Posts Tagged ‘House Restoration’

Sealing and waterproofing the deck

Sealing and waterproofing the deck is long overdue. It’s not like it’s been years or anything, but I really want to get this taken care of before things really get cold. The weather hasn’t been cooperating though. The weather was great right after the deck was finished, but as soon as it was time to seal the deck we had weeks of rain brought on by a series of tropical thunderstorms sweeping up from Florida.

When that had blown over, it continued to rain every weekend and thwarted my plans at every turn.

But the clouds have parted and it’s moment to strike! I ran out and got several gallons of Thompson’s Water Seal in the Clear formula. I don’t want to stain the deck, just seal it. I also grabbed a sprayer, brushes and a roller just in case.

I got everything the night before so I wouldn’t burn any daylight. Turns out it’s cloudy again and looks like it’s going to rain. Why me I ask?!?!

It didn’t rain, but the threat kept me from working. I decided I would go ahead and power wash all the dirt and debris from the wood and in case it didn’t rain, I could do it on Sunday.

It didn’t rain overnight, so Sunday I was a flurry of motion with spraying and painting on sealant. It didn’t go through the sprayer as well as I had hoped. It was more of a splatter than a spray, but it was coating so went with it.

I used the brush for the hand rail and slats. It was easy work but took a long time to complete. I think I would have been better off using a roller on the deck itself and to be honest, I might try and apply a new coat in Spring just to make sure I got it all.

However, the work is done and it looks good. It penetrates well and is easy to apply. The reviews on the Clear seal was all over the place. Some said it was great, some said it sucks. For now, it seems really good to me. Funny thing is, it’s going to rain tomorrow night, so let’s see how this works.

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The attic, a dishwasher, power lines and water lines

So, things looked a lot worse before they started looking better. Since we needed power in the attic, it seemed like a fine idea to add some outlets to the baseboards in that room. Makes sense, right?

When the sideboards came off, they did the same thing as they did with the ceiling. The plaster was almost part of the wood and once again came off in big chunks. To be honest, this feels like we’re doing more harm than good to the house. We haven’t (or rather, I haven’t) run into anything like this with the work we’ve done and it’s seem like we’ve asked too much. It seemed like a good idea, but the plaster is coming off and I’m not sure how much more the house can take. Remember, this place is nearly 100 years old and we’re cutting holes that were never anticipated.

As always, Brent is unconcerned and undeterred. He expected it to do this sort of thing and again, is fully confident he can patch over the damaged bits. To be honest, it’s not really that extensive, but when you’ve worked so hard and are so close to being done, even small setbacks seem monumental.

Again, I’m glad Brent is handling this. He’s seen this sort of thing before and knows how to handle it. This is nothing new and is typical for the work being done.

The attic isn’t the only thing Brent is working on. As mentioned, he’s going to add some outlets to that room since he needs to run some modern power for the attic lights. Since he will be under the house, he’s going to hook up the water line for the fridge.

I am now going to take a moment and once again complain about how useless and incompetent BestBuy has been in this whole affair. First they harpoon the washer. Then they forget the gas lines you absolutely must have and buy from them. In yet another bonehead move, turns out, they never sent the waterline for the fridge. Make no mistake, I was charged for a stainless model at an outrageous markup, but was it actually included? Nope. Better to send two sets of washer hookups than all the pieces for the fridge. It’s not even worth complaining to get my money back. They just act like deer in the headlights and do nothing to help. You suck BestBuy. You absolutely suck.

Anyway, Brent got a new line and will be installing that. Not to be outdone, he is also going to hook up the dishwasher. Keep in mind, this house doesn’t have a dishwasher, nor a space for one. So how the devil is this going to work?

It will be hooked up in the space normally reserved for the fridge. The fridge I got was far too large to fit there. Also, the dryer sits in close proximity and is far larger than the compact one that used to sit there. The space between them will be a dash tight, but it’s better to have the dishwasher than the space.

Where will it drain? We will cut a small opening in the panel that separates the washer and dishwasher. An elbow joint will be added to the drain tube and both the washer and dishwasher will use the same drain and water supply. Not to mention, the fridge will be fed from the same water source.

Yes indeed, all three are hooked up in the same place!

Brent is going to make a small enclosure for the dishwasher which will act as it’s small cabinet. If this works, it’s going to be magic!


Dishwasher in place with it’s small, efficient cabinet enclosure. Also, an outlet was added so this can be used to hold small appliances.


We changed out the faucet since everything water related was being done.


A look at the attic space




The attic stairs with the ceiling fixed, the side boards fixed and the wall cleaned.


First cup of ice! The first couple of batches of ice need to be thrown away, but hey, it’s all working!

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Some broken stairs and an extremely brittle roof

One of my fears has sort of come to pass. We did hit a snag with the drop stairs. The first set was broken and needs to be replaced. Second, the ceiling is extremely brittle and when a space was cut out for the stairs, a fair amount of the plaster came loose.

The actual ceiling is still in tact, but right at the opening, it peeled away just like it did when I removed the wallpaper border in the bathroom. Clearly nothing Brent has done, but I have to say it fills me with concern that the entire ceiling is going to give way and come crashing down. Had I been doing the work, I most likely would have soiled myself and screamed in terror. Since it happened while Brent was doing the surgery, I don’t feel so bad.


For some reason that ceiling appears far more cracked and damaged than any other room in the house. And yes, that was well before we cut into it. It’s like it was done at a different time or has different material.

The plaster in the affected area will be covered up with support boards from the stairs and will be patched with plaster. There is so much patching plaster in this house you have to laugh.

Brent says the ceiling is stronger than it looks and should be fine for many years to come. He has full confidence everything is fine.

Well, it sort of has to be. We’ve put a giant hole in the ceiling so we need to make the best of this. We can’t stop now!

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