May 5, 2016

Queen Anne gets a Paint Job, Part I

When we purchased our house in June, 2012, we knew that we'd have to get our house painted as soon as we could. Years of neglect, peeling paint, and possible citations from the City of Green Bay for lack of upkeep were all bearing down on us.

This soffit is missing quite a bit of paint.
This one is too. The water damage really affected the paint.
We were recommended Green Bay's Perfect Painter by more than just a handful of neighbors. Joel Van Stechelman has quite the reputation in Astor for painting houses, not only for his time and effort, but also for the quality and longevity of the final product. Our neighbors had their house painted nearly ten years ago, and it still looks fresh and perfect today. To be honest, I was under the impression that the home had vinyl siding on it, the paint looks so great. Calling Joel was a given.

More missing paint here.
We got Joel over to our house to take a look at the exterior. We walked around a couple of times, and he told us that he'd get us on his list.

Fast forward to September 1, 2015. Backing out of the driveway on the first day of school, ready to bring our son Jacob to his first day as a preschooler. A truck pulls up with a whole bunch of ladders. Could it be? Could it really be them?? Were my eyes deceiving me?

Sure enough! Karstin, Joel's son, and his friend Alex, were coming to set up to start painting our house. This began the journey that we will hopefully someday call our "little $20,000 house project".

Below, take a look at some pictures from before the painters arrived. Watch for updates on their progress!

Some paint is missing from this trim.

A lot of paint was peeling on this side due to a large shrub that we had to remove.

We painted over this area to protect the siding until the painters arrived.

May 3, 2016

A New Coat of Paint: The Study

Back when our home was built, wallpaper was all the rage. So were dark colors of paint, which is why we chose a mulberry paint color for our study.

Before painting...
... and after!

We love this new, dark color. With the high ceilings and the large windows, the space doesn't feel small, as is what sometimes happens when walls are painted a dark color.


... and after!

A New Coat of Paint: The Nursery

The walls in our nursery were in rough shape. Something must have happened and caused some damage years ago, because the plaster on one of the walls was patched and very pitted and bumpy. The room was painted in a faux finish, probably to hide the imperfections of the newer plaster.

Some cracks have been repaired.

We tried to even out some of the rough parts by smoothing some joint compound over the pitted and uneven surface of the wall. There were also a few cracks in the walls, which we also repaired.

This large hole took three layers of joint compound to fill in!

After everything was smoothed out, we had Nitka Painting come over and give this room a new coat of paint. We loved the color of the playroom so much, that we had the same color in here. Look at how it turned out!

The color turned out great.

September 4, 2015

Carport Conundrum: The Deck

After the old rubber roof was removed from the house, we were able to get the new one put on. It took the better part of a morning, but it sure turned out great.

The floor joists are in place, ready for the cedar deck boards.

The gorgeous cedar boards are ready to be put up on the deck.

The finished product!

We are looking forward to putting our patio table and chairs up here once we get our railings installed.

September 2, 2015

Carport Conundrum: The Support Columns

What a winter we had! It was so cold that even some schools got cancelled a day in advance. When things got really cold, we noticed something with our carport. The shifting in the ground caused one of the support columns for our carport to heave upwards and look like it would tip over.

Yikes! Tyler created a joist that would help support the weight on that side. Of course, he chose the coldest day to do this. When things started to warm up again, the joist wasn't needed anymore, so we took it down.

We didn't want this to happen again this coming winter, so we had Pat Drury from Drury Designs take a look. We needed to get a look at what was under the current columns to see how to proceed.

What's down there?
Earl starts the excavation.
Ah... Just as we suspected. We'll need to start over and put some footings down here.

Just like on the front, and now side of the house, we'd need new footings under these support columns as well.

Eric from Roffers Concrete Construction coordinated the formation of the footings under the carport columns.

The hole has been dug, and we're waiting for the forms.

This is what had to be cut out of the driveway to make room for the new concrete work.

Part one has been poured.

The footing is done and dry.

The reconstructed stone columns with new tops.

The reconstructed columns from another angle.

After the stone columns had a chance to set, Curt and Mark were able to put the columns back up.

Steve had to make new bases for the columns; the original ones were very damaged

Bottom - the original base for one of the pillars; top - its replacement

Once the support columns were back up, we could have the new piece of concrete poured. Watch for an update on the new concrete work, coming up soon.

October 3, 2014

That's Jacked Up

A corner of our kitchen was added after the house was built. The odd thing was that it was a floating corner, and there was no support underneath it. Fast forward fifty years, and now we have a sagging problem.

Look to the right of the scaffolding. See the downward slope?

There's nothing holding this corner up!

This is also the same corner that once had a leaky ceiling. Perhaps this addition wasn't carefully planned out and properly built?

In order to fix this problem, the corner would have to be jacked up from the outside... a quarter of an inch at a time. To prevent our windows from being cracked, they took them out and temporarily filled them in with plywood.

It's working!

The jack is doing its job. That's Curt doing his job. 

We were without windows for a while.

The corner is now where it belongs. The deck has been added, too.

Now that the windows are back in, it's a sign that this project is moving along!

September 26, 2014

Carport Conundrum: Electrical

When we bought our home, we had fun figuring out what all the light switches did. We had one that we were sure powered the light fixture under the carport. When we flicked the switch, however, nothing happened. Either 1) the bulb was dead, or 2) the switch wasn't for that light fixture.

After getting started on our restoration of the porch on the south side of our home, we knew we'd want to know that this fixture had a switch. Tyler got on a ladder and swapped out the bulbs. Sure enough, it worked! The only thing was that the wiring for this fixture ran along the outside of the house. It didn't look that great.

This conduit looks awful! Good thing we won't need it anymore.

While this was all going to be opened up, we wanted to have the wiring come through the wall, so we could get rid of the conduit.

The hole in the ceiling is just waiting for the new light fixture.

Watch for an update after we install the new light fixture!