Thursday, October 31, 2019

Remodeling Our Hut Part 21: Windows and Pillars

 August 28, 2019 and the new front door opening was framed in.  To the right of the blue bucket sitting on the floor used to be our old front porch which is now framed in for the dining room addition.
 When the wall separating the dining room from the front porch was removed, I was amazed to see how a mere extra four feet in depth opened things up.

Speaking of opening things up, the upstairs gable addition was really airy for awhile.  In the picture below, Phil (builder) is starting to frame up the front of the gable.

 The new gable has added a great deal of light to the entire house as the staircase is open.  Before, upstairs was a black hole of sorts, with no windows except for one in each end of the house in the bedrooms.  

From my perch next to the construction dumpster (where I spent most of my time hauling debris to) I could watch as the gable started to take shape. 

 As the work progressed, Phil called me upstairs to take a look at the size of the proposed windows.  I wanted three windows with one taller in the middle, but I also liked the idea of adding another window in the peak.  This was another head-scratcher for me; the builders were willing to do what I asked, but I wasn't sure what I was asking for until I hit on the idea of  two round windows in the peaks.  The round windows were controversial as the plan was only for three windows, but Phil framed the one on the north side of the house so we could see if we liked it.  

We'd had a mix-up with the ordering of the windows for the breakfast nook, so we decided to use the four large windows on the north side of the house instead.   

By the next day, August 29, Bob (the other builder) began putting in the posts to hold up the front porch roof and adding the new pillars.
 As soon as the pillars were in place, he could remove the temporary supports.
Bob was working alone that day and I was, as usual, picking up construction debris when a fast-moving thunderstorm blew in dumping another few inches of rain in a short amount of time.  The storms this past summer were all intense, and kept me hopping arranging five gallon pails under all the leaky parts of the roof.

As soon as the storm passed, I helped Bob lift the hefty fiberglass composite pillar columns into place.  He had to thread the pressure-treated posts through the middle of the columns and it was a two person job.   

 When we finished for the day, the porch looked much different.

 We had to wait for windows to be ordered for upstairs, so the tarp was nailed back down again.


By the time Carl arrived home from work, the pillars were all in place.  Our next job would be to build the stone columns ourselves.  The bid for the masonry was $5000 for the labor alone, and well, we work a lot cheaper than that.  But we had to get some stone first, and that meant more decisions on color.
 Carl is inspecting the pillars in the photo above as we discuss our next move.

The work we'd been putting into the remodel had been so intense that we hadn't had time to do anything else.  Carl is still working and there were times I would have to call him at his job to ask his opinion on things.  He took all of his vacation and then started to take time off without pay to be here has much as he could.
It never fails, whenever Carl wasn't here, there would be some very important decision to be made or some other mini-crisis to deal with.

Sunsets were always a welcome sight to finally end the long days.


Monday, October 28, 2019

Remodeling Our Hut Part 20: Color Choices and More Concrete

Friday, August 23 the builders were able to put down some water shield (otherwise known as tar paper) on the entire house roof for waterproofing.  A tarp was added to the front and back gable to block any wind-driven rain. (Spoiler alert: it didn't work very well.)

Though the profile of the house has changed a great deal, you can still see the 'old' house in the middle.

Another big blue tarp on the north gable addition.

Over the weekend, Carl and I cleaned up the driveway and moved a bunch of lumber around because the next major step in construction was to have the porch, basement and garage floors poured.  The cement trucks and equipment needed a lot of room to maneuver.

We also had some color choices to make.  What color were we going to go with for this old hut?  It had been white with brown trim since 1978 and it was hard to picture it any other color.  For years we had gone to the new and remodeled home showcase tours and driven around looking at other people's homes for ideas and always ended up with the same conclusion.  Everyone else's houses looked great, but what would look good on ours?

A few years ago on a random Sunday afternoon drive, we passed by a house that we both liked.  It was a beauty, but far out of our price range.  When we finally decided to remodel our house, we drove around in circles looking for that house again. Finally, in June, we rediscovered it.

 Blue siding with dormers, white trim, pillars and stone. Yes, I can see why we liked it.

There is a smaller house in our nearby town that caught my eye for the last year or so.  I don't remember what color this house was before, but it is beautiful now. 

