Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fixing Things #2

          For me, the main goal in having my nephew come up to work was to get the front porch fixed.  The steps are cement and fine, but the cap or decking is wooden  and was rotting in places - Not Safe!  So , after the dining room wallpaper was removed and the plaster worked on, the boys started working on ripping out the porch top.  Wow!  What a mess!  Not only was the tongue in groove top rotten in a couple places, but the  supports were rotten under the pillars.  Some was water damaged and some was eaten away by carpenter ants.
Pillar is braced and the boards are being pried out.

Mildew AND rot - what fun!
My nephew's thumb gives you an idea of the scale of the tunnels that were
bored through the wood. 
Mostly water rot.
    After removing all the wood, they discovered that one of the blocks in the foundation was crumbling away - there was a huge hole in it - more than half of the black was gone.  I think we may have discovered where mice have been accessing the house!  After some quick research, my husband filled the hole with Great Stuff.  It will insulate for certain.  Maybe the basement will not be as cold this winter!
Helping Daddy is fun - once we've vacuumed out the spider webs!

Our little handyman as seen through a double layer of dirty glass.  We kicked up an AMAZING amount of dirt and dust  this week!
     New boards are in place on top of new bracing, and we are waiting for the second coat of sand paint to dry before painting the columns and the bases.  Our next goal is the living room carpet - but one thing at a time!



Friday, July 15, 2011

Fixing things #1

    We have very little time in the academic year to get things done around the house.  This summer we decided it was finally time to get the nasty, dirty, "old lady" wall paper off the dining room walls. There are several other tasks necessary as well.
    We asked my nephew to come up and stay with us for a week or son to help out.  He is a great guy and  toiled along side us, uncomplaining, even on the nasty days of high humidity and HEAT.  (It has since cooled off.) He helped move the VERY large corner cupboard that came from my husband's grandmother's home.  BIG AND HEAVY!!  We had china and crystal on every dresser top and table for a week - looked like we were having a wedding!
    First thing was to remove the paper:
excuse my back, please

The plaster was not in great shape, but we have had worse.

Next we had some plaster cracking to fix.  The previous owners seemed to have taken great pride in hiding all the bad plaster in every room by covering it in paper. 
taking a breather and assessing

 We had to prime the walls, which our youngest took to with some vigor. 

Why is he wearing his CARS bike helmet?  We really never found out.
Next came colour - Ralph Lauren "Kauai" in eggshell.  I don't know about you, but when I was in Kauai it was never this shade of green. 
     After two coats of paint, then two coats of trim colour (I will never beg for crown moulding again - my shoulders are sore!) we have an almost completed dining room.  We still have to  refinish the floors, but we are planning on doing it all at the same time - dining room, foyer and living room.  The hardwood floors have remnants of a felt padding from under the carpet that have fused to the shellac/varnish (?) on the floor, and NOTHING is taking it up short of stripping it.  It looks like we have moss growing on the wooden floors. 

We Can Do It!

   Over all this was a pretty smooth job.  We had a few conversations regarding the trim colour - I wanted cream, hubby wanted white - but, as I said to my nephew, this is not worth fighting about, so white it is. Curtains, wall art and mirrors still to come, but I am REALLY pleased to be rid of the little pink flowers!