July 27, 2014
I took a long break from working on the house yesterday; 2 hours of mowing then 2 hours of cleaning up my bike. This pic was taken after washing, but before "polishing" with Bug Slide (not a true polish, just a spray-on protectant that keeps grime from sticking too badly).
The bike hadn't been washed since I picked it up from storage in the spring. As much rain and wet roads as I have ridden on, it was filthy and needed a bath. Add to that the lovely day (low 80's and lo humidity), and I decided I couldn't stay inside all day - expecially since today is supposed to be rainy / stormy so I wouldn't get the chance to get outside if my house work goes more quickly than I expect.
And, as a finale, I actually got a picture of Tory.
He doesn't venture out the door much, and when he does, he sticks close to the door, but he does like to survey the backyard every once in a while.
Monday the window company installed all the double-hung windows (order of pics: craft room and office windows - figured they all look pretty much the same, just office window has 2 side-by-side).
I proceded to stain the seats of the bay and garden windows (bath, bedroom, living room is order of pics).
They still need polyeurathane, which I probably won't get to this weekend as I am on to another project; putting the plastic vapor barrier over the insulation, in preparation for sheetrock, which is the nex post.
Obviously that picture was taken before I cut out for the window and outlet :)
The plastic is slower than I would like as I have been finding issues (or creating them) that need my attention before the install. I found nails and sheetrock that I had not completely removed from behind the FHW fins - took my 2 hours to get out 4 nails and about 8" total of sheetrock. Not an easy job when you only have 2" work area and are trying not to cut the hell out of you hands with the fins (now I remember why I left those for later :) ).
Also switched out the insulation above the windows in the office. That space is very shallow, When I had installed the insulation over the plywood inserts, I had to strip the R13 insulation down to about 1/3 of its thickness before installing it. After consideration, research, and having a bunch of pink insulating XPS insulation pieces from my work in the basement, I decided to redo it.
The XPS, at 1" thick, almost completely fills the space available. The XPS also has an R5 insulating factor for that thickness, where as 1/3 of fiberglass insulation is about 4. So, the XPS will insulate better, plus I will fill the space left with fiberglass, so may get the isulating factor a bit higher. After gluing the XPS up, I calked the small gaps, so had to let that set up overnight - hence the delay in getting plastic up. Still have to do that over the living room bay window too.
I did manage to get the plastic up over both bedroom walls, and the bare wall in the craft room yesterday. Today I hope to be able to get the 2nd craft room wall and office wall plasticed.
July 20, 2014
Bug Eat Bug World
Yesterday I was out back and saw a dead bug on the railing. Didn't think much about it, but thought it a strange place for one to pick as its final resting spot. But I placed a finger next to it, and it moved - but didn't fly off.
Strange. So, I got my reading glasses to take a closer look. I could barely make out what seemed to be wings below the bug.
Got my camera, put it on macro (it has the BEST macro ability - I can get as close as my fingers, or the subject, will allow me to get - and this is what was going on:
After his/her meal, it was time to wing away to parts unkown.
I haven't shown any photos of the kids for a while, so here are a couple
Prince and Fuzzy out in the pen (Fuzzy is way back at the fence):
Prince all spiffyfied up. I took him to a kennel Friday morning thru Saturday afternoon since the window guys were there with the door open all day. While he was there, I had them give him a bath, and apparently their groomer gives an extra touch with the bandana. This pic is after I picked him up on Saturday.
They said he did well, which is nice since he has never been in a kennel except at the vet for a procedure, and he doesn't like other dogs since being attacked several time. He definitely looked like a happy and relaxed dog when I picked him up. Sure, he was happy to see me, but he knows how to guilt a person, and he didnt' do that. He was relaxed and in good spirits - a huge relief as I will probably want to kennel him for any trips I take.
Guess I'll have to make an effort to get a pic of Tory so he isn't left out next time.
