This series of photos is a documentary of the renovation of the home our daughter Joy purchased in August of 2007.  The original intent was that we were going to do a *two week project* of completely re-wiring the house and a few other miscellaneous repairs prior to her moving-in.

Within a matter of days of commencing that work, it became increasingly and painfully clear that the true condition of this home was so terrible and that there was so much wrong that it was going to require a complete *gut* in order to address the issues we were discovering on an almost daily basis.

Although many people have suggested to us that having a home inspection done might have protected us from some of this, the truth of the matter is that so much of the shoddy work and deplorable condition was extremely carefully camouflaged by the previous homeowners in order to avoid detection.  After all: no home inspector is ever permitted to crash-out sheetrock ceilings and walls in order to investigate the structural integrity of a house; nor to investigate whether or not wiring that is hidden behind the walls has any open splices or not. 

The *bottom line* is that the former owners were completely dishonest and they should feel ashamed of themselves, although in truth, one cannot help but wonder if they weren't simply too stupid to even know any better when it came to the way they decided to do any renovation work.  If there was any two ways to accomplish any *weekend warrior* task, they inevitably and invariably found the WRONG way to do so. 

I have posted this series of photos to serve as a warning to one and all that a prospective home purchaser has to be *extremely* careful and diligent to a fault when purchasing any home in any part of the country that is not regulated under the jurisdiction of some political subdivision that has building codes and mandatory inspections and code compliance in place.  Unfortunately, all too often, unscrupulous and plain downright cheap sellers are far too willing to victimize unsuspecting prospective purchasers in order to keep from cutting into their cigarette and beer money by paying to have any renovation and update work performed properly.

I admire those locations that have the foresight and fortitude to have enacted regulations which mandate that no property can even be placed on the market for sale unless and until EVERY aspect of that particular property has been inspected by the authority having jurisdiction and brought up-to-date at the seller's expense, such as how is done in the City of Detroit.  There is probably no better protection for an unsuspecting buyer than by being compelled to do something correctly by codes and enforcement with some teeth in them! This is especially true when the prospective purchaser is a single Mom like our daughter. 

We have a friend who is a single woman that also recently purchased a house in the same community (in fact: just up the street from Joy's house) and she DID have an inspection and yet discovered the hard way that her home was fraught with problems, and she paid quite a bit MORE for it!"

I know this a little verbose, (I'll get off my "soap box now!) but if including this helps anyone to not have this happen to them, then I think it would be a good thing.  While I agree that the intent is to be somewhat general, I think that most people would wonder at our sanity for purchasing a house like this "on purpose", so the fact that it was for an offspring would hopefully mitigate the "you're pretty stupid" factor a bit. . .

Now, on to the pictures. Click on any photo to see it in more detail.

Photo # 1: Some of the lovely wiring we discovered once we removed the ceiling in the Living Room for re-wiring.

Photo # 2: Underside of the second floor framing after removing the false ceiling in the Kitchen, which dropped the height by over a foot!

Photo # 3: The old Dining room wiring was actually in pretty decent shape (surprise!), but it all got replaced anyway, so that it is all brand-new and grounded!

Photo # 4: This is EXACTLY the way this wiring was found above the ceiling In the Living Room!

Photo # 5: Another shot of the same mess!  It's a wonder something didn't short-out, especially considering we discovered dead animals above the ceiling in this space!  Then again, that may have been a contributing factor to their demise!

Photo # 6: This wire was left above the ceiling exactly as seen in the picture, and it was LIVE!!

Photo # 7: Luckily and thankfully, I wasn't electrocuted when I took off the ceiling tile and this wire came dropping down into my face!!

Photo # 8: The mold in the sheetrock on the backside of one of the basement bedroom walls. Unfortunately, it was not detectable on the front side (they worked hard to cover it up!)

Photo # 9: Joy's oldest brother Matt is looking in disgust at our latest *discovery* of more bad wiring behind sheetrock!

Photo # 10: Discovering more of the wonderful wiring that was hidden behind sheetrock.  Notice that there are no junction boxes of any kind!

Photo # 11: This is the kind of stuff that electrical fires are made of!

Photo # 12: Inside one of the receptacle boxes showing wirings that were coming out of their connections because they were not made-up securely!

Photo # 13: One of the basement bedroom ceilings gutted, which revealed some termite damage to a couple of joists and wall studs.  The holes in the sheetrock were for a rather strangely laid-out cold air return system.

Photo # 14: The main trunk duct for the whole house.  Notice it is completely unsupported and the top of it was so full of holes that led to nowhere that it was a wonder any heat or A/C got anywhere it was supposed to go, except into the dead air space above the ceilings!

Photo # 15: Some of the *sistering* of floor joists that was required to be installed in order to support the floor above after a load bearing wall had been taken out by the previous owners!

Photo # 16: Notice the older beams that barely overlap each other.  This means that they have no way of supporting the floor above.  The entire structure is simply hanging unsupported!  The beams have now been reinforced with *sister* joists.

Photo # 17: Another view of the floor joist reinforcement that was required in the Kitchen.

Photo # 18: Joist hangers help support the structure.  The new double joist for supporting the wall above that previously had no support.

Photo # 19: Another double joist for another wall and the new recessed cans for lighting the dining room off of the Kitchen.

Photo # 20: View up the front sidewalk from the driveway to the front door.  This is actually a *basement house* that had a superstructure added to it almost 20 years later, so most of the living area is actually in the basement!

Photo # 21: Shot of Dumpster #1 that was required for the gut.  This was the first of four dumpster-loads of demolition that was ultimately required for this house!

Photo # 22: It *looks cute*, which is what the previous owners were trying for.  Never mind all of the serious structural and mechanical/electrical problems that were lurking within these walls!!

Photo # 23: Front of the garage built into the side of the hill, which unfortunately means that there is a LOT of water on the floor every time it rains!

Photo # 24: Improper type of conduit leading into the garage for providing power.  Unfortunately, the ground subsequently settled and the conduit pulled away from the plumbing fitting, exposing the wire (not underground wire, either!)

Photo # 25: The ball diamond across the street from the house.  In all of the time since the closing, there has never been any activity here!

Photo # 26: Playground equipment west of the ball diamond.  The small building is one of the *dugouts* for the baseball field.

Photo # 27: Far view of the park.  It's very large!

Photo # 28: A shot of the rather interesting ductwork arrangement above the Living Room ceiling.  Above the original sheetrock ceiling above, a dead squirrel was found.  By the time we reached this point, we were ready to box-up the squirrel and send it back to the original owners, suggesting they should have perhaps accounted-for all of their relatives (living or dead) before moving out!

Photo # 29: This shows the mess of ductwork feeding the great room above, which really didn't work!  There was a wasp's nest attached to the underside of the floor because the top of the wall was open to the outside porch soffit/balcony, so a LOT of outside air was entering the house unimpeded.  These people must have frozen to death in the Winter, which accounted-for the inordinate number of heat registers in the Living Room ceiling!!

Photo # 30: Another unsupported floor where a load-bearing wall was capriciously removed!

Photo # 31: Close-up of same.

Photo # 32: New electrical service panel with the old wiring temporarily re-connected to it until the new wiring is all completed.

Photo # 33: Another view of same.

Photo # 34: Rather strange-looking water service.  Note that the main pipe into the house is only 3/8 inch diameter!!

Photo # 35: This turned-out to be a bad leak point, so the wall had to be eventually opened-up to put a coupling and new plumbing onto the pipe.  The city had to come out and turn off the water at the curb stop in order to do this.  The pipe will eventually be replaced with a larger supply pipe from the curb.

Photo # 36: This was the gas line that was feeding BOTH the clothes dryer and stove from the same line.  It is only ¼ inch in diameter, so I can only imagine that the gas that was able to squeeze through barely kept the pilot lights going; much less anything else!

