It seems as I march towards making this place into a habitable dwelling – the photos just don’t seem that interesting. I know the good stuff is right around the corner, but it’s hard to grab a camera and take a picture of so many ho-hum projects. So here’s what happening now at the Misadventures project.
I left off with these sunroom lights installed because I needed the space in the garage. I was worried the scale might be too large, but they fit between the beams fine. You will see my problem in the background. The wall sconces were placed to correspond to the windows. Unfortunately, this left an awkward gap between the lights. You can see I’m fiddling with a cardboard design to balance out the space. We’ll see how this turns out.
All the doors get new hinges, mortise locks, plates and knobs. So of course the new door strikes don’t fit the originals. First I use auto bondo to fill in the areas that would show with the new striker plate. The pencil marks show the new location.
To get the 1/2″ plywood under the trim, I rented a jamb saw to make the cuts. 20.00 for 4 hours rental. Had all the doors cut and the tool back to Home Depot in an hour. This project would have taken all day with a regular saw.
Hope everyone is having a great and productive summer. Till next time.
I know I’ll get a lot of flack for this post – but I just can’t help myself. I was pushed over the edge watching last night’s rerun.
Being an old carpenter and having quite a few renovations under my tool belt – and the Misadventures currently in progress – I watch a lot of home renovating shows and most are entertaining but really not that helpful in the actual nuts and bolts of renovation. The exception is This Old House – it’s really a good show and gives good advice on repairs that will not need to be redone in a couple of years. Holmes is pretty good too. Are most of their projects expensive fixes? Yep pretty much they use expensive products – but it depends on what you’re fixing. Is it a flip or do you want to do it right?
The other renovation shows on DIY and HGTV are not so great and Rehab Addict is one of my least favorite. She’s fun to watch, but not someone I would seek for advice.
This show should have a disclaimer – she is a flipper of houses, not a restorer of old homes. I watch the show but in every episode I find myself yelling at the TV – don’t do that!
And here’s why.
If you are fixing up a house to ‘flip’ then by all means use a lot of ‘elbow grease’ clean it up and call it a day. Bad cast iron bathtub? Spray paint it with a can or finish with a reglaze kit – it’ll look good for a couple of years. It will be way cheaper than a new tub, that’s for sure. But if you decide build a brand new tiled bathroom around your ‘refreshed’ alcove tub and a few years later the rust is eating through the drain flange – you are going to have a problem that no ‘elbow grease’ will remedy.
Sure most of us are on a budget and aren’t going to plop out a couple of grand for a new cast iron tub and that’s fine – just understand the difference of fixing something for a couple of years or for your lifetime.
A TV promo running now in our market has Nicole Curtis telling viewers ‘Don’t like the layout of your home? – Just move a wall’ What? I have renovated several 1930’s homes and I can tell you from experience – it’s not that easy to move a wall in an old house. You’ll need a structural engineer for certain. Load bearing walls will need point loads that go all the way the down to the foundation. You’ll need inspections and engineer seals to do this legally. Non load bearing walls can be a problem if you have a floor above them – many old houses have 2X8 floor joists that might be a trampoline if you take out the wall below.Talk about costs – and safety issues too – not to mention you may not be covered by insurance if you try to ‘just move a wall’ by yourself.
And the last straw was last night – and why I’ve finally snapped. It was a rebroadcast of ‘Burned Out Bathroom’ and I was yelling at the TV again!
Here’s the transcript and time of the dastardly deed.
00:04:04 [ Drill whirring ] Justin has been busy upstairs getting the bathroom drywalled and the tub area fitted with 6-inch subway tiles.
What is depicted is some drywall ‘green board’ (Moisture resistant) being attached around the alcove tub and some subway tiles being installed – no waterproofing, no membrane. I don’t know what to say. It’s not to code in our area and I don’t know any professional that would do such a thing. I’m no fortuneteller, but I see mold, rot and big problems in this bathroom’s future.
Will it last? Depends – if you want to deceive the next home buyer and sell it pretty quick – sure.
Shame on you Nicole Curtis.
