Mill Creek Haunted Hollow: Construction BLOG

Entry 206: October 31, 2013
Halloween is here again! Can you believe it!?

Originally, I wanted to have this remodel completed by Halloween of 2012. Now it's Halloween of 2013 and I'm still trying to jump through the county hoops. I'm still pissed about the damn emergency exit egress window. I swear they approved that in the plans. But, like I said, it's Halloween and I have better things to do with my time than be bitter about a stupid window. I have to tear into a ton of candy bags, get the last-minute decorations up, clean the driveway and walking path to make sure it's safe for ToTs, get the party platters from the store, put the meetballs on slow cook, etc.

Entry 207: November 1, 2013
We got everything set up and had a blast. Here's a big collection of little pictures from last night!

Entry 208: November 4, 2013
Went to Lowe's and talked to my window guy - he's the best - and we looked for a replacement window. Found a replacement from Reliabilt by Cascade Windows that meets the egress specs (min. 20in wide, min 24in high, and a min clear opening of 5.7 sq. ft.)

The new window will be 28.5in wide, but will keep the 48in height. This means I'll need to adjust the trimmer studs on either side of the center window (good thing I had three on each side!) and recut and router some of the exterior trim. It's work, but not that much. At least I will still be able to keep the look I already have estabished.

Posted by Stick: Glad to hear that it will not have to be a total redo on the windows. It would have been nice if they had told this in the beginning.

Entry 209: November 6, 2013

Trying to build some additional shelving in the storage area above the garage this morning. Stood up some 2x4 corner posts and when I turned around to get a brace, one of the studs fell over and smacked the compressor perfectly, busting the gauge and regulator. Now I have to either purchase a new regulator that will fit my compressor, or go out and spend money I don't have to get a new compressor.

UPDATE: Did a bit of internet searching and I can purchase a new manifold assembly and gauge for $32.11, or I can go out and get a new 8 gallon oil compressor for $132. My current compressor is an oil-less Black and Decker 4 gallon pancake compressor. It runs out of air quickly and isn't good for jobs where I need a steady stream of air, like when using the paint spray guns. This will be a difficult decision.

Posted by Rumsfield: Check your local Craigslist for a portable oil type compressor with a air storage tank. I see a lot of them here from people moving or just flat broke and selling to make ends meet.
Posted by Stick: Note an oil compressor works when the oil is"warm". So if you leave this in a cold area and then want to use it you will need to heat up the oil before it works at least that the way it is on my oil compressor.
I checked Craigslist and even used air compressors are going for $150 - $250. It's crazy!

Entry 210: November 7, 2013
I am now designating the stupid, pain-in-the-ass leak in the living room a poltergeist. I have taken off the entire roof over that area. I have removed and rebuit the balcony with a steeper slope. I have used roofing felt, shingles, flashing, and waterproof sealer to ensure water travels as it is supposed to. I cannot figure out where the water is coming from and it is very aggrivating. Looks like I am going to have to remove the drywall (again) and start digging around (again). It's either that, or I call a priest.

Posted by Jack Skellington: Roofing leaks can be quite a mystery sometimes. You think you know where it's coming from and then WHAM! it's coming from a completely different spot. I had a roof leak two years ago in my workshop in the basement. Went down one day and there was water on the workbench. I said okay it must be a leak in the kitchen sink, dishwasher or icemaker line which is right above my workbench. Tore it all apart and it was completely dry.

Went to the second story in the crawl space and saw wet sheetrock and water stain coming down a roof rafter and then take a 90 degree horizontal turn to the exterior wall 32 inches away. The water then ran down inside the wall and came out on an electric wire that came through the floor behind the dishwasher and dripped onto the bench.

Sometimes it isn't coming from the logical place.

Good luck with your water poltergeist.

I think you're right. I've looked at, patched, and replaced everything I can think of above the ceiling area, but the water still gets in. It must be coming from somewhere else and traveling horizontally across a subfloor or joist to get to that area.
A friend on Facebook suggested I get some dye colors, place them in different spots, and see what color (if any) comes through the drywall. Not a bad idea.
Posted by Jack Skellington: Ding! I think we have a winner there.

