Monday, November 1, 2010

Knox Hill Project : Weekly Update

The 'appendage' is gone and the house is much happier for it
To say I'm tired today would be an understatement, but at the same time I'm extremely happy!
It may have looked nice 'once upon a time' but decades of neglect, rot and falling tree limbs has take their toll on it.

One of the biggest 'eyesores' has been the side porch on our house. Once upon a time it may have been nice but the columns were long gone, replaced with 4x4 posts and the entire thing was deteriorated. Several limbs had fallen on it from the trees the city failed to take down when they demoed the house behind us last year. The prior residents had used it as an outside storage area for junk and a carport and it obscured the original "inset" porch. We had to get this down before another winter took its toll on it. Also, because next spring this is where the new Carriage House wing will connect to the main house. Once we submit the plans, the cracked concrete porch will have to come our for the new footings for the addition.
As I removed the beaded board from the underside, I found tons of old birds nest and wasp nests throughout the structure. Amazingly however, no termites!

And we couldn't just 'pull the thing down' because it would have taken the side of the house with it. Even though this was built years ago it was not very well built. It was simply nailed on the side of the house. It was also heavy. In addition to the shingled roof added several years ago it was over a metal roof meaning a lot of weight was 'hanging' on the side wall of our house. I figure it was built between 1900 and 1910 based on materials. It had to be carefully 'deconstructed".
The beaded board came of easily and other than a few areas was in decent shape but as you can see the "framework' of the structure was seriously deteriorated

Not a difficult task, just very time and labor intensive. First I had to remove the roofing shingles that were put on (improperly I might add, it probably leaked from day one). They apparently just hammered the standing seam metal roof flat, covered it with tar paper and shingles. They uses a "ton' of nails, lots of tar and it was generally a mess. Because they left the metal roof on the long boards under it could not be simply removed without removing the metal roof. I found a quicker way by using a sawsall to cut between the boards (they were spaced slightly through the metal and then I could remove the boards. Of course with the metal on them they were heavy so I had the cut them in sections to be able to lift them safely.

The only east part was the beaded board under the roof which they barely put on. Fortunately most of the wood (beaded board) that was good is being recycled by a neighbor and one neighbor took the metal to the recycler so there will be little headed to a landfill. In fact the water logged wood  is being put throw a chipper and will go in our composting pile.
Nothing was "on center". Joists were way too apart and the whole thing was just "nailed' to the side of the house. If it hadn't of been made of old work it would have fallen down years ago.

All told it took 11 hours to "de-constuct" it but boy it was hard work! We also managed to get the new corner boards painted and hopefully, weather permitting, I can get them installed next week. I'm hoping we get one more warm day so I can take the nailing header off the side wall and clean and paint the siding in the area where the old porch was. I am so glad we got this done before the winter snows started.

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