Monday, August 11, 2008

the Wall

The East wall of the house has been a bit of a problem, particularly the outside wall of the downstairs bedroom. Between the 2 falling apart windows, and the “windows” that are essentially panes of glass somehow suspended midway up the wall, and the door opening we got rid of, there's pretty much no wall there anyway.

There's nothing to do but rebuild the wall from scratch, which of course means up to all modern codes with shear wall and housewrap and flashing.. so we talked a lot about what we should do with the rest of the wall towards the front of the house. Although it wasn’t a cost we weren’t expecting now, the obvious best thing for the house in the long run is to sheath and waterproof the whole length of the wall. We had a pile of 2x6s from an old project (which I spent HOURS moving from a pile out back to a pile along the side of the house.. but that’s not a very exciting blog post), which made a huge dent in the materials we had to purchase for this.

Another issue is that, because of all the openings in the outside wall of the bedroom in back, there is very little siding longer that a foot or two long. Short of having custom siding milled to the thickness and profile of the original siding, there would be a bunch of work to shim out anything we could buy off the shelf to line up with the original siding at the front of the house, and it would not be likely to wind up seamless, even with all that effort.. Ultimately, we decided to use the new siding we bought for the back of the house (which, conveniently enough is still sitting on sawhorses smack in the middle of the garage in the way of everything we try to do down there) and get more of it to replace everything along the wall with the new stuff. The original siding will be perfect for the back of the house.. we have enough long runs to do most of it, and the short runs will be fine for what’s hidden behind the stairs.

Once we decided all that, we were stuck with a decision on doing it ourselves over the next several months, or hiring someone who could get it done well in a fraction of that time. Dan interviewed at least a dozen contractors, and found a local team that came very highly recommended, sounded like they knew what they were talking about, and who does excellent work.
(Note to one of the contractors we talked to.. if you fail your contractor's exam A) do NOT bring that up in an interview, and B) if you happen to let it slip, you might want to consider charging slightly less than what a licensed contractor would get)

So, they got started today and should be done in about a week

Check out the new use of our former plywood backdoor!

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