Sunday, March 14, 2021

House to Home, Volume Nineteen - Ready for Roofers

We interrupt this house reno to bring you an exciting development.  After my last post, I got this photo from my mom:

HAHAHA!  I didn't dream it!  And there's the sword.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

But here's the thing.  The crew came back on Thursday, January 7th and I don't really know what they did.  The day before was super crazy.  Roxie had dental surgery at a pet dentist almost two hours away.  We left home in the morning, picked up my mom on the way, and got to the appointment REALLY early (thanks, Mapquest).  We can skip all the details but it was a very long day.  Roxie was under anesthesia for over six hours, she had several teeth pulled, we spent a crap ton of time in the parking lot listening to live coverage of the Capitol siege on NPR, and I can't even remember what time we got home - after 8pm?  We were gone for over twelve hours.  Poor StanLee spent the whole day crossing his legs and bless his little heart, he didn't have any accidents.  The three of us slept on the couch, mostly because we were too tired to walk up the stairs.  I stayed home the next day to keep an eye on Roxie, and I only took a few pictures late afternoon when everyone had left.

Not sure what happened out there, but it was something to do with rafter tails, or the soffit ladder, or the gable ladder - something like that.  And the scaffolding moved around.  The third picture is looking up the stairwell.

I stayed home the next day as well.  Roxie's med schedule is every twelve hours (8am and 8pm) instead of every four - six hours like before so that's easy enough to manage, but I didn't want to leave her alone.  We watched more mysterious work being done thru the windows.

The roofers are coming back on Monday so "things" needed to be ready.  I don't know what those "things" were.  Saturday was a beautiful day, tho, so I took a bunch of pictures.  Some of these may look exactly like the ones I took end of December, but the sunlight and shadows were too good to pass up.  First, here's the garage and the foyer.

Now here's my paint office.  We will circumnavigate the room counter-clockwise starting with the window that looks east, toward the backyard.

Here's the entrance to the hallway, looking first toward the bedroom and then toward the library end of the hallway.

I love those square windows.  Turning around, here's the view from this corner looking left, right, then straight back to my paint office.

Here's from the southeast corner of my bedroom.

This is from the northeast corner of the bathroom, future location of my clawfoot tub.

And finally, here's what it looks like out the bathroom window.  It's the other bathroom window.  I will be able to put a string between them with a can on each end so we can talk from can to can, while on the can. 

Also from the bathroom window, this is the only photo I adjusted - I lightened the shadows to better show what is in the guest room.  It's our most popular viewing platform.

This space is going to change dramatically (again) next week when there's a roof.  Does that mean no more shoveling snow out of the second story?  It's January in Vermont, so probably not.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

House to Home, Volume Eighteen - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Looking back at the pictures I took on December 24th I realized I circumnavigated my house CLOCKWISE for the first time and I don't know how to feel about it.

The 23rd was the last day of activity for the year - they've got another time sensitive project (building a giant 16' tall interior wall with metal studs in a factory while it's closed for the holiday break) so here's a Christmas Eve tour of how we're looking with all the trusses installed.  First, my paint office at the top of the stairs.

Bit of a mess in there from old roof crap.  The next three are taken from the southeast corner of my soon-to-be bedroom, then panning to the right toward the bathroom and then left toward my fave set of windows.

To give you an idea of scale, those are 2'x2' windows.  I'm 5'4" tall, and if my neighbors across the street see me walking past those windows at night I'm going to look like a floating head.  Cool cool, I love it.

Here's the current view from approximately where the wall will be that separates my bedroom from the library hallway, looking north toward the rest of the house.

And this is current view from where I will put a comfy chair in the library hallway.  StanLee is going to LOVE this hallway.

Now that all the trusses are up, I can say I did think the tower roof was going to be a bit higher.  This house now has three different roof styles - here's a handy thingy I found online:

The existing structure has a saltbox roof, and I wanted to mimic that in the new build.  So the north end of my house (existing) and the south end (new) are both 20x24 rectangles with the same saltbox roof.  The tower that connects them has a pyramid hip roof, and at the back of the tower my laundry room has a shed roof.  At the spots where the hip roof meets saltbox, it's a fustercluck and I'm pretty sure there was a lot of ... shall we say "salty" language while getting the trusses to fit together.