Entry 210, Continued: November 7, 2013
Used some tempra paints to test to see where the leak is coming in. It's working! I narrowed it to one area with orange paint. Now I'm trying to narrow it down by using green and blue. If it's blue, that means it's part of the roof the comes down and meets the balcony. If it's green, then it's a part of the balcony where it meets the wall. I know I should have taken some photos, but I was really more focused on getting that damn leak figured out.
Posted by Skullnbones: Crossing my fingers for you!

Entry 211: November 9, 2013
Once again, I think I have fixed the leak. Won't know for sure until we get some good rain (or I get up there and use the hose).

Entry 212: November 12, 2013
We haven't had a prolonged, "hard" rain yet, but so far, the latest roof patches seem to be doing great! No leaks to report. Putting the different colors of paint on the roof to see what color came through was a brilliant idea and really helped to trace the origin of the leak.

Entry 213: November 18, 2013
My response to the utility crew that has turned off the neighborhood power for the second time in the past five days.

Entry 214: November 25, 2013
Thanks to everyone who voted. We came third place in our category in the Judges ratings, and we came in fourth place in the public rating. Either way, we're pretty damn proud!!
The 2013 Home Haunt Contest

Entry 215: November 27, 2013
Hi everyone. As you can guess, this project has not come without expense. Complications and revisions demanded by the county have consumed our initial budget. Unfortunately, our family is now also facing unforseen medical expenses that have complicated matters further. Please consider donating. Even small amounts will help pay medical bills.

You can click the blinking button, or follow this link to my homepage and click the "Donate" button there instead.

Posted by Mordessa: I'm really glad to hear that you seem to have finally fixed the leak! But, I'm sorry to hear about the unexpected medical bills! I hope it's not too serious and that whatever the problem is can be resolved quickly and painlessly. You didn't nailgun your hand to something or have another ladder break underneath you, did you?

I have enjoyed this thread so very much this past year and that enjoyment has been well worth a donation! Even if the individual donations aren't much, I know they add up quickly, so I'm going to throw out an encouragement to everybody else who has been following this thread as avidly as I have been!

Let's support our friend who has let us vicariously take part in something we've all wished we could do to our own homes, shall we??

Good luck TK!!

The kidney stone I never passed last year came back to remind me it was still there. It's grown in size and now I need to go in to the hospital for Lithotripsy - which is where they'll hit the little bugger with shock waves and shatter it into smaller bits. At least, that's the hope.

Entry 216: December 1, 2013
Thought I would post a pic of the kidney stone that "Shall not pass!"

Entry 217: December 3, 2013

Yes, I had the inspector out again and this time, we passed Mechanical, Framing, and Insulation!!! The next thing to do is put up the drywall. My wife has been waiting a year to hear that fantastic news!!!!

Posted by Stick: Congratulation on the passed inspection.
May you house come together without any more problems.
Posted by Bethany: Congratulations!! Let the finishing begin!!

Entry 218: December 5, 2013
Today's the day. I've made it to the hospital - they wanted me here by 5:30am.

6am and I'm already in my room. Now I have to change into the unflattering garb and sit for two hours.

Not stoned, just the unflattering truth of being a patient. This gives me fluids, which is good. Later on, it will give me knock-out meds. I don't envy the staff that has to move me from the gurney to the Lithotripsy table.

Not a very complimentary photo, but how is one supposed to feel after being put under?

Unfortunately, I didn't react well to the anaesthetic and I've had a crushing headache with bouts of vomiting all afternoon. I'm hoping rest, prescriptions, and sips of water will improve my situation by tomorrow.
Posted by Lisa: Wishing you a speedy recovery!
Posted by Sean: Glad to hear the procedure worked out.
Posted by Dirk: I think that gown is stunning.
Posted by Damian: Feel better soon!
Posted by Shausta: Awww, peanut!!! I am soooo sorry. Im thrilled it went well tho. Feel better!
Posted by Greg: Sorry, it's not a great experience for everyone...
Posted by Aron: Get well soon
Posted by Daniel: Get well soon
Posted by Bonedadde Ter Ran: Get Well TK! Save the stone and place in a witches apothecary jar next haunt season.

