Mill Creek Haunted Hollow: Construction BLOG

Entry 79: July 21, 2012
What difference a sunny day can make! We got another section of roof on top, plus a lot of the mansard roof sections cut out, and we secured the roofing felt to the top roof. Hopefully no more leaks!!

We added the front wall to the far left tower base, put in more rafters, and secured a lot more sheathing.

I'm very excited to see the mansard roof come to life!

Posted by N2Darkness: Great progress! Looks like your having a little trouble bending the 1/2 OSB for the mansard roofing. You could try cutting a few shallow kerfs on the backside no more than 1/4 inch to help bend it into shape. As long as it is secured well shouldn't be an issue.
That's a really good idea. The top section fit together perfectly, but I screwed up the angle on the bottom piece. I think if I remove the smaller panel and try again, I'll get a much better joint.
Posted by Frughoul: Looking fantastic man! Quick question - where are the gutters gonna go?
Gutters? :S I'll be putting on facia around the tower roof for gutters and I'll have gutters on the hip roof, but I'm just letting the mansard run free.
Posted by Ghost of Spookie: I check in to this thread every so often and wow, the latest framing photo really gives you a great impression of the look and feel of the house. Spot on with the original plans from how I remember them looking. Amazing to watch it take form. Hoping for all sunny days from here on out for you and no T-Rexs in your vicinity. That photo really cracked me up.
Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: Nice progress TK. Really moving along now that you have some decent weather eh? N2Darkness's kerf suggestion is a solid one, and one I'd recommend as well.

Entry 80: July 22, 2012
The rain came back in this evening, and I'm happy to say, we're dry!! The sheathing and felt paper are doing their job.

This is the old peak. A ton of water was running down the sheathing into the gap, and then down onto our bedroom ceiling.

A nice shot of the old peak and the new rafters. And it's all dry!!

A little rain is coming through the round window opening, but it's so, so much better than it was.

Posted by Nexus: It's really starting to take shape! I showed my girlfriend your house and before I could even broach the subject of buying/building/or remodeling into something like this she immediately shot me down... She is extremely halloween supportive but I guess she's not clinically insane like you and I probably are (at least in most peoples eyes.) Keep up the good work! I'll continue to live vicariously through this thread.
Where do you live? I ask because every month, the last page of "This Old House" magazine features a historical house that's for sale, usually cheap! In the new issue, they feature a wonderful Victorian with some land in Tillamook, Oregon. That's about 400 miles away from us, but we love to visit in the summer. It's supposed to be on the coast, overlooking the Pacific. Sounds fantastic.

Usually, the homes they feature are on the east coast, or central U.S., so it was exciting to see one from the west coast.

Posted by Nexus: I'm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area now and there aren't a lot of that style here. I'm originally from Mississippi and there are a lot of Victorian and Antebellum homes there. I think you're going the better route by remodeling anyway. Old homes are drafty, expensive, poorly wired, poorly insulated, and a pain to maintain. You get the fantastic asthetics without all the hassle... well, it's a hassle now but over the long term. I've always thought it would be a lot of fun to do a Civil War battleground in the front yard of an old Antebellum home.

By the way, I'm familiar with Tillamook in a superficial way... They make the best pepperjack cheese on the planet.

Anyway, good luck with the weather and I'll be awaiting the next update!

You are correct, Sir! Tillamook is the best cheese. We're very lucky in the northwest that Tillamook cheese is so available. We get shredded, and we buy the 5lb blocks of cheddar. Every once is a while, I'll puck up a small block of their blue label "aged white cheddar" It's fantastic.

Entry 81: July 24, 2012
I am usually very careful when working with my tools, but today I had to hold a small block of wood up and wanted to hit it with the nail gun to secure it. Well, narrow piece of wood, nailing with the grain, and . . . I shot a nail through my fingertip!

It's already stopped bleeding, and I can type just fine, so no worries, but I sure did a funny "I'm in pain" dance on the balcony for a minute or two!

Posted by Danielj2705: That looks VERY sore! Hope you get better soon.
Posted by MissMandy: Oh yuck!
I bleed for my passion!
Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: Stop. copying. me. LOL! DId the same thing with a 1 7/8" brad on Saturday! Except that I was firing into a 45° angle, and it bounced. It might have been a smaller nail, but it went straight through the bone.

