Rough Opening – Living Room Window

Day #94

September 1, 2019 – We installed the stud framing and header for a new living room window today. The rough opening size is 7 feet wide by 4 feet high. This is a fairly large window and should provide a great view. With the new sliding door alongside we should also have plenty of natural light.

Exterior Wall
Exterior wall framing in progress.

Throughout the build we had several guest carpenters, helpers and Labor Day Revelers on site.

Guest Carpenter
Guest carpenter nailing up the window header.
Guest Carpenter
Personalized window header!
Helpers and Labor Day Revelers.
Rough Opening
Living room window from the inside.
Rough Opening
Living room rough opening from the outside.
Lots of helpers closing in the opening.
Helpers and Labor Day Revelers closing in the opening.

Luckily, we were able to cover the opening before the Hurricane Dan Rain Storm blew in.

No Rain!
…and then the annual Hurricane Dan Rain Storm blew in.

The front wall demolition and repair is complete from the old kitchen door across to the bathroom wall. This encompasses the entire section where the original porch roof connected. Due to the lack of slope on the old roof, we experienced a long lasting roof leak along this wall. Now, I am happy to report that all of the rotted wood, mold and wet insulation has been removed. The area is re-framed and we are ready to continue the new porch roof!

Living Room Window Demo

Day #93

August 30, 2019 – Continuing to prepare for the next roof section on the new porch, today’s plan includes living room window demo. Because we have disturbed the mice living in the attic I have to start out with the mice eradication image.

Mouse #1
Attic Mouse no more!

Let this be a warning to anymore of you mice out there. We have a zero tolerance policy in effect! Sorry…

Before I can do the living room window demo, I need to remove an electric outlet that is in the way. Up in the attic, I disconnected and removed more of the two conductor wire that feeds the outlet. In the process, I came across more burn spots on the insulation.

Old Wiring
More old wiring with burn marks.

After it was disconnected I removed the old outlet. When the living room window demo and re-framing is complete, new wiring and outlets will be installed in this area.

Old Outlet
Old electric outlet.

With this receptacle removed I cleaned out the rest of the rotted top plate. The nails sticking out of the ends of the roof rafters were cut out with a hack saw. In order to fit in the new top plate I had to jack up the living room ceiling. I used a piece of old 2×4 oak wall stud to replace the top plate. It went pretty smoothly.

Top Plate Rot
Rotted top plate, rafter and ceiling joist in exterior wall.
Nails sticking out of the end of a rotted roof rafter.
Ceiling Jack
Jacking up the ceiling joists to make room for a new top plate.
New Top Plate
New to plate installed.

Living Room Window Removed!

With the top plate repaired I removed more of the oak planking and eventually the living room window. At the end of the day we put up a tarp to temporarily cover the opening for the night.

Living Room Window Demo
Living room window demo.
Living Room Window Demo
Closed in with a trap for the night.

When we return, We’ll be framing up the front wall and creating the rough opening for the new living room window. Y’all come back now….

Temporary Front Door

Cot-Taj-Mahal Renovation

Day #92

August 25, 2019 – After removing the “snake tarp” I reinstalled the old door frame, metal door and screen door. The temporary front door is inside the rough opening for the new sliding door.

Entry Door Rough Opening
Rough opening for the new entry door.

I had to patch a small area of rotted wood on the threshold before I covered it with treated plywood. The threshold is a little high in the center so it will need some additional work before we put in the new door. Shouldn’t be to hard to level it out.

High Performance Wood Putty
High performance wood putty patch at threshold.

After the old door was reinstalled I closed in the remainder of the opening with exterior grade plywood and covered the area with Lowe’s building wrap. This will keep us dry and the temporary front door will keep us secure until the new door shows up.

Frame - Temporary Entry Door

Metal Door - Temporary Entry Door
The existing metal door is reinstalled.
Screen Door
The screen door was next.
Temporary Entry Door
Temporary entry door dried back in for the week.

Next weekend is the Labor Day Holiday weekend. Family and friends will be visiting so I’m not sure how much renovation we will get done. We always have a great time on Labor Day and I’m sure this holiday will be no different. Everybody drive safely and keep an eye out for the poe poe police.

Entry Door Rough Opening

Day #91

August 24, 2019 – Before the roof framing can continue, we must repair the front wall along the length of the living room. The majority of this wall is rotted out from years of water leaking through the old porch roof. We’ve been working on this for several weekends but I think we are nearing the end of the rotted section. After framing the rough opening for the new entry door, and removing living room window, I think we will have all the rotted wood repaired.

This morning I started removing the siding and oak planking around the front door. I removed the screen door, the front door and the door frame. The door frame came out in one piece. We will be able to re-use it, temporarily, while we wait on the delivery of the new door.

Front Door Demo
Screen door, front door and frame removed.
Front Door Frame
The front door frame in one piece!

I hit another big section of rotted oak planking next to the living room window. This was the end of the old porch. Basically, in this area, any water that hit the old porch roof was rolling backward into the exterior wall. It’s a mess!

Rotted Wood
Hopefully the last section of rotted wood.
Rotted Wood Planking
Close up of the rotted oak planking near the living room window.

