Sunday, August 21, 2011

Diamond in the roof

We finally began work on rebuilding the front of our house. With all the demolition we had to get through first, it kind of felt like we would never get here. But here we are.

I think I've mentioned this before, but we are fairly certain that our house was built in the 1930s and originally served the purpose of providing four individual apartments for men who worked the quarrys that used to be down the hillside. Throughout the demolition phase of the project our suspicions were confirmed after finding exterior doorways to the two rooms that didn't already have them.

The diamond frame above is also likely original to our home and was covered for who-knows-how-long behind the roof above our front porch. Unfortunately, we couldn't keep it because of building code (I guess that modern safety sensibilities require a window large enough to jump out of if there is a fire?). So, goodbye diamond window frame, hello triple windows.

This is the front of the house above the porch, getting ready to be framed in:
Wheaton friends Alex and Caroline were down for the weekend, and offered their help with the project. Again...who are these people who like to spend their weekends off laboring with us?

And this one goes to the Reds!
Before finishing the upstairs we were able to replace another window. Just one more to go after this one:

Will, Kevin and Alex worked hard:

Peppered with typical boy antics:
Work site safety 101: Do not have finger on trigger while pointing nail gun at friend.
Tim stopped by and offered some nuggets of wisdom:

But at the end of the day, we had ourselves a framed exterior wall upstairs:
Up close.

Far away.
Unlike last Saturday, spirits were high by the end of the day. The weather was great, friends were around, and Liverpool beat Arsenal. What more could you ask for?

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm so exsided!

...and we're back.

Last week we both took some time off to get work done on the house before the madness of public education swings into full gear.

Siding. I can't believe it, but we've actually started putting it up. We are using James Hardie fiber cement siding. This stuff is pretty weird and awesome all at once.
Will nailing up the first piece.
Tim and Will making some progress on the west wall.
Pretty much done!
The color is just the unpainted will eventually be yellow.

We almost finished siding on the east wall, but decided to call it quits with only two pieces left to go. Sometimes preserving your sanity trumps checking something off the to-do list.
Making some progress....
All finished. Well, except those two boards.
You probably noticed that the front of our house is looking just a tad bit out of sorts. The last major part of demolition that we have to do is the front, which is probably also the most difficult. Thankfully, we had some help from our good friend Seth Rowe. The whole time he was helping out I was wondering to myself what would compel a person who is on vacation to work on a toxic demolition project for fun. I quickly found out that Seth really just wanted to break things, i.e. our window.

He's trying to act all innocent about it, but we all know that Seth Rowe is nothing but a violent window-breaking monster*. Thankfully our victimization was minimized by the fact that the window is being replaced anyways.

Onward and upward. The Rose bros. trudged on with insulation and OSB...

Josiah and Will took down the rest of the upper siding...

...and at the end of it all I forced everyone to smile so I could take a picture:
Don't look too closely at their actual expressions.

I have to admit. Morale was low by the end of the work day. Maybe one of the lowest yet. But we were able to accomplish quite a bit over the course of 6 days, mostly thanks to Will, Charlie and the help of Sunset Hillbillies and other good friends (God bless you Seth and Rob). We are no where near being finished, but I think we are starting to get a vision for what we have to look forward to living in and sharing with others.

At bat: electricity, prepping the front for siding, siding the back wall, and framing in the upstairs.

*Seth Rowe--you and your wife are actually pretty awesome. You can break our (old) windows anytime if it means getting you back to Bloomington.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


If you want it done good and won't be cheap.

If you want it done fast and won't be good.

If you want it done cheap and won't be fast.

(Can you guess which way we're going?)