Mill Creek Haunted Hollow: Construction BLOG

Entry 52: June 11, 2012
It is a beautiful, 70 degree day and instead of putting the new rolled asphalt roofing on the garage, I have to go to my daughter's elementary school to see the musical, "The Pirates of Grammar". Now, I love my girls very much, but this was a tough decision. The weather report says we're moving back into clouds and rain, so this was the window of opportunity. Had to pass it up, though. I can always roof the garage, but I can't let my girl down and not be the smilling face in the crowd she's looking for.

Everyone gets a part, but why did my daughter have to be the servent?

I don't envy the teachers that have to try and wrangle all these third graders.

They were supposed to be looking for something. Guess each kid went their own way with that bit of direction.

Posted by Mordessa: Awww! How was the musical? Hope you got a video of it so you can enjoy it with her later!

Sorry you had to miss the opportunity to work on the house though, I know it can be rough to pass up those kinds of windows when they present themselves. Here's wishing you a long stretch of clear, sunny, dry days in the coming week or so to work!

Keep it going, this is my favorite thread right now!

Entry 53: June 15, 2012
It was another rainy week with way too much work to get done. I basically spent Monday thru Thursday glued to my desk programming. Had a meeting (presenation) Thursday morning that went well, so now I can take a breath.

Spent some time this afternoon cleaning up the garage (again) and sorting through the massive pile of debris in the driveway. Separated out a lot of small bits of lumber that I hauled to the backyard burn pile. I have another pile of trash (for the dump) and a third pile of larger pieces of wood that I may still be able to repurpose. If not for the remodel, then maybe for props!

I took some time last night to play on the computer and see what the new paint color (Hematite) would look like on the house. I also wanted to see what it would look like with the siding and trim. I was worried that it might be too much siding, or that I should find an area or two to put some scalloped siding. This is a small rendering of the front house elevation with the new colors. I think it's pretty good, but I think I want to dress up the garage tower a bit. I may wrap the roof around the tower, or I may break it up by putting in some scalloped siding.

Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: IDK, I might suggest both wrapping the roof around, and breaking up the pattern with the scalloped siding. But then, I'm not much of a fan of siding myself (too linear for my tastes), so anything to do away with it is good to me. :)
I like that idea, as I am not the biggest fan of siding either. My concern is that if I only do the scalloped siding on the garage tower, then it might look odd, so I'm trying to figure out where else I can throw in some scallops. Best place is probably on one of the other towers. Have to think for a bit and play around on the computer.
Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: I hear ya, and I agree with your assessment of matching the other tower with whatever you decide to go with. It'll tie it together, instead of just being an odd man out scenario.

I prefer stone myself, for a more organic feel (like my old home), but it really wouldn't work with this design. I really just want a modernized castle. :S

Entry 54: June 17, 2012
Had a great Father's Day! Spent yesterday doing the family barbeque to celebrate Father's Day and our youngest girls' birthdays, so today it was all about working on the house.

Once again, my fantastic brother-in-law came down to help out (that guy will do anything for beer!) and we ripped out the old front porch, rented the two-man auger (never again) and drilled out all the footings for the new tower and front porch. (I don't think I have to say, "I'm tired and my back hurts!)

This is what my beautiful house looked like this morning when my wife and the girls left for church. Tranquil...serene...clean! Funny side story: this front porch was one of the very first things I build for the house. I remember we bought the house and I told my wife, I have to build a porch by Halloween so we have something to decorate.

This is what the house looks like now. The old porch has been completely removed and is sitting in our front yard. I'll be cutting it down and moving it to the backyard burn pile later this week.

Here's a shot of the holes we dug out with the two-man auger. Let me tell you, a two-man auger is a monstrous beast. It's painfully heavy, a complete beast to control, and can get jammed in clay. It's not fun, and if I ever have to do it again, I'm going to rent one of those little tractors with the auger attachment. It's a bit more money, but it's incredbly more efficient and kind to the back.

Here's another shot of the new footing holes. I'll be putting in the tube forms and concrete this week.

Entry 55: June 21, 2012
I have been buried in work this week. You know how it is. I'm going on vacation, so they throw as much work at me as possible.

I've been working with the concrete footings this week, but Saturday starts the big push. Saturday morning I'm ripping all the shingles off the front of the house and then I've got two weeks of vacation to do as much as possible.

Entry 56: June 22, 2012
Ok, who did the rain dance?!

I want to pour concrete, but I think it's too wet. I've got the tube forms, which have wax on the inside to keep water in, but I don't know what the extra water in the ground might do. I really need to get those footings poured.