I was lucky. It just went through the tip of my finger. Well, it went through the scrap piece of wood I was holding, through the corner of the 2x4 I was nailing into, and then through my fingertip. The nail stayed in the 2x4 while I pulled my finger away.
Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: No matter what, that never feels peachy! At least you had something to pull against, but come to think of it, I was lucky too. There wasn't really any need for a doc, because it's not like they can do anything for it once I pulled it out, so no x-rays to confirm my suspicions. But considering how easy mine came out, and the level of bruising, I'm fairly sure it split the bone cleanly. I'm pretty sure it severed a couple (few?) of nerves on the way through, because it's pretty much still numb aside from putting pressure with it to clamp something down. I feel it around the bone a bit then...

Otherwise, it just feels like when your leg falls asleep, and right before the pins & needles from the circulation returning to normal starts. It's like I have a phantom finger.

Posted by Hallorenescene: ow, that hurt.
Posted by Terror Tom: Dang TK! I know your pain. I myself have done that. It happens so quick you don't really feel it until your brain realizes what you have done!!!!
Posted by Halloween Princess: I have yet to make it all the way through this thread. But it's looking great. I've been following the progress on the Haunted Hollow facebook page. Maybe this year since I'm not hosting a party, I can actually make the trip up to see it.
Posted by James B.: Nail in the finger ouch. I cut my finger open on my table saw three weeks ago, needed five stitches, it sucked.
Yikes, that sounds much worse! I've had my share of slips and close calls, but I've haven't cut myself on the miter, table, or skill saw yet. Knock on wood.

Entry 82: July 25, 2012
Happy News!! The windows have arrived! My window order has arrived and I now have ten beautiful windows that need to be installed.

Entry 82, Continued: July 25, 2012
Did a lot today. Finished framing out the other bedroom, ripped out the old dormer, drywall, etc, and put up the exterior sheathing!
The new northeast east corner of the house. The angled 2x12 shows where the old roof line was. This bump-out and single window will be the bast of one of the towers and will also be my daughter's closet.

Another shot of the room. This shows the double window that will be a part of the bedroom, and the wall separating her room from my office.

Detail of the double window.

This is the double joist that holds the new joists for the attic. The closet wall will come out to this point and support the double joist. Again, the remaining sheet rock shows where the roof used to be.

We got our windows today!! I was going to install them, but we have a few more things we want to get out of the rooms (like drywall) before we put the windows in and have to carry everything through the house.

The outside shows the new sheathing for my daughter's room and the bump-out, which will be the closet and base of the corner tower.

The house as it stands at the end of the day.

Posted by Raven's Hollow Cemetery: Ah yes, very nice! Looks like completion is going to be well in time for the big day! Ya might be able to slip another project or two in, even.
Posted by SavageEye: Can you put up the latest plans?
Here are the elevation plans after working with the county. I'm skipping the special garage door for right now because I couldn't show the appropriate engineering for the actuator motors and setup. Looks like that's something I'll have to tackle later.

Here are the floor plans, for anyone that might want to know what room(s) I'm talking about.

Posted by Irishguy: Holy smokes TK! I just realized what you're missing in the plans. A wrought iron widow's walk and a bat weather vane!
I will be including those elements, but the county doesn't have to know that!

Entry 83: July 26, 2012
Another push from Planning and Development. I need to include an egress window from the master bedroom. I will need to check on the specifics. I know I need a window that can open with a minimum of 3.7sq ft. If there is no specific width, I can get a 2x4 casement window to replace the middle of the three double-hung windows. If I need/want a little more space, I can change the middle window to a 2x5 casement.

If there is a width requirement (which there might be) I may have to either widen the middle window to 30" or see if I can replace the middle window with a 24" door. Ugh, building codes can really frustrate me.

Entry 84: July 29, 2012
Been a few days since I posted anything about the house, but my wife and I took a little mini-break to celebrate our anniversary. Had a nice time with beer, yummy food, walking, talking, and the Dark Knight Rises. It was great!

But now, back to the house. Planning and Development came by on Thursday and pointed a few things out, so I need to address those things and get back to them. Nothing dire or earth shattering, but I do need to switch out one of the windows in the master bedroom for a proper egress window. I talked to the county and all I need to do is replace one of the 2x4 double hung windows with a 2x4 casement window.

