October 22, 2009

Hey wow..

Hey, wow I finally got the roof buttoned up on the 'new' shed. That only took like 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. yea 4.5 months! That's way above average on projects around here.

I put the last of the ridge cap shingles on this afternoon when I got home a bit early.

OK now for the inside....

October 20, 2008

baby its cold in here!

Well the mercury was at 55 F this am when Matthew and I awoke (0630) to get the fire going.

This radiator-less house is fairly good at not retaining heat during the night. All I can say about Melissa and the boys is that they are being troupers through all of this.

Yea I missed a post or two... (perhaps more) back in September, somewhere around the 18th I think, we moved all the radiators out of the house (via moving co.) and down to a place that would sandblast then powder-coat them.

So.. long story short there has been no heat in this house since then.

August 2, 2008

movement on a project?

Wow! There was progress on a couple things around here today.

I need a big concrete lorry!

Dad was in charge of finishing up the tub surround. Which required the re-cutting of a few complicated angles. He reported finishing this up, (I haven't checked it yet).

While he was doing that I started mixing and pouring some concrete for the floor of the future shed. I was able to get two feet of the slab done. This is the first ever concrete I have dealt with. Quite a fun experience... but a mixer would be better!

I owe much of the actual progress of the two foot section to Mom. She was the official time keeper and the one who kept prodding the mixer (Dad) along.

February 11, 2008

three projects

Writing stuff down is one of the ways to visualize your thoughts. So here are three things I'm writing down that _need_ to get done this summer along with some yard changes.

  • Basement windows. I think I'll contract these if I can I want 95% of them glassblocked
  • Front porch and play room new gutters
  • Three new 2nd floor storm windows.
  • There goes, visualize the thoughts..

    January 20, 2008

    total of r49

    It has been about forever since I have posted to this house site. However, today with the help of my brother-in-law Jason I was able to get the insulation project in the attic done.

    After living with no insulation in the attic for about 2 years it feels a bit warmer (even if its only a false feeling) in the house this evening. I started installing the insulation with the help of another brother-in-law before the holidays. Things got stopped quickly once the holidays started and people started showing up. Jason and I spent about 3 hours yesterday and about another 3 to 4 hours today finishing up this project.

    Tech Specs:
    I decided to install fiberglass batts for ease of install and not trusting or understanding the products available to me for blown in. I started with a r19 kraft faced batt running with the cieling joists. Once this was installed over the whole cieling I installed r30 batts running perpendicular to the rafters. This provided a blanket coverage overthe entire cieling area and resulted in roughly an r49 insulation factor. A bit better than the 0 I had before.

    I still need to create an insulated door for the opening. And some day I'll get to the knee-wall area that needs attention as well.

    July 11, 2007

    there here...

    The TROMM team arrived today and are in their location for the time being. The laundry "room" is a ways off project but none the less we have the washer and dryer. Now I just have to level the washer and get some drying lines set up outside.

    Lack of posts != lack of stuff going on around here. Its not that there is nothing going on around here project wise its just that time is a void around this house. Projects get started, projects drag on, vacations happen, more projects get started.. etc etc.

    Will update on some projects soon.

    June 3, 2007

    Old houses and multiple projects

    Well we have returned from a week or so vacation to Virginia where we stayed with my Aunt in her very nice old house in Norfolk. This was fun for me for a few reasons. First it was a total family affair, Aunts, Uncles, cusons, brothers, sisters, etc etc.. that was all fun in itself. The other reason was the house was very fun and old and interesting, (rember I like old houses or I wouldn't be living in this old dump fixing it up :)

    It was interesting to me that dispite the more afluent area and the house itself being on a far grander scale. There were still most of the old house characteristics, slightly uneven floors, dipping floor areas where radiators are placed, single pane windows with standard storm windows as well, a retrofit of AC into an old structure. It was fun to be there for some time and check out the house, but of course the purpose of the visti was family :-)

    Ok now the list of projects that are ongoing:
    . bathroom (very slowly) *
    . front yard stone wall **
    . structured wire (yes its started)
    . dry lock basement ***

    * havent really touched this project in a while. will start working on Sat afternoons when
    its too hot to be out side.
    ** yes the stump is out (Nick). the front yard looks like a big dirt pile and a big hole
    *** my dad helped me kick off this project when he came up for a few days after
    the family get together in Norfolk

    January 3, 2007

    2006 holiday

    Well the holidays have come and gone for 2006. The old house here survived another round of company and all the fun that can bring. I actually spent no time over the holiday break doing house projects. Which was very nice actually.

