Author Topic: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.  (Read 11211 times)

Offline B.D.F.

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I have not posted too much about it but I am in the middle of a fairly major house project. Let me try the 'short- sheet' version of the story....

It all started in a 5,000 watt radio station in..... no, wait, wrong story.

It all started with an old house and an unusually heavy snowfall season back in 2014 / 2015.

The 'house' that I live in was built as a barn in 1905, typical post and beam construction that any Amish person would recognize instantly. In 1948, the barn was converted into a house of no particular type or style but is 24' X 30', two floors. But the second floor ceiling is sloped at the edges and the eve walls are only 46" tall (inside), this is along the 30' lengths. We have owned the house for a long time and have been working on it since day one, with the first floor about totally rebuilt. There was no inside entrance to the cellar (or basement), which is where the washer / dryer was, so doing laundry meant walking on the west wall, walking north and turning the corner, and entering the bulkhead on the north end of the house. I added an addition to the north end of the house, one floor only, that was 10' deep (off the 30' length of the house) and 14' wide to encompass the bulkhead opening; this provided access to the cellar from inside the house, and outside exit on the north end of the house (to the backyard) and at the same time, we moved the washer / dryer into that addition, making it effectively the laundry room.

There was never any access to the attic; it was platerboarded and plastered in when we bought the house.

Now there are some unusal aspects to this house; for example, the living room is the full width of the house, 24', and the first floor ceiling joists (which are the second floor floor, the 'bearers' of everything up there) run parallel with the peak. Huh? Now there is a hallway going into the kitchen connected to the living room, and the total distance to the first bearing wall is.... 19' but the ceiling joists are only 8" thick. Huh? Not sure what holds up the second floor- magic maybe. Now the first floor joists (the first floor floor) go the other way and cross the 24' width, which is the normal way.

Fast forward to 2015: we had record levels of snow that winter. In the spring, I was outside walking around, generally looking to see how the property fared after the winter and the snow having melted WHEN SUDDENLY, I notice that the surface of the roof looks like the ocean during a storm but not quite as smooth. Looking more closely, I can see that while the roof is significantly buckled in two directions, the really disconcerting part is along the slope of the roof; the rafters dip what looks to be about 6" in the middle..... not good.

Insert long, ugly story here involving insurance company, lawyers, structural engineers and me in the middle trying to reach a conclusion. Eventually, we reach an acceptable point.... they will cover part of the damage but not the whole thing. We are in an situation with no clear or obvious path forward but all the choices involve both pain and benefits. Because the house (barn modified by cutting out a bunch of the cross- posts) was basically 'miss- built' in the first place, putting a new roof on the existing walls was not possible. Putting up new walls and a roof would entail gutting the second floor and rebuilding. And it was not possible to save the second floor floor (the joists, the weight bearing part of the floor) because they were not adequately supported in the first place. So after a LOT of research, thinking and considering, we come to this conclusion: we are going to remove and rebuild the second floor of the house. This is extremely rare because it is not cost- effective, and this will hold true for us as well- we will never get the money put into the house back (speaking of 'real' money here, not theoretical value including imaginary or hoped- for profits). But the alternatives were worse and so ahead we forged.

But not so fast grasshopper, there are some problems here that are not so easy or obviously solved. We have to remove the roof, then the rest of the second floor, then install a new floor (the entire floor, both structural as well as the actual sub- floor), build walls and then install a roof. Two major problems: 1) We live in New England and there is absolutely no way this amount of work can be squeezed in- between rain or snowstorms, and it is not really practical to tent around an entire house two floor tall and 2) remember the post and beam construction? Well, it is not easy or obvious as to how to tie into that with modern building techniques and materials. Remember, this is all on the 'up and up', permits drawn and it must pass both inspections as well as have P.E. (Professional Engineer) structural stamps on the design. I can do the design work but I am not a structural engineer (wrong kind) and I could not stamp my own work anyway. Oh and by the way, the inside of the second floor is gutted at this point but the roof is still in place to make it weather tight and the proverbial clock is ticking regarding the next winter's snow and how heavy it will be..... enough to cave in the already- weakened roof? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe I can do something to stiffen (Easy Boys! there was none of that kind of stiffening going on during this.... process) the existing structure to last one more winter? Now at this point, summer of 2015, the second floor has been gutted (3 30 yard dumpsters full of 'house' off to the landfill) and we have discovered the bats living in the attic, have removed them (driven off but not harmed, bats are protected believe it or not, and cannot be disturbed before a date set by the state, which I believe was 1 July of that year, to allow the young to be old enough to fly), found all the guano (yeah, look it up) and had that removed also. All out- of- pocket, none of this covered by insurance of course. And the roof line is slowly dropping while the outside (eve) walls are spreading..... We are still living in the house but have moved from the second floor to the first floor. But Brian you ask, was there enough room on the first floor for the first floor and the second floor? Of course not. Is there sleeping space on the first floor? Of course not. So the furniture on the second floor went into storage ($75/ month and automatic billing) and we are sleeping in the dining room of course.

August 2015, end of part 1 while I consider 839,578 ideas, paths, ways and means and reject all of them, and more. And for your viewing pleasure....

