Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mole man

The next big project after the living room paneling-to-drywall changeover was to go under the house and re-support the floor and roof loads.  When the house was built, apparently the builders left out some key support structures underneath which carry the 2nd floor and roof loads to a foundation.
The result was a roller-coaster floor, as it sagged under the weight.
None of this was a surprise, as I had opted to crawl the entire foundation area before we made the purchase.
Our solution was to build intermediate walls at the middle of the span of the floor joists.  We chose to use wood that is suitable for ground contact, on a gravel bed, and attached with stainless steel screws.
We started on Monday the 26th taking crushed rock under the house and making the gravel beds. Joan would load a 30" plastic pan with rock, and Jeff would push it to the appropriate place and empty it- returning the empty pan to Joan for a refill.  
We used about a yard of gravel which took about 4 hours.  Once leveled with the aid of the laser, we wet it down with the garden hose and compacted it with a 4x4.  The gravel set up hard as it dried out over night.

.  I also have to repair two joists that were cut nearly in half by a handyman installing the dryer vent!
Joan and I purchased a pocket laser for this and other projects.  The laser manufactured by Pacific Laser Systems (PLS) projects a horizontal and a vertical "chalk line" of red light.  (You can see the lines in the photo below)
It is self leveling and allows Jeff to measure floor flatness from underneath as he measures and cuts each support.  Jeff uses the screw jacks shown above to raise up any joist that is sagging.
Jeff has his saws in the crawl space and Joan is in charge of feeding in the long lengths of wood as needed. 
The space under the house is about 30" tall and working on your hands and knees all bent over is not anyone's idea of fun.  Here is the finished product on one side of the house.  

One more day under there and we should be finished with the other side and ready to start the new wood flooring.

Life is not all about work though, and we have been fortunate to have good friends come over to visit and distract us from all this work.  Doug and Kathy McKee were here last weekend and we had a delightful dinner at Redfish, Port Orford's own gourmet restaurant.  We also drove up to Bandon with them on Saturday, stopping to visit the various tourist attractions on our way.  
We particularly like the Vines Art Glass studio just north of Langlois, and the wood carving (log carving) places near Bandon.
While exiting Cranberry Sweets in Old Town Bandon, the four of us ran into Craig and Shirley Funsten who were on a day trip from Medford!  We convinced Craig and Shirley to join us for dinner at the Wheelhouse and then to follow us to Port Orford to see the house.  Craig and Shirley booked a room at the Sea Crest in Port Orford, and brought over some wine for a house warming.  The weather turned chilly and Jeff had to quickly hook up one of the baseboard heaters in the living room that we had removed for the drywall work.  Good friends and good wine- it was fantastic!

Speaking friends
Look who has adopted us as a resting place.
Yesterday before I got down to the serious stuff, I took the boat out for a little exercise.  The lake was beautiful- not a drop of wind and the whole landscape was mirrored in the still water!  I wish I'd taken a camera with me..  I rowed the length of this arm of the lake.  When rowing one measures speed by the distance traveled from the time your oars left the water until they dip in again.  I was getting about 12 feet between last exit and new entry- I was moving!

Your soon to be traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Remodeling begins

Odometer  36044
Trip 1 mile

August 1, 2013

If you noticed the trip meter, this is our shortest move yet.  We moved out of the Port Orford Loop RV Village and drove to our new (to us) home.
Our July 24th blog chronicled our moving our stored furniture to the garage of our new home, but explained that the sellers still had eight more days before they could move out.  During this time we busied ourselves with shopping for (and buying) wood flooring, and new appliances, clearing brush, dead and downed trees from the lot next door.  We also had time for a lot of fun too- long walks, bike rides, rowing the boat anchored down at the lake, and taking local trips to Bandon and Coos Bay.

The wait is over and we are actually moving into our summer home, and starting to remodel.  When we purchased the home we were aware that there was some work to be done, both stucturally and cosmetically, but at the price we had negotiated we felt it was a very good deal.  Don't get me wrong we really like this house, it has a great feeling of a cabin in the woods- we just want to adapt the house to us with out loosing the charming cabin feeling.

Item 1:
The seller asked if they could have the living room carpet, and we were happy to oblige.  Jeff wasted no time in removing the carpet and pad.

The base board heaters had to be loosened from the wall and the doors removed, but within an hour
we had the carpet out and started on the pad which
was stapled down to the underlayment.

The most un-pleasant part of the job was removing
all the staples that remained in the particle board
underlayment after the pad was gently pulled loose.

We are excited about the prospect of this room
with it's new bamboo flooring.  It should be much
lighter and easier to care for, especially when the
weather changes from the warm and bright days we are currently experiencing.                                     
 First, though, we have to address a structural issue
uncovered during the home inspection.  The floor
joists are not properly braced in the crawl space
The fix is to install two new "pony walls" in the crawl
space to take the 2x8 joists from a 15' span to a more suitable 7-1/2' span and to properly shore up some of the verticle loads where posts supporting  roof beams.  I'm hoping one of my brothers will be available to help me with this task!                         
Item 2:  remove the brown mahogany paneling on the living room walls to further lighten up the room.

The paneling comes off fairly easily, however it revealed a lot of glue lines which stayed on the wall board.  Oh Well!  I like a challenge.  Eventually this will be taped and textured and painted white.

Item 3.                                                                The house came with home-made fire place that was a cross between an original cone shaped fireplace, common to homes of this age, and the bolted on fire-box and glass doors from a conventional masonry fireplace.  All this was cobbled together with bolts and stuffed with fiberglass in the cracks!  Needless to say, this had to go.                                                                         
Jeff started with the glass doors which came off with only a little persuasion

The next little bit was a little more difficult

Success!  This thing weighs a ton. Good thing I can recycle the metal at the local dump site

Our good friends Mark and Carolyn offered to come over and help us move the heavier items into the house.  It's one thing for Joan and me to roll the larger pieces of furniture down the ramp of a U-haul, but to gets beds and dressers upstairs in the house is quite something else.  Couple this with a 90 degree turn in the stairs that precludes getting the rigid base section of the bed up that way.  It took all four of us to get the base up onto the exterior  2nd story deck and into the master bedroom!  (hence no-one to take pictures of this hilairity)

 We lived a half and half existence for a few days.  Not entirely out of the motorhome and not entirely in the house.  Here we take a well deserved break from moving.

left to right- Joan, Carolyn, Mark, Jeff relaxing in the living room

Later the same evening we enjoyed our first dinner in the new house.  Thanks to Mark (the grill master) we had sea bass for the guys and burgers for the gals, hot from the grill.  Note the expensive furniture.

The next couple of months will be consumed with remodeling projects.  We hope to have the house in a semblance of order before we leave on our trek to Arizona this winter.  Next project is to get the garage organized and the shop set up for some wood-working projects, like hanging our new fiberglass entry door.  We also have Lloyd Pedro, of Lloyd's Electric, coming in this Thursday to change out the electrical panel in the house, and to add some circuits for us for microwave, dishwasher, and RV pedestal.

Your some-what Stationary Friends

Jeff and Joan