Helping the Economy!

8 09 2012

As we continue to put money into the house, I thought … hey we’re doing our part to help the economy.  (Now if I could only find a job that isn’t temporary and pays what I used to make.)  Okay, back to reality.  Just like every vote matters, so does every dollar spent at this point. So what did we spend our hard earned cash on this month?

A gas burning fireplace and new garage door were the major purchases. Here’s what it looks like in our fireplace along with a photo looking up inside the chimney flue after it was relined.  The gas log set is relatively inexpensive, however, we had to spend $2k to repair and reline our 60+ year old chimney and a few hundred more to have a gas line installed with a floor key valve shutoff.

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Finally Construction Resumes

2 08 2012

Yes, the moisture issues finally got worked out and work has resumed on the addition.  This was a monumental ordeal, but we worked through it without going crazy (well maybe just a little).  We are just thankful that our contractor did his best to remedy all the issues to our satisfaction and continued working to complete this project, well for the most part.

In hind sight another good decision we made before starting this project last year was to reduce the scope to just the Master Bedroom/Bath addition rather than also remodeling the kitchen and bumping out the front of the house at the same time.  Doing all of that work at the same time would have meant moving out and renting a house or apartment and  added significant cost to the project due to this lengthy construction delay.

A word of advice, is to do your remodel work in phases. Don’t think you have to do everything all at the same time.  Plus now we’re better educated on the process, which should help us make better decisions when the time comes to embark on our next home improvement project.

Here are images of work completed over the course of one month (April 2012).  It’s so good to finally see some progress again!

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Weeks 19-25 The Moisture Saga

26 03 2012

It’s been one month since the last post, which was spent trying to determine the cause of the moisture problem in our new vaulted ceiling.  After the roofing company repaired the top section of water damaged plywood and felt, our architect suggested doing a condensation test before closing up the ceiling with drywall.  The architect had the contractor cover the open ceiling with plastic and said to watch if any moisture forms.

Well guess what, by the next afternoon the top side of the plastic facing the ceiling was dewy and even a few water droplets had formed and dripped onto the plastic.  It was like a sauna in each joist bay in the peak of the vaulted ceiling and this went on for a few days.  Science Experiment 1 ends, but we clearly still had a moisture problem.   Read the rest of this entry »

Week 18 – Fiddling with the Roof

24 02 2012

The roof/ceiling moisture saga continues.  The roofer came and removed a 2′ section along each side of the center ridge over the vaulted ceiling in the bedroom only.  The roof over the rest of the addition is fine, that’s why we suspect this might be a condensation issue.  Now we have to sit and wait for the wood to dry out, and then the roofer will replace everything.

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Once the roof moisture issue gets resolved (hope they can figure it out), then there’s only painting, wood floors, and bathroom fixtures to install.  Also waiting for a landscaping bid for the backyard.  Separately I’m getting estimates for gas logs and chimney relining, gutters, drainage, walkways, a new garage door and a new front door. It seems never ending for such a small house.

Week 17 – The Yellow Spot Grows

23 02 2012

As some of you know that little yellow spot on the bedroom ceiling has turned into a major headache and is causing the project to fall behind schedule.

To investigate this I bought a moisture meter (yes, we’re big fans of Mike Holmes).  The meter showed the drywall was 100% saturated at the yellow spot and along the center beam at the peak of the cathedral ceiling in the master bedroom.

There is no attic or crawlspace over this bedroom, so we had our contractor open some of the drywall and discovered it was like a sauna up there.  Lots of beads of condensation on the surrounding wood rafters.  Both the fiberglass insulation and plywood sheathing felt damp.  More moisture readings reveals just how wet the wood was.  It made the meter peak to the highest levels for softwood over 30%.  This is not good. Ugh.

Now the question becomes, is there a roof leak causing this moisture and condensation or the lack of ventilation?  Only time will tell as everyone tries to get to the bottom of this.


The couple of other things that got done this week. Not too exciting, but making progress.


Fireplace Gets Gas

Added Gas Line to Fireplace

LOWERING THE GAS & WATER LINES to meet code for the required distance under the concrete walk.

Lowered Gas & Water Lines

Weeks 15-16 House Makeover

30 01 2012

Week 15 was fixing little things and not much to show such as touching up the drywall and adding a light switch.

Week 16, however, was the final stucco color coat which has a major impact to update the look of the whole house

There was another incredible sunset, so there are a few shots from behind our house.

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Found a yellow spot on the ceiling. This can’t be good.

Week 14 – Tile Sets the Style

24 01 2012

Finishing the bathroom tile was another major milestone.  Now the design is finally taking shape.  Kudos to Susan Deneau Interior Design for great advice and suggestions.   This week I put the photos into a slideshow making it easier to see the work as it progresses.

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