My window of opportunity has closed for today. My wife and oldest are leaving for the airport, so I have to stop my work and hang out with the kids for the rest of today. Tomorrow morning, my mother-in-law comes up to help with the kids so I can start the major demolition of the existing roof.

I had hoped to do the concrete today, but it's just going to have to wait.

Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: It wasn't me, I swear. I've been doing the please no rain dance all day long hoping I could get some work done when I got home.

Entry 57: June 23, 2012
Today's the day! We have a temporary break in the weather and I'm waiting for helpful family to arrive so we can start mixing up concrete. As soon as those are in, we move to the roof and start stripping off all the shingles. I've got a lot of 4mm plastic to run over everything after the shingles are removed. Hopefully, we can get those two projects done today.

Tomorrow morning, I start cutting the old sheathing and framing the addition!

I know I'm being terribly optimistic on the timing, but I only have two weeks while the wife and girls are gone. I'm supposed to get as much done as possible.

Entry 57, Continued: June 23, 2012
Rain attack!! Got 1/3 of the roof off and then the rain came down in buckets! Probably got an inch of rain in one hour, at least!

The first official day of the tear down is not going well. The rain is really going to slow us down.

My brother-in-law valiently trying to throw some plastic of the exposed sheathing of the roof where we just spent the morning tearing off all the shingles.

Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: Awwww, that sucks TK. I know how you feel though, with a tropical storm breathing down our necks here. Rain off and on all day today, and I've already had to shuffle everything inside twice. No more time to work today, with another storm just on the opposite side of town, bearing down on us right now. Hopefully the fence section is dry enough now for me to move it back into the garage...

Hope it's not a bad omen for either of us.

Terra: Awww, man - that sucks!

With you about the family leaving. When hubby has to go out of town for week for work I clap inside and go "Prop. Building. FOR. A. Whole. Week! Yeah!!!!"

(sorry honey)

Penumbra: Even if you don't finish your house in time for Halloween, you can still make it creepy with the torn down look. Just add some cobwebs some props and you have a haunted house!
StevesHauntedYard: Wow that is going to be awesome!
In spite of the wicked rain, we still managed to get all four foundation pillars poured! I now have the foundation for the entry and tower.

We attack the roof at dawn! (okay, maybe 10 o'clock)

Entry 58: June 24, 2012
Sunday evening and all the shingles (well, 98%) are off!

Had a slight change of plans with the girls and it looks like I'll be keeping one (our 8 yr old) for the first week. So, I guess I have a helper!

Be interesting to see how she can handle the nail gun.

We did manage to get the footings for the front porch/support poured. Those things go down four feet.

So here is the house on Sunday with the shingles removed and the plastic going up to protect from the inevitable rain.

Posted by Rumsfield: Wow, this is spectacular. If I wasn't over on the east side of the state I would offer to help you out . We have been getting some "major deluges" on our side also. I read this thread from the beginning (while it was pouring rain this morning) - I am in awe with your dedication and work!

Entry 59: June 25, 2012

I promise not to submit a photo of this, but I was removing some of the roof sheathing this afternoon when the crowbar slipped and slammed my finger into an exposed nailhead. Sadly, it punchured my fingernail, which I really hate. Now I'm gonna have to look at an icky nail for the next six months.

Entry 59, Continued: June 25, 2012
Okay, it's 4:30pm Monday afternoon and there's been a light drizzle for the past half hour. I know it doesn't look like a lot, but I'm really proud of what I got done today.

First, I got the 8 yr old up! That was the first challenge. By 9am, we were ready to go.

Our first stop was the dump where we threw out another 1,000 lbs of shingles. (the last load! :)

After the dump, we went to Lowes to pick up fifty 2x4s and twelve 2x10x8s.

We got home and I started taking off the porch roof while my daughter vacuumed out the minivan so some friends can borrow it.

By 12:30, the minivan was clean and most of the porch roof was off, so we took the truck I'm borrowing from my mother-in-law, and went to lunch and then Lowes again. This time, we picked up five sheets of subfloor and some 2x4x12s and 2x10x12s. I was going to pick up some 4x4x10s for the porch posts, but the ones at Lowes looked like crap. I'm going to check out Dunn Lumber and see if they have some of a better, more presentable quality.

We get back from our second trip to Lowes and my daughter goes inside for a cartoon marathon (Danny Phantom is her cartoon de'jour).

I go back outside and continue to take off the porch roof, remove the giant 4x10x16 beam (by myself) and make some specialty cuts to start fitting the new porch.

Sadly, the giant beam dropped and shattered the top pot of my tiered pot fountain. Sad, but no loss as I was hoping to replace the fountain with something more "Halloween" oriented.

