeder1

Jessie got a bird feeder to take care of the neighborhood avian friends.

6funplant1

Jess also got a cool hanging basket for the front porch

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It’s starting to feel like the life is returning to a neglected hollow shell of a home.

 

10wet

All wet.

Ok, go.

Wait, I hear something….

STOP! TURN IT BACK OFF!

This weekend was very busy even without the house project. Jessica and I worked a charity event to work to raise money for the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. It was Totally Awesome 80s Bash part II, tiring, but a great time overall. Jess came home with jewelry, so it must have been a success.

As far as the house goes, on Saturday morning, Ron and I made a journey to the landfill to properly dispose of construction debris. Still several more loads to go, but a little better.

We tried to charge the furnace boiler and baseboard radiators for the first time, the front zone where we found the broken L pipe went first. It held pressure. So we left it overnight to see if there were any leaks.

Sunday morning, the front zone held pressure all night. So we tried for the back zone…

Leak #1

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We found a huge leak under the kitchen floor, in the crawlspace, It was too narrow to crawl any farther, so we had to cut the kitchen floor out.

2underkitchenleak1

This pipe had blown the soldered joint right out. Why are these not insulated? We’ll have to do that before we close the hole back up.

Leak #2

1anotherleak1

This pipe was above the kitchen ceiling, found it when dirty water (shown in background) began cascading down the kitchen wall.

Leak #3

1brokenpipe1

This leak was in the floor of the purple room, spraying more water into the kitchen ceiling and that bedroom floor.

At this point I also learned that the old natural gas line framework in the house was electrified. I got a pretty good arc from touching the gas line and the water lines with a screwdriver shaft.

Leak #4

1heaterleak1

This was the heater in the guest room, it was nice enough to break above the floor in this section.

Leak #5

1heaterleak2

Same heater different section of pipe.

Leak #6

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Here’s another under the floor of the guest room.

Leak #7

4yellowroomfix1

So much for saving the hardwood.

3wetbasement1

Every time we found a leak the system had to be quickly purged of its pressure so it didn’t ruin the house. We had to pull the plugs out of this 1.5 inch pipe in the basement. Ron and I got pretty wet.

5mirandawash1

Not everything was doom and gloom though, here’s Miranda helping to prep these walls for primer, in the master bedroom.

5shadowescape1

Since I have a staggering lack of pictures this week from the busy-ness and the chaos, here’s a picture of shadow escaping from the deck, she figured out how to open the latched gate.