I will admit we are creepy house stalkers and my apologies to anyone who saw us slowing down and staring at their abode.  We must have driven by this house at least a dozen times trying to get a good picture.  (There was never anyone outside or I would have asked them what color they had used.  It's awkward gawking at people's houses and I feel really silly.) 

The dark blue siding (or was it paint?) on the house in town led me to search for the same color in vinyl siding.  Dark colors in vinyl siding have become more widely available now due to improvements in fade-resistance and voila, I found the blue which was close:

Marine Blue
Though I now had the potential color of the siding, what color roof would look best with it?  The house was being roofed in steel and there were only so many colors available.

I had some time to think about roof colors while cleaning up after the builders.  I went up on the porch roof to pick up nails and sweep up sawdust after they had left for the day.

After I had the roof cleaned up, Carl and I headed to town after dark to look for color options. 
What color of tin do we use with Marine Blue siding?

We left the store at closing time, still no closer to a decision.  The gray roofing tin seemed like it would be too light, the brown would be rather boring, the blue would clash.  White seemed extreme; and the copper color was a bit too bright.  

Not sure of what a tin roof looked like in real life, we decided to check on one a few miles from us.  Below is an abandoned school in the country which had been roofed in burgundy tin in the last decade or so.  It looks very nice with the brick, but I couldn't see burgundy roofing with Marine Blue siding.  We'd have to keep thinking this over.  Phil said he had to take a bunch of measurements and he wasn't ready to order the tin yet, so we had time.

No one lives there any more, and it's sad to see this building just sitting.  We have always loved the architecture.

Renovations and upgrades on old structures are very expensive, so I understand why they aren't saved, but it is a shame.  

Idlewild School below is about three miles from our house.  My father and my brother went to elementary school there.  

This building is falling into disrepair also, and I'll hate to see the day it's no longer standing.  The craftsmanship and detail in these old buildings is seldom seen any more.  I love the corbels and gable accents.

To add those details to new construction would be very costly, but what a difference they make.  It has been years since we were in the old school, and by the look of the roof, it probably won't be around too much longer.  It's truly sad, but the cost to repair everything would be sky-high.

On August 27th, the flatwork concrete crew arrived to pour the garage, basement and front porch slabs.

 I stayed out of their way for the most part, it was an intense two days.

 And, of course, we had to have rain again...and lots of it.  The tar paper on the roof didn't work very well at all.  I went out to the garden and gathered up every five gallon weed pail we owned and set them up all over the house.

 While I was trying to catch the dripping roof, Carl was working on installing the new ceiling fan for the downstairs bathroom.

 Carl spent hours working on the fan which is installed in the floor joists in the new upstairs room.
 We finally called it a night after making certain I had all the pails in the right places to catch the incessant rain.

 All the pails were necessary and even more were needed.  The rain was just unstoppable this year.  It was very depressing dealing with this day after day, but hey, at least we had pails.

August 27, and the concrete was done.

Our old eight foot long front porch is now forty-eight feet long.  I guess I have enough room now to sit and watch it rain. 

 The garage floor and basement were all finished, too.

In the meantime, the carpenters removed the old dining room wall in the house.  In the picture below, my old dining room window sits on the floor.

 And, of course, it rained again, very hard.  We were back in panic mode, trying to save the hardwood floor underneath the cardboard in the living room.  More pails were propped up strategically, but there was no catching it all as it ran through the roof bumpouts for the bay windows.
 The carpenters moved their saws into the living room to work out of the rain.

 The sun came out for a short time late in the day.  The cement needed to cure for a few days before anyone could walk on it.

 By the end of the day, there was a big hole in the wall where the dining room window had been.  The front door was going to be removed soon.

 Below is what the same area looks like on October 27.  The two rectangular holes in the floor was where the original dining room wall was situated.  The new front door was moved over five feet.  We were able to bump the dining room out four feet plus the depth of the bay windows, so we gained almost seven feet at the deepest spot.

It is a lot brighter in our house now.    

Every time we have a sunny day, we are so grateful.

Though I shouldn't admit it, I am also grateful to see the sun go down, too, because we can knock off work for the day. 

Remodeling is exhausting.