Sunday, November 23, 2008

Balance Beam

We bought this house in late October. This is the conversation that occurred the following May.
Jessie: You know, there are a lot of ants in this house this year.
Jeff: Well, we do have a toddler who hides Cheerios under all the large appliances.
Jessie: Yeah, but why do these ants have wings? And why are they all coming out of that new hole in the dining room floor?

That was when it dawned on us that we had termites. Those little buggers ate through a good 5 feet of a 6x8 inch beam that was supporting the threshold between 2 rooms. We treated the beams that showed activity as well as had a termite company put traps around the house, but we hadn't yet replaced that portion of the beam.

We found other areas of termite damage nearby when we opened up the kitchen and the basement walls, and we rebuilt those supports. But we still had to figure out what to do about the bouncy floor between our dining room and TV room, which I might add, is a very high-traffic doorway.

This weekend found Jeff and our neighbor Jon ( Superman ) standing with a Sawsall above their heads sawing off the useless beam.

You can see how much damage was done, because Jeff is holding this piece of wood as if it weighs nothing. And no, he's not freakishly strong. That wood did weigh practically nothing.

Closeup of the damage:

Here's the finished work, with a new beam in place and new supports.
Now, off to find the wire strippers. We realized this afternoon that Jeff managed to cut through the phone line in all the saws-all-ing excitement.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I was tagged by Larry at Simpson's Folly

Here's how it works...

Share seven random or weird Book facts about yourself. Then tag seven other people.

Notify the seven others that they have been tagged.

1. I was reading at a 5th grade level in the 2nd grade. I was in love with the Dr Doolittle books and I'm sure I drove my Mom nuts with making her define the big words.

2. I still enjoy reading at a 5th grade level. I'm currently reading Twilight, its great.

3. I wrote 2/3 of a book during National Novel Writing Month in 2006. I was 35,000 words into my novel when we found out Jeff needed thryroid surgery and that blew the wheels off my progress. He's fine now, by the way.

4. I buy Richard Brautigan books where ever I see them because they are out of print and I feel that they are lonely, so I bring them home to be with their friends.

5. When I finish a good book, I sometimes will read nothing for a time after that to savor the feeling of reading that book.

6. My 10th grade English teacher taught us to write our name and the date in a book when we buy it. I still do that but I'm sure its leftover issues from being the eldest of 4 children and feeling the need to mark my belongings rather than the need to know when I read the book.

7. Even though Goodnight Moon is supposed be a children's classic, I think its the worst book in the world. "Goodnight nobody"? What kind of lazy writing is that??

I'm tagging these people:
Stephanie (the S-I-L)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another hole in the house

In our ever on-going efforts to stop the house from hemorrhaging warm air, Jeff attacked the basement door. There had been a draft coming from the door, and pulling off the trim showed why the room was drafty. There had been a 4-inch gap with no insulation and you could see daylight coming through it on one side of the door.

Jeff got the Great Stuff before I could get the camera, so we only have an "after"photos. Here is the old sill removed, and the insulation added around the door frame:

A photo of the door frame thats been rotted out by water.

After digging out the dirt that had been up against the frame, it was supported with a new pressure-treated piece of wood.

The new sill was added and glued in place with Liquid Nails.
A new door sweep was added to protect against drafts:
The photo above shows the basement door from the inside. You can see the Icynene insulation covering the walls and the ceiling. We have high hopes for this insulation. The walls are above-ground and before we added the Icynene, there was no insulation at all.

Replacing the sill will hopefully help some of the air from escaping, thus improving the overall disposition of Jeff this winter and result in a net decrease in grumbling about the price of heating the house. A girl can hope, right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Preparing for Winter

List of projects to be done to prepare for winter:
  1. Unhook and drain rain barrel
  2. Remove air conditioner from BN-1's room. (Not sure why we even bothered since she was scared of the noise and preferred the suffocating heat to the A/C's hum.)
  3. Find someone to remove the leaves
  4. Put the basement de-humidifier away
  5. Cover the hydrangea to give it a fighting chance of living through the winter
  6. Clean up the garage so we can park in it again. It's filled with leftover kitchen-building materials.
  7. Make sure all the storms are closed
  8. Make sure all the radiator vents are open

Monday, November 3, 2008

This is just temporary until next year

Now that its November and the Who Can Stand The Lowest Temperature In The House competition is over, we have turned on the heat and started to focus on indoor projects. Viewing ever growing pile of clean laundry sitting in piles around our bedroom, Jeff decided it was time to organize his closet. But thats not what this post is about.

This is the gaping hole in the eaves that connects directly with Jeff's closet. Jeff discovered the hole led to our closets while he was investigating the back of his closet and the cool breeze blowing in through a mouse hole.

We'd almost forgotten about the hole in the eaves now that we aren't on the deck much these days staring in the direction of the plastic and duct-tape solution. But with winter around the corner, and the heat on in the house, it was time to get serious.

Jeff started by removing the plastic and duct-tape.

Then he added some supports since the sides are mostly rotted and flimsy.

He pushed as much insulation into the abyss as he could.

He attached a cover to deter little animals from coming in.

Then he says "You know, this is just temporary until next year. I used resin board to cover the hole. I'll have to fix it again with something more permanent." I don't care. I'm crossing it off the list anyway.


Related Posts with Thumbnails