Working on the Old House #9

We continue with the renovation of the old house. I plan on selling this 1920 home once I’ve made a few improvements. The plan is to sell it this year – as a slow and steady worker – this may be a challenge.

Since I replaced the original window over the sink, it’s time to make some new jambs and casings. I usually start with the side jambs. They are ripped to the required width and then cut to length. A little mock-up of the sill is made to get the measurements.

A sill is cut and put into place to allow for measuring the casings.

The side casings are put into place temporarily and a block of wood is used to set the reveal offset. This will allow the top casing to be marked for proper width.

The header is cut to width and the two side casings are attached to the top using kreg screws in the back.

The completed ‘U’ shaped casing is then attached to the window jambs and the wall. I always make casings this way as they will allow for nice tight joints at the corners that won’t open over time.

There was an issue with the soffit nailer at the ceiling. It was 2X2 lumber and well attached to the ceiling lath. I was afraid that if I tried to remove it I would cause quite a bit of plaster damage. So to make lemonade out of lemons, I decided to make a small drop and make it into a design element. I have a 1X7 fascia plate attached to the face of the nailer.

Face nailers were added to allow for the 3/4″ tongue and groove paneling to be added to the ceiling portion.

I am using recycled pine that was originally used on the porch ceiling at my other renovation. It needed a good scuff sanding to get the best paint adhesion.

The T&G paneling is attached to the 3/4″ wall sheathing, butting up with the new window casing.

I brought the T&G siding up onto the ceiling drop and placed a new ceiling light box in the center. I had one long piece of crown molding left from my kitchen renovation in the other house, so I thought this would work well here.

Now we turn our attention to the plumbing – a little copper pipe re-routing and a little fiddling and we can start thinking about new cabinets.

An unfinished base cabinet from Home Depot is reworked to accept the new plumbing.

Holes cut and then I decided adding a Dishwasher might be a good idea. Another electrical box is added for the DW service.

So this is were we are. A dishwasher, and a couple of ready-made base cabinets. Looks like there’s a lot more to do. I see some custom cabinets in my future.

Time to dust off the tools again.

Working on the Old House #8

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! We continue on the old house renovation.

Having hopes that the old subfloors could rejuvenated and finished – structural issues and my typical ‘do it right’ voice won over. So down goes a new plywood overlay to stiffen us these bouncy floors.

The plywood is pl glues and screwed in place. Covering the kitchen and dining room.

The sheathing will help reduce the slope in the floor. Remember, this house is 101 this year.

All the floor sheathing is in place.

To meet current code, new 20a lines were run to receptacles on each side of the sink as well as by the stove wall as well.

This patch was in the wall to the left of the sink window – also notice something? Like zero insulation. This house was supposed to be insulated with blown in insulation years and years ago – but for some reason they decided this kitchen wall didn’t need any.

So we patch up the wall opening and start preparing for adding some insulation.

One other thing. This house has a combined neutral and ground – an old two wire system. The only way to meet current code without rewiring the whole house is to use this type of receptacle. An AF (Arc Fault) / GF (Ground Fault) fixture will give the required protection. They do not offer equipment grounding and must be marked at the receptacles.

These are what’s required in our area to meet code – check with local guidelines as they do vary.

So I rented an insulation blower and with the help of my brother, we added insulation for the kitchen wall. It was messy, but necessary.

I decided to fit the new sink base cabinet first before I started on reworking the plumbing. I’ll keep the supplies and drain outside of the exterior wall to make sure there is no pipe freezing in the enclosed sink base.

So the unfinished cabinet is put in place to start laying out the cabinets. It will be a combination of off the shelf cabinets and a few custom made to fit the space.

Stay tuned and stay warm.

And Time to Reappear

Well, did you think I was done? Finished? Pooped Out? A victim of the COVID? Well, not exactly. But my circadian clock must know when May rolls around and thinks it’s best for me to get some more surgery in Nashville during a pandemic. Well, OK. I’m not dying any faster than the rest of you – I’m not infermed to the point of not being able to pick up a hammer and making a mess. No, I’m just a medical hobbyist. So now that I have regained strength and 2X4’s are triple the price of last year, let’s get back to to renovating the old house.

Well, this doesn’t look like much, does it? Well, what do you expect with my IV holes not completely healed yet? The first piece of drywall overlay in the 9′ high ceiling. The blistered and loose plaster was removed to make a level surface for new 1/2″ drywall sheets.

I added the additional sheets of drywall to finish the back wall. I moved the old stove in position and attached the 36″ range hood I purchased 10 years ago to see how we will make this all work out. It will end up better than this mockup, I promise you. The original house had a large square duct with a surface fan to draw out the cooking odors – it did not work. So I’ve run a 7″ round duct through the square duct and now we begin the mental gymnastics to make this look respectable.

While we ponder that conundrum, I’ll sheet the side wall in the kitchen. Settling and age has taken a toll on this wall. I usually remove all the plaster and lath and drywall from the studs, but given my weakened state I opted for the overlay this time. The plaster on the corner chimney bump-out was in good shape, so we’ll just keep it with no overlay.

Of course, nothing is that easy – so this area was so deteriorated the plaster had to come off and a piece of same thickness plywood added before the drywall overlay.

And when you overlay a wall the thickness changes and openings will have to be modified. Here I’ve added a spacer to the door jamb and am in the process of making a new casing trim for the door. I cut the sides to size and clamp in place. Mark the top piece and assemble with kreg screws.

Add a little back band trim and we’re ready to move on.

We now wrap the other wall next to the range hood vent.

Trim out the opening and run the pipe for exhaust. Some tape and compound and we incorporate the new drywall into the existing plaster.

Add a coat of primer and we’re ready to march on. And I hope all of you are marching right along through this unpleasant year. I feel most comfortable right here, toiling away on my little projects. I hope you too find your bliss. Stay safe.

So it’s time to pester you some more

My last blog post was October 21 of last year.

Some of you must have thought – “Well, that’s it for the old geezer- he won’t be back” and surprisingly, you would have been mistaken. I will admit 2019 was not a stellar year in the home renovating or health department. I did minimal work on my project last year because the hospital industrial complex missed me and my money. I did several small projects, but nothing that was show & tell worthy.  I did however, work on my old house –  which you will see seems more like an abandoned and sad little place. It’s a little one bath home that was built in 1920 that had seen better days – much better days. My brother lived here before me and ‘insisted’ I give up apartment life and live the life in luxury and buy this place from him. And I thought he liked me…but we’ll fix it up a little.

So until the weather warms up and I can get back to renovating the MisAdventures project, I’ll keep the blog alive with recent and current updates on turning this old house into a comfortable little place for a new family. It won’t be the no expense spared nonsense like the MisAdventures project, but we’ll make in nice.

We’ll  start with this.

Yes – my old home – for some reason, my wife likes the new one better. Here I’ve started taking the vinyl siding off the front. The siding guys thought a contrasting band of soffit would make a nice accent across the front, above the windows. It did not. Oh, and I’ve already removed the shower-curtain curtains that added just the right touch to the aluminum windowed porch. It had a 1980’s crack house kinda vibe. But we’ll see what becomes of this place. My neighbors will thank me.

See you soon…I promise.

Curt