Closet Interior Rigid Insulation

Dat # 164 & #165

September 22nd and 23rd, 2020 – Well, I’m back from Lowe’s with the rigid insulation for the closet interior. It’s Kingspan’s 1″ thick moisture resistant GreenGuard XPS so it is. I’ll show you the photos and I’ll get on to the next blog.

GreenGuard XPS Rigid Insulation


Closet Interior Rigid Insulation

Rigid insulation installed in the closet interior.


Closet Interior Rigid Insulation


I got all the Carpenter Ant sawdust removed and the rigid insulation installed. At some point down the line, I’ll install the lauan paneling and corner trim and then the shelving and closet rod. Until then it’s back into the living room for more electric rough in and finish wall paneling.

Wall Insulation & More Carpenter Ant Damage

Day #163

September 21, 2020 – With the completion of the kitchen and living room windows along the railroad side, I can drop back and install the wall insulation. This will only take me an hour or so. After that I will start taking the inside of the closet bump out apart. We suspect there will be more carpenter ant damage just waiting in the walls.

The wall insulation along the railroad side of the kitchen and living room is almost complete.

Wall Insulation
Wall insulation on the railroad side.

The closet bump out that I wrote about before straddles two different rooms, the living room and the first bedroom. In the image below the inside of the closet is visible on the right side of the photo.

I reframed the roof of this bump out because of carpenter ant damage to the roof joists. The ants don’t really eat the wood but they chew through it leaving sawdust behind.

Wall Insulation
The inside of the closet is exposed in the living room.

To expose any damage I removed the paneling on the inside of the closet.

Closet Paneling
Removing paneling on the inside of the closet.

Carpenter Ant Sawdust

As we suspected there were piles of carpenter ant sawdust inside each of the joist spaces.

Carpenter Ant Damage
Carpenter Ant sawdust in the joist space. Eight inches thick!
Carpenter Any Sawdust
Carpenter Ant sawdust.
Carpenter Ant Damage
Water damage and more ant sawdust.

I spent the rest of my time today removing all the paneling inside the closet and cleaning up the sawdust. With the interior framing exposed I will be able to insulate the closet interior. Unfortunately, the studs in these walls are sideways so the joist spaces are only a 1-1/2 deep. I will have to use a rigid foam insulation in these spaces.

Now I’m off to Lowe’s for rigid insulation and some lauan paneling. See you soon.

Last Living Room Window Installation

Day # 162

September 20, 2020 – Yesterday was the last kitchen window and today is the last living room window installation. I have a little more work to do on the window opening but it won’t be bad.

I already have the temporary ceiling support installed to allow me to begin. First up, I remove the temporary plywood and framing that secures the opening.

Temporary Plywood & Framing
Removal of temporary plywood and framing.

Once the opening is open, I frame in a new jack stud on the right side of the window. The new window is not wide as the old window so I don’t have to replace the header. The new window is also slightly narrower than the old window so I have to raise up the window sill. You can see the new framing in the image below.

New Framing
Framed opening for the new living room window.

On the outside of the new framing I install some plywood sheathing to close up the side and bottom of the framed opening.

Plywood Sheathing
Exterior plywood sheathing.

With the plywood sheathing complete I set the window in the opening, level it up and nail it through the nailing flange.

Last Living Room Window
Last living room window from the inside.

After the flange is nailed the window is sealed with Pell Smart Flashing Tape.

Last Living Room & Kitchen Windows
The last living room and kitchen windows.

The windows in the kitchen and living room are now complete. I can now drop back and install the wall insulation and eventually the paneling on the railroad side.

The remaining windows are in the bathroom and bedrooms located in the rear of the cottage. They will get installed as the work progresses back through the cottage. That’s where I’m at.

Last Kitchen Window Installation

Day #161

September 19, 2020 – Today, I am installing the last new kitchen window. This is one of the eight windows that I brought down yesterday. The framing for this window opening was complete awhile back. It is ready for the new window. The installation should be pretty straight forward.

Temporary Plywood
Temporary plywood covering the window opening.

Before I set the window in place, I remove the temporary plywood covering the opening.

Outside Kitchen Wall
Removing the plywood covering the window opening.
Window Opening
Temporary plywood removed.