Photo # 37: This was the origin point of the single ¼ inch line that fed both the stove and dryer!

Photo # 38: Piping mayhem!
Photo # 39: This was the transition from the main trunk duct in the bedroom closet to the Living room.  Notice how it reduces by 50%.  No wonder that hardly any heat or A/C got into the Living Room or the Great Room above it [which had only ONE register in it!!]

Photo # 40: Some more electrical connections made behind sheetrock without junction boxes.  This time in the Kitchen!

Photo # 41: Notice how water had been wicked-up into the particle board cabinet sides, and thus ruined them both!

Photo # 42: Another view of the side of the cabinet and the water mitigation system behind it. [More on that later]

Photo # 43: This was the original garbage disposal wiring.  Notice the connections that we found behind the sheetrock embedded inside the wall.

Photo # 44: This lamp cord was all that was running these recessed cans in the Kitchen soffit.

Photo # 45: Not only was highly illegal lampcord being used, but more open splices in the soffit were made.

Photo # 46: Pretty scary.  They had a junction box but chose not to use it and preferred to make the splices OUTSIDE the box!!  I think they took the idea of *think outside the box* a bit too far!

Photo # 47: The kitchen lighting now properly made-up!  The hanging bulb is a temporary light in the Dining Room until the new sheetrock ceiling is installed.

Photo # 48: The dining room wall studs simply end and are suspended in mid-air due to the water trough along the floor that was concealed behind the wall.

Photo # 49: This wall was opened up to investigate a moldy smell and to remove moldy sheetrock on the bottom, as well as to pull new wiring for receptacles.

Photo # 50: New wiring for the Dining room receptacles.  Due to orizontal beams in the wall, it required opening up the wall in order to install new wiring.

Photo # 51: New switches for the Kitchen and dining room lights.

Photo # 52: New wiring installed over the kitchen counters.  The upper cabinets needed to be removed and the wall opened-up in order to figure-out exactly what was going on with all of the old wiring.

Photo # 53: New wiring underneath the sink for the Garbage disposal.

Photo # 54: Note the damage to the sheetrock that was deliberately concealed behind the paneling due to Termites.

Photo # 55: Joy's youngest son Tyler helping clean up the mess!

Photo # 56: He and his big brother Trent are good little helpers!

Photo # 57: The concrete floor underneath the old floor tile that was removed.  Because the floor had been repeatedly wet, the tile came up quite easily!

Photo # 58: Step-up from the Living Room into the Diniing Room and Kitchen area.  So, it is a *sunken* Living Room!

Photo # 59: More of the Termite damage concealed inside the wall.

Photo # 60: Mold and termites: the winning combination.  Can you say YUCK?  Thought you could. ..

Photo # 61: Notice there was no outlet box for this receptacle; primarily because the furring strips were so thin that there wasn't any depth for one!

Photo # 62: Tyler showing us how working so hard is making him very strong!!

Photo # 63: The damage to the sheetrock paper was pretty extensive and required complete gutting-out.  I didn't know that Termites would even bother sheetrock, but I guess the backer paper is cellulose!

Photo # 64: They really did a number on this.

Photo # 65: More damage to the plate and studs.  The studs were replaced later on.

Photo # 66: Some of the old wiring *looked* pretty good, and might have been able to be re-used, except for the fact that they had cut off all of the ground wires!

Photo # 67: Another receptacle installed without any kind of junction box!

Photo # 68: More behind-the-sheetrock wiring splices without junction boxes!

Photo # 69: Joy works on scraping the walls in Tyler's Bedroom in preparation for new mold resistant masonry sealing paint to be applied.

Photo # 70: This shot shows the water trough system in Tyler's room, which happens to be the lowest point in the house.  The fallacy with this particular drainage installation is that there is NOWHERE for the water to drain to!!

Photo # 71: The water got quite deep in there.  Can you say *cesspool?*  Thought you could. . .

Photo # 72: It's hard to see, but there was about an inch of water over the floor in this photo.

Photo # 73: The *checkerboard* is the pattern in the old tar adhesive from the floor tiles on the cement slab.

Photo # 74: The wall above the drainage system was quite nasty with mold and mildew, which was removed and painted with Zinsser brand mold resistant masonry sealant.

Photo # 75: There's a lot of new circuits originating from this conduit run!  This is for the Kitchen, Dining Room and Living Room.

Photo # 76: The old ductwork was removed to facilitate doing the wiring, since it was so riddled with holes and needed to be replaced anyway.

Photo # 77: New wiring for the Kitchen and Living Room are distributed from these boxes.

Photo # 78: This is the new patio door that we installed to replace the damaged one.  This one is vinyl and has blinds built in between the glass panes.  They not only tilt, but also raise and lower!

Photo # 79: A new girder we built and installed to support some floor joists hanging in mid-air because a load-bearing wall beneath the splice had been removed.

Photo # 80: Metal brackets supporting the new girder on a new post on the opposite end of the room.

Photo # 81: New support posts for the new beam that was installed to shore-up the floor where the load-bearing wall was taken-out.

Photo # 82: More scraping of the front wall of the living room in preparation for new waterproofing & mold resistant paint.

Photo # 83: The original living room ceiling after all of the false ceiling, old ductwork and sheetrock was removed.

Photo # 84: This view clearly shows how much taller the living room ceiling actually was versus how far the drop ceiling cut into the space!

Photo # 85: This was another charming find!  Whoever installed this bath tub drain didn't even bother to install a trap, so sewer gas was entering the house through the bath tub drain!

Photo # 86: The plumbing was sorta-kinda *sealed* into the sewer below with some kind of roof tar and burlap.  It was quite a mess!

Photo # 87: More of the *stuffing* that was removed from the drain.

Photo # 88: Here was the open sewer underneath the tub.  Notice there is no trap!

Photo # 89: This was a vent pipe that went into the sewer.  Originally, this vent pipe ran up right through the middle of a closet on the upper floor!

Photo # 90: Pretty nasty down there!

Photo # 91: YUCK!

Photo # 92: Tunnel of Doom!!

Photo # 93: Looks like some kind of scene out of a sci-fi flick!

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Photo # 95: After the floor was broken-out, we re-piped the vent so that it no longer runs through the middle of the closet!

Photo # 96: Joy and Joan taking a reprieve from the work!

Photo # 97: View of the roofs of the garage (foreground) and house beyond.

Photo # 98: View of the hill behind the garage.  Some earthwork will be necessary in order to improve drainage.

Photo # 99: The following group is back yard shots from various angles.

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Photo # 112: This photo shows the distinction between the original brick chimney for the basement house and the cement block chimney that was added when the upper story was put on some 30-odd years ago.  Unfortunately, they did not build it tall enough so it won't *draw* properly.  Therefore, the fireplace cannot be used until the chimney has been made taller.

Photo # 113: The roof line is almost touching the ground on the back part of the house.

Photo # 114: Window well for Tyler's Bedroom.  We discovered that the window sill was rotted-out and that the previous owners covered up that fact by filling the window well with dry leaves and a bag of mulch!

Photo # 115: Another view of the chimney.  The chimney sweep that inspected this told us that we cannot use the chimney because of the proximity of the pine tree and because they did not build the chimney tall enough!

Photo # 116: View from the park across the street.

Photo # 117: Just a photograph of job materials being stored in the living room.  Foreground is PVC pipe to repair the drain in the bathroom (no trap or proper venting!) and in the background is new quarry tile for all of the basement floors except for the living room.  No carpet will be used below grade!

Photo # 118: Another view of the home depot!

Photo # 119: This is a view of the Laundry Room.

Photo # 120: The back stairway leading to the back of the house from the Laundry Room.

Photo # 121: Looking at the dining room and on into the Living Room from the Laundry Room.

Photo # 122: Installation of new trunk duct in process.

