Yes, it's that time of the year again, the time when the stars line up at the same time the house seriously begins to fall apart; the time when my husband moves some money around at the same time 'our' contractor has an opening.
To recap: our house was built between 1892 and 1895. In layman's terms, it's older than dirt. And like all good dirt, parts of it continue to crumble.
We hire Dan the Floor Man for about one project a year. I love Dan. He's about 58 years old, and an old-school rural gentleman. Intelligent and soft-spoken, he's the kind of contractor who calls if he's going to be half an hour late from when he told you he'd be there. His true love is hardwood. We first hired him to do the hardwood floor in our kitchen, but he's also a general contractor. He does such good work that this is the fourth job we've hired him to do for us. You last saw his work in the Office Remodel. If I had the money, I'd put Dan on permanent retainer.
What's Dan doing for us this time around? Well, the sunroom.
It's been doing this for most of the 4 1/2 years we've been living here. We've ignored this slow-build water damage.
But this winter, things hit critical mass. It began to rain indoors--through the windows. One March day, I was forced to break out the recip saw in a vain attempt to divert the water away from the windows. The results weren't pretty.
The next day, I called Dan the Floor Man. We got on his schedule and then began the Home Remodeling Game of Chicken--would the whole sun room fall off the house before we could save it? We play this game a lot, and we usually win. This was by far the closest we've ever come to losing (that one time with the non-existent pipe notwithstanding).
So, Memorial Day weekend happened, and we decided to get a head start on Dan's work. I mean, I love Dan, but I don't want to pay him for ripping out a wall or a ceiling when I have a perfectly good five-year-old boy and husband who are just looking for something to destroy.
Tip: If you are looking for safety goggles for your young child to engage in some age-inappropriate home demolition, Home Depot had a pair that were 'close-fitting.' They weren't the perfect fit, but the only other thing that would stay on his face were the chemistry-class style with the rubber band around the back of the head, which slid off his nose. 'Close-fitting' was okay for light demo. It said that on the label.
The Kid was in charge of knocking out those lower panels. In the course of an hour and a half on Friday night, he and I made this kind of progress.
He did good work. And then he put himself in charge of clean up. The husband and I were ready to kick back, but no, The Kid wanted to sweep.
Notice that gray stuff behind the wall I spent an hour carefully ripping down?
That, my friends, is the original clapboard siding on our house. The whole sunroom was originally a porch. The siding is in good shape, mostly because it's been indoors for the last 80 years (we estimate the sunroom was 1920s), so we're going to keep it.
Perhaps you noticed the mold that went with the water damage? And the drywall dust? And the rock wool insulation that's covered in roof barf from the new roof we put on four years ago? You know what all that means?
Masks for everyone!
Home Remodeling: Not for the vain.
Mmm. Man with crowbar. And he knows how to use it! He got the rest of the ceiling down in less than half an hour. (What did you think I was talking about?)
This project is going to last us several more weeks. It'll be weeks of agonizing decisions (Copper gutters? Or new roof?), heartbreak (Oh, s&*^, it's raining!), and hope (Did we just agree on a paint color?), so stay tuned for the further misadventures of Remodeling, Anderson-Style!