    Continue reading "2006 holiday" »

    November 28, 2006

    One storm at a time

    Last Saturday I was able to get one of the new storm windows in place. This was the first storm window I have installed. It was fairly simple. We chose to replace all the storm windows with new storm windows rather than replacing the entire window for two main reasons: 1) I like the looks of original windows 2) cost.

    Continue reading "One storm at a time" »

    October 29, 2006

    Year in review

    Ok so we moved in last year in October (10/03/2005) since October is not over yet I am still leagle to do a year in review post. So here is the nice and not so nice list of what has happened to the 1921 foursquare. Lets begin..

    Continue reading "Year in review" »

    October 24, 2006

    Mondy night what to do

    Well last night since it was Monday and 11pm and snowing what beter time to take apart the boiler.

    (ok finaly got some pictures up)

    Continue reading "Mondy night what to do" »

    October 21, 2006

    Back to work

    Last week was homecoming for IUP so I took it easy and did some cleaning and help around the house before we went to the parade and football game.

    So this weekend back to work. Dispite not having alot to show for my work to day I still feel like I got alot acomplished. And something always comes up .. like the boiler starting to drip water from somewhere. (I'm still looking into this one) Will post later on the findings.

    Continue reading "Back to work" »

    October 1, 2006

    walls & inch worms

    I had hoped to get more of the walls covered with drywall than I did, but things happen. I got a good start anyway and know my plan of attack for future drywall days. Remember this is my first drywall experience. :-)

    Continue reading "walls & inch worms" »

    September 25, 2006

    looking up

    Her is a shot of looking up. Didn't think I would ever see that ...

    Continue reading "looking up" »

    September 17, 2006

    plumbing / insulation

    Since I'm a PEX expert now I figured I would fix the splice that the plumber left. Oh yea I installed some insulation as well.

    Continue reading "plumbing / insulation" »

    August 28, 2006

    First PEX

    Time to get the plumbing stubbed out rather than just flopping in the room. After finding out how to finish off the pex to valve connections with the help of a great site FHB. I've been creating copper ells down in the work shop.

    Continue reading "First PEX" »

    August 24, 2006

    Not doing nothing

    I have not been doing nothing. Which means I have been doing something.

    Last weekend we escaped from the house and went to DC to visit my sister and hang out where it was HOT. Boy I don't miss that weather.

    Before we left I started on the insulation and have the bathroom fully connected to the breaker box. This is a good thing now I have lights to work by power to the tools :-)

    Continue reading "Not doing nothing" »

    July 19, 2006

    Thinking .. and thinking

    Last weekend we all did a bit of work on the bathroom. Matthew had fun helping me cut blue XPS board to begin the insulation process. It was fairly fun :-)

    Continue reading "Thinking .. and thinking" »

    July 9, 2006


    Ok so the three month AC project has been fun .. *sort of*
    But now I can officially have a Guinness :-)

    Continue reading "guinness.gif" »

    July 2, 2006

    12 hr wall

    Well at the sart of this day I was set to install the return air duct work and insert the filter to have filtered air going into the air handler. Well after a dissapointing ..

    Continue reading "12 hr wall" »

    June 22, 2006

    Line set

    The AC contractor was able to spend a half day here today. And he will be back for a short time tomorrow as well.

    Continue reading "Line set" »

    June 21, 2006

    Officially summer

    So its officially summer around North America. This was usually a day of big fun in AK .. hiking Flattop mountain, staying awake and watching the sun go down .. oh yea it didn't. Well not here in PA we are having our own fun.

    Continue reading "Officially summer" »

    June 20, 2006


    • 26 runs
    • attic wired w/switch
    • outside wired w/disconnect
    • thermostat wired
    • drain almost in

    I'm going to shower and bed its 12:14am I'm tired!