So far, so good- we were able to get some of the tall stuff done – like the pointy front of the house. It was pretty easy because it was only one section of scaffolding two units high. And we’ve been able to get the fascia and soffit wrapped around the sunroom without incident.
Now we go for a bigger project – the sides of the house. We’ll do the tricky side first. The 1st problem is scaffolding. It takes a little longer for a 60 year old who still walks like a penguin from last year’s experiment with gravity to get things in order.
This is set up #2. I put it up once, but could only get two sections wide – so down it came and this configuration went up. That took about 2 1/2 hours of my life. I’ve got the center and right hand fascia in place, temporarily fastened with cortex screws.
The 2nd problem is the main roof dives into the sunroom roof. I made a panel of
Azek that rests slightly above the roof surface. The panel is removable when the sunroom needs to be re-roofed. Black roof caulking covers the small gap between the Azek and roof surface to keep any water or insects from getting in.
I’m using Quality Edge TruVent hidden vent aluminum soffit. It has no visible holes and looks more like the original type of soffit that was on this home.
Here’s a close-up of the problem. We’ll have frieze trim below the soffit and we’ll have another trim piece right above the mudroom roof surface. If we leave it as is, it will have tiny pieces of siding on the wall here.
So my solution is to make an Azek panel to span this roof area under the eave. I made a plywood template to make sure I got all of the angles right. The original roof is a 7/12 and the mudroom roof is a 6/12, so this panel had to taper to fit the odd angles. Also the upright elements had to be plumb when in place to make everything look like it’s supposed to.
Hang in there fearless renovators – we’ll get through this together – even if I’m doing all the work.
The winter winds are moving in and I’m not ready. But we will carry on, as I gotta get the siding up – hopefully this year. It would go quicker if I would quit making up fancy do-dads for the exterior trim.
Now it gets more difficult. There are discussions all over the web about ‘pork chop’ or ‘mutton chop’ eave returns. That’s the blocked out ends of the eaves that almost every new home has, but most don’t like. This house had them originally – but then this was a low budget house when built.
So my solution is to make a semi-recessed return. I’ve never seen it done, but why would that stop me? These are on the old part of the house. The roof overhang is 16″, which made these guys pretty big. I made them like cabinet panels using 3/4 trim stock for the frames and 1/2″ sheet stock for the insert.
I used super blue remodel boxes in a couple of locations. 110v power to the left and a cat5e cable to the right with an approved electrical divider in between. Just in case I want to add a Pan,Tilt & Zoom security camera later. Just planning ahead.
A weather proof cover keeps everything dry. The original fascia boards are in really good shape, being covered with aluminum for many decades. We’ll scrape them and use them as the backing for the new Azek 1X10 trim stock.
I used these fixtures for the down lights. They are available on Amazon – a pair costs less than 20.00. I used these because of the small junction boxes on top. They come with a 50w halogen bulb which I replaced with a 6.2w LED to reduce the heat. I used 10 of them and it lights up the whole perimeter of the house – using only 62 watts.
Stay tuned …
We have the main part of the ceiling up – but it’s trim time and confessions. Yep, there were plenty of mistakes on this project. But being the freestyle project it is – we’ll fix them as we go.
The trim ring still covered this, but it was mighty close. So I mixed up some water-based wood filler and built up the circle back to the recommended oval. I always add a little tight bond glue to the putty – it makes a very strong material that sticks to the wood.
There’s lots of fiddling to do before we can put away the ladders.
Now we have the plywood base up there it’s time to put up some character. First up is wrapping the collar ties with pine. I’ll make a 3 sided box like this:
I’ll use 8″ tongue and groove pine with a whitewashed finish. I have a lot of experience with this type of finish, as I did my art gallery fixtures this way 20 years ago. Just take any flat latex paint and thin it to about 50%. The piece on the right has an even coat of thin paint. The one on the left has been sanded down. Want more grain to show through? Then sand a little more – less grain? Put on a little more paint.
Then coat with a layer of Diamond Clear Varathane floor finish and you’re good to go.
Stick around – we might get this room done yet.