Old House Restoration

A real family makes an old house their home...for the 2nd time
The Splendido's renovate, restore and rejuvenate their home with their own hands - all while living in the house
and balancing their family needs...you know...like most families have to do it!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

14 Months of Procrastination

As I mentioned in my last entry - I have Post Its *elegantly displayed* on my kitchen cabinets. These annoying yellow reminders are my way of making sure I do not forget to do something. When we first moved in 14 months ago there were anywhere from 5-10 notes at a time. Each one with 1-5 items listed. Every once in a while I would combine the multiple notes into 1 or 2 neatly written notes...a form of procrastination. I may not have knocked off one of my many Honey Do's, but at least I organized them better!

Many of the tasks were suppose to be done before last winter. I didn't finish them all before winter. Then by the time spring arrived, I was on to bigger and better things: Restoring Wide Plank Floors, Building a BreakFast Nook Bench, Constructing a Slate Patio, adding Central Air and Installing a Ultra High Efficiency Furnace. Damn I've done a lot since February *excuse me while I pat myself on the back right now* 

I guess you can say I am "addicted to rehab"...oh wait someone else has already coined that phrase. I first watched an episode of Rehab Addict on the plane to a training trip to Las Vegas in February - about the same time I was about to start ripping up the kitchen floor. I have since watched every episode! The show takes completely run down houses - like condemned and about to be bulldozed - and rehabs them to there old glory. The host Nicole Curtis is entertaining, talented and knows how to turn nothing into something. It doesn't hurt that this single mom is attractive, takes no crap and knows how to use power tools! She is also very empowering - the whole family enjoys the show - and Paige and Lily think "it is really cool that a girl is doing all this." She has had a hand in 6/7 year old Lily becoming My Little Helper - that and the fact that we have fun doing the work together! Nicole should be sponsored by Nike, because after one of her shows I get into the mindset to "Just Do It." Her show gives me the confidence to say "what's the worse that can happen?" Can't wait for the new season to start on October 2nd. Didn't mean to turn this post into a DIY Network commercial, but at least now you know where I draw some of my inspiration from.

Back to my regularly scheduled blog entry - So now winter is just around the bend again - and I still have several items on my list to take care of...and 2 of them are from my original list 14 months ago! Slacker :-) In my defense - these jobs are some of those nuisance projects I mentioned last entry - smaller and not very sexy - but I decided it was finally time to tackle them...just in time for our home, but unfortunately not in time for Alvin, Simon or Theodore!? huh?

14 Month Old Task #1 - Hole near the Foundation - I wonder what lives in there?
I always wondered what live in here

I remember our home inspector mentioning that there was a hole in the foundation that we should correct "as soon as possible." Thus it was the first post it "To Do." I remember writing it the day we moved in. However, of course it was not more important than moving furniture, building beds, unpacking boxes, finding the kids cloths, tootbrushes... AND the toys they hadn't seen in the months since we packed them! So one thing led to another and my post it notes suddenly had many, many - OH so many! - projects on them - each one as important as the next (however real or perceived as that may be).

Next thing I knew - I never filled the hole before winter.  Even though Karen and I always wondered what might be living in there - I thought oh well it can wait...and as far as the house was concerned - it could wait. But then one day Karen asked, "what's that smell?" It was a rhetorical question, because we both knew it was the smell of death. Now I had to find it. Soon enough my nose brought me to the hole in the foundation. Inside I am sad to say I found one of the 10 million chipmunks "property pets" we have. The kids love watching them scury in and out of their holes (even the one that lives under the slate patio).  None-the-less I found the cause of the smell - the little guy (or gal) must have searched out a safe place to go to cross the rainbow bridge.

Repairing the Foundation Hole

Determined to not let that happen again - I removed a section of clapboard siding to reveal the true extent of the hole. Of course like anything else - simple projects get bigger by the second! The hole was bigger than I thought and there was rotted wood, too.

  • I took hammers, crow bars, large screwdrivers, wood chisels and my recipicating saw to chip away and cut away all the rotted wood. Sorry no pictures.
  • Then I cut some pressure treated wood that had to be hammered into place to form a tight fit. I also attached these pieces to the current structure with screws - again no pictures.
  • Then I measured a piece of scrap plywood to fit the missing piece of clapboard - pictured below. Note - technically I should have used clapbaord - but since I did not have any at my disposal - and it was only one small piece - I made do with what I had
    • I did have to fit in some filler strips behind the plywood to help allow the plywood to flare out at the bottom.

  • The wood came out fine, but there was still a hole between the wood and steps to the screened in porch. See below:

  • I filled the whole in with some cement and painted the wood to match. Finished. No more hole.

14 Month Old Task #2 - Replace Peeling Wood on Screen Door

This door was embarrassing. This door was splintering and separating. The splintered sections did not have any paint. It really looked awful. Unfortunately I do not have any truly before pictures - because I have always been careful to take my pictures from an angle so that this crummy looking thing was not in the shot! Even the picture below is a "retouched" version of just how bad it looked.

Here's a picture after my half-ass paint job of the worse sections (upper and lower left):


Even more embarassing than the door - is that I let it look this way for 14 months. It honestly took Lily and I less than an hour to fix. Re-dic-u-lous.

  • Removed the bad section of wood
  • Cut a piece of pre-primed wood to size
  • Attached the piece to the door (yay! another reason to use my new air compressor and brad nailer!)
  • I had Lily paint the door (just look at her concentration!)
If you ever wondered how I get so many projects done - well now you know...I have the Best.Helper.Ever.


Door and foundation hole - Finished!

Both these projects took me less than 3 hours of total work. Maybe next time I won't let a small project like these stare at me from my kitchen cabinets for 14 months. Maybe.

1 comment:

  1. Your home inspector has sharp eyes! Yes, I understand that you had to preempt dealing with this hole, what with all of the buying, signing, and moving process that you guys had to do. When you noticed that "smell of death", you didn't have to look for the culprit and instead deduced that it came from this mysterious hole. At least this is now covered up and hopefully no more chipmunks would show up any time soon! Take care!

    Brenda Boyd @ Nu Home Source Realty