    June 18, 2006

    AC update - 4555

    Working like mad during the evenings this past week has had some nice results with the AC project. I am not finished by any means however, I am much much further along. I will tally up the run total again in this post as well as recap what is done :-)

    Continue reading "AC update - 4555" »

    June 13, 2006

    Evening fun..

    So I've been working in the evenings lately. The plumber will be arriving early next week to do the line set. That means I have to have everything finished (save my return air stuff which I will just put a few filters over untill I get the actual unit in.

    Continue reading "Evening fun.." »

    June 10, 2006

    AC update - 4529

    Ok for those of you who keep bugging me about the progress of the ever so slow AC install. This post will tally up floor by floor what is currently installed. I will only count runs that are capped off at both ends meaning connected to the plenum and finished on the delivery end.

    Today I was able to...

    Continue reading "AC update - 4529" »

    June 7, 2006


    I haven't entered an update lately on the huge project of outfitting this old house with AC. Too overwhelming I think.. Any way here is a quick update.

    Continue reading "Two" »

    May 22, 2006

    Moving dirt

    Moving dirt is fun work if you have the correct tools also if you are 2-1/2 years old. We had company over the past week so not too much was done on the AC project dispite the great cool weather that we had. This past week would have been perfect to take off and work non-stop in the attic - Oh well.

    Continue reading "Moving dirt" »

    May 13, 2006

    AC take 7 (and 8)

    When I asked Melissa what she thought of the progress on the SpacePak project. She said, "Well it looks like...

    Continue reading "AC take 7 (and 8)" »

    May 6, 2006

    AC take 6

    So most installers would be rapping up the project. Mean while we are just getting to the fun stuff.

    Continue reading "AC take 6" »

    May 5, 2006

    AC take 5 (4 squeezed through)

    I thought it couldn't be done... Pretty impresive eh?

    Continue reading "AC take 5 (4 squeezed through)" »

    May 4, 2006

    AC take 4 (all about the plenum)

    As the title states..... Guess what happened today?

    Continue reading "AC take 4 (all about the plenum)" »

    May 2, 2006

    AC take 2 (and 3)

    Ok so I will double post since I am to lazy to post the day of..

    Continue reading "AC take 2 (and 3)" »

    April 22, 2006


    Two days into the AC project and what do we have to show for the effort?

    Continue reading "Onsite" »

    April 18, 2006

    Shipment One

    A large shippment arrived today.

    Continue reading "Shipment One" »

    April 12, 2006

    Quick Note..

    I placed a major order yesterday and thought I should post to remind myself about the initial start of this huge project.

    Continue reading "Quick Note.." »

    April 9, 2006

    Who Says..

    As mentioned before this was the big weekend for the long awaited junk removal. Our dumpster was deliverd Friday afternoon and it only took me half an hour before I got around to throwing stuff into it. :-)

    Continue reading "Who Says.." »

    April 5, 2006

    Over Due

    Ok .. So I'm way over due on entries..

    Continue reading "Over Due" »

    March 18, 2006

    Dirty Work

    Removing insulation and hearing your boiler kick on is not usually a good thing. Ok after spending the day in the attic I don't have a whole lot to show for my work.

    Continue reading "Dirty Work" »

    March 17, 2006

    Stages: the AC project

    Ok this project is big like I mentioned before.. This project also has a few other side projects that go along with it to make it all worth while. The first of which is adding ventalation and air flow to the attic space.

    Continue reading "Stages: the AC project" »

    March 14, 2006

    How Much AC

    In taking on this AC project Ihave to admit that this one is pushing my limits of keeping things balanced to run optimally and efficiently.

    Continue reading "How Much AC" »

    March 11, 2006

    Bathroom Wired!

    The bathroom remodel took a step forward today. Dad finished the wiring project. All equipment works as expected and the fan is well..

    Continue reading "Bathroom Wired!" »

    March 7, 2006

    Running numbers

    Over the past weekend I measured almost all of the various spots in and around the house. While Dad did more electrical wire work in the bathroom.

    Continue reading "Running numbers" »

    February 27, 2006

    The Rebuild is going to be slow

    Well I keep telling my self that good work takes time, which I'm sure it does. The bathroom project has slowed down a bit since all the contractor deadlines have come and gone.