So, this is the house Sunday afternoon.

I'm still working on the sheathing and second round window, but it's coming along.

My oldest daughter and I spent the morning cleaning up the front yard. We removed a lot of debris.

This is how my eight year old sees the house when she looks up from the front lawn.

Posted by TheMonsterMasher: That is going to look so awesome, great job on it!
Posted by Penumbra: It's coming together very fast considering how just a few people are working on such a big project. Now if you where an entire construction crew, I'd be screaming at how long it's taking. Lol.
I'm the only one building right now. Occasionally, I ask my olded daughter to come out and help hold things in place. Other than that, I'm on my own.
Posted by Hallorenescene: ahhh, how wonderful is that! soooo sweet.
Posted by MissMandy: Wow, it's taking a whole new life now that some of the windows are in.
Posted by Terror Tom: Wow! It's really coming together. Great job. You might inspire the rest of us to do something like this. I know I would like to do something like this someday.
Posted by IowaGuy: Hey, I'm Brand new to this entire Halloween Site and a newbie custom prop maker. Based off your images provided of what your "aiming for"...Very Very Cool!
Posted by Danielj2705: It's looking fantastic! It must be great to look at and think that you did that.

Entry 85: August 1, 2012
Can't believe it's August first! Removed the roof five weeks ago and I'm still working on completing the new roof. I'm happy to say that all the walls are up, most of the sheathing is in place, and all the windows are in. I'm currently working on the far tower peak (the one on the left corner of the house).

Unfortunately, I may have to put things on hold for a bit while I wait for the county to catch up. I'm trying to schedule an appointment with them, but they need to examine the framing and roof before I can move forward with drywall and shingles. After that, I then need to put up the siding and get some painting done. The hiccup seems to be my plans. Seems the county would feel better if I had an engineer sign off on the plans. That's time and money I hate to waste, but it is what it is.

The last stage, which will keep me busy right up to Halloween, is building and adding all the Victorian details like the corbels and moldings.

I'm already getting very nervous about time.

Posted by HallowSuzieBoo: OH.....MY....FREAKIN'......... GAAAAWD!!!!! TK TK TK!!!! YOU ARE THE MOST AMAZING TRANSFORMER ON THE PLANET!!!!! JEEPERS -- I go away from the forum for a few weeks and just LOOK at what you are doing to your home!! AMAZING!!! Tell ya what....Howzabout I get you plane tickets to Cincinnati and you start on our remodel project...uh...well sometime after 10/31/2012!!! You DO need a GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS in CINCINNATI, don't you?
Superb sir ...simply superb.
Posted by James B.: Nice progress made over the weekend, I cannot wait to see it with the new siding/paint and roof.
Posted by IowaGuy: Is that a 3rd story I see?? Man, I'm soo tempted to ask the budget for this Amazing project but its seriously none of my business. Please keep the updated/progress pictures coming!
Posted by Mr_Chicken: Wow, making great progress, TK.
I'm doing ALL the work myself, so I'm saving thousands and thousands of dollars. I'm basically only paying for the materials. The important thing to know about me is that I am very frugal (cheap, tight-ass, scrounger). So far, I've spent:
Lumber $2,765 (Helps to look for deals. Mainly buying Hem/Fir dimensional)
Fasteners $310 (I can get 4,000 nails for $40 -- great deal!)
Concrete $100 (this was cheap because I mixed and poured myself)
Windows $2,115 (ordered new windows for all the construction. Going to build the round windows myself)
Electrical $325 (Wire is expensive, and I am putting in a new subpanel)
Insulation $110 (So far, I've been re-using a lot of the insulation, but I have bought some R-21 to be in code)
Paint $150 (bought 10 gallons of Hemotite for the exterior with a great coupon!)
Dump $265 (at $105 a ton, I live in one of the most expensive counties to dump trash)
Permits $2,650 (Gotta feed the county)

So it's come out to $8,790 so far.

I will need to purchase more lumber, sheetrock, siding, shingles, etc. We have a current estimate for new carpet that's $3,500, but I think that's a bit much and we'll continue to shop around. My original estimate for this project was $12,000, but that was just an estimate. Realistically, it's probably going to be closer to $20K.