Brian

Edit: photos are too large to attach. Just imagine 'visions of sugar-plums dancing in your head' and remember, it does not look anything like that.
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

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Offline maxtog

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 08:24:08 pm »
> Edit: photos are too large to attach.

Just resize them! Linux:

$ cd /home/whatever/photos/whatever
$ mkdir smallstuff
$ cp -a * smallstuff
$ cd smallstuff
$ mogrify -scale 1200x1200 -quality 92 *

done!

Or do it the harder way with gimp, shotwell, gqview, geeqie, ksnapshot, shotwell, or darktable
Shoodaben (was Guhl) Mountain Runner ECU flash, Canyon Cages front/rear, Helibars risers, Phil's wedges, Grip Puppies, Sargent World seat-low & heated & pod, Muzzy lowering links, Soupy's stand, Nautilus air horn, Admore lightbar, Ronnie's highway pegs, front running lights, all LED, helmet locks, RAM Xgrip, Sena SMH10, Throttle Tamer, MRA X-Creen, BearingUp Shifter, PR4-GT, Scorpion EXO-T1200,etc

Offline B.D.F.

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 08:37:33 pm »
More of a Cerious software guy myself but it does not really matter; let your imagination run wild and it is 20% worse than that. 200% worse if you are not very imaginative in the first place.  ;D and  :'(

Brian

> Edit: photos are too large to attach.

Just resize them! Linux:

$ cd /home/whatever/photos/whatever
$ mkdir smallstuff
$ cp -a * smallstuff
$ cd smallstuff
$ mogrify -scale 1200x1200 -quality 92 *

done!

Or do it the harder way with gimp, shotwell, gqview, geeqie, ksnapshot, shotwell, or darktable
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

KiPass keeping you up at night? Fuel gauge warning burning your retinas? Get unlimited peace and harmony here: www.incontrolne.com

Offline fartymarty

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2017, 05:41:09 pm »
Just imagine 'visions of sugar-plums dancing in your head' and remember, it does not look anything like that.
   ;D ;D ;D  :rotflmao:

WHEN SUDDENLY
 

Offline B.D.F.

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2017, 07:32:17 pm »
I have been living "When Suddenly!" for two years now and there is not only no end in sight, I have no idea how far away the exit is.... assuming there is an exit at all. Well, other than the eternal, gigantic exit.... that one always awaits but I am speaking more about the house.

 ;) ;D

I will put together something regarding photos and post a link. Probably a couple of photos a day. The majority of the population is just not ready to see this all at once, in one take. It  needs to be spread out a little bit, and morphine in- between views would probably help.

I once heard the expression: There are two things you may really like but ABSOLUTELY do NOT want to watch being made.....1) Sausages and 2) Laws. I feel ready to add a third to this truly impressive level of intensity..... watching Brian's house project stumble along. This is hard to believe but I think even Kirby had to look away 'cause I found him facing the 'other' way and I know I did not leave him in that position. Shiver me timbers.

Brian

   ;D ;D ;D  :rotflmao:

WHEN SUDDENLY
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

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Offline maxtog

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2017, 08:57:37 pm »
I have been living "When Suddenly!" for two years now and there is not only no end in sight, I have no idea how far away the exit is....

My ceiling in the great room had water damage and previous damage.  I had the two huge skylights replaced with 4 smaller ones when I had the roof done three years ago, leaving even more damage.  At this point, the entire ceiling (drywall/popcorn) must be torn out, rafters scissored, insulated, new lighting, drywall, paint and lots of other things I didn't mention.  I have done a lot to this house in the last 25 years, but I just don't have the energy to see this through.  The nightmare mess, what to do with the cats, how long it would take, how I would live during it, etc.

So here I sit.  As long as I don't look up, everything seems fine...
Shoodaben (was Guhl) Mountain Runner ECU flash, Canyon Cages front/rear, Helibars risers, Phil's wedges, Grip Puppies, Sargent World seat-low & heated & pod, Muzzy lowering links, Soupy's stand, Nautilus air horn, Admore lightbar, Ronnie's highway pegs, front running lights, all LED, helmet locks, RAM Xgrip, Sena SMH10, Throttle Tamer, MRA X-Creen, BearingUp Shifter, PR4-GT, Scorpion EXO-T1200,etc

Offline Rhino

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 06:51:18 am »
I notice that the surface of the roof looks like the ocean during a storm but not quite as smooth.

Sounds like something Douglas Adams would write.  :rotflmao:

Offline B.D.F.

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 08:06:47 am »
Never read anything the gentleman wrote. And I had to look up who he was before saying that.....

Brian

Sounds like something Douglas Adams would write.  :rotflmao:
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 09:19:19 pm »
OK, new electrical service going in tomorrow. This is the main service to the house, nothing to do with the second floor other than providing the source of 100 amps on a feeder to the second floor. Still, moving forward and at least the neighbors can see a little something happening. All work since the winter has been inside so from outside, it looks like the project has stalled. Also, with the new service, the panel on the second floor can be powered, which will eliminate the two heavy extension cords feeding the second floor (lights, fans, power tools and cordless recharging stations).