    Continue reading "The Rebuild is going to be slow" »

    February 11, 2006

    Floor and more

    Wow! Things are going back in the bathroom now. We are almost ready to start more of the reconstruction phase. The main key to the reconstruction is having a sub-floor to walk around on.

    Continue reading "Floor and more" »

    February 2, 2006

    Double contractors.

    Wow! Busy day here with the noise level quite high. Melissa and I are actually amazed that Matthew slept his normal 1.5 hr nap today with all the noise going on right in the next room.

    Continue reading "Double contractors." »

    January 29, 2006

    Repairs and Removal

    This past weekend was quite busy in the bathroom with preparations for the plumber this week. Since I was taking the floor out any way the plumber wanted it out before the rough-in. I also wanted to get some joist repair done before the new hole was made for the drain system. Oh yea throw in another wall removal to that mix. Makes for a busy weekend.

    Continue reading "Repairs and Removal" »

    January 23, 2006

    90 percent gutted!

    A very eventfull day at home. I managed to scare off the electrician by giving him a headache. We have a new hole in the kitchen and by the end of the day Melissa and the boys were ready for me to stop working on the bathroom for a while.

    Continue reading "90 percent gutted!" »

    January 21, 2006

    One was left.

    Bathroom project moving along. I added some more holes in the house today and removed some plumbing while I was at it. I need to remove the old plumbing to make way for the new pipes that will bring water to and remove water from the second floor bathroom.

    Continue reading "One was left." »

    January 16, 2006

    Inside My Bathroom.

    Another dusty and dirty day at our house. Melissa is relly being a trooper with this disgusting mess. The dust alone ,caused by my distruction and the electrician, is very anoying. There is no way to contain 84 year old attic dust and the constant plaster haze. Well reguardless if you want to take a peek inside a 1921 bathroom here is your chance.

    Continue reading "Inside My Bathroom." »

    January 14, 2006

    De-plastered ... whew!

    Ok - title says it all. I removed all the plaster from the bathroom (save one area behind radiator). Cieling gone, Walls gone. To say the least this was a very very dusty and dirty job. Let me reiterate very very dusty and dirty. I lost count after 8 boxes of plaster taken down to the basement. And I don't really want to think about the fine coat of dust on every surface in the house. Along with making that enormous mess I was able to pull nails from the window trim getting these prepared for being stripped and sanded down.

    Continue reading "De-plastered ... whew!" »

    January 12, 2006

    Plumb It Right!

    Which means more work for me so I don't have to pay for more labor when the contractors come in. This is both good and bad. I have things planned out for this weekends destruction but now I'm adding a task. A task which I had not anticipated and ever dreamed I would be doing. ... Save where you can though :-)

    Continue reading "Plumb It Right!" »

    January 9, 2006

    Outside lights

    I ordered two of these lights for our outside lighting. (Thomas Lighting SL9460) One will go on the side entrance and the other by the back door. These lights I think will go well with the gas lamp I have picked out for the front of the house. Oh yea I also got energy saving bulbs for these two fixtures.

    Original floors

    Back to destruction today. I happened across this little book during my destruction. Now I'm wondering if the PO was trying to leave a message about the bathroom?

    Continue reading "Original floors" »

    January 7, 2006

    More progress
    Now that all the company is gone I'm back to the destruction of the bathroom. I was back into the swing (literally) of things at roughly 8:20 am, and today was a very good progress day thanks to some very welcomed help from my father-in-law.

    Continue reading "More progress" »

    January 4, 2006

    Holiday and News

    Well the holidays have come and gone. Our new (old) house survived the first Foote / Kirsch PA Christmas get together without a fuss. We hope to host many more of these great get-togethers with everyone and we might even be able to do laundry without going to the laundrymat.

    Continue reading "Holiday and News" »

    December 30, 2005

    Removing raised floors.
    With some great help from my brother-in-law nick I began removing the raised floor in the bathroom.

    Continue reading "Removing raised floors." »

    December 26, 2005

    Tub -n- Torture

    No we don't plan to torture all our house guests with excruciating muscle work. It has been a fun and happy X-Mas season around our house. Currently we have seven people sleeping under our roof. And we have a bit of muscle work that was able to be completed today. Hurray!

