Thursday, August 31, 2006


We have been slaving away on our house all summer long. We spent most of June shovelling the charred remains of the last 20 years into huge dumpsters in our driveway in preparation for the teardown of the house. It was incredibly hot, we got totally filthy every single day, and it was also rather depressing.

Our house has been a total eyesore for the neighborhood for the past year and a half and there's nothing I can really do about it except keep the grass mowed. Now it looks even worse because we had some people come in to remove the 1950's asbestos siding. The unacceptable appearance of our house doesn't really seem to bother Doug at all. Oh yeah, I forgot - he's the guy who had 9 or more rusted out dead cars out in our backyard for years and years. I guess I just can't expect him to be appreciative of my desire to just have a pleasant and normal looking house. But he's charming and delightful and that makes it all worthwhile. Yeah, right.

Speaking of thwarted efforts in the direction of a pleasant and normal looking house, I can't believe how the heat from the fire made the fresh coat of gray paint I put on last fall just peel right off of the wood siding. So now part of the house is back to Doug's pink color, and some of it is down to the original barn red, and where they took down the siding it's beige. The shingles on the addition are still gray. The whole thing is pretty damn ugly.

Also we have been working in the addition to prepare it to become our new house. This involves removing the basement steps and putting in joists and subflooring in the stairwell area for all on the main floor and the upstairs.

Before we can put in the flooring we have to get the foam core panels that will become the new front exterior wall all moved upstairs. They are big and heavy so we have to use a pulley. Then we put in the floor. We are now getting to the upstairs via a ladder that goes through a hole in the floor. We are mostly doing this work at night because it is too hot during the day. This is stuff we were planning to do ourselves anyway, to save money, before the professionals came in to do the finish work.

If you are really interested in what all of this work looks like, click some of these links:
Installing the Floors and Moving the Panels
Cutting the House in Half
Almost Ready to Install the Wall
Preparing the Foam Core Panels

And if you want to see some additional pictures and videos of our house demolition, click here.

Putting the foam core panels up on the front wall of the addition after the roof is already on and before we separate the front of the house from it is a weird and scary operation. And physically pretty difficult. But Doug has figured out a way to do it that is completely structurally sound. He is amazing that way. So I put up with him.

This construction work is not my cup of tea at all, but I'm doing it. I really hate getting all dirty and sweaty and having to wear work gloves in this heat to protect my hands. It's really the only way that we can afford to get what we need in the way of a house. Although we are building a house that is actually much better than what we need.