Okay, here are the pics!

As I sit typing, this is what the front of the house looks like. If it's not the rain, it's the wind. Wind keeps whipping the plastic around. I'm getting leaks inside and I keep trying to adjust or better secure the plastic.

Yesterday, the front yard was fairly clean. This afternoon, a new wood pile has overtaken the lawn.

We got wood! I love having the truck. It makes loading and unloading so much easier than the minivan.

The beginnings of the new front porch. The new double door entry will come out a foot from the current door.

As I go along, I have to rake out the rock and dirt and cut down the last stumps of rhody. And for those builders out there, I will be securing everything with steel joist hangers.

Entry 60: June 26, 2012
"Light showers (sprinkles) this morning, giving way to sunshine" KING5 news.

"Expect occasional rain to end Tuesday at 8:00am"

"Mostly cloudy skies today with highs only getting to the low to mid 60s. Plan on showers at times as well today, especially in the afternoon." KOMO4 news.

It's been pouring rain since 6am this morning, and it shows no signs of stopping. The tarps are holding, for the most part, but I had to put up some scrap flashing around the bay window, as one of the windows was leaking. Hopefully, the metal flashing will prevent more water from getting in.

I honestly have no idea how anything gets built in the Puget Sound. It's nearly the end of frickin' June!!

I'm hoping it clears up and I can start putting a new roof over crucial areas. The forecast for tomorrow says it will be 72 degrees and sunny! I'm going to work through every moment of sun I possible can.

Posted by Penumbra: Lol I live in Oregon, I know exactly how you all feel with the rain.
Terror Tom: You need to over here to Indiana. It hasn't rained in over 20 days! We're in a drought.

Entry 60, Continued: June 26, 2012
Right now, moving to Nevada with it's average annual rainfal of only 9.5 inches sounds pretty damn good.

Entry 60, Continued: June 26, 2012
This is what happens on a rainy day. I go to the store and buy moustache wax for the first time.

On the plus side, my daughter thinks it's hysterical.

Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: I heard that! Don't feel to bad TK, we got more than Nevada gets in the entire year, in the past 48 hours. Officially, they are saying 8.54", but I've emptied a full rain gauge of 5.5" 2x in the past two days, and still I emptied it again a few minutes ago of another 2 1/8". Everything = soaked. :/

Thankfully, Debby's finally moving out, and the next few days will be nice. Love the mustache wax! Perfect!

Okay, that puts me in my place. I'm complaining about a grand total of maybe 1.75 inches in the last 48 hours. I guess I shouldn't be whining, just changing my shirt and hat and heading back out!

Entry 60, Continued: June 26, 2012
The rain showers have pretty much torpedoed my hopes of building today. Everything is just too wet. I was able to secure some of the front porch joists and I bought some nice looking 4x4s to dress up for the front porch posts. Other than that, I'm just trying to keep things dry.

Weather report says tomorrow will be sunny and 72 degrees. I really hope that's true.

Entry 61: June 27, 2012
Sunshine graced the Pacific Northwest today and I was able to get out and build!

Today, I was able to remove the siding where the bump-out for the new double doors will go. Measure and build the first floor bump-out. Smooth the earth around the bay window and get more of the porch joists set, and get some of the second floor joists in place.

Here's the front of the house this evening.

Took time to get everything clean and level, but it's worth it!

The new double door entry will look great when it's built out. Gonna be big!

My work from the other side. Nice to see things line up. It takes a lot of measuring to get things just right.

Posted by N2Darkness: Hey man, gone through your entire thread and what an ambitious project! Everything looks good so far, but I do have a few concerns with your last pic you have posted. The 4x4's at the end of the porch are not supported enough from underneath (should go all the way to the ground and have a pad underneath) and the header above should be supported with the 4x4 underneath and not attached to the sides. I'm not an expert but if its going to be holding any type of load it needs more support or it will sag or eventually fail. Easy to fix now and cheaper in the long run.

Keep up the great work and love seeing progress pics! Enjoy tomorrow as its going to be another great day to work outside.

You're absolutely right. What you see right now is temporary and I plan on fixing it today. The front header and 4x4s will be corrected, and the revised supports will be built up as an arch.

Thanks for pointing out the error, I really appreciate it. I knew it was wrong yesterday, but I wanted to throw something across the span to get some joists above that would allow me to get some cover over the front door.

Just wanted to let you know I fixed the problem with the header and it is now perfect.

Thanks again for the comment, I want to know when something looks "wrong".

Katzilla: Amazing.....thanks for sharing!
Terra: Love checking out your progress! Looking good.

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