Photo # 123: Bedroom exterior cement block wall prior to being insulated and studded-out for new sheetrock.

Photo # 124: Door into the storage room and furnace room behind it from the central area.

Photo # 125: Looking towards the front stairway from the Fireplace.  The *snakes* are new ductwork for registers in the Dining Room and second floor *great room*.

Photo # 126: Living room front windows.  Fortunately, these were recent vinyl replacement units.

Photo # 127: South living room wall directly in front of where termite damage took place.  The upper section was not sheetrocked betcause the ceiling was that low.  The lower section was removed due to termite and mold damage and will be replaced W/ mold resistant ro k.

Photo # 128: Foyer Closet door.  Reasonably nice woodwork in some places, at least.

Photo # 129: While the furnace was nearly new, the drain lines for the condensate was quite crudely done -- and this was purportedly installed by *professionals!*.

Photo # 130: Interesting piping arrangement for both the gas and water lines on this water heater!

Photo # 131: The wiring hanging around the water heater is for the telephone.

Photo # 132: NM Cable pay-out *platter* to help with installation of new wiring.

Photo # 133: A shot of the new trunk duct that was installed to replace the hole-riddled ductwork previously in place.

Photo # 134: Toilet in the downstairs bathroom.  Notice the rather strange supply onnection for the water.

Photo # 135: Shot of the downstairs bathroom vanity.  The PVC fittings are for work on the tub trap.

Photo # 136: Back corner of Tyler's bedroom.  This clearly shows the perimeter water mitigation system.

Photo # 137: Closet interior in Tyler's Bedroom.

Photo # 138: This shot shows the mold on the basement wall in Tyler's bedroom prior to scraping off the old, flaking block sealant coating and treating the walls with JOMAX mold remover.

Photo # 139: This is the drain line for the second floor bathroom.  Notice how the floor joist is cut nearly through in order to install it.

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Photo # 140: This is another one of the floor joists that was cut nearly in half, and in fact one can notice that it has almost completely split at the sill.

Photo # 141: Underside of plumbing for the second floor bathroom.  The old wiring has since been removed.

Photo # 142: Door from the *Central Area* into Joy's Bedroom.  Note the *open air* feel with no walls.

Photo # 143: Store room which the previous owners were using as a bedroom.  Notice how they hung one of the cabinets upside-down!

Photo # 144: Tyler likes the train border.  Too bad it wasn't put up in his room!

Photo # 145: Looking down the back stairway towards the Laundry Room.

Photo # 146: A shot down the hallway between the Great Room and the computer room in the back.  The doorway is into the one and only bedroom on the upper level.

Photo # 147: This vinyl flooring is *long past nice*!

Photo # 148: The old underlayment and floor that was by the back Patio door.

Photo # 149: Drilling a hole down to the lower level in order to fish up a new wire from the Basement.

Photo # 150: Attic closet in the upstairs bedroom.  The damage to the ceiling was due to where the vent pipe from the bathroom directly below was coming up through the middle of the closet.

Photo # 151: View of the upstairs bedroom wall.  (Sorry it's out-of-focus!)  The hole in the middle of the wall is where the receptacles were previously installed.  Notice the new lower position of its replacement.

Photo # 152: Close-up of the damage to the ceiling due to the vent pipe previously going right through the middle of the closet and rainwater leaking down the sheetrock and making it *punky*.

Photo # 153: The northwest attic off the closet.  The previous owners took down the insulation from the underside of the roof and just left it piled-up for reasons only they could possibly understand!

Photo # 154: The mess in the southeast attic off the Bedroom closet.  It's finds like this that made the dumpsters fill so quickly!

Photo # 155: The small half bath inside the upstairs bedroom.  No *suite master bath* here by any stretch!

Photo # 156: Good thing Trent is *into* Spider Man, since the sink is flame red!!

Photo # 157: Back side of the other closet in the bedroom.  The holes for the plumbing behind the ladder were just *there*!

Photo # 158: What's left of the scuttle hole into the upper attic!

Photo # 159: View of the attic and the old exhaust fan that was in such bad shape that it literally shook the whole house.  It has been subsequently replaced.

Photo # 160: Railing of the back stairway.

Photo # 161: Back patio door and office/computer nook behind the upstairs bedroom.

Photo # 162: Border and ceiling beams in the *Great Room*.  The original border was a moose pattern (think *Northern Exposure*!), so it was updated with something *country* more in keeping with Joy's tastes.

Photo # 163: Looking towards the balcony patio door in the Great Room from the hallway.

Photo # 164: Looking towards the hallway from the Great Room.  The ceiling was in pretty decent shape and the carpet is new, so overall, this was the room that needed the least amount of work done to it.

Photo # 165: The old roof decking over the patio doesn't look that bad, but was in far worse shape than we had realized it was.

Photo # 166: Originally, we were going to try to scrape and apply a rubber roof coating to the existing roof deck, but discovered that the roof was in much worse shape than we thought.  The joint between the wall and the roof leaked so badly that water would cascade into the living room!

Photo # 167: The rinky-dink railing that the previous owners installed.  It was so flimsy that we wouldn't let the kids anywhere near it!

Photo # 168: Tyler being warned to stay away from the railing (which is why he is covering his ear, because he doesn't want to hear about it the umpteenth time!)

Photo # 169: Tyler the inspector!

Photo # 170: Grandma taking notes of what all needs to be done

Photo # 171: Trent and Tyler love the bird's-eye view of the park!

Photo # 172: Front stairway prior to demolition.  It was built crooked with flimsy handrails and absolutely no lighting in the stairwell whatsoever!

Photo # 173: A view down the upstairs hallway towards the back stairway from the Great Room.

Photo # 174: Installation of the new supply ductwork is now completed!  The new distribution hoses from the trunk duct are now connected and working.

Photo # 175: The two flexible hoses.  One leads to the ceiling in the dining room and the other leads to a floor register up in the Great Room.  Previously, there was only one tiny register for the entire Great Room, so the air conditioning couldn't even begin to cool the space.

Photo # 176: The o d downstairs bath vanity.  Notice the odd arrangement of the medicine cabinet underneath the window!

Photo # 177: View up the very steep back stairway.

Photo # 178: This is a view of the ceiling in the upstairs (Trent's) bedroom.  Notice that the ceiling is only 7' tall and the ceiling fan is hanging down to the point where a tall person would likely hit the fan.  There was a light mounted on the bottom that made the whole installation hang even lower.  This has been corrected by *traying* the center section of the ceiling so that the room looks larger and allows plenty of headroom for the fan and the light on it.  The holes in the walls mid-ways up were where the receptacles used to be located!  The new outlets have been mounted at a more traditional height and the holes in the walls patched from where the former receptacles were taken out.

Photo # 179: Rather hideous shower stall in the small upstairs bathroom.  To the left is a towel bar that wasn't put up straight.  It's pretty sad when even such a simple thing as hanging a lowly towel bar can't be done correctly!

Photo # 180: New bubble foil reflective insulation behind the stud for the Foyer closet.  The blocking between the studs is for shelving and closet rod supports.  Eventually, the fiberglass insulation, as seen on the left side will also be installed on the back wall of the closet.

Photo # 181: 12 X 12 quarry tile is being installed on the cement slab inside the closet underneath the stairway.  the 4 X 4 posts are supports for the stairway above since both walls in this photo are cement block.

Photo # 182: The orange *tombstones* are spacers for the grout lines on the quarry tile.  Even though this treatment may seem pretty *opulent* for the inside of a closet, these tiles are actually quite inexpensive!  The switch box laying on the floor is actually for the stairway light switches, but was temporarily removed during construction.