Another step sideways: I am installing mini- splits in the house, three on each floor, with two compressors outside. Thought it was an R134 based system but no, it is R410a based and runs at much higher temps. as well as far higher pressures. Hmmmmm. The original plan was to install them myself up to the point where they needed purging and a small amount of refrigerant added but that is not looking good; looks like I will have to get into the A/C business also to finish off this job.

Brian
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

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Offline B.D.F.

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 03:12:19 pm »
28 June: electrical service upgraded from 100 to 200 amps. 100 amps of new service tapped and now the new sub- panel on the second floor has power. I can tap into the panel as I please now and power anything needed upstairs. Up until now, all power on second floor was supplied from extension cords. Now in addition to a much cleaner source of power upstairs, 230 volts (both legs of residential power) are now available upstairs to supply A/C when that is installed, which will start this weekend hopefully.

Brian
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

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Offline Rhino

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2017, 04:25:15 pm »
Think of all the electrical goings on that could be happening upstairs now! Band saws! TIG welders! Bench grinders! And of course big screen TV's!

Offline B.D.F.

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2017, 06:18:00 pm »
Wow, your upstairs is exciting! My upstairs, by comparison at least, is boring. Nothing going on up there other than there are Voltons (one of my favorite words, others being 'electronical' and 'ironical'; favored expressions are "We I'll be go to Hell" and so forth) present at the main breakers but no further. Bare, open box with nothing but bare wiring all over the place and nothing to hook up.

Brian

Think of all the electrical goings on that could be happening upstairs now! Band saws! TIG welders! Bench grinders! And of course big screen TV's!
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

KiPass keeping you up at night? Fuel gauge warning burning your retinas? Get unlimited peace and harmony here: www.incontrolne.com

Offline B.D.F.

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2017, 02:47:17 pm »
Quick update while I bask downstairs in front of the A/C....

30 June:

New service installed and temp. wired hot. Was 100 amp, now 200 amp and the 100 amp tap going to second floor is now hot.

Local inspector approved outside / inside service install. Called in approval to power co. (National Grid is ours) and the National Grid engineer has been here, also approved new service and we have a service request number (SER) and are scheduled for them to install new taps next week. The original power lines to the house are actually too small to carry 200 amps and were probably installed in the 1950's and so much be changed back to the transformer but that is an SEP (someone else's problem), namely the power co. and it will be done without direct charge (small pun intended) to me.

1 July:

Installed two temporary, 20 amp taps in breaker panel on 2nd floor (just NM 12 to junction boxes and outlets, draped on framing) to provide power to second floor without extension cords from first floor, through 'hatch'. Installed combination AFI- GFI breakers on both circuits just to see if they would work with tools (electrical tools not THAT tool), fans, and especially, brush- type electric motors. All successful, I cannot find any tool or machine that will trip either breaker. So much for the horror stories about AFI's.....

Once I stop sweating, off to put in the runs for the mini- split (A/C) compressors and run the linesets for same.

Brian
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

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Offline fartymarty

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2017, 03:32:20 pm »
.......it will be done without direct charge (small pun intended) to me.

You just can't control yourself, can you. (more of a statement than a question so I left off the question mark.)  ;D

Am I the only one that can't see the pictures??...or aren't there any?
You know posting photos would be a wonderful excuse to stay in the A/C awhile longer.  8)  <----emoticon pun intended.

Offline B.D.F.

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Re: A little work around the house..... basically building a new house.
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2017, 05:43:24 pm »
Actually, you ARE getting the controlled version. What goes on in my head is sort of like a manic cross between Robin Williams and Archie Bunker both commenting on the same sights at the same time, maybe with a little Eddie Murphy (from RAW) in there. Trust me, the unfiltered version is just not fit for common consumption. But I will say that one time, after I told a particular gentleman (noting to do with this forum or motorcycles but in a professional environment) exactly why and in what way I did not like something, and he responded that he was insulted, I explained that that was not my intention..... because if I had wanted to insult him, I would have merely told him the truth.... the whole truth, about the subject. And besides, you know things are more interesting with me around than they usually are without me, right? Right?   ;D <Marty has met me in the flesh so to speak>

No, no photos. And just like a train wreck, this..... event, cannot be appreciated without photos. Truly.

I tried to put together a small group of photos that would kinda' get the point across without getting out of hand but found it tedious (I have LOTS of pictures and you do NOT want to see all of them, trust me) and it looks like Photobucket went over to pay- per- view. So I am looking for a mechanism to bring these illustrations of horror to a wider audience.

Brian

You just can't control yourself, can you. (more of a statement than a question so I left off the question mark.)  ;D

Am I the only one that can't see the pictures??...or aren't there any?
You know posting photos would be a wonderful excuse to stay in the A/C awhile longer.  8)  <----emoticon pun intended.
Homo Sapiens Sapiens and just a tad of Neanderthal but it usually does not show....  My Private mail is blocked; it is not you, it is me, just like that dating partner said all those years ago. Please send an e-mail if you want to contact me privately.

KiPass keeping you up at night? Fuel gauge warning burning your retinas? Get unlimited peace and harmony here: www.incontrolne.com