Saturday, April 30, 2011

More of the Same

We started Friday morning by doing some clean up work from last weekend.  We had to vacuum up all the sheetrock mess so that it wouldn't be in the way when we put up the plywood and new sheetrock.  This wall, like the other back bedroom wall, had it's diagonal bracing cut, so we had to install plywood to increase its shear strength.  After cleaning up, Mom and I put the insulation back in the wall.  Then, Dad and I got to work measuring, cutting, and installing the plywood.

I wasn't terribly helpful with the installation aspect as my wrist still seems to be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.  I could, however, cut and measure.

During this time, Mom got started back on her favorite task - washing ceiling!  This time in the master bedroom.  She was quite excited.

After Dad and I got the plywood up, we started on the dry wall.  We got most of that up and I was able to be more helpful with it as we attached it with a combination of nails (Dad) and screws (me).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend Entertainment

So, I felt useless this weekend.  My wrist appears to be suffering from carpal tunnel and there were many things I could not do.

Friday we worked on interior doors.  I got the doors ridiculously cheaply - only $10 each.  Some of the hinges needed to be moved, but we managed that.

We got them all hung.  Now, they just need to be painted and have their moulding (painted this weekend) installed.

Mom and I (mostly Mom) worked on the moulding throughout the weekend.  Some of it started out in bad shape:

 Looks like a dog was let loose on it.  The spaces got filled in with joint compound.  Then sanded and painted twice.

Saturday and Sunday were spent dealing with the windows in the guest room.  Saturday we removed sheet rock, took stock of what needed doing, and bought needed supplies.

Sunday was the day of major activity.  We removed the two windows.

Once they were removed, we had plenty to do.  The one on the right needed a larger opening, so Dad worked on that.  Mom and I made the frame for the one on the left.  When the frame was installed we put on the first layer of flashing.

Then we were able to install the window itself, complete with the tedious task of shimming.

Then the exterior flashing was put in place.  The second window happened during this time, too.

Best moment of the weekend:  Mom had been working on painting moulding, but said she was ready to help with windows whenever needed.  We knew we needed to work efficiently in order to get two replaced in one day.  After a morning tea break, Mom yelled down the hall to Dad, "Let me know when you're ready to use me in the bedroom!"  Dad then came back and grabbed a bottle off the table, saying, "Let me get this ultra hard, all day hold."  Too hilarious.  (Bottle was hair gel which we had been joking about earlier.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Magically Accomplished

So, here's what I came home to each night this week:


Windows had been foam sealed. The rest of the OSB had been put up, along with the drywall.


The joints go compound to smooth them out.  The windows got sills.


A bathroom door!

My parents are amazing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Three Days, Three Windows

Friday morning.  While Mom got dinner started in the crockpot, Dad and I installed the replacement window in the study.  It was generally an easy process.  First was to remove the window, but not the frame, of the one that was there already.  The slider came out easily.  Getting the fixed one out proved more troublesome, but we eventually prevailed.

The replacement window sits right on the frame of the original.  We just put it in and screwed it into the sides. Pretty easy.

We then made a list of jobs still needing completion.  After lunch, we hung the last remaining kitchen cabinet.  I hadn't originally gotten one for the space, but it looked incomplete.  Better now.  (Sorry, no pic.)

Saturday we started working on the master bedroom.  First up, taking off the drywall from the back wall.  The end goal was to replace the window there, but, when we first did some research on the window, we discovered that it wasn't original and that the idiots who did it cut studs and diagonal bracing without transferring the load anywhere.  We need to rectify that.

At this point, I did some work outside (planting tomatoes and cutting up branches) while Dad built a new frame for the new window.  Here's Mom and Dad installing it.

Shortly after this, we had dinner and I left for my evening plans.  Mom and Dad, being the awesome people they are, stayed and finished installing the window.  This is what I discovered when I got home.