Posted by Kathy2008: Awesome work! I just found this thread today and am so happy for you! I would sleep better if I were you having an engineer sign off on the project as you basically built a new house on top of your old one!!! You should be featured on your local news station. Maybe the exposure would interest a few people to help you finish it!

Entry 86: August 2, 2012
Got a little work done this afternoon. I was able to build out the other dormer and put in the base frame for the corner tower.

I don't know if I will be able to incorporate this, but I'd love to put this weathervane I found at Lowes on top of one of the towers.

Entry 87: August 4, 2012
Got my wife to start stripping today!!
Well, stripping the old paint off the salvaged front doors we found.

Entry 87, Continued: August 4, 2012
Here's a pic I patched together that shows the new attic space.

Posted by Witchy Poo: Your house is going to look amazing. Have you ever looked at they have some beautiful roof crestings.
Posted by HexMe: This is absolutely amazing, you're very talented. I've really enjoyed watching your project take shape and can't wait to see more. Great job!
Posted by Vampyrespro: I'm speechless; what a project to take on, but it's coming out beyond amazing so far. Really can't wait to see it when you're done! Love the weathervane, btw.
Posted by Mordessa: That weather-vane is perfect!! You should totally try to find a way to incorporate that into the build! I love it!

Man, what I wouldn't do to have that kind of an attic space in my house! It looks amazing! So much room for storage! Have you gotten all the approvals now that you were waiting on? How is the roof that you've got so far holding up against the rain? Is there still a possibility of water damage if it rains again or are things relatively covered and safe now? I was so bumming for you when you were having all that rain trouble!

I am soooo loving this thread! I have barely had any free time to troll the rest of the Halloween forum lately, but I always make time for this thread because it's so fascinating to watch everything you are doing!

Btw, I may have said this before when you posted the pic of those doors you are salvaging, but if so, I'll say it again! Those are great! They will be so perfect on the new house!!

On one hand, I can't wait to see this project finished, on the other hand, when it's done, I'm really going to miss watching the build take place! lol Thanks again for sharing this with us TK!

I do like the weathervane. I'd like to do a bit more research to make sure it will be durable and is the right size, but if it will work, I'll mount it to the top of the far left tower. That's a good tower for a weathervane because the roof comes to a point.

I have a meeting with the county on August 14th. After that meeting and inspection, I should (crossing my fingers) be able to move forward with shingles on the roof and siding on the outside of the house. Maybe even drywall inside.

The roof is holding up very well. The combination of sheathing and felt paper allow the rain water to run off properly. I'm hoping the nasty leaks are a thing of the past.

I really like the doors, too! I'm very excited to get them cleaned up and repainted. I think their molding and trim will really add to the new entry.

Posted by Frughoul: So, did the county tell you to stop work until the 14th? That doesn't make sense, why can't you finish the roof? Regardless, looking good man!
Yes, I have meeting with the county on the 14th and after that meeting, I should be able to shingle the roof and side the house. I've got some shallow slopes and I need to clearly illustrate how I'm going to finish the roof. Sheathing, roof felt, asphalt strips, rubber coating, etc. Need to make sure I'm "up to code".

It's a headache, but I have a lot of other building I can still do, and a ton of detail work I still need to get through, like sculpting the corbels and refinishing the front doors.

Posted by Frogkid11: Your project is absolutely AMAZING!!!! I know you have heard that several times already, but I just joined the forum and found your thread and am in total amazement. Are you doing all of this work by yourself or are you subcontracting any parts of the build? Congrats on your progress and I can't wait to see it totally finished!! Good luck.
I'm doing all the work myself. I had some family come over in the beginning to help with the teardown, but since them, I'm pertty much putting this together by myself, with the occasional bit of help from my wife and/or oldest daughter.
Posted by The Red Hollows: So, will it be ready in time for the Mill Creek First Ever Haunters Party? You know, the party where you invited your fellow Washingtonians and Halloween Forum pals over for a lovely, spooky party? Looking good. Have fun with the county.
HA! That's not a bad idea. Currently, I'm on the HomeOwner's Association, and every year I host the October meeting. It's a great chance to show off the house. The meetings are the third Tuesday (right now) of every month, so I'm really hoping I can get everything done and decorated by then.

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