    Continue reading "Tub -n- Torture" »

    December 17, 2005

    Destruction - day one.

    Destruction Saturday was a very eventfull one. Mel and Matthew gave me the entire day to work on destroying the bathroom. To this I owe Mel big time. However, I did do some rather discusting demo work that she would not have done.

    Continue reading "Destruction - day one." »

    December 15, 2005

    Loving ants?

    Ok - Loving ants? Not really!!
    Ants are a problem reguardless of timing but our luck has happened at the very wrong time. With company coming and things getting busy around the holiday season, projects were taking a back seat to cleaning and preparing beds for our guests.

    Continue reading "Loving ants?" »

    December 12, 2005

    Relying on electricity

    Our electrical project is now underway! It is amazing how much we truely rely on electricity. Today we flip a switch and expect things to work. Our house was supplied with a 200A feed and new pannel box today.

    Continue reading "Relying on electricity" »

    December 2, 2005

    To save on heating...

    DOH! Remember. To reduce winter heating bills verify that all the windows are actually shut in your new (old) house. Yes these windows are most likely drafty, we will address that later, but they should definitely be shut once the winter weather arrives.

    November 27, 2005

    Punchlist (sorta)

    Ok I really did not get too terrible much accomplished this weekend. The holiday was nice however, with family and extended family there sometimes is not alot of time left over for "projects". I did however take care of a few small items.

    Continue reading "Punchlist (sorta)" »

    November 20, 2005

    3rd and final!

    Ok, well the third coat of polyurethane is on the floor in the master br / hall area of the second floor.

    Continue reading "3rd and final!" »

    November 18, 2005

    More Floors

    Last night we were able to get one coat of polyurethane on the Master BR/Hall area of the 2nd floor. We finished up this area within about 45 minutes.

    Continue reading "More Floors" »

    November 16, 2005

    Mineral Spirits - whew

    Finaly got the floor squeek fixed in the master br (the really annoying one) so I was able to finish up the sanding for that room.

    Continue reading "Mineral Spirits - whew" »

    November 13, 2005

    kevin vs radiator #2

    I have been monitoring the radiator valve in the MBR for the past few days much like I was the one down in the dining room earlier in the month. I happened to turn the valve 3 or so nights ago and what do you know the bonnet-nut started to leak.

    Continue reading "kevin vs radiator #2" »

    November 12, 2005

    painting - family style
    We all got some needed work done in the MBR today. Painting will wrap up tomorrow with any touchups and remaining trim spots that need to be done. We all worked together on this and has some fun in the process. Also learned some stuff about painting in an old house.

    Continue reading "painting - family style" »

    November 9, 2005

    trim-in time

    First coat is on the majority of the trim in the MBR. With the help from Mel again we were able to get the closets painted and I continued on with the trim.

    Continue reading "trim-in time" »

    November 8, 2005

    continued prep

    With the help of Mel we were able to get the majority of the prep done for panting the closets and trim. I also deviated and added some work for the MBR but it is all needed and I'm sure the couple new additons will be approved in the morning.

    Continue reading "continued prep" »

    November 7, 2005

    timely mistake

    Ok I made a very lame mistake this morning which cost me lots on the work end.

    Continue reading "timely mistake" »

    November 6, 2005

    early ambition

    Up early like normal around here. Directly after breakfast I had a desire to see progress on the MBR.

    Continue reading "early ambition" »

    surprize visit

    This morning Dad's cousin Florentz gave me an unexpected call they would be stopping by in the early afternoon to try out a few spare parts that might fix / replace the broken bonnet-nut on my radiator valve.

    Continue reading "surprize visit" »

    November 3, 2005

    original shot

    Before we get started too deeply in this Diary I thought I should upload the original picture from the MLS listing.

    the beginning

    Well we've been in our "new" house for one month now. What next?? The progress is not as quick as we had hoped, of course. We are still getting a handle on what we have to do and what actually was done to this place over the years. All good work takes time and planning and we are doing alot of the planning. :-)

    Continue reading "the beginning" »