Once the temporary plywood is removed I can install the Tyvek building wrap.

Tyvek Installation
Tyvek installation.

After the building wrap, I set the window in the opening. Once I have it level, I fasten it in place by nailing through the nailing flange. I complete the installation with Pella Smart Flash window and door flashing tape.

Last New Kitchen Window
The last new kitchen window is set in place.

The kitchen windows are complete. Now I will move on to the last living room window.

Balance of New Windows Have Arrived

Day #159 & #160

September 16th and 18th, 2020 – The balance of our new windows have arrived. I picked them up at the Mechanicsburg Home Depot on Wednesday and delivered them to the cottage on Friday.

Balance of New Windows
Picking up the balance of our new windows.

There are eight (8) windows in this order. One kitchen, one living room, one bathroom, and five bedroom windows. I am working my way back to the bedrooms from the kitchen so the bedroom windows will be stored for awhile. ( Other window installation took place here and here. )

To unload the windows I pulled the trailer alongside the porch. With some 2×4’s laid down, I slid the windows over to the porch.

Unloading Rig Up
Window unloading rig up along the side of the porch.

Here are the balance of our new windows stacked against the outside wall. Simple as that!

New Windows Unloaded
New windows unloaded and stacked on the porch.

Next up, the window installation continues….

Two Hose Bibbs for the New Porch

Day #157 & 158

August 29th and 30th, 2021 – Since we built the new porch onto the front of the cottage, we’ve been without the capability to hook up a hose. This weekend the goal is to install two readily accessible hose bibbs along the front of the porch. I’m combining two work days into one post to provide better flow.

I am using PEX tubing for the first time. It has a higher burst strength and is better suited for our situation than CPVC pipe.

First I rigged up two mounting boards for the sillcocks. I mounted one at each end of the porch. Nothing fancy yet. We still have to put siding on the outside knee wall so these may have to be adjusted in the future.

Hose Bibb

Mounted Hose Bibb
One hose bibb at the west end of the porch.
Mounted Hose Bibb
One hose bibb at the east end of the porch.

Next I rolled out the 3/4″ PEX tubing. The porch is over 60 feet long and there is on piece of pex tubing from hose bibb to hose bibb. It is definitely a challenge to work with when you are by yourself. It keeps wanting to roll back up on itself.

Pex Tubing Roll
PEX tubing ready to roll out.
Pex Tubing
PEX tubing stretched out along the front of the porch.

Underneath the Porch

Once the tubing was connected to the hose bibbs and secured up under the porch I made the turn back towards the pump house. With PEX tubing you can use these 90° bends in place of elbows (image below).

Long Pex Run
PEX tubing under the porch and the hose bibbs connected.
Pex Tubing
PEX tubing run back to the pump house from the front of the porch.

Back at the pump house I turned off the electric to the well pump and opened the faucet in the bathroom to relieve the pressure in the system. Once the water stopped flowing from the faucet I knew that it was safe to cut into the existing CPVC piping.

Expansion Tank
Expansion tank and CPVC connection inside the pump house.
Cutting open the CPVC piping to drain the water.

Once the existing CPVC pipe was out of the way I connected the PEX hose bibb run to the pump house expansion tank and then to the remaining CPVC supply piping.

Pex Tube Connections
Connections at the pump house.
Pex Tube Connection
Connection at the old CPVC piping and the new PEX tubing.

I double checked all my connections and fired the pump back up. The system came up to pressure, the pump stopped and voila there were no leaks! The image below is on the east end of the porch.

Hose Bibb an Hose
Completed hose bibb at the east end of the porch.

This image (below) shows the hose connection at the west end of the porch.

Hose Bibb and Hose
Finished hose bibb at the west end of the porch.

Next weekend is Labor Day Weekend. Folks will be coming in so there will be no work, just celebration. See you back in a week or so.

Porch Knee Wall Framing Starts!

Day #156

August 21, 2021 – I started the day working outside framing the porch knee walls. I had a small supply of treated 2×4’s and the weather was great so why not.

Porch Knee Wall Framing
Porch knee wall framing.

