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!


September 22, 2014

Carport Conundrum: The Roof

While we were working on getting the carport columns redone, we wanted to redo the deck as well.

Originally the surface was an asphalt roof that had far exceeded its life. It was sloped so the water would run off the north and south sides and into rain gutters. The surface was also pretty cracked, and we were sure that water was getting inside. The wrought iron railings were also in bad shape and would never hold if someone leaned against them.

A photo taken from last year, long before we started any construction
on this side of the house.


The railings have been removed, as have the gutters and other pieces of trim.

The black rubber roof has been removed, and you can see the water damage.

New wood has been added to support the new rubber roof being put on.

The new roof is coming along!

Just about done!

The new roof is sloped so that rainwater will run off the west side only, and it will drip directly onto the grass below. We should no longer have a need for gutters on the carport. This is great news! No gutters to clean or maintain. The more low maintenance things we have with this house, the better.




July 31, 2014

Porch Foundation

Now that our south porch has been removed, it's time to start the rebuilding process. The first thing that needs to be done is to have a solid foundation on which to build the new porch. Just like when we had our front porch renovated, we'd need to have concrete footings under the stone columns.

Here comes Earl!

Digging the holes for the concrete pilings under our stone pillars.

Putting the forms together.


With the help of Earl from Earl's Excavating and Eric from Roffers Concrete Construction, we are ready for the next phase in our porch rebuild.

The form is ready for concrete.

The truck is here!

One wheelbarrow full at a time, the forms get filled up with concrete.

Jacob the Foreman watching to make sure the job's done right.




July 25, 2014

Porch Demo

The porch on the south side of our home has been in need of serious repairs since long before we moved in. After having Pat Drury of Drury Designs take a look, he confirmed what we'd been fearing all along: we'd have to do a complete demo and rebuild.

The old porch after demo had begun.
The sagging gutter and the beadboard underneath has been removed.


The square pillars will be replaced with round ones, to match the front porch.
The square ones will be reused in a unique way...

We weren't that brokenhearted about it, simply because it was in bad enough shape that it likely would have cost more money to repair it than it would have to start over. Furthermore, the porch wasn't original to the house, so we saw this as an opportunity to match our newly completed front porch.

We attempted to get historic preservation tax credits through the Wisconsin Historical Society for the repairs to this porch -- and the other large projects this year, however, they did not approve our application.  Since the porch was added to the house during the "historical period of significance" the WHS mandated that it must be restored to the style it was when we purchased the house, instead of the historically accurate design that Pat drew up for us.  It is a shame that the state is so rigid in their views because this new porch will fit the design of the house better and not look like it was added as an afterthought.

Removing the old metal roof. 

The porch is gone!

This area is going to be seeing a lot of activity in the next few weeks...


We will keep you updated on the reconstruction as it happens!

July 15, 2014

Front Porch Recap

Since we never recapped all the work that was completed on the front porch, here is a short post that sums it all up.  Age, water damage and dry rot had caught up with the porch and it was in dire need of attention.  Pat Drury and his team did a spectacular job of restoring back to its grandeur.

The restored porch after all of last year's projects.
The leaning porch columns were taken down, new footings were poured, and the block was restacked as they were originally.  Weak areas of the porch were reinforced from underneath and rotted wood along the top and bottom edges was replaced as needed.  The metal roof was removed and replaced with a dimensional shingle that more closely resembles the slate on the turret.  Lastly the broken steps were removed and new concrete steps were poured.  This was quite a summer project -- now on to the next one!


June 19, 2014

Stepping Up our Porch Repair

We were in our house less than three days when a gentleman from the City of Green Bay stopped by. He knew that we had just purchased the home, but he still wanted to make sure we were "aware of" the numerous code and/or safety violations that we had inherited. (While we were having this conversation outside, we already had plumbers and electricians working inside to fix various issues, including several code violations.)

One of the things he mentioned were the broken, crumbling front steps. No kidding! They looked like this!

The steps were in bad shape.

We knew that the steps would be replaced during our porch repair project.

Part of the bottom step has already been cut away and removed.

Eric Roffers from Roffers Concrete Construction did a fantastic job in knowing what to do to make our steps look original. He ordered some forms so that when the concrete was poured, it would be rounded on the front edge of each of the steps.

The forms are in! Now we're just waiting for the concrete.