25 November 2008

Fixing the Porch

I totally forgot to post about fixing the rotten elements of my front porch this summer and fall. It had been rebuilt about 1996, but water and snow had taken their toll on an exposed corner and several floorboards and trim boards were rotten. This is a pic from 1996.

Of course I had help!

It was due for a paint, too, so I primed all reachable surfaces. This corner is most exposed to the elements, and, as tongue and groove floorboards don't come in pressure-treated wood it is likely that I will be doing this again in 10 years. I removed the grille parts and replaced the boards chewed by squirrels and repainted them, too. The trim pieces nearest the ground were also replaced. Finished up and gave it one coat. Will do another in the Spring. It was a little difficult bullnosing that long board. I had to go get a neighbor man to "catch" the end of the board for me. Next year I'll build some adjustable rollers for long pieces of wood.

In case you're wondering why there is no railing, I don't have a picture of this corner of the house, so don't know what it looked like. I can just barely see a piece of it in one picture. I had hoped there was a carriage step on this side, but there is no evidence for it, which is strange, because the carriage drive is right here between the houses. Perhaps the Hausers got in at the barn. There was one stall in the barn, so I know there had to be a tiny paddock in the back, too. It would be nice to have a picture of the carriage and horse. (By the way, that gray paint you see on the bricks was not done by me! A leftover from the ex, who was a painter. Ha!)
How do you like the drainpipe? You can see that water had eaten my mortar for a long time before I replaced the gutters when I bought the house in 1994. Then there's that awful red and white paint and those horrible stoop piers or whatever they're called. But lets not go there.
Have a nice Thanksgiving everyone!

15 November 2008

The Kitty Urinal

The other night while I was refinishing furniture in the basement, where I do not allow the kitties, I was smelling cat pee quite strongly. I was right under the wall between the stairs and the front parlor where there is a large hole in the floor for the passage of an ancient steam pipe. The kitties like to watch me through this hole and throw their toys down it to watch them float around when it rains in the basement. I looked around and saw a large dried puddle on the floor directly below this hole that wasn't there last time I was down here. The little beasts had found a new way to torture me!

Note the dimples in the boards from the very heavy cast iron radiator that used to sit here. This hole is not a very good example of Victorian carpentry, so may be a later addition. Anyway, the plan is to square up the floor boards and leave the subfloor to hold a patch.

This is Purrcey saying "Wow. Look at that hole. It would make a great urinal! But I would never do a bad thing like that Mom." Sure he wouldn't.
I pulled off the shoe molding and found an entire ecosystem living under there.

I scraped it all up and vacuumed and scrubbed the floor then got out my ancient jugsaw which I had forgotten I had bought years ago until just recently when I needed to cut a circle out of a board. I started squaring up the hole. Of course the blade broke so I had to go to the hardware store. It seems that everyone had the same idea today so I parked at Wendy's and walked over, got two blades and waited in a long line to check out. They keep all their blades and tools locked up since the last time I bought anything here. How annoying! And how tragic that they have to do this.
Finished the squaring up by eye. Set up the table saw in the basement and cut a patch.

I can't believe it fit on the first try!

Yeah, I know you can see it, but this floor will eventually be coverd by carpeting and is not fine hardwood. I didn't feel like getting out the caulk. You can see my plaster washers here. This wall is trashed and I will probably have to drywall it instead of save it.