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Photo # 183: This gives a clear view of the drainage system that is installed along the outside wall.  Notice how the wall studs are notched to accommodate the drainage system behind the wall.  The plates on the floor are treated lumber so in the event there is ever any water on the floor, the framing will be unaffected.  The sheetrock that is going to be installed will also be of the water and mold resistant variety.
Photo # 184: Looking down into the drainage system along the wall.  This drains through a 1 inch PVC pipe through the wall to the outside.

Photo # 185: This PVC piping is the outside drain into a sand bed for the drainage system inside the closet shown in the previous shot.

Photo # 186: Framing for *traying* the new sheetrock ceiling in the entryway.  Since the stairway comes down into this area, it only made sense to take advantage of the full height available to make the room look and feel larger.  The blue PVC pipe along the joist contains 10 wires for the 3-way *traveler* circuits for the various living room light switches.  Using this installation method saves running multiple NM cables from one location to another.

Photo # 187: A view of the ceiling *tray* for the fan in the center of the living room.  Notice how the insulated flexible ductwork runs to the ceiling diffuser box on the other side of the trayed area in front of the fireplace.

Photo # 188: Ceiling framing in front of the Fireplace.  This shows a close-up of the ceiling diffuser.  There will be track lighting installed after t e ceiling is completed to highlight the fireplace mantle, which runs full-length across the end of the Living Room.

Photo # 189: Bubble insulation on the front wall and the studding for the fiberglass and new sheetrock.  Prior to the installation of all of this, there was only paneling over the cement block.  The previous owners must have frozen to death in the Wintertime, as attested-to by all of the ceiling registers in the Living Room in its previous incarnation.

Photo # 190: Detail shot of the framing and blocking for the foyer closet and storage space above it.

Photo # 191: This photo shows the bubble insulation in the stairway and the insulation dams attached to the underside of the roof prior to the installation of the new fiberglass insulation.  Previously, the resident raccoon colony had trashed all of the insulation above this ceiling and the space along the end of the wall was open to the outside, further contributing to the impossibility of keeping the house warm in the Wintertime.

Photo # 192: This space was completely open to the outside, with no insulation whatsoever, and there were holes cut in the floor to the ceiling of the living room beneath.  n essence: the previous owners were quite literally trying to heat the outside!!

Photo # 193: Close-up detail of the insulation dams for proper ventilation above the insulation and two of the four new recessed lighting fixtures that were installed to illuminate the stairway.

Photo # 194: This was the mess that we discovered when we began investigating the condition of the roof covering on the front balcony.  The wood was actually this soaking wet when we uncovered it!

Photo # 195: The OSB was completely soaked and rotten and the plywood beneath was pretty much rotted also, so it had obviously been a problem for a long time!

Photo # 196: A half-hearted attempt at caulking the joint between the roof and the front wall of the Great Room.  Beneath 18 inch of this roof is actually a portion of the living room below, in that the upper story and lower story walls do not line-up with each other!

Photo # 197: Another situation that had been a problem for a long time.

Photo # 198: Close-up of one of the halogen eyeball lights in the front Stairway.

Photo # 199: This shot shows the taping of the various joints in order to ensure that air infiltration into the ceiling cavities is confined to the air dams and runs into the upper attic, rather than infiltrating the ceiling cavities above conditioned space.

Photo # 200: Another shot of the tiling underneath the stairway.  The two bottles are an epoxy primer that is mixed-up and applied to the cement underneath the waterproofing troughs before they are installed to ensure proper adhesion and to prevent leaks by presenting a smooth surface for the adhesive caulk to adhere to.

Photo # 201: Wiring underneath the stairway and a shot of another half-hearted attempt to try to prevent air from infiltrating into the Living Room behind the stairway from the vents on the eaves, some 4' away.

Photo # 202: This was some kind of industrial oven insulation (never seen anything like it before!) that the previous o ners attempted to use to stop air infiltration into the house in various places.  It simply made more of a mess of the situation than it helped anything because the cold air would tend to follow the foil facing, rather than be absorbed into the insulation blanket!

Photo # 203: Fecal matter from the Raccoon colony that was living in the attic up above the ceiling of the Great Room.

Photo # 204: It would appear that they were eating well!!

Photo # 205: VERY well!

Photo # 206: There was quite a number of them.

Photo # 207: This portion of the attic adjoins the stairway shown in previous photos.  One can see the extensive amount of damage they did to the existing insulation as they scampered up and down into the attic over the stairway ceiling, basically destroying it all in the process.  The ceiling above the stairway was just as extensively damaged.

Photo # 208: There must be a BUNCH of Itchy Racoons out there somewhere!

Photo # 209: No piece of insulation was untouched by these critters.   The insulation value that was left in this house was practically zero.

Photo # 210: You can see the new insulation that is taking the place of the old down over the stairway.

Photo # 211: At one time, I believe that this pink insulation was as thick as the white stuff!

Photo # 212: There were numerous places where the insulation was bunched-up while other places were completely bare and devoid of any insulation at all!

Photo # 213: This is above the fan in the center of the Great Room.  The old ungrounded single circuit wire is being replaced with a new grounded double-circuit wire so hat the fan and the light can work independently of each other by means of wall switches.

Photo # 214: Joy is helping take down the old, trashed insulation to the dumpster.  This shot was taken prior to the decision being made to *tray* the ceiling in Trent's Bedroom, which is just about directly below where the green Wastebasket is sitting.

Photo # 215: The difference between the old and new insulation is astonishing.  The white stuff is R11, and it nearly fills the joists, while the old insulation was R-19, and it's not even half as thick, but it had been badly matted-down by the den of raccoons.

Photo # 216: Workers from Roger Mix Roofing Company are in the process of doing a tearoff of the Balcony roof in order to install new decking and a new Rubber Roof.  The sliding glass door was temporarily removed in order for the rubber roofing to be installed underneath of it.  The door was also raised 1-½ inches in order to create a *curb* underneath the door to prevent any water seepage underneath it.  The new roof decking was also installed with a slight pitch to run water away from the house.

Photo # 217: Cutting out the old decking with a Sawzall underneath th overhang.  That was quite a challenge!

Photo # 218: This shot shows just how many layers that were installed: about 3 or 4 layers of asphalt roof, OSB, plywood and 1 inch shiplap roof decking!!

Photo # 219: Fortunately, the roof beams still seem to be in good condition despite all of the water leaking.

Photo # 220: View of the Living Room wall after the mold resistant fiberglass insulation has been installed in the stud cavities prior to sheetrocking.

Photo # 221: View of the underside of the front stairway framing.  The outlet box on the left of the photo is mounted where it is so that a receptacle will be located for the top of the built-in bookcase that will be installed along the side of the stairway when the Living Room is completed.

Photo # 222: View of the 2X4 furring strips along the cement block wall dividing the Living Room from the dining room.  These studs are turned flat-wise to minimize the amount of space in the Living Room *lost* to framing.  This is the minimum thickness of furring strips that can be used that allows for outlet boxes to be installed within the walls

Photo # 223: A view up the front stairway showing the foil bubble insulation on the ceiling.  There is also fiberglass insulation behind the foil.

Photo # 224: View of the living room ceiling framing awaiting insulation prior to hanging sheetrock.

Photo # 225: A view of the framing for the entryway trayed ceiling, Notice that the main trunk duct has been insulated to prevent condensation from *sweating* on the ductwork in the Summertime.

Photo # 226: The Living Room ceiling is being insulated in order to help keep the temperature extremes between the basement and upper floor portion of the house minimized by reducing stratification of the heat through the floors.

Photo # 227: Bubble foil nailed up in Joy's room prior to the installation of new Studs.  The new vinyl replacement window is also shown here.

Photo # 228: View of the completed trunk duct over what will be the ceiling of the closet in Joy's Bedroom.  The white elbow at the far right side is the air return duct being directed up into two of rafter cavities above the ceiling.  The underside of the two joist cavities adjacent to the elbow will be covered with metal panning in order to form a built-in air return duct over to the living room wall on the left.

