Back porch deck down

I am so happy with the progress on the back porch today! Here is what has been completed today. Steven has a pattern for a rail he would like to build, so he will be working on and building the rail in the upcoming weeks. Plus, after our carpenter is finished Thursday, I will pressure wash and start painting the ceilings, columns and siding under the porch. In about 3 weeks, after the boards have cured, I’m going to stain the deck. Super excited!!!!

I’m going to see if I can talk my hubby into building me one more planter for the back and, while he is at it, turning the 100+ year old cypress boards they took up, into a long bench. One can always hope, right! .

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Coming soon: new back porch!

My back porch is being worked on by a wonderful, wonderful carpenter! If anyone needs any precise work done, I have a number for you!

Yesterday the column and brick wall that was sagging was mortared and restored. Today, they are taking off the porch boards, putting down traditional deck boards and repairing a column. After they are all finished, I will take another picture. Then I’m off to pressure wash, stain, prime and paint for the final ta-da picture!!!!!

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Milling the porch boards

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So, we are ready to begin our porch work. Over the last six years, we have had several carpenters come by to look at our porch and give us a repair quote. Most of them I never heard from again. One, gave me a quote and he said he would not do it unless I let him sand and paint the porch also. I planned on sanding and painting the porch myself to save money and, besides, I like to paint. The other carpenter got a quote from a local mill for the boards, and it was a trillion dollars. I thought he was giving me a bill for the national debt. I could not believe it was so expensive to mill porch boards. Of course since they are 104 years old, no one carries the type of tongue and groove board we need.

So, my enterprising husband, decided to set up a jig and mill the boards himself. I have to say, he is a genius!

We are talking with a local carpenter who specializes in restoring old homes. If all goes well, he will replace the damaged boards beneath our columns in the next couple weeks.

I have a firm date from our roofer. He and another carpenter will be here Thanksgiving week to start the roof work and replace all the fascia boards. Very excited about that…also nervous at what they might find! That old asbestos roof has been there since the late 40s, early 50s.

In the mean time, we framed the new bathroom in the house and laid the backer board.  The plumbing is roughed in.  In the next couple days we are going to lay the floor so the plumber can come back and set the fixtures and put the vent stack in (through the roof).  Here is the oak desk I found at a flea market.  I distress painted it with Martha Stewart’s copper metallic paint and a black overlay.  I sealed the top of it.  How do you like my visualization help?  Lol.  I was trying to figure out how I wanted the sink and faucet to lay out.

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I am waiting on some of the rough in work to be complete so I can do the finishing work.  I have tons of finishing, nitpicky things to do.  Things are heating back up over here in our old house.  Stay tuned for more developments!

Andrea

Work to begin again….

So, my blog has been dormant for several months.  Yes, I know.  Instead of plying you with excuses and listing everything that has happened between now and then, I will spare you (because I hate reading other people’s excuses when they pick up their blog again) and just inform you that work is going to start up on our house August 29th!

In a nutshell, I filed to receive Louisiana Rehabilitation Tax Credits.  We have been approved and most of our work is lined up to commence and be finished by the end of the year.  August 29th, I have a foundation repair service coming to remove the rotted sill on the front corner of the house and back corner of the porch in the back.  Having these sills repaired will be the catalyst to our other rehab projects.  We could not repair the porch, columns, paint, etc., until the foundation was repaired. 

After the foundation repair, you shall see a new roof, paint and other small projects coming to fruition.  Needless to say, I am very excited!  So, forthcoming will be a post on Louisiana Rehabilitation Tax Credits how to apply and who is eligible and after that, I will be blogging and posting pictures of our progress.

Stay tuned….

Projects – 2008 in Review

I was sitting around trying to think about what we did all year.  It seems like 2008 was a slow year for us as far as the DIY scene was concerned.  In the early part of the year, around March, we spent a lot of time getting construction bids and filling out mountains of paperwork for our construction loan, only for the subprime mortgage crisis to hit and, in the end, we ended up scratching the whole deal.  I had to go back through my pictures to see what exactly we DID accomplish this year.  I was glad to find proof that our year was not wasted.  Here is a pictorial review of our year:

January:

Finished the rent house (Hallelujah!) and took our three year old employee to Chuck-E-Cheese.  Hey, we had to pay her somehow for all that painting she did!

chuck e cheese

employee viv

February:

We celebrated our five year anniversary

anniversary flowers

March:

My birthday!  Ahem….anyway.  In 8 hours, I cleaned, primed and put two coats of paint on the living room walls.  It wouldn’t have taken me 8 hours normally except that I: 1) painted alone; 2) pushed a very heavy 10 foot ladder around the room 8 times while I painted the middle and top of the room …twice! I have 13 feet ceilings.  [is it 13 foot, or 13 feet?]

living room bay

fireplace living room

lr bay

lr fireplace

April:

In April, I redid an ugly 80’s dresser for Vivian’s room and, for storage, we revamped an old shelf my brother made many years ago by adding crown moulding to it and painting it.

