Finally, the weather has relented. 4 days ago it was 100 degrees during the day and 80 at night. Yesterday it was 64 degrees and, as I sit here writing, the wind is blowing pretty hard and it's 57 outside, Nice!! So, we are now going to get back to work. It's been quite some time since our last post so this one might be a bit epic because I want to catch you all up on what we've been doing both related and not related to the house. So, got get a cup of coffee and some snacks, close the door or ignore everyone that walks by your "cube" if you're reading this while working. Here we go...
We have spent many evenings over the summer driving the backroads around the countryside. There are a million little roads going here and there and each one seems to have a surprise for us, it may be a lonely, picturesque old farm or cemetery or it might be a small, quiet lake or pond. We never get tired of exploring. Here is a picture we took one evening at an old church in the country. Neither the church nor the cemetery had a name so we're still researching that. The old oak tree out front gave us an amazing picture. The second picture is the sunset that same evening.
In addition to traveling here and there we have added another member to our family. Bonnie has a new kitten. She named her "Yogurt." She is fascinated with it and can't seem to put the poor thing down for more than 30 seconds. Poor little kitty!!
When Bonnie does put her down (or she escapes) she takes time to visit with her other new friends. The dogs acted tough at first but that was all just an act as you can see.
As for work on the house, our main focus is the kitchen floor. One of the first projects we tackled in June was to remove all of the old flooring and get down to the original wood floor, you may recall. Then 'the heat dome' hit and we slowed way down with our work, which gave us the time to poke around, mull things over, and decide how best to proceed.
And then, while opening up the old doorway between the kitchen and what will be a pass-through to the bathroom, it became very clear there were issues with the floor joists in the kitchen, and so we decided we needed to see just exactly what we are dealing with. Wow, are we glad that we did.
What we discovered was that most of the original joists were rotten enough that they needed to be replaced, and two beams under load-bearing walls have badly rotted spots in them. After looking at the kitchen and the front of the house, it is clear these two structures were built at different times. It could well be that the kitchen was the original structure -- maybe a shack to just get by in until the front part of the house could be built. There was also what appeared to be the old footing for a large hearth. Since we have no history on the house, these are all just guesses, of course!
The plan is to repair the beams on the load-bearing walls, run a concrete footing down the middle of the kitchen (finished, see photo below) and run a new main joist on top of the new concrete footing to which support beams will be run off of to the load bearing walls.
Here is the concrete footing:
One of the areas on a load-bearing beam that needs repair:
Another project we have going right now is what used to be the wood shed that we originally were going to tear down. We decided -- although Kevin came up with the idea -- to repair the building and use it as a screened-in eating/hanging out area.
Here is the before:
Here are a few during:
We should have an 'after' in the not-too-distant future.
While Kevin works on those projects, Ann is busy stripping four layers of wallpaper from the master bedroom walls. With a new wallpaper steamer in hand, she is confident the job will progress quickly from here on out.
Thanks to everyone for hanging in there with us!
-Kevin & Ann