Exterior Siding Demolition

Exterior Siding Demolition

Day #189

November 28, 2020 – Back outside today and working on exterior siding demolition. This will complete the removal of the remaining fiberboard siding. After the siding removal is complete I can finish the building wrap installation.

There was some exterior siding demolition at the location of the temporary electric drop on the south east corner. After that was complete, I moved over to the closet bump out. Finishing the building wrap on the closet I moved to the west end by the fire pit.

At the west end I had to work off of my scaffolding set up to reach the top of the gable end. Today’s exterior siding demolition was pretty straight forward. I didn’t have any surprises and I finished up the west end right around 4:15 PM.

Technically, I have one very small section of siding left to remove. It is on the east side where the pump house meets the cottage wall. It’s about 2′ × 3′ in size. This will be removed in the future when we install the new siding. So, for all intents and purposes the exterior siding demolition is complete!

The gallery below has ten images showing the outside of the cottage.

We probably won’t make it back down until sometime after Christmas. It’s just too busy around the holidays. Until next time…. take it easy!

Electrical Demo Above the Hallway

Day #172

October 4, 2020 – It’s Sunday and we decided to make it a short day at the cottage. I did a little more exploration and electrical demo above the hallway. Slowly but surely I am working may way towards the back of the cottage.

We have two, three way switches in the hallway, which control two light fixtures located at the bottom of the wall. We hardly ever use the lights so I totally forgot that we have these switches. While I was in the ceiling it took me a long time to figure out what is going on with this wring.

Electrical Demo 01
Electrical Demo

The picture above shows the wire for the three way switches. I guess they did not have three conductor wire back in the day. The white wire from one cable splits out and goes to a completely different box than the black wire. The black wire is wrapped in cloth tape. It is the same tape that we used to wrap the blades of our hockey sticks with. Pretty insane rig up! Once I figured it out I disconnected the power, removed the three way switches and the old wire.

It is amazing that we haven’t burned the place down. I’ll be happy when the electrical demo is complete and new wiring is done!

That was it for the weekend. We’ll be back next weekend with Jess, Phil and Henry plus the drink refrigerator is scheduled for delivery on October 13th. I think Phil’s birthday is coming up so don’t be surprised if we don’t do any construction work.

Let’s do some more demolition!

Day #146

July 22, 2020 – Just a short blog for the work today. Since we have the dumpster we want to get as much of the remaining demolition completed as possible. To that end, Jess and Phil are removing the old siding and I am taking out the living room and kitchen windows.

Siding Demolition
Siding demolition along the back of the cottage.

The last time we were removing the siding we stopped at this point. We have to finish setting up this scaffold section to remove the siding that remains on the gable end. Once that is complete we can continue around the corner towards the driveway.

Siding Demo Close UP
Close up of the siding removal.

Living Room Window

Above, removal of the living room window and time out for a beer.

Below, the framing to temporarily close up the living room window opening is ready to install.

Living Room Window

Above, the kitchen window demolition is next. Siding removal down to the next corner by the electric service conduit.

Below, the kitchen window is removed and the living room window is temporarily closed in.

Kitchen Window Demolition
Kitchen window demolition.

When I took out the kitchen window we found Mikey Mouse’s brother, Mortimer Mouse hiding behind the window frame. Similar to Mickey, he has seen better days.

Kitchen Window Demolition
Skeletal remains of Mickey’s brother, Mortimer Mouse.

After the siding demolition we install tyvek building warp to keep the elements from entering the outside walls.

Siding Demo
Building warp installed on the exterior wall.

That does it for today. I guess this post was a little longer than I though it would be. Oh well…

Gutter, Downspouts and the Demolition Continues.

Day #145

July 21, 2020 – There is a lot of work scheduled for today. Spouting Unlimited will be installing our seamless gutter and downspouts. Jess and Phil are here to continue the demolition of the old siding and we will be starting the removal of the living room wallboard and ceiling. We have the dumpster back and we need to fill it up.

After our morning coffee we started in the living room, removing the ceiling. It’s not drywall but some type of fibrous wall board. Years ago I had a sample tested for Asbestos. It came up negative.

Ceiling Demolition
Removing the ceiling wallboard in the living room.

Mickey Mouse

Over the years we have had our share of rodent invaders, i.e. Mickey Mouse and his friends. Taking down the ceiling we discovered the remains of this little guy nestled underneath a batt if insulation. I guess he settled down for a long winter’s nap and never woke up.

Mickey Mouse
Skeletal remains of Mickey Mouse.

Gutters & Downspouts

About 9:00 AM the Spouting Unlimited crew showed up. They got to work right away. It’s pretty cool to see them roll out a 60 foot long piece of gutter out of the back of their truck. The installation went smoothly and in a couple of hours we had all of our gutter and downspouts installed, complete with leaf guard.

Seamless Gutter
Rolling out the seamless gutter.
Gutter Installation
Hanging the gutter along the porch.
Far end of a 60 foot long piece of seamless gutter.

As the afternoon wore on Jess, Phil and Robrandi made short work of the wallboard in the living room.

Living Room Demo
Living room ceiling, wallboard and insulation removed.

Early in the evening we decided to hold off until tomorrow to remove the living room window. It’s a lot to remove the window and temporarily close it back in. I did not want to be working in the dark.

Living Room Window
Living room window slated for removal.

After a good days work we baked some cauliflower crust pizza’s on my old Weber Grill. We have a Emile Henry Ceramic Pizza Stone that is made for the grill. It does a great job!

Homemade Pizza
Dinner pizza ready to be baked on the grill.

Goodbye Deer Poster – The End of a Era!

Deer Poster

July 5, 2020 – Today brings us to the end of an era. This deer poster has been hanging in the Cot-Taj-Mahal on the living room wall for a long long time. I’ve been going to the cottage for at least 40 years. This deer poster may have been hanging for over 60 years!

It is old, yellowing and it smells horrible. This was the criteria that lead us to the decision to throw it in the dumpster.

Good Bye Deer Poster…

Deer Poster
Henry giving his last respects.

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.