Photo # 229: New wiring in place in the storage room.  Behind the beam is a junction box and conduit which are the feeders for some of the upstairs circuits and the south portion of the Kitchen.

Photo # 230: On of the other feeder conduits running back into the furnace room to the circuit breaker panel.

Photo # 231: A view of the upstairs ceiling looking up from the back stairway.  The louver in the ceiling is for ventilation on mild Spring and Fall days.  By opening this louver, the *chimney effect* of the attic exhaust fan will pull stale air from inside the house and fresh air through open windows at significant cost savings versus running air conditioning.

Photo # 232: The plywood sub-floor in the large closet in Trent's Room.&nbs ; Several layers of roofing material were removed before this flooring was installed, as well as the vent pipe from the bathroom below.  The vent was re-routed into the wall between the closet and the Bedroom.

Photo # 233: This is a view of the cut-out in the ceiling in Trent's Bedroom in preparation for *traying* the ceiling.  The ceiling is only seven feet tall and had a paddle fan hanging down into the space.  The center section has been raised to over eight feet tall, so that people will not hit their heads on the fan.  Additionally, it gives the room the feeling of being much larger and less claustrophobic, especially since it doesn't have any windows to the outside.

Photo # 234: View of the insulation and framing up in the trayed portion of the ceiling

Photo # 235: Ceiling in the trayed area of the upstairs bedroom after sheetrocking and mudding.

Photo # 236: Ceiling in the upstairs bathroom being seam taped and mudded.

Photo # 237: Another view of the new ceiling in the upstairs bathroom and the new exhaust fan/light combination in the ceiling.

Photo # 238: View of the progress on the repair to the sheetrock on the closet ceiling in the upstairs bedroom.

Photo # 239: At long last, the dead Elm Tree was brought down.  Unfortunately, this particular project was what indirectly contributed to Rich getting hurt at Joy's house and winding-up in a brace for 3 months after slipping and falling on frost.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 240: Here, Rodney Rogers was working on sawing the tree.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 241: These shots have a bluish tint due to the fact that they were taken very late in the day and I had to *force* the exposure to be able to see anything at all.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 242: The main part of the tree after it fell.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 243: Yea!  It's finally DOWN and no more branches will be falling during each windstorm.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 244: The most recent demolition of the walls in the storage room after some flooding due to a water leak wicked-up the paneling.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 245: This has obviously gotten wet before, because the plate on the concrete is all rotted behind the paneling.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 246: This is one of the water lines that comes from the downstairs bathroom to feed the upstairs bathroom.  Unfortunately, it was installed along an outside wall and apparently froze often.  What is strange is that this actually crosses-over the main water line on the opposite side of the room, so running the water line using this route was totally unnecessary, and has been now changed.  The insulation was installed to keep the cold outside air from blowing into the house!

January 14, 2008

Photo # 247: For ome reason, they had insulated behind this wall, even though it was an interior wall, and there was evidence of something tunneling through the insulation!

January 14, 2008

Photo # 248: Here, Joy is removing some of the old paneling and carrying it out to the Dumpster.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 249: The rotted bottom plate on the cement that will have to be replaced with a piece of treated wood.

January 14, 2008

Photo # 250: The space underneath the back stairway was pretty ugly and was apparently the "stash point" for the former owners' teen-aged son to hide a bottle of booze!

January 14, 2008

Photo # 251: After the sheetrock and insulation was removed, there was still evidence of mold underneath the wall, that will have to be eradicated.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 252: New flexible gas line for the stove running underneath the stairway.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 253: All cracks in the foundation walls are being mortared before applying new sealing paint.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 254: The moisture seeping through the wall was resulting in a great deal of mold growth, which will be eradicated before new walls are installed.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 255: At one time, there was a copper water pipe embedded through the cement block walls.  I'll bet that froze quite frequently!

January 20, 2008

Photo # 256: The drain for the Laundry and Kitchen sink.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 257: Mold coming out from behind the sheetrock in the Laundry room on the wall opposite of the outside wall.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 258: This sheetrock was so wet that the hammer actually just sunk into it without any resistance!

January 20, 2008

Photo # 259: After we removed the sheetrock, we realized how bad it was and that it was a good thing we had decided to remove it and replace it now, rather than living with it, which would have resulted in a VERY unhealthy situation within the house.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 260: We finally decided to finish gutting the wall against the foundation in the Kitchen after we realized in just how bad of shape it really was in behind the sheetrock.  That way, all of the outside basement walls will have been re-done in a consistent manner throughout the house.  After the sheetrock and insulation was removed, there was still evidence of mold underneath the wall, that will have to be eradicated.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 261: Nice!  We figured-out that there were shutoff valves for the Kitchen hidden BEHIND the wall, where they won't do anyone any good at all!.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 262: Tyler helps clean up the debris from scraping-down the old cement block walls prior to applying new sealer.  All cracks in the foundation walls are being mortared before applying new sealing paint.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 263: Smiles from Trent while helping!

January 20, 2008

Photo # 264: Rather strange plumbing layout for the drains!

January 20, 2008

Photo # 265: Some of the holes in the walls were stuffed with insulation to try to stop the drafts.

January 20, 2008

Photo # 266: Some of the holes in the cement block that were letting copious amounts of cold air into the space behind the walls!

January 20, 2008

Photo # 267: The insulation was burrowed-out as though something was living in the walls!

January 20, 2008

Photo # 268: There were trails that indicated that something was going up and down through here also!  More unwanted guests!!

January 20, 2008

Photo # 269: Bad plate on the floor in the Laundry Room prior to replacement.

Jan ary 20, 2008

Photo # 270: Evidence from the termite damage after the old plate was cut out and removed.

January 15, 2008

Photo # 271: Here's proof positive of termites!  They were removed and the wood studs that are attached to the infested piece which contained them were treated for termites.

January 15, 2008

Photo # 272: Close-up of the *little buggers*!

January 15, 2008

Photo # 273: Here, Ron Ulmer, our friend from church, who calls himself *the handy economist*, is helping-out with some aspects of the project that Rich can't do while his leg is in the immobilizer.  Here, he is installing new insulation above the ceiling in the Living Room.

January 25, 2008

Photo # 274: New treated plate, studs and water supply piping for the Toilet on the wall between the Bathroom and Tyler's Bedroom.

January 25, 2008

Photo # 275: The gap in the new plates and the cement block wall is so that more perimeter drain guttering can be installed behind the outside Bathroom wall.

January 25, 2008

Photo # 276: This is part of the original waterproofing system that was installed in the house.  The grey *gunk* was an attempt to seal it by the previous owners when it began leaking.

January 25, 2008

Photo # 277: This is some of the most serious leaking under the wall, hence the most grey caulk.  The caulk was dug-oiut and replaced with caulk designed for this particular application.

January 25, 2008

Photo # 278: New treated plate for the wall in the Laundry Room.  When we dug-out the old plate, we discovered it has been eaten by Termites!.

January 25, 2008

Photo # 279: This is the same tray after the old caulk was dug-out and re-caulked with a special poly caulk designed for this application.

January 25, 2008

Photo # 280: Even though the floor is still a little damp when this photo was taken, the water was effectively stopped by re-caulking..

January 25, 2008< td>

Photo # 281: Another view of the trough with the new sealant.

January 25, 2008

Photo # 282: Bubble Foil installed in the Kitchen prior to installing new wall studs.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 283: The repaired walls of the Laundry Room after painting with mold resistant foundation paint.  The existing window will be replaced in the Spring.  It was due to be done this Fall, but we ran out of time before the weather closed-in for the year.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 284: Back of the Laundry Room behind the retaining wall where the new Mop Sink will be installed.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 285: Close-up detail of the scrim tape used to "seam" the upper and lower pieces of bubble foil insulation in the Bathroom.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 286: The bubble foil insulat on continues unbroken through the wall from the Bathroom around the corner in Tyler's Bedroom to provide the maximum thermal protective barrier possible.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 287: New double floor plates in the storage room to replace the termite-infested plates which were previously removed.  Since the bottom of the studs were also damaged, a second untreated plate is installed on top of the treated plate.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 288: After more testing, we found leaks at various points along the perimeter drainage system which accounted-for all of the water that caused the previously-removed mold growth along the base of the Laundry Room walls.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 289: When we had all of the rain and the snow melting simultaneously, we even had water seeping up through the concrete floor because the ground was so saturated!