You can see that the new window is a different size than the old one.  Once we've got the windows in the whole house installed, we'll restucco around them and make it look nice and neat.

It was off to soccer for me Sunday morning.  When I arrived home, Mom and Dad had already taken out the other window in the master bedroom.  After lunch, Mom and I started putting up OSB (plywood) on the wall from Saturday.  That's how we're overcoming the cut cross-bracing.  It will add a lot of shear strength to the wall.  Dad created the new frame during that time.  Once the frame was installed, Mom (our flashing expert) put the window flashing around the hole.

I cut up more branches during this time.  Also, Dad and I hung more OSB.

Once Mom; finished flashing, Dad and I installed the window.  I made sure it was level on the inside.  Dad nailed it from the outside.

We accomplished a lot this weekend.'s going to keep happening.  Mom and Dad are spending their spring break working on my house!  I so wish I didn't have to go to work - I'd so prefer working on the house - but I've got to earn an income.  My parents are amazing!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Sunday was busy!

My soccer game was at 11, so I did some tilling before I left.  That way, Mom would just have to separate the roots out when she arrived.  That's exactly what I found her doing when I got back home.  We then ate lunch as we were both really hungry.

After lunch, we finished the tilling and root separating.  Dad came back from his trip during this time and helped us finish that off.  Still some more tilling to do, but it's in the area of no groundcover, so it's not urgent.

Then, we started planting!  Dad and I planted, while Mom got leaves from the backyard to put around the plants.  That's how we spent the last three working hours of the day.  Got it all done!  Now I can't wait for the iceplant (in three colors) to establish itself and cover the area.

Near the start of planting time I got startled by a large rat just laying next to the tree.  It didn't move when I approached - looked like it was dying.  I picked it up with a shovel and it didn't care at all.  We're hoping it was dying from being poisoned and not the bubonic plague or anything.  We didn't touch it all, but we don't want any of that nastiness.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Uglification Before Beautification

Before we can plant the ground cover, the existing 'grass' and weeds need to be pulled up.  That's what Mom and I did for the day, with a break to go pick up my special order door and cabinet that had arrived.  It was relatively slow going, but then Best Friend and her daughter (BFD: Best Friend's Daughter) showed up to help.  It moved along faster then.  BFD go tired/bored before the rest of us and headed inside.  Shortly after she did, Neighbor came by to see what we were doing and how it was going.  She then let us borrow her 'Garden Claw' which tilled the soil much faster.  We just had to pull out the weeds and roots.  We wished she had noticed what we were doing sooner!  Crab grass is more insidious than ivy.  I don't like it at all!

We've got the densest patches out.  Just a bit more tomorrow (should take considerably less time) and planting.  Yay!  We likely won't get all the planting done, but I'll finish it next weekend, if need be.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Insidious Ivy

Dad is out of town for the weekend so it's just Mom and me.  We started the morning by going shopping to get some needed items with a coupon that had to be used this weekend.  We had a list of plans for the weekend, but they got changed when we were at the store.  There were several varieties of the ground cover I was planning on getting - and for less than we had seen previously!  I bought them and that became the new project for the weekend.  It'll be nice to work outside after being inside for so long.

After our walk to lunch and back, we got to work preparing the yard for the ground cover.  Tons of ivy had to go.  It was covering the fence separating my yard from the neighbor's and all over the big tree in the front.  Mom and I removed it all from the fence and to our height on the tree.  Someone will have to climb up in the tree to get  the rest of it.  Got a fun surprise when I was removing ivy from the tree:

Alas, I forgot to take before photos, so you'll have to imagine.  Here's the new fence line:

You used to not be able to see the fence from the tree to the right.  Now the ivy is all contained in the neighbor's yard.  That's exactly where it needs to stay!

Our work on the tree:

You can see the trunk!  This morning, that was an impossibility.  Tomorrow, we'll turn over the little remaining grass and plant the ground cover.  Yay!  Excited for a change that you can notice from the outside.