Entry 220: December 6, 2013
Got the family to pose in front of the house for our Christmas card!

Entry 221: December 18, 2013
Had to take some time off to get better, pass things, and do some follow-up visits with various doctors. Finally back on track with the house.

Drywall, witches!!

Now that I've passed all the other inspections, it's finally time to throw up the drywall. Good think I have some knowledgeable friends!

This is the upstairs guest suite. Right now it's actually our oldest daughter's room. That's the walk-in closet.

Another shot of the guest bedroom. Right now, the drywall is covering the windows, but the excess will be cut out and the windows will be trimmed.

Drywall starting to go up in the master bedroom. Finally!

Dimetri came to help because he knows I'm helpless when it comes to drywall. Well, I can hang drywall, but I can't do the mud and tape very well.

Daughter's bedroom closet is finally becoming an enclosed space of it's own.

The upstairs bedroom (currently my oldest daughter's room).

The guest bedroom, now with windows!

The guest suite (oldest daughter's) walk-in closet.

Putting up drywall makes a big mess. There's a lot of cutting and scrap left over.

Master bedroom with drywall and debris. The closed door is my office.

Entry 221, Continued: December 18, 2013
Happy to say the mud is up and dry. I'd be sanding today but we got snow last night and the girls are out of school. Too many people in the house for all that dust.

Standing at the bottom of the stairs looking up to the landing and bedroom doors. The texture is finally off the walls. Just a little sanding, and everything will be smooth.

Top of the stairs looking down at the front door. Really nice to see everything mudded and taped.

Daughter's room. I can't believe what a difference this has made. Fantastic.

Master bedroom with complete mud and tape. We've been living with broken ceiling drywall and exposed insulation for a year!

I can't tell you how exciting it is to have a clean, smooth ceiling again. It really is a dream come true.

Just another shot of the new master bedroom ceiling. Now all I want to do is lie in bed and stare at it.

Entry 222: December 20, 2013
Just in time for Christmas, we got some snow! Of course, they say it will all be gone by tomorrow afternoon, but it sure looks pretty this morning!

Elly, the six year old, is the first to venture out.

The house looks incredible in the snow.

Everything looks great in the snow. So what if I left the ladder out.

I couldn't be happier. This has become a beautiful home.

Elly, posing for a picture while the snow falls.

Love, love, love the house in snow. Makes me wish it would snow more often.

Sisters venturing out into the snow.

Love the house, love the snow, now it's time to help make a snowman.

Entry 223: December 30, 2013
Every home should have a secret bookcase door! It's the perfect attic access.

When closed, it's an innocent, dead-end built-in bookcase.

But pull the hidden latch and the bookcase opens, revealing the stairs to the third floor/attic.

Posted by Defenestrator: I have to say, I've honestly been hoping and waiting for this particular post.
After all, how could you have done all of this wonderful stuff, and NOT put the secret bookcase door in.
Posted by Mordessa: OMG TK!!! I absolutely LOVE that bookshelf door!! /drool!!! When I build my own house I'm absolutely going to have something like that! So very very very cool!!!!
Posted by S.O.S.: Secret door!!!!!! Fantastic! I have always wanted one of those and as soon as I stop moving and settle down, I am going to build one!
Posted by Stick: TK I so love the secret door to the attic.
Posted by Gym Whourlfeld: Two of my "Secret Doors" here are built using real rock and brick, of course they are in the basement not the above ground floors! The real materials probably "throw" many more people than any phoney rocks or bricks ever could, especially when they are seeking the doors and lean on them and they don't move!
Now if you can locate a bunch of old books for the bookcase with certain titles on them:"Up. Up and Away" The Secret Of Flight(s) (Of stairs)...
Posted by Diggerc: "Put the candle back!"
One of my all-time, favorite movies! I do love that scene.
Posted by Conjured Soul: Just awesome.

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