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.
Throughout the build we had several guest carpenters, helpers and Labor Day Revelers on site.
Luckily, we were able to cover the opening before the 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
August 17, 2019 – In order to continue the exterior wall repair and framing for the new sliding door it is necessary to do a little electric upgrade and relocation. Near the front door we have two switches. One controls the overhead living room lights and the other controls an outside light. We can remove the outside light but the overhead light switch needs relocated.
Originally there was a 30 amp fuse box to power the entire cottage. I upgraded the 30 amp fuse box to a 100 amp panel way back in 2004. When the old fuse box was in service there was a circuit for the well pump, a circuit for the electric range and only three other circuits to power the remainder of the cottage. I knew at that point that an electric upgrade and complete rewiring was in our future.
The cottage was wired back in the 1950’s with two conductor cloth covered wire. In this type of wiring there is a hot wire and a neutral wire but no ground wire. There are numerous junction boxes in the ceiling. In some of these, the connections are soldered and covered with fabric based electrical tape. In others the connections have wire nuts. Some of the wire looks like there is burn marks on the outside of the insulation.
After spending most of the day up in the attic I figured out the routing of one of the circuits and I was able to begin replacing old wire. I relocated the overhead light switch and added a new outlet by the front door. I was also able to replace the “toaster” outlet wire that Fanny used to blow the circuit breaker on. That one had some serious burn marks. It’s a wonder we haven’t burned the place down!
The electric upgrade is well underway!
Tomorrow when my Demo Crew arrives we will continue the demolition on the exterior wall. In addition I am hoping to finish the Trex decking installation in the last section of deck, i.e. “Brenda’s Deck”.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
October 27, 2018 – Arrived at the cottage this morning at 9:30. It rained all the way from Harrisburg. The sole purpose of this weekend’s visit is for cottage winterization.
Our cottage winterization consists of turning off and draining the hot water heater, draining and blowing out the water lines and placing antifreeze in all the drain traps. This usually takes a couple of hours. It was miserable in the rain but its done.
While waiting for the hot water heater to drain I did some more demolition in the living room. The wood sheathing in the exterior wall to the right of the window is rotting. There is white mold growing in the wall over the window. This window and the rotting wood are going to be removed to make way for a new sliding glass patio door. The sooner the better.
Hopefully it will not rain next weekend. I hope to install a temporary electric pole so the electric can be disconnected from the cottage. This will allow us to take the roof off the old kitchen. Stay tuned.
May 26, 2018 – Today, the #arsonsquad showed up and burned the 1950’s Yellow Couch. Codster stopped in for a visit and Henry got his first Cottage bath.
As far as the demolition / renovation went….
Outside the cottage, we broke up and removed the rest of the concrete slab by the living room door.
All of the Rhododendrons were cut down in front of the cottage. Unfortunately we knocked down a Cardinal nest in the process. Phil tried to relocate it to another rhododendron bush but we were not sure if that would work.
With the rhododendrons gone we can locate and tie in the sewer lateral from the new kitchen sink location.
May 19, 2018 – Today I removed the Warm Morning coal / wood stove. In it’s day it was an awesome stove and it certainly fulfilled it’s mission. Additionally, part of the drywall behind the stove was demo’d. More vintage newspaper was found underneath the stove.
We also turned on the water this weekend and discovered two leaking elbows underneath the cottage. These will need fixed on a future visit.
Cleaning out the dressers we discovered three baby mice. They immediately became fish food in the Juniata River. Needless to say, Robrandi freaked!