I am all excited! Friday they started installing the new windows. So far, only the front three are in, but those were the tough ones. Compare and contrast from when I bought the house to now:
Here are some pics from the project and views from the inside:
Above pic is of Friday evening's progress; the installer said 5-6 people stopped Friday as they were driving by and told him how wonderful the windows looked.
Oh, and the garage looked like that - still looks a lot like that since only the BR bay has been removed since the pic was taken.
I do have to stain the seats/bases of the bays and garden window, then polyuerathane them. Easy work compared to what I have been doing the last couple of months!
Monday, the rest of the windows will go in. They will be much easier and quicker as they are just replacement double-hungs. Already loving that I have windows I can open more than a couple inches; I had one 12" wide window I could open 4-5 inches in the living room, the bathroom window wouldn't open at all, and neither would the bedroom windows.
Out of the 6 windows they will replace tomorrow, one BR window opens all the way (has to be held by a piece of wood to stay open), one in the office opens 8-10" - none of the rest open. Some are painted shut from inside and outside, some the pully systems are broke, and some are just so warped that the clearances don't work. The office window that opens took Hurculean efforts to break the paint bonds to get it to open, even after knifing between the sills and the panes inside and out (EX actually had to finally do it and he wrestled with it for about 10 minutes).
Okay, technically the side window in the living room opens, but it has no screen or storm window. And, it is the one odd-sized double pane window, so I can't transfer from another non-working window. So, to keep cats in and bugs (and wild birds out), that window stays shut.
It will be good to get cross breezes in here!
July 13, 2014
Last Room to Demolish
With the windows being installed this coming Friday and Saturday, I had to make a last push to get the exterior bathroom torn out.This is the shortest wall at 5.5 feet so shouldn't take much time right?
All the walls are covered by an ugly tile board. Great to keep moisture from attacking walls in a humid oom, ugly as sin and there is no patching of it that isn't obvous.
So I removed the tile board, and found there was sheetrock underneath. Hu, who woulda thunk it? Then, I remove the sheetrock. Well, in order to remove the sheetrock, I had to remove the double cabinet on the wall above the toilet as it was too close to the exterior wall to be able to remove the sheetrock.Let me tell you, installing a wall cabinet by ones-self, although hard work, is much much easier than taking one down by your lonesome - if you want to keep it in one piece anyway.
and there is actual insulation in that there wall - double hu! It is R11, and I am putting in R13 anyway.
I figured I wanted to get rid of the ugly tileboard anyway, so while the cabinet was down, I ripped out that wall too. This house never ceases to amaze me - there is a lone square of insulation in the side wall - WTF? Really, nothing but the tileboard and sheetrock was removed before I snapped this picture.
When I removed the insulation I found it was really good that I had. Apparently the reason it is there, instead of rockwool, is that the wall had come out before because of water damage below the window. Well, they hadn't properly dried and treated the mold, so I am in the process of remediation. I have cleaned the surfaces and used a mold killer on the wood (I know, only gets surface stuff, but that is fine according to my research). Then I had fans on the area for about 5 hours to ensure the wood was dried fairly quickly.
Sometime this week I will use a mold restrictive paint for the affected area and beyond. Let that all dry out and then I can put up insulation. Fortunately the insulation is not the important part to have done before the windows guys come in, so it should all be good.
I found that I have black raspberries growning in the front hedge. They are small and seedy, but delicious!
New Stair Rails
The rails to my front steps were in really sad shape. The were abuse aluminum and you certainly didn't want to hold onto them for balance, much less depend on them to keep you from falling off the steps.
The EX had told me that he would make new railings, which he did, and he installed them last weekend. They are of galvanized steel, so should hold up to just about anything. And the galvanization means I have all kinds of time to paint them if I so desire.
I feel better knowing they are in before the window guys come as I could envision them going over the side with a window - without good results!
July 07, 2014
Summer in the 603
The Super Secret Project is a NH band that doesn't do mainstream airwaves, but has done several songs about NH (or the 603 - our area code). The have teamed up with Roots of Creation and made a new song, Summer in the 603.
Money quote in my book: The Devil Went Down to Georgia because Daniel Webster kicked his ass!