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Showing posts from October, 2012

Front of House Before and After

As autumn draws to a close and we prepare to hunker down for another winter I am pleased to look back and see that changes we have made to the exterior of the house.  Until a few months ago we had a drab little 50's house.
But now we get to come home to this charming little place.  (Sorry about the lighting.  It gets dark pretty early here)
I snapped this picture a month before we moved in.  We're still trying to keep that neighbor kid out of the yard and away from the cat.
The updated front looks so much better although the garden needs some attention.

And the view down the driveway has improved considerably since this picture
 The garage now looks like it actually belongs with the house
 The exterior is now officially done for the year.  It's already turned cold here in Montana and it's currently snowing, again.  I'm ready to work on the interior for a while.

No More 50's Front Porch

I am so close to having the front of the house finished, but the porch still needs some attention.  Several weeks ago Luke removed the railing from around the porch.  We don't like how much it sticks out into the sidewalk so we won't be reusing it. My dad is going to rework it into a railing for an egress window at his home so it's not going to waste. The ugly outdoor carpet will not come clean but at least it distracts the eye from the big crack in the concrete. After seriously considering my options I decided to lay cedar decking over the concrete steps. First I put down redwood sleeper strips over the concrete.  This will keep the decking from making direct contact with the concrete and prolong its lifespan.
I wanted cedar decking, but the only boards I could find in stock were rough cut 2x4's.  I had to run each through the table saw to trim them down to the standard 5/4 decking thickness.  Each board them had to be planed and sanded before I could seal it.  I us…

A Million Dollar Makeover for $170

There is no way to hide that we have a plain 50's ranch, but we're doing the best we can to dress it up.  Replacing the windows and front door were a start, and painting the house made a big difference, but we're not there yet.

I wanted it to look a little more custom so Luke and I agreed on a stone veneer under the window. The buffalo board is not structural and the house has a massive beam and bracing to support the front wall.  Since I did not need plywood for shear strength I could attach cement board directly to the house instead of having to deal with lumber, tar paper and lath. The chimney at our last house was such a hit that we decided to use slate again.  I cut full tiles into 3rd's that will be arranged in a brick pattern.  It's been four years since I bought my big tile saw and it's still one of my favorite tools. For anyone considering using this veneer, be prepared to put in a lot of hours.  Our chimney took about 200 hours to cover 200 sq.ft.  …

Surprise

I wasn't looking for a new project.  I just wanted to get the master suite insulated before we saw any more snow.  But in order to insulate I needed to tear down the sheetrock, remove the old insulation and finish wiring the room.  And then I found this: I guess this would explain why my allergies suddenly improved when we moved out of this room.

We knew the old roof was leaking, but just now learned that the water was running down a wire into this bay.  Unfortunately this wall happens to separate the bedroom from the living room.  So this
Now looks like this I had already arranged some vacation time to work on the exterior.  I had to use two of my vacation days to get the walls torn down, wired and re-insulated. It was a hassle and wasted a lot of my vacation time, but the house stays a lot warmer now.