Sunday, March 23, 2014

House 4, Week 5 - an inconvenient demolition

I know that many of the people who read this blog aren't professional contractors, but I'm hoping this pop quiz won't be too challenging.

In the photo below, something is not right. Can you spot the problem?

If your answer was "WTF is the bathroom doing in the hallway?" you have a good eye.

Yes, friends, as the Mr. went about tearing out all the rotted wood in the bathroom, well, it would appear that the rot went right through to the hallway. So now we've temporarily got a more open floor plan that is certainly not for the faint of heart.

This is a closeup of some of the timbers that were removed. Rotten through and through.

What's sad is that the bathrooms both had fairly new tile on the walls and whoever did the job didn't have any compunction about tiling over soft and pulpy wood. 

The last person to wield a hammer also apparently attempted to address the issue of disintegrating studs not by removing them, but by just putting a new stud next to the old one. Where this practice is known as "sistering" with healthy wood, in the event that some lazy sod affixes a good board to a bad one, it is called a "scab."

Happily, the studs in the small shower are now all pressure treated (never rot, bug proof) wood and the Mr. even put some ice and water shield around the base of the shower as stalls tend to be a bit splashy.

Those not familiar with New England construction of the mid-twentieth century might never have seen steel casement windows. What happens with them is that the steel kind of acts to pass through exterior temperatures which can cause ice to form along the interior window edges. That, in turn, melts, thanks to central heating and thus you gut icky moldy yuck stuff.

On a happier note, check out the smoking hot bow window for the dining room. Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

Plumbing nerds will notice that there is more plumbing here than last week. That's the kitchen, obviously.

Looks like Gerry No Crack was feeling a bit festive. He ran bright orange pipe to the boiler (OK, maybe that's some sort of code thing, but I like the carnival plumbing explanation better).

This is what remains of the blue bathtub. For some reason, it made me think of a Wise Guy movie where they chop up the body and put it in various containers for disposal.

I'm going to call this the patio from now on. So instead of saying "the house has a freakin' asphalt yard" I'll say "the house has a gracious patio area, perfect for entertaining."

All the windows are original and very sad.

Check it out! STUMP-ZILLA! That is one big honking stump. 

Another pink flamingo nest. 

And a garden gnome. He's coming home with me for sure.

Can I get an "ugh?" We'll need a back hoe to pop these babies out. Icky tree bush skeletons.

Locals, take a moment to write this number down. That's our furnace guy, Froggie. Does great work. Always on call.

And finally, the weekly dumpster check. 


  1. Goodness not only does it seem the inside is lots of work but the outside too! Best of luck, your houses always turn out looking awesome afterwards!

  2. All you have to do is sell the house to a family with oh, around 5-7 boys, all sport mad. Patio/basketball court, yep it's a winner, leave the loo as is but add big screen tv within viewing distance, and voila, home sold! Good luck with this fosterhouse. Blimey, makes me shudder to think of all the work but then I am a lazy sod hehe. No worries, and love, Carol

  3. More flamingos! What a lot of work this house is but we know that it will turn out beautifully in the end!