February 2, 2008

Photo # 290: More seepage underneath the new treated plate.  It's no wonder that the walls were so badly damaged by mold, rot and termites!

February 2, 2008

Photo # 291: More places where water was seeping through after the heavy rain/snow meltdown event.

February 2, 2008

The sheetrock is starting to go in, and I'm doing my best to stay ahead of them with getting areas ready for them to sheetrock!


Photo # 292: Ron Ulmer wanted to have me take a *HGTV destructo* shot from this job and this was the closest I could get because he's just too mild-mannered of a person to be caught swinging a sledge-hammer and trashing something!

February 2, 2008

Photo # 293: Insulation in the ceiling in Joy's bedroom to keep the cold from the attic from dropping down.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 294: Tyler's closet before all of the paneling was taken out for renovation.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 295: The insulated ductwork above where Joy's closet will be framed-in.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 296: All of the studs in this section of the wall between Joy's Room and the Living Room had to be repl ced because of water and termite damage.  Additionally, several were so bowed and cut-up in an attempt to straighten them that it was the most sensible solution to simply remove and replace them all.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 297: Another view of the *new* section of the wall with the wiring in place for the receptacles, ready for sheetrocking.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 298: The storage room adjacent to the furnace room ready for sheetrocking.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 299: Here John, one of the sheetrocking crew, is getting ready to start the sheetrock hanging in the Living Room.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 300: Here, John is posing behind the pile of sheetrock while continuing to set-up.

February 2, 2008

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Photo # 301: This is what they were able to do after only the first day of hanging rock!

February 2, 2008

Photo # 302: The trayed ceiling in the Living Room is quite dramatic with rock in it.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 303: Looking up into the trayed section of the living room ceiling where the paddle fan will be installed eventually.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 304: Ceiling area adjacent to the Kitchen in front of the door leading to under-stairway storage.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 305: The raised section of the ceiling back towards the foyer closet and front door.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 306: They even got the ceiling in the foyer closet hung!

February 2, 2008

Photo # 307: Sheetrockers Bryan and John pause for a *mug shot*.

February 2, 2008

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Photo # 308: Inside of the Foyer closet sheetrocked.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 309: Underside of the stairway adjacent to the Foyer Closet sheetrocked.

February 2, 2008

Photo # 310: This is the progress after the second day of work!

February 2, 2008

Photo # 311: Almost all of the Living Room is complete, except the small piece underneath the light switches and around the stairway to the upper floor.

February 2, 2008

These are the last pictures before I go into the hospital this afternoon for my second knee repair surgery!


Photo # 312: View of the new drainage system in Joy's bedroom after installation in order to ensure that no water problems ever manifest themselves in that space.

February 26, 2008

Photo # 313: The drainage system is going through the cement block wall into the Bathroom.

February 26, 2008

Photo # 314: Here the draina e system emerges in the bathroom en-route to the original system where it will be tied-in.  The copper pipe is a water supply tube for the new Vanity whenever it is installed.

February 26, 2008

Photo # 315: This is the point at which the new and old drainage systems will join and drain into the sewer.  A new trap is being installed.

February 26, 2008

Photo # 316: Another view of the trap before the main drain pipe is drilled for attaching the new trap to it.

February 26, 2008

Photo # 317: The back of Tyler's closet represents *the last frontier* of things to be demolished out of the house.  We discovered mold behind this wall also, so decided to remove it, insulate the stud space and install mold resistant rock there also.

February 26, 2008

Photo # 318: This is the sheetrock installed on the front stairway ceiling and knee wall.  Unfortunately, it is hard to get a perspective because of the way the space is configured.

February 26, 2008

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Photo # 319: Rock at the top of the steps by the door into the Great Room.  You can see the recessed gimbal spotlights to illuminate the stairway area.

February 26, 2008

Photo # 320: I'm glad THEY got up there to install this, rather than ME!!

February 26, 2008

Glad to be back at it again!  It has been a rough week because not only did I have to undergo the second surgery (which was more painful the second time around!), but I also came home with the flu.

Meanwhile, a LOT was getting done while I was laid-up this past week, in that most of the framing was completed and much of the sheetrock was taped-out in the Living Room.  Next week should see the rock guys back to work on rocking Joy's Bedroom, followed shortly thereafter by the Kitchen.


Photo # 321: The outside wall in Joy's Room is now ready for sheetrocking.  The wiring and telephone have been roughed-in and the insulation applied to the studs to keep the room warm.

March 2, 2008

Photo # 322: Boxing-in of the cold air return in Joy's Bedroom.

March 2, 2008

< a>Photo # 323: Framing for Joy's Closets has been completed.

March 2, 2008

Photo # 324: Framing in Joy's bedroom on the wall between her room and the bathroom.

March 2, 2008

Photo # 325: The trap has now been cemented into the floor where the drain trough is going to cover it for the west side of the house.

March 2, 2008

Photo # 326: Cement block wall in Tyer's Room has been studded out for sheetrocking once the electrical rough-in is completed.

March 2, 2008

Photo # 327: Framing in the Laundry Room is now nearly done and awaiting the installation of the rest of the plumbing and electrical rough-in prior to sheetrocking.

March 2, 2008

Photo # 328: New framing now completed for the Kitchen wall, including a possible future new window in the Dining Room.

March 2, 2008

< a>Photo # 329: Shot of the Living Room after the corner bead has been set and the corners all taped.

March 2, 2008

Photo # 330: View of the detail of the outside corner bead and inside corner taping above the front door in the Foyer.

March 2, 2008

Photo # 331: The "cubby" going up the stairway after rocking and taping.

March 2, 2008

Things really start looking like something meaningful again once walls and ceilings go in, don't they?


Photo # 332: Bryan is demonstrating how easy it is to use walking stilts while mudding sheetrock.  He often jokes about doing a Circus act on them as a sideline!

March 13, 2008

Photo # 333: Joy's Bedroom after the initial coat of mud and seam tape to the joints.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 334: John, one of the sheetrock guys smoothing-out tape and mud in Tyler's Bedroom.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 335: Joy is removing the old wallpaper and paneling on the Soffit in the Kitchen prior to the new sheetrock being installed.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 336: The living room is really starting to take shape now with the additional coats of mud applied to the joints and corners.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 337: Joy's Bedroom with sheetrock, tape and two coats of mudding completed.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 338: The downstairs bathroom is now ready for sheetrocking.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 339: Backside of the tub/shower area prior to sheetrocking.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 340: Plumbing for a new corner sink in the downstairs bathroom roughed-in.  The cabinet we will build will hide the drain line that has to run across the floor to the original drain.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 341: Tyler's bedroom is now sheetrocked and has been taped and mudded.  This view is towards the closet.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 342: Drain and vent piping and electrical roughed-in in the Laundry Room.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 343: The piping and drain for the Kitchen sink have been roughed-in prior to insulation  The blocking above is for mounting the Kitchen base cabinets securely.  I decided to move the receptacle for the Garbage disposal mounted in the blue outlet box to the other side of the stud after taking his photo to avoid *over-crowding* around the plumbing fittings.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 344: Copper supply lines from above the ceiling to feed the laundry room and Kitchen areas.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 345: The laundry valve and drain box installed and piped-in.  The purple stuff on the PVC pipes is primer to ensure good joints on the PVC.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 346: Shutoff for the outside water faucet.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 347: The "builder-bot" robot got taller!

