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

No comments:

Post a Comment