Looks like pick-up sticks to me.  (Side note:  wow, remember pick-up sticks?  We had a plastic set from a hundred years ago and we liked to play with the ones shaped like swords.  They came in a red, velvety box.  Or maybe I dreamed that.  Other side note to my mom:  did I dream that?)

Anyway, here's a couple more exterior shots.  The south side looks soooooo tall, and the view from the road looks soooooo different from when the trouse was here.  The original house looks dwarfed but that's because a good part of it sits behind the middle tower.  It's more proportional from the backyard.

I wonder what the neighbors think....

Thursday, February 11, 2021

House to Home, Volume 17 - All Trussed Up

First, a story.  At about 2pm on Monday, December 21st I came home to give Roxie her meds.  Normally I park in my "second" driveway which is on the side of the house furthest from all the construction, but I could see as I came up the road that it was full of cars so I squeezed in at the bottom of my real driveway.  When I got out of the car everyone stopped working and turned to look at me.  Bryan came from the back of the house and said something like, "Come back here, I have something to show you."  I immediately got nervous, because LITERALLY everyone stopped what they were doing and just watched me.  I had a tiny heart-stopping moment wondering what had gone horribly wrong but when I got to the back of the house and looked where Bryan was pointing, I saw this:

WHHAAAAAAAT?????  I said, "Where's my chimney?"  Bryan said, "Surprise, this is from your mother."  Holy crudballs, guys -- those boys are putting a new shingled roof on my house!  I planned at some point down the road to replace the metal roof so it matched what we're putting on the new build, but that was going to be Phase Two.  Probably five years from now.  So I was totally stunned by the surprise.  And EVERYONE KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN EXCEPT ME!  Pam, the lone female on Bryan's crew, told me she had to run an errand at lunch and she raced back because they didn't know what time I would get home and she didn't want to miss the surprise.

Here's a comparison I made for my mom a couple days later from the vantage point of my thinking chair:

You can't quite tell but the metal was plain old galvanized so it would have looked weird next to all the new black shingles.  And the chimney was useless.  When the house was built back in the 1980s it had a woodstove between the dining and living rooms and the chimney pipe ran up through the back of the guest room closet.  At some point they removed the stove because it created way too much heat but they left the chimney.  Now it's gone!

And remember this picture from my last post that I said would be funny later?

I did have a fleeting thought that it was a bit early for the shingles to arrive but LITTLE DID I KNOW this pile is the shingles for my surprise roof!  Thanks, mom - that was very sneaky and I still can't believe it.

Getting back to the 21st, it was also the day trusses started going up (discounting the baby trusses over the shed roof that went up on the 15th.

There was some talk of hiring a crane truck to lift everything up and over the wall, but they went with manually lifting each one and stuffing them through my soon-to-be bedroom window.  Or between the studs next to the window.  Something like that.

I also took this picture from the hallway window but I cannot remember why.  I'm thinking it was the first day scaffolding was set up in this location.

Things were looking different by mid-day on the 22nd.  Here are the views from inside, first from the guest room window and then from my bathroom.

The roofing boys have moved to the front of the house and this is the view looking out my new massive window by the kitchen.

I'm going to be cleaning that up for years.  Here's the view of the scaffolding through the upstairs hallway window again.

I sent that picture to my mom and she asked if someone had spilled crackers.  I had ZERO idea what she was talking about until I looked closely - those round orange things do indeed look like Ritz crackers!

Since we're fascinated by that scaffolding, here it is from my second driveway.

Also in the picture is a giant pile of crappy metal roofing, and the black thing to the right is the back end of their truck.  One roofer boy is on the roof, standing just about where my skylight used to be, and another one is outside my living room door, which is the location of the only outside power outlet.  Long extension cords have been running from that spot for the past couple of months.

Here's the front view of the tower as those trusses go up.

And here's the view from the back yard, with new shingles on one side and new trusses on the other.

Living in the middle of a construction zone/storage unit is certainly not conducive to creating a pile of original art holiday cards so my 2020 card was a digital masterpiece mostly delivered via Facebook.  On the 23rd I emailed it to a couple of friends who are non-Facebookers and for the sake of posterity I feel I should add it here.

Yessirree, that's a beauty.  So much has changed in the last two months.  In fact, the "before" picture in my comparison view up above is the very first picture I used for Volume 1 of this home reno series.  We've only got one more post to go before the new year.