March 13, 2008

Photo # 348: The funny-looking framing with the brown insulation is in anticipation of the possibility of adding a window in the dining room at some future point.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 349: The Kitchen walls are now insulated and awaiting sheetrock.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 350: This shows the gas stub-out and dryer vent installed prior to sheetrocking the Laundry Room.  The two black pipes are insulated hot and cold water pipes and the PVC are the various drains and stack vent.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 351: The pipes behind the wall in the Laundry Room are now insulated to ensure they never freeze in cold weather.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 352: Bathroom vanity area after sheetrtocking.  The cut-out will be where the Medicine cabinet is installed.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 353: Tub area after sheetrocking showing the access panel above for the shut-off valves and the drain access area below, which will require a custom-made panel installed.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 354: Durock over the shower area is being used for tiling backer board.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 355: Durock above the shower enclosure for tiling.  The hole in the Durock has been made for the shower pipe behind the wall.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 356: This is a small built-in Halogen light that will illuminate the sink below.  The junction box is actually located out-of-sight behind the Medicine cabinet.

March 13, 2008

Photo # 357: After *being tough* for installing the Living Room ceiling, Bryan and John decided to take advantage of the availability of the sheetrock hoist to put up the 12' long pieces of sheetrock on the ceiling in the Kitch n.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 358: Sure a lot easier doing it that way!

March 20, 2008

Photo # 359: Here John is cutting out one of the ceiling register boxes with a Roto Zip® tool, which makes the process extremely fast and accurate.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 360: The following group of photos are a step-by-step documentary of hoisting and installing the next piece of Kitchen ceiling rock using the Drywall Hoist.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 361: Getting into position.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 362: Up we go!

March 20, 2008

Photo # 363: Almost there!

March 20, 2008

Photo # 364: Checking for obstructions and marking to cut them out later.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 365: All done!

March 20, 2008

Photo # 366: It never fails!  Anything that was not taken down and inspected inevitably turns-out to be something that needs completely re-done!  Look at the *billy low-life* wiring job on the range hood; not to mention the fact that it is not vented to anything!

March 20, 2008

Photo # 367: The range hood is now removed to be re-painted and re-wired, as well as connected to an exhaust duct.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 368: Roughed-in plumbing for the Laundry Mop Sink.  The yellow line down low is flexible gas line for the gas clothes dryer.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 369: The walls for the Laundry Room are now insulated and ready for sheetrock.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 370: View of the back of the Laundry Room.  The Mop Sink is going to be placed behind the sho t cement block wall.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 371: Valve box for the Washing Machine.  To the right of it is the shutoff for the outside faucet.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 372: Roughed-in plumbing connections for the new Mop Sink with insulation around them installed.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 373: The aluminum ductwork is to exhaust the range hood in the Kitchen.  Previously, the range hood was not connected to anything!

March 20, 2008

Photo # 374: Transition from the flexible aluminum ductwork to the rectangular ductwork that drops through the upper cabinet into the Range Hood.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 375: Shutoff valves for the new water lines that go to the Laundry Room and Kitchen.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 376: Shutoff valve for the Refrigerator Ice Maker v lve box.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 377: New PVC air conditioning and furnace condensate lines to replace the poorly-installed vinyl lines which previously drained into the perimeter waterproofing system (ILLEGAL!), rather than into a drain line.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 378: The wall of the Kitchen is now sheetrocked and awaiting taping and finishing.

March 20, 2008

Photo # 379: Back of the Dining Room where the new sheetrock meets the existing wall.

March 20, 2008

The sheetrock work is complete now and it's on to the painting and getting the floor tiles laid.


Photo # 380: Living Room ceiling prior to spraying the texture.  The plastic is to protect the surfaces from texture overspray.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 381: Masking off the living room in preparation for texturing.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 382: Applyig the texture to the ceiling of Tyler's Bedroom with a texture gun.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 383: Tyler's bedroom ceiling after texturing is completed.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 384: Bucket of texture mixed and ready for application.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 385: Living Room ready for texturing.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 386: Getting ready to fill the texture gun.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 387: Let the fun begin!

April 4, 2008

Photo # 388: Spraying the texture to the living room ceiling.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 389: While *popcorn* ceilings are currently out of fashion, it is being used here so that the ceiling treatments will be consistent throughout the house.  The second floor ceilings already had this kind of finish and they were all mostly in very good condition.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 390: Texture is applied in several coats in different directions in order to get good coverage.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 391: Re-loading the gun for another *batch*.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 392: Bryan and John work on applying the ceiling texture around the trayed area.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 393: Re-loading the texture sprayer again.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 394: Spraying the trayed section.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 395: Ron Ulmer is installing a vent in the roof for the upstairs bathroom exhaust fan.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 396: Ron is applying plastic cement (roof tar) to a roof jack for the upstairs bathroom exhaust fan.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 397: The new track lights over the fireplace are now in place.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 398: The Living Room ceiling after texturing is completed, A/C vents installed and the light fixtures put up.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 399: Tyler thinks that getting his room painted first is *VERY awesome*!

April 4, 2008

Photo # 400: Tyler *supervises* while Mommy paints his room.

April 4, 2008

Photo # 401: Tyler's room painted Turquois to match his *Finding NEMO* border (to still be applied when this photo was taken).

April 4, 2008

Photo # 402: The day we thought we'd never see: the new floor tile is being laid in the Kitchen!!

April 16, 2008

Photo # 403: The orange pieces are spacers to help align the tiles during installation.

April 16, 2008

Photo # 404: Bedding the tiles in thinset mortar.

April 16, 2008

Photo # 405: This shot shows inside Joy's bedroom and into the closet.

April 16, 2008

Photo # 406: This view is of the dining area after tiling.  The grouting still needs to be done.

April 16, 2008

Photo # 407: Joy is priming the storage room, one of the last places left to paint in her house.

April 16, 2008

Ph to # 408: The finished living room ceiling with the new fan up in the trayed section.

April 16, 2008

Photo # 409: Existing polished brass ceiling fan with a new light kit re-installed in Joy's bedroom.  This fan actually was moved from the old Living Room.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 410: Closet light in Joy's Bedroom.  All the closets have fluorescent lighting, per NEC Code requirements.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 411: Existing antique brass ceiling fan installed in Tyler's Bedroom with a new set of lights.  This fan was also located out in the Living Room, but obviously did not match the polished brass fan which is now re-installed in Joy's Bedroom.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 412: The completed and grouted Kitchen floor.  The wall cabinets are in the background waiting to be re-hung.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 413: The newly-grouted tile floor in the *central area* off the Kitchen between the downstairs bedrooms, Bathroom and storage room/Pantry.  The tile still has to be buffed.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 414: The laundry room is now almost finished with the installation of tile, baseboard and the Mop Sink.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 415: The storage Room/Pantry all painted in blue.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 416: Starting to look like *home*!  Dining room chandelier re-hung and the temporary table back in place.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 417: The Kitchen is coming together with the remainder of the wall cabinets re-hung and two of the base cabinets which flank the stove (foreground) ready to put back into place.

April 26, 2008

Photo # 418: Washer and dryer now set in place and connected.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 419: Durock underlayment in place for the tile flooring adjacent to the sliding glass door at the top of the back stairway.  The stairway railing has been removed to facilitate this work, plus it will be replaced with something more substantial that is anchored into the floor joists below.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 420: Fitting the border tiles on the upstairs bathroom floor.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 421: New floor tiles in place awaiting grouting in upstairs bathroom.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 422: The new electrical distribution panel is finally completed and ready for the installation of the cover.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 423: Close-up of the lacing-out of the wiring inside the panel to make it neat and workman-like.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 424: New breaker panel after the cover is installed.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 425: These are the new gas lines which feed the clothes dryer (left) and the stove (right), which is a FAR cry from the ¼" lines which previously used to feed both from the same source!