Rough Opening

Near the end of the day I got the rough opening studs, header and jack studs put together and installed in the opening. The new entry door rough opening is 72″×80″. To re-use the old door and frame I had to increase the opening height three inches to 83″. Once I have the new entry door I can block the opening down to 80″ so that it fits.

Entry Door Rough Opening
Entry door rough opening framing in progress.

Before we left for dinner we installed a “snake tarp” across the opening. Thankfully there is no rain in the forecast this evening. We are hoping that the “snake tarp” keeps the snakes that live under the cottage from coming in. Tomorrow I will re-install the old door and close up the opening for the week.

Snake Tarp - Entry Door Rough Opening
Entry door rough opening covered with a “Snake Tarp” for the night.

Before dinner we stopped at Lowe’s in Lewistown and placed the order for the new sliding entry door. We purchased a Pella 350 Series Vinyl Sliding Patio Door. Delivery will take 3 to 4 weeks. It’s very exciting!

Tomorrow I will re-install the old door frame, door and screen door and temporarily close in the remainder of the opening while we wait on the delivery of the new door.

Wall Demo Continues

I decided to split this day into two posts. In part one we continue the wall demo. In part two I complete the porch decking.

Day #90 – Part 1

August 18, 2019 – When my Demo Boss arrived, we continued the wall demo in the living room. In the process, we uncovered more rotted wood and some black mold where the old porch tied in. We expected this because this area has been leaking for what seems like years. Some of you may remember that when it rained outside, there was just as much rain on the porch under that old roof!

Demo Crew
Demo Boss continuing the wall demo.
Wall Demo
Wall demo along the exterior living room wall.
Black Mold
Black mold inside the living room wall.

I am thinking that this section contains the worst of the rotted framing that we will encounter. In one section, the top plate of the wall has rotted to dust. When we vacuumed away the rot we found the roof rafter and ceiling joist in this area had no support. They are hanging in mid air. Ugghhh!

No Top Plate
Rotted out top plate.
Wall Demo - Wood Rot
No top plate. No roof rafter or ceiling joist support in this area.

The new sliding entrance door will be located in this section of wall. Have no fear, the mold and rotted wood will be removed and a new rough opening will be framed up. The old green wire and outlet will be replaced as the wall demo advances.

Now on to Part 2 completion of the porch decking.

Carpenter Bee Damage

Day #88

August 11, 2019 – Not much doing today. We finished up some shingle demolition and then tarped over the roof to keep things dry. Interestingly, we came across a couple pieces of wood from the roof demo that a Carpenter Bee drilled into.

Carpenter Bee Damage
Carpenter Bee damage.

It’s pretty amazing (and pretty destructive) how deep these bees can drill. Once we have everything complete we’ll have to see if they continue to bore through the new siding. We may have to go on a Carpenter Bee extermination mission.

Many thanks to my Roofing Crew…! I know you guys drive a long way to come down to help out. I really appreciate it. Your hard work saves me hours of time in this renovation process. One day we will be done and we’ll sit back and enjoy the new digs! It’s a promise, cee….

Next weekend I have to relocate two electric switches at the living room door. One controls the outside light and one controls the living room overhead lights. This will allow us to continue the exterior wall demolition and repair in preparation for a new sliding entry door. There is a rats nest of junction boxes up in the ceiling so I’m sure it will take me some time to figure out how they are wired and the best way to relocate them. Stay tuned …

For more about the Carpenter Bee click here: Xylocopinae

Roof and Wall Demo Continues

Day #87

August 10, 2019 – Today the plan includes continuing the roof and wall demo but first we need to finish the new kitchen window. This closes in the big hole we made yesterday.

New Kitchen Windows
Third new kitchen window is installed.

After the window was complete, the roof and wall demo commenced. My roofing crew started removing shingles and I concentrated on the wall demo. It’s great to see the youngsters having fun together.

Roof and Wall Demo
My roofing crew looks very good but they seem to be having to much fun.

Demolition of the first living room window and the exterior wall went very smoothly. I got the window out in one piece and the rotted wood removed from this section. I discovered the rotten wood back in October of 2018. It feels good to finally remove it. Probably smells better too!

Rotting Wood
Rotten wood by the living room window.
First Living Room Window
First living room window and oak planking demolition.

I closed in with new stud framing and exterior plywood wall sheathing. The cottage is framed, old school, with full 2″×4″ rough sawn oak studs. To make things “dimensionally” easier I ripped full 4″ studs from some wider stock. This creates more waste but it’s much easier to line stuff up with the existing structure.

Roof and Wall Demo - New Studs & Sheathing
New living room wall framing and exterior sheathing.

With today’s roof and wall demo complete, my crew took a break out in the front yard before heading out to J.P. Edwards for some dinner.

Roof and Wall Demo Crew
Roof and wall demo crew on break.

Tomorrow we will finish up the shingle demo and tarp over the roof to keep things dry. Next weekend I hope to the continue the exterior wall demo, remove the living room door and frame in the rough opening for a new Pella sliding door. Keeping it going.

