Brothers from Another Mother?

I hope you all had a fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend.  If you didn’t, I hope you got some work done, like we did.  Our weekend started with a bang, literally.  Ben finished demoing the pool house wet bar with the help of his trusty hammer Meowmeow.  Thor has Mjölnir, Ben has Meowmeow.

Do you see the resemblance?  Sure, Ben can’t grow hair, but he can rock a mean hat.  Though Ben rarely wears a cape.

{unedited picture via}

For now the doors are awkwardly low, but that will change.

A little more digging and knocking down the stone wall to go.  Then we can have someone come in, cut the concrete, and we’ll have a ground level opening to install the new door and window.  Ben will build a lower header to make these the same height as the rest of the house windows.

Thor Ben and Handy Sammy started in the kitchen and worked their way down the line to the rest of the windows.  Taking out the bay window wasn’t terribly difficult.  Some prying, hammering, and wiggling and it came out.

After installing the kitchen window, the big window in the breakfast nook came out.

The original bay window sat about six inches off the floor.  We don’t consider our patio a view, so we decided to shorten this window by about a foot.  Ben built a short wall to raise the new window up to the header.

Saturday afternoon brought on an unexpected complication, this:

So many problems here.  First, someone cut out the rim joist.  Bad. idea.  Unlike Nike’s slogan, just don’t do it.  Then, some genius ran plumbing for the solar panels outside, only insulating with thin foam.  And we didn’t have any support for the window.  Good thing those solar panels aren’t there anymore.  Ben cut off the water lines inside the house and replaced the cut rim joist.  We also shortened the stationary panels on either side of the sliding door, so he built a short wall to raise these windows to the headers.

The sliding door at the back of the house is the first of six we’ll have in the house and pool house.  So, it was a good learning experience.  After reading the instructions, install was easy enough.

I guess the panels are crazy heavy though.  Oh, we found another no no when removing the old door.  Wiring for the scones doesn’t come from the floor or attic.  The right sconce is looped from the left over the door.  Fortunately Ben didn’t cut at that door to get it out.  One more reason those have to go.

Soon, Ben will start wrapping the house with insulation.  To accommodate the added depth, the new windows have supports made of three 2 by 4s.

While we love all the new windows, our favorites are the two larger bedroom windows.  For egress, these double hung windows are 4 feet wide by 5 1/2 feet tall.  In a word, huge.  And fantastic.  The guest bedroom window is about ten inches closer to the floor than the original.

And the boys’ window is about 18 inches closer to the floor.  

An outlet right below the boys window was in the way, so Ben turned off the breaker, cut down for the window and added an outlet on either side.  A nice little two for one special.

Now we’re really excited to get the pool house windows cut and installed.  That means this whole window process is done…until we’re ready for the other three sides of the house.  This is a nice stopping point as the back of the house isn’t easily seen.  And it will give us enough to do before winter sets in without being rushed.

Bring on the insulation and siding.  And tearing up the back yard.

Because this post is already long, I’ll share pictures of the windows tomorrow.  Until then, tell us what you did over the long weekend.  I saw a lot of camping pictures on Instagram.

After the Dust Settles

Yesterday was Ben’s birthday.  His gift?  No more kitchen tile.  Pretty awesome of me, right?  Actually, it was his idea.  I was going to take him out to dinner; he insisted on removing the floor.  Before the floor could come out, we had to tear out the cabinets.  Yeah, our kitchen is no longer usable.

Ben unhooked the sink plumbing and faucet.  Vincent helped.

Buh bye, backsplash!  You and your swollen middle will not be missed.

After unscrewing the cabinets, Ben started hauling everything out.  His dad wants the cabinets for his shop.

To keep the kitchen as usable as possible, we rotated the stove to the other side and put an old cabinet next to it.  We’ve down graded from a full kitchen suite to a kitchenette.

Then the real demo work began.  The tiles came up rather easily, but the cement board did not.  And we have to tear the floor down to the subfloor.

Ben pulled up part of the plywood floor to see how difficult it would be.  Turns out, one of the boards below had a small hole.


Then, Ben went back to tearing up the floor.  What a mess.  But it has to get worse before it can get better.

To tear out the tile, Ben used a pick axe.  Pick axe plus muscle equals mega damage.  In the best way possible, too.

Here’s what everything looked like after four hours.  Tile anilihated.  Mission accomplished.

And, things are looking up.  Literally.  Here’s what the ceiling looks like with three coats of mud.

Obviously I took these pictures before the demo began.  Sanding still to come.

Do I get the best birthday giving award?  I thought so.  Now we have another long day of demo and work.