Vivian's dresser

old shelf

shelf finished

May:

We took down the ugly drop ceiling in the attic.   We also painted the Master Bedroom.

drop ceiling

master bedroom before

master bedroom in progress

June:

I sanded, repainted and recovered an old chair I bought for $5.00 at a junk store.  I also managed to tick off the entire Ratcliff family and get called a potstirrer.   Hahaha….that’s definitely a new one for me!

old chair

chair finished

July:

I started this blog. Yay!  I pulled a metal tray on wheels out of the garbage and remade it into a plant stand for my porch.  Click here for the details and pictures.  Even my husband could not believe I wanted something this ugly.  But it turned out well.

My new plant stand

My new plant stand

August:

We went to the Philippines.  What a life changing experience!  Click here to see more photos of the trip.  In case you cannot figure out who I am, I am the very white girl in the middle!

handumanan

handumanan

September:

Vivian’s Birthday.   Hurricane Gustav hit Cenla.  That was very interesting.  It took us about a month to recover and get all of the debris cleared and everything back to normal.  I can’t complain though, we did not endure anything like New Orleans did.  Click the link above to see pictures of that fun.

October:

Was definitely not a project month.  I was caught up watching the media and reading the news regarding  local and national politics.  I did get a call from the Louisiana Historic Preservation Office in Baton Rouge telling me that they want to put my street on the National Register.  Which reminds me…..I need to give her a call.  That nomination is supposed to be sent to Washington in April.  I am definitely going to help make sure that happens!

Precious!

Precious!

November:

I repainted and reappointed the guest room and stripped a fireplace mantel.

Spare room before

Spare room - almost done

December:

We worked on the attic/loft area so we can add another bathroom upstairs.  Steven put up two porch lights in the back.  Steven stripped a door and a transom down to the bare wood.  We also stripped some paint in the hall that was caked on to the wainscoting.  Click here for December’s project pictures.

I guess all in all it was not a bad year.  We did not get as much as we wanted accomplished.  We didn’t nearly come close to the amount of work we did in 2007.  Oh well, put it on the list!  It will get done eventually!

Andrea

Fix one problem — create three more

I guess it is just the Murphy’s Law of old houses, or any house for that matter, that when you fix one thing, you create three more different problems.  Case in point would be our back porch light.  I guess you really can’t call it a porch light.  It is (or should I say was) a light bulb hanging from a chain.  This light bulb has been an eyesore the two years we have lived here.  Why did we not get to it sooner?  If you are asking me this question, you do not own an old house!  🙂  I have a short “needs to be done NOW” list and a longer list named “Eyesores”.  Unfortunately, the light bulb was on the Eyesore list, so it did not get top priority.  Now that we have the HVAC unit replaced, almost the entire interior of the house de-wallpapered and painted, and other misc. items updated, this week we were able to concentrate on some of the lesser priorities like back porch lights and hanging curtain rods. 

Anyway, back to the problem.  We thought that this would be an easy job.  Just take down the old fixture and put up the new, right?  HAHAHAHAHA!  I am not sure of all of the specifics (I am definitely not the family electrician, Steven is and I was not asking questions!), but I was sent back to Lowes to get more supplies while Steven worked on the wiring.  We were only going to put up one light because we were not sure if the wiring in the other chain was working or not.  But, since I was back at Lowes, I decided to go ahead and buy the matching lantern.  Since we were going to have to rewire one, we (I guess I really mean “I”, because there really was no “we” to this decision when I made it standing in the aisle at Lowes) might as well do both.  As I was standing there, my cell phone rang, it was Steven, he said to go ahead and pick up the second light.  I told him I was looking at it in my buggy. Great minds think alike, huh?  So there is the “we” part. 

When I got home, I brought the lantern in the house.  My four year old must have overheard some fussing from Steven while I was gone because when I sat the light down on the table, she found it humorous.  She laughed all the way out the back door to inform her daddy that mama bought another light and he was going to have to put TWO of them up!  Little skunk! 😀

After it was all said and done, I have two nice lanterns lighting up  my back porch tonight.  In fact, I turned them on early tonight just so everyone can pass by and envy them!  Happy New Year!

Click here  to see the entire set.

PS: Since I don’t understand it all completely, I left all of the glorious rewiring details out.  Needless to say, it will be a long time before I add another project to the “Honey-Do-List”. 😀