Roof Demolition – Existing Kitchen

Tarps After Roof Demolition

Day #64

June 15, 2019 – Before the start of the new roof framing the existing kitchen roof will need “disconnected” from the main cottage roof. Today I wanted to concentrate on the miscellaneous roof demolition to accomplish this isolation.

To remove the remaining fascia boards at the gable end it was necessary to remove the roof above the old kitchen door. I took off the shingles then cut the roof deck parallel to the gable. Once the deck boards were removed I was able to cut and remove the joist in front of the fascia and then the fascia itself.

Misc Roof Demolition
Roofing removed. Deck boards cut for removal along the gable end.
Deck Boards Removed - Roof Demolition
Deck boards removed, Rafter exposed at the base of the fascia boards.

With the rafter and fascia boards removed I moved on to exposing the ends of the new structural beam. Each end of the new beam needs anchored to the top plates of the walls, on both sides. I continued the roof demolition by removing the shingles on each side of the new beam exposing the roof deck. Cutting and removing the deck boards exposed the new beam.

Structural Beam - Roof Demolition
Exposing the ends of the new beam for anchoring to the top plates of the wall on each side.

And then the rain started….

Just as I got the beam exposed it started to rain. We quickly covered the holes in the roof with tarps. Luckily we didn’t take on any water. With rain on and off for the rest of the day the work pace slowed down to a crawl. I got three of the four beam / wall anchors installed. I’ll have to get the last one installed on a better day.

Rain Tarps - Roof Demlition
Quickly tarped over the roof openings because of the rain.

With the continued threat of rain we decided to demo the wall sheathing on the living room wall. The siding on this exterior wall was removed yesterday. This area was under tarps and staying dry so we went for it.

Light Stripes
Light coming through the wall as the roofing paper on the outside is removed.
Wall Sheathing Removed
Exterior wall sheathing boards removed.

After we finished removing the exterior wall sheathing boards from the living room wall we closed up for the night.

Rain Tarps
All buttoned up for the night.

All in all it was a pretty good day. Tomorrow we will start the front posts and beams at “Brenda’s Deck” and the porch ceiling / roof framing. Dam the rain!

Exterior Wall Demolition

Day #63

June 14, 2019 – Earlier in the week I placed a small lumber order for the start of the roof framing. To pass the time while waiting on the delivery I continued the exterior wall demolition.

The siding along the exterior living room was easily removed with a pry bar and hammer.

We’ve come a long way with the demolition. Here’s a look back at the start of the exterior demolition.

Exterior Wall Demolition
Exterior wall demolition at living room wall.
Siding Removed - Exterior Wall Demolition
Siding removed from exterior living room wall.

Bird Nest Relocation

Since we still have a bird nesting on the old porch roof support along the exterior kitchen wall I had to perform a bird nest relocation. The nest has 4 eggs in it. I was able to move it to the big oak tree in front of the cottage but I don’t think the mother bird found it. Sorry bird family….

Bird Nest Relocation
Bird nest relocation kit.
Bird Nest
Bird nest with four eggs.
Relocated Nest
Relocated bird nest in the big oak tree in front.

The Lowe’s delivery guy showed up around 1:30 PM with the lumber order. He off loaded it by the porch and was on his way in like 10 minutes. In and out no problem. The big stone parking area is working out great for these big truck deliveries.

Lowe's Delivery
Lowe’s delivery on our big parking area.

Exterior Wall Demolition continued…

With the Lowe’s guy on his way,and the nest relocated, I was able to continue the exterior wall demolition along the kitchen. The siding came off just as easy as on the living room wall. Once I removed the exterior window trim the old kitchen window came right out. It was all pitched into the dumpster.

Window Removed - Exterior Wall Demolition
Siding and kitchen window removed.
Old Kitchen Window
Say goodbye to the old kitchen window.

I quit for the evening around 6:30 PM. After I got cleaned up, Robrandi, Brenda from “Brenda’s Deck” and I, headed to Wingman’s Brew N Que for dinner. The discussion centered around the asking price and the square feet amount of “Brenda’s Deck” that will be rented out. Hummmm…?

Living Room Ceiling Support

Day #60

June 7, 2019 – Not a whole lot going on today. I managed to get the living room ceiling tied back into the new structural beam. We placed a temporary 4×4 post under the living room ceiling to hold it up while we installed the new structural beam. With the ceiling tied back in I removed the 4×4. Voila, there you have it, ceiling support in the living room.

Temporary 4×4 Post
Temporary 4×4 post holding up living room ceiling.
Living Room Ceiling Support Beam
The living room ceiling support beam meets the new structural beam.
Joist Hanger
Installation of a new joist hanger to tie in the living room ceiling to the new structural beam.
Ceiling Jack
Jacking up the living room ceiling to flush it with the bottom of the new structural beam.
Ceiling Support Tied In
Living Room ceiling tied into the new support beam. Temporary post is removed.

Before night fall I was able to get some more demolition done at the gable end of the living room. We are getting closer to tearing out the walls.

Gable End Demo
The gable end is now open and the new structural beam is clearly visible.

Next up is the installation of a new ridge beam to support the new kitchen ceiling.