12:55 p.m. Monday, September 27,
One month later...we have finally resubmitted our plans to the township. Ryan and I just left the municipal office with the words "...you should be golden" ringing in our ears. As in, "So long as you have everything here we asked for, you should be golden." Which we do. It took us a whole month of making phone calls, sending faxes, spending even more money, and digging holes in our basement floor (!) to get everything they wanted, but the point is we got it. Or so we hope.
What's another month of waiting and wasting time in the grand scheme of things, anyway? We should be experts at that by now.
Sorry to sound a little dismal. I'm actually very excited to be at this point (again). But it seems every time I get excited about some stage of this process, I get my hopes shot down with either rejection or MORE WAITING. So this time I am not going to predict how long it will take until we hear back (1 week) or have our permits (1.5 weeks), or until we finally start construction (2 weeks) or have our addition completed (1 month).
Nope, not gonna do it. I'm just not going to think about it at all and be pleasantly surprised whenever the times comes.
Here's to more waiting.
10:14 p.m. Tuesday, September
Certainteed's Web site has a cool coloring tool that I used to preview the house colors we've been considering.
The first house above is in "Natural Clay" and the second house is some shade of yellow (hard to tell, I know). It seems the yellow we're offered isn't really very yellow; rather, it's more of an ivory or a cream. For fun, I also previewed a red house...the first color we ever considered.
It certainly does make a statement. At any rate, we're leaning towards option number 1, the clay. I know it's not too exciting, but it's better than a barely-there-yellow and any of the other pale gray / cream options we were given. I think it will end up looking very nice with heavy white trim and the portico we've come up with.
On another note, our windows have arrived! Our Anderson 400-series double-hung windows are currently in storage with our contractor, who is antsy to get them over here and get started. They're not the tilt-and-wash kind (which would have been handy, but a few thousand dollars more), but are argon-filled with low-e glass, have between-the-glass grills, are white vinyl outside/white painted wood inside, and come with full height screens. Of course, in dreamland, I would have insisted we use true divided-light, all wood windows, but it's very difficult to find ~25 matching salvaged windows in decent shape...and I don't think we could afford to buy new divided-light, all wood windows even in dreamland.
Listen to me...I never thought I would know so much (or care so much) about windows =)
9:50 p.m. Wednesday, September
We would love to know who stops by our site. And until we can get an official forum or comments section going, this is the best way to say "hey"!
You might have also spotted this notice on the home page...oh, cunning readers! I want to make sure this link doesn't get lost until I figure out where to put it permanently. So...who will be first to sign?!
3:22 p.m. Thursday, September 30, 2004
Quite some time ago, Ryan removed a makeshift wooden frame from around the basement opening to the outside, and was surprised to find a termite-eaten sill plate above him [the sill plate runs atop the concrete block foundation and holds up the beams for the first floor]. We knew there had been termite activity at the Bilco doors, but we didn't know it was that bad. The biggest hole was right in the middle of the doorway.
In the photo below, you can see the depth of hole when compared to the rusty nail sticking through it. You might not be able to tell from that angle, but the termites had nearly eaten all the way through (that nail was supposed to go THROUGH the wood, not stick OUT of it).
So we decided to replace this portion of the sill plate before the second floor was added and more stress was put on this section.
First, we bought two 6-foot ceiling jacks from Home Depot ($25/each — sweet) capable of handling the load of the house. We centered each jack over some boards we put across the cement floor in order to evenly distribute the weight they would be holding. Then we put a few more boards above the jacks so no one point of the ceiling would be resting directly on either jack. Finally, we made sure that each post was level and wouldn't tip under the weight.
Once the jacks were in place, Ryan used a wrench to twist and raise the tops of the jacks so they would lift the ceiling up 1/4 inch off of the sill plate. In the photo above, left, Ry is taking one last look at the damaged section. You can see it gone in the photo above, right. Notice the sliver of sky above the concrete block?
Next, he readied the new 2x6's to replace the 8 or 9 foot section he had removed.
Measure twice, cut once — right?
Over all, I think he was very happy with finally getting that project completed. It was one of those things that just really bugged him that he had to get done, so he could stop thinking about it all the time. I have those kinds of projects running around in my head, too...only mine aren't so important that the house could fall down if they aren't done right away ;) Anyway, here's the lovely finished product:
Funny how the knot in the wood ended up right over the doorway in the same spot as where the worst termite activity had been. And for those of you wondering, we were happy to discover that no floor or walls tiles in the kitchen or the bathroom cracked under the stress of this situation, which can commonly happen when jacking up a house.
For a different view, roll your mouse over the photo below to see the difference between how the new sill plate looks from outside before and after it was put in.
Once we were all done, Ryan added new shingles to the back of the house to protect it from the elements for the time being. And there's nothing he likes more than shoddy, temporary fixes ;)