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ShawnG PowerDork
2/23/19 8:13 p.m.

Looking pretty good.

I've had the joy of handling some "previous owner fixes" on my house.

I think Ray Charles was the electrical contractor on my house.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/26/19 6:03 p.m.

After the flooding debacle, I needed to try to regain some momentum. I felt a visual change would be good.

Wall between living and dining rooms down (save electrical stuff)

Of course, it snowballed a bit, and I had to replace/reinforce some studs, but the walls came down fine.

Drywall patch behind the former foyer complete, mud applied.

I was mildly disappointed to see that the kitchen ceiling was drywall applied over drywall.  At least that first layer will have to come down.

With a night of drinking, and waiting for the pump to do its job last Saturday, The varmit raiding the balcony revealed itself. Raccoon. I spread mothballs , and am peeing everywhere. Anybody have other suggestions to send it packing? Non-violent preferred, but not absolutely necessary.



wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/28/19 6:19 p.m.

A bit slow over here.

I've been dealing with revisions with codes (my fault. Stuff looks different torn down), and trying to find a Dentist in network. I'm grinding my teