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.

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.

West End Wall Framing & the Porch Ceiling is Complete!

Day #142

July 3, 2020 – Having reached the far end of the deck with the aluminum ceiling panels I have to frame the west end wall in order to complete the porch ceiling. Similar to the dividing wall, the framing is pretty simple. We have a door opening flanked on each side by a knee wall. Later on we will be screening the porch and installing the screen doors to create a bug free haven.

West End Wall
Ceiling panels down to the west end wall.
West End Wall Framin
Framing for the door opening at the end wall.
End Wall Framing
Headers in the end wall framing.

Once the headers were installed I put up the PVC trim board above the door and completed the porch ceiling panels.

End Wall Framing 2
West End wall from the outside, PVC trim board installed on the inside.

I am out of treated lumber so the knee wall framing on each side of this door opening will have to wait. It was not necessary to have them in place to complete the ceiling.

Ceiling Panels Complete
Porch ceiling panels are complete!

We are taking the next several days off to spend time with family in the river. I’ll be back after the holiday. I hope everyone has a safe 4th of July!

Dividing Wall Framing on the Porch Deck

Junita River

Day #136

June 26, 2020 – The dividing wall on the deck separates the screened in porch section from the open section. The framing is pretty straight forward and includes a door opening flanked on each side by a knee wall. I need to complete this framing before I can continue with the porch ceiling.

Dividing Wall Framing
Bottom plate for the dividing wall.
Door Opening
Framing in the door opening.
Dividing Wall Knee Wall
Door header and knee wall framing, right side.
Knee Wall Left Side
Knee wall framing, left side.
Dividing Wall Headers
Header framing on the right side.

I finished up the dividing wall framing today. Now I can continue with the aluminum ceiling panels.

In case your interested, we had grilled Salmon and a nice Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Salad for dinner. The river looked awesome today, hence the off topic featured image.

Grilled Salmon and Sweet Potato Salad, It’s what’s for dinner!

A little housekeeping. This blog post highlights work that I did back in June. There has been a lot of work completed between then and now. I, know, I am way behind, like 6 months worth.

Some of the recipients of this blog are aware of the current progress and some are not. I have some “less busy” time coming up and I’d like to make a push to get the record caught up. If you get tired of these posts and you think there are too many, you can unsubscribe. I won’t be offended. If not, hang in there, I going on a blog post rampage!

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Glorious Festivus!
Blogmaster Gyeem Raj Du-Kamar

Gable End Framing & Plywood Sheathing

Gable End Framing

Day #71

June 28, 2019 – Continuing the dry in process I completed the gable end framing and plywood sheathing. This closes in the end wall of the new kitchen space.

Gable End Framing
Gable end at the new kitchen addition side.
Gable End Framing
Gable end framing in progress on the new kitchen addition side.
Plywood Sheathing
Installation of plywood sheathing on the gable end of the new kitchen addition.
Plywood Sheathing
Plywood sheathing completed at the gable end.
Plywood Sheathing
Completed plywood sheathing under the rake.

With the gable end framing completed, tomorrow I plan on installing two more porch roof rafters on the living room side. This will give me a total run of 16 feet of roof to close in. This makes it a lot easier when estimating and purchasing roof sheathing and felt paper. Once I complete these rafters and a little bit of miscellaneous roof framing we will be ready for roof sheathing.

Once again I got cleaned up and went to Angelo’s Restaurant for dinner. Tonight I had one of their Super Salads with grilled shrimp. The salad was good. They have a awesome house dressing!

Wall Framing – Kitchen Addition

Day #62

June 9, 2019 – Today we started the wall framing for the new kitchen addition. There is only two new walls but it’s exciting to see it starting to come together!

The first new section of wall framing is along the end of the cottage. This wall will have a window slightly smaller but generally the same configuration as the existing window. The operable panels will be sliding and there will be no divided light grilles.

Kitchen Addition - New Wall Section
First new wall section at the Kitchen addition.

The second section of new wall is along the front of the cottage. It too will have a window similar to the existing window. The window will be located over the kitchen sink and will also be a slider.

Kitchen Addition - New Wall Section
Wall framing along the front of the cottage. Window is located above the kitchen sink.

After the 2×4 stud were in place we covered them over with 5/8 inch plywood wall sheathing. We also covered the window openings to help keep the site secure. They will be cut out when the new windows arrive.

Plywood Wall Sheathing
Plywood wall sheathing installation.
Plywood Wall Sheathiing
View from above – Plywood wall sheathing installation.

At the end of the day we place our tarps back over the roof openings. Rain is in the forecast for next week but hopefully it will stay dry inside.

With the wall framing complete, next weekend I hope to start the roof framing on the new porch at the “Brenda’s Deck” section. Those of you vying for ownership is this prestigious section of the new deck will have to pay close attention for upcoming details.

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.

Structural Beam Day!

Day #59

June 2, 2019 – With good luck and lots of hard work we plan to have the structural beam installed by the end of the day.

We made any early morning run to the Lewistown Lowe’s to pick up the lumber and plywood to construct the beam.

Structural Beam Materials
Trip to Lowe’s for the structural beam materials.

Beam Construction

Our structural beam is constructed with three layers of 2×10’s separated by two layers of 1/2 inch plywood. The layers are glued with Loctite PL Urethane based adhesive. After gluing, it is nailed together with 16d nails. The nailing pattern is in three rows with the nails 8 inches on center. The length is 20 feet end to end. It is very heavy!

Building the Structural Beam
Constructing the structural beam on the deck framing.
Completed Structural Beam
Here is the completed structural beam. All 20 feet!

Beam Preparation

After the beam construction we set up some ladders and got ready to lift it into place. The fun part..! All of the necessary openings and holes were previously cut so the only thing that remained was getting it in there.

Roof Removed
Roof section over the living room removed for beam placement.
Roof Hole.
Hole cut in roof on the kitchen side to accept the new beam.

Beam Installation

“Beam Master” Troy hoisted the beam up into the roof opening. Apprentice “Beam Master” Ryan managed the anchor point of the come along. “Commander Gyeem Beam” operated the come along. With a lot of effort, some sweat, and some cursing the “Beam Team” managed to pull it into place.

Lifting the beam.
Lifted into the roof opening and balanced on a ladder.
Pulling the beam.
Pulled into place with a come along anchored on the opposite wall.
Beam In Place
The beam in place above the living room.

My thankx to Troy, Megan, Ryan, Angelie and Robrandi, a.k.a. the “Beam Team”, for your help. We wouldn’t have been able to get this thing in place without all of you guys.

The image below shows the 4×4 post we installed to temporarily support the living room ceiling. To the left of the post is “Beam Master” Troy in full regalia!

Beam Master
“Beam Master” Troy
The Beam Team
Part of the “Beam Team, incognito.

PS: As a follow up to a previous post, our snapping turtle friend, T.S. Snappy has officially moved into the puddle in front of the neighbors cottage.

Snapping Turtle
T.S. Snappy in his new home.