Saturday, October 31, 2015

Closing in the Porch

Now that Christian's new boiler has been lowered into the basement through a porch door, we are able to frame this area and close it in to protect water pipes.

The surrounding siding has come off to install new, clean, and insulate an old window space. The large casement window is framed to let most light into the porch windows and dining room behind them.

Below is the very old (1780) brick insulated wall exposed.

Happy Halloween!

Christian's first Trick or Treater to his old farm, was actually "Anders" our dog, and not the crab you see here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Demolition Day

"Demolition Day" started in Leif's bedroom removing the old plaster ceiling. The decision was made to keep all of the plaster walls in the house, but drywall ceilings where possible. This took three men a morning to remove and carry out debris in buckets to a backyard dumpster. 

The day and next ended in the main bathroom with Christian and Bill re-framing walls, plumbing and electrical wiring for the new medicine cabinet, lights and sink to be installed as well as radiant floor heating.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

An Old Brick Hearth

I have sorted and cleaned about 100 bricks that came out of an old fireplace chimney which went through Christian's bedroom at home. He will use them without mortar to create a hearth for the oldest fireplace in his farmhouse. After using a skill saw to cut some shorter for the sides, they will be set in a bonding thinset.

I cleaned twice as many as needed to select the nicest colors and fitting bricks. Using a stiff brush with a mixture of 1/4 C bleach, 1/4 C detergent, and 4 C wot water; they were scubbed two times.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Big Pour

Today the cement floor was poured and finished by our mason; Louis Beck who is simply "the best"! He came with a helper of the same quality and we helped move the cement with three wheelbarrows.

A small cement truck full of concrete was enough to cover both floor spaces dug out with 3" of concrete. Two men spread what we poured onto 3 mil plastic laid over the stone, the night before.

After leveled and stiff (above shot), the surface is smoothed out with a "bull float" and left to nearly dry. When it can support weight, the final finish is done manually with a large rectangular trowel. The entire process took over five hours.

Bill has already started removing wood from the porch foundation surround so that we can begin framing this area in.

Christian has decided on using 1/4" safety glass with .060 thick laminate, in the steel casement window to be installed here. This has a similar "R" and "UV" value while being thinner, safer and quieter than thermal glass panes. The panes will be installed with spring clips and then caulked; after the window is installed.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Spreading Stone

Christian is now spreading four ton of 3/4 clean stone two inches deep in the new crawlspace and porch foundations, with the help of his faithful brother wheelbarrowing it in. A laser leveler is set up to maintain the height and grade.

Mowed Meadows

Since buying his old farm this summer, Christian has been mowing more and more of the meadows behind and around the house and barns. Soon all seven acres will be mowed several times and all green before Fall!

It is a revealing process for us all to enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dug Out

After over three months of digging solid clay and rocks out from under the 1780's original part of Christian's old farmhouse, the new floor is ready for concrete. Three footings are in place in order to add central support as well as an additional overhead beam in the full basement, which is now much enlarged.

Having a dry basement and crawl space beneath most of the house now, has transformed the feeling one has inside of it. For us these are pretty pictures (although quite dim) of  newly reinforced old foundation walls under an old brick insulated house we have been able to save.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pouring the Porch Foundation

Here is the front/side porch which was dug out as well as the crawl space, and this wall is the final concrete pour with our family cement mixer except for a few footings.

Our mason will come in two weeks to pour the concrete floor, so the remaining dirt in the crawl space will be dug out, and a layer of stone put down with a vapor barrier on top in both spaces beforehand. It will take four helpers besides our mason to "small truck" and wheel barrow all of the cement into place, which is the best way to access these foundations. Below is the finished poured porch foundation.