When it is complete, our new porch will be screened in. The screens will fit between the porch knee wall and the beams above. On the outside, these walls will be clad in the same siding we will use on the cottage walls.

Knee Wall Framing
Two sections of knee wall framing.

On the inside I am planning on plenty of electric outlets to power things up and provide everyone a means to charge their all important cell phones.

Knee Wall View From Inside
Knee Wall – View from the porch.

After I ran out of treated 2×4’s I went back inside and framed up the temporary ceiling support framing at the location of the last new living room window. Much like the last kitchen window this allows me to demo the old window opening, frame the new opening, and eventually install the window.

Living Room Window Ceiling Support

Temporary Ceiling Bracing
Temporary Ceiling Bracing
Temporary Ceiling Framing
Temporary ceiling support complete. Ready to demo the opening.

The porch knee walls are on hold until I get more treated lumber (Lewistown Lowe’s was out of stock). Henry, Studger and Phil are coming in this evening so that will conclude the work on the Cot-Taj-Mahal renovation for the weekend. Be back in a week or so…

Floor Patching and Chokey Framing

Day #155

Back in October of 2018 I did some demolition in the old kitchen. During the demo I discovered some carpenter ant / termite damage. Today I will be patching the floor in this area and framing the rest of the water heater enclosure i.e. the “Chokey”.

Removing the damaged wood the resulted in a hole with multiple levels. I patched the various levels, one at a time up to the bottom of the 3/4″ tongue & groove pine flooring. The images below walk you through the process.

Next up was the rest of the framing for the water heater enclosure. I am moving the water heater out of the back closet so I can turn it into a hallway with an outside door to the porch. The new location for the water heater is hear in the kitchen. I immediately dubbed it the “Chokey” as a tribute to Matilda. Mark my words, if you don’t behave you will be sent to the Chokey.

As you can see, nothing fancy about the framing. The section of floor that I patched above is right inside the enclosure.

Chokey Framing
Chokey framing a.k.a. the water heater enclosure.

Next weekend I will start the framing for the last new window in the living room. I think Henry, Studger and Phil will be visiting too, so I can’t guarantee that we will be working the whole weekend.

Kitchen Window Framing – Railroad Side

Day # 154

August 15, 2020 – Today I’ll be finishing the framing for the last new kitchen window. This window is located on the railroad (south) side of the cottage. There was an existing window in that location but the new one is slightly bigger. Because of the size difference I need to frame a new rough opening.

South Kitchen Wall
Electric outlet and old window opening in the south wall.

The outlet for the old kitchen stove is also located in this wall. We no longer need this outlet so it needs removed. The first order of business is to disconnect the electric, then remove the wire and then the outlet from the wall.

Outlet Removed
South wall stove outlet removed.

To keep the roof structure from moving while the new window opening is framed, I install some temporary roof support framing out in front of the opening.

Temporary Roof Support Framing
Temporary roof support framing.

With the temporary bracing in place I demolished and removed the header, jack and cripple studs from the old window opening.

Old Window Opening
Old windows opening (Background).
Kitchen Window Framing
Outside view of the south wall kitchen window opening.

Then, I re-frame a new header, with jack studs, and cripple studs for the new window.

New Kitchen Window Framing
New kitchen window framing at south wall.

Once the new kitchen window framing is complete I can remove the temporary roof support.

Roof Support Framing Removed
Temporary roof support framing removed.

The last thing today, for this opening, is to temporarily close it in until the new window arrives. And there you have it, the kitchen window framing is complete!

Kitchen Window Framing
Opening temporarily closed in and ready for a new window.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing some floor patching and finishing the “Chokey” framing for the Trenchbull. Yep.

Ceiling Insulation Take Two!

Day #153

August 09, 2020 – Just a short blog for today. I jumped back on the the kitchen ceiling insulation and I was able to finish it up. The rafter vents and the batt insulation are complete! Kitchen ceiling insulation take two….done! Check.

Kitchen Ceiling Insulation Take 2!
Kitchen Ceiling Insulation Take 2!
 Kitchen Ceiling Insulation Take 2!
Down to the last joist space.
Kitchen Ceiling Insulation
Kitchen ceiling insulation is complete!

Next up, the installation of the remaining kitchen window and the remaining living room window.