May 1, 2008

Photo # 426: While we were completing the electrical distribution panel work, we also completed some other work that needed to be completed underneath the back stairway.  The gray *snake* is the flexible air line that feeds the Laundry Room while the junction boxes provide power for the Laundry circuits and the east side of the house, respectively.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 427: The water meter has now been supported with copper strapping, rather than steel bailing wire!.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 428: New white floor register awaiting installation in the upstairs Bathroom after the floor grouting is completed.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 429: Cement backer board above the new shower enclosure in the upper bathroom awaiting installation of the new tile between the top of the enclosure and the ceiling.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 430: Another view of the tile backer oard on the floor in the back hallway.

May 1, 2008

Photo # 431: In order to properly lay quarry tile in the downstairs bathroom, it was necessary to *pull* the toilet and do any remedial work before the tile is installed.  Well, at least now we understood why the downstairs Toilet would never flush correctly: the discharge pipe was partially clogged with a portion of the wax sealing ring!  This closet flange was simply screwed down to a piece of plywood which was in turn TAPCON®ed to the floor with no seal between the plywood and the floor, which also explained why there was always a bad *sewer smell* around the base of the Toilet!!

May 7, 2008

Photo # 432: Digging down through the concrete floor in order to get to the outside of the clay soil pipe in order to attach a legitimate transition to a 4" Closet flange.  The Folgers® container was to keep sewer gas from coming up into the Bathroom.

May 7, 2008

Photo # 433: In this view, the new rubber transition coupling has been glued down over top of the clay soil pipe in order to seal it (the edges were pretty jagged!)  The 6" X 4" PVC adapter hub is clamped to the top of the rubber coupling and a plug has been temporarily installed to keep out sewer gas.

May 7, 2008

Photo # 434: The new closet flange is now cemented on top of the 6" X 4" adapter.  The TAPCON ® anchors will be embedded into the concrete that will be backfilled over the new bed of sand surrounding the rubber transition coupling.

May 7, 2008

Photo # 435: The new cement floor surrounding the closet area has now been troweled smooth and *floated* for the installation of the quarry tile over top.

May 7, 2008

Photo # 436: Gordon and Dennis are busy laying the new laminate floor over "Platon" ® underlayment, which keeps the flooring up off of the concrete for insulation and moisture barrier purposes.

May 7, 2008

Photo # 437: The new Living Room laminate floor is looking great!

May 7, 2008

Photo # 438: The new Living Room floor completed.  This view is towards the fireplace hearth.

May 7, 2008

Photo # 439: View toward the foyer area.  A piece of *Tee* molding will be installed to cover the transition from the laminate floor to the quarry tile.

May 7, 2008

Photo # 440: View from the foyer area across the living room.  The baseboards still need to be installed along the walls.

May 7, 2008

Photo # 441: All the comforts of home!  Joy now has moved her bed and dresser into her bedroom in anticipation of moving in.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 442: The new tile above the tub surround in the downstairs bathroom is completed and awaiting grouting.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 443: Another shot of the tiling above the downstairs tub surround.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 444: Joy has also moved Tyler's furniture down into his bedroom from upstairs.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 445: The tiling on the floor in the upstairs bathroom is now completed.  The stool and vanity have been re-installed.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 446: The new shower in the upstairs bathroom also had tile installed above the surround.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 447: It was quite interesting to make the corners *work* with the new shower surround, especially since all of the walls in the house really were not straight!!

May 20, 2008

Photo # 448: We decided to finally bite the bullet and rip-out the red carpeting in Trent's Bedroom and purchase some additional laminate flooring like was used down in the Living Room.  Here is how the sub-floor in his room looked before installing the new flooring.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 449: Another view of the sub-floor.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 450: The new laminate flooring has been installed and awaiting the re-installation of the re-finished baseboards around the perimeter of the room.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 451: We even did the inside of the closets in the laminate!

May 20, 2008

Photo # 452: The shelf supports, clothes rod and shelves are now installed in Joy's closet

May 20, 2008

Photo # 453: Close-up of the woodwork in the closet.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 454: Clothes rods and shelving installed in Tyler's closet.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 455: We have now fabricated and installed a cover for the access to the plumbing behind the downstairs bathtub.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 456: Downstairs bathroom tub surround tiling gouting completed and the shower curtain rod installed.

May 20, 2008

Photo # 457: Joy now has her furniture and decorations placed in the Living Room.

May 21, 2008

Photo # 458: View of the Living Room from in the Kitchen.

May 21, 2008

Photo # 459: The decorating process has extended to her bedrooms.

May 21, 2008

Photo # 460: Looking more like *home* all the time!  In fact, Tyler, Joy's youngest, came home from school yesterday and exclaimed: *Mommy!  It looks like a NORMAL house!*

May 21, 2008

Photo # 461: This is the repaired face frame for the base cabinet underneath the sink.  The outermost stiles are replacements that had to be machined to replicate the damaged original pieces.

May 29, 2008

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Photo # 462: Detail of the repair that was made to one of the pocket screw joints on the face frame for the base cabinet underneath the sink.  The wood had completely split out and so a replacement piece was *Dutched* into place in order to salvage the otherwise acceptable piece.

May 29, 2008

Photo # 463: This shot shows the repaired face frame ready to be stained to match.  The outside stiles are new stock and the bottom rail was repaired on both ends where the pocket screws attach the rail to the outside stiles.

May 29, 2008

Photo # 464: It is now pretty much impossible to tell which pieces were replaced on the face frame.

May 29, 2008

Photo # 465: The new base cabinets are actually made out of shelving boards cut to size.

May 29, 2008

Photo # 466: New base cabinet carcase in clamps waiting for the glue to dry after being assembled.

May 29, 2008

Photo # 467: Various pieces of molding in the shop in preparation for sanding.  Some of the door casings are re-claimed from the next-door-neighbor who was throwing all of her old molding away!

May 29, 2008

Photo # 468: Door jambs for the closet doors ready for sanding.

May 29, 2008

Photo # 469: New pieces of trim in process in the finishing shop.

May 29, 2008

Photo # 470: The new back stairway railing in place after finishing work is completed.

June 12, 2008

The last big project was re-constructing the base cabinets, which were ruined when water wicked-up the particle board. They have been mostly re-installed in the Kitchen now and so all that remains is the counter-top. That has been repaired (also water damaged, but due to the sink, rather than wicking water off the floor) and everything is being re-installed. Today, the Kitchen should be pretty well completed.


Photo # 471: Down to *details*, such as hooking-up the Kitchen sink.

June 12, 2008

Photo # 472: This shot shows the peninsula cabinets for the eating bar back in place after repairs were completed.  The steel tubing on the top will act as support braces for the counter-top cantilever.

June 12, 2008

Now t at the Kitchen is virtually complete, some *detail* work needs to be completed, such as installing panels over the various attic access scuttles, in order to keep the attic heat out of the conditioned spaces.


Photo # 473: More *finishing touches!*  This is a photo of one of two of a pair of custom-built access doors for the attics off of Trent's Bedroom closet.  It is hard to believe that the former owners just had these openings wide open, except a blanket covering them!  On top of that, there was previously NO insulation in these attics, either.

June 21, 2008

Photo # 474: This shot shows the matching south side access door.  The doors are made up of 3/4 inch baltic birch and have 1" rigid foam insulation panels screwed to them on the backside to further insulate the doors, even though both attics are fully insulated.  Every little bit helps and in fact, after these were installed, Trent's Bedroom is noticeably cooler now.

June 21, 2008

Photo # 475: This shot shows the closet through which access is gained to the upper attic.  There still remains considerable sheetrock repairs to be made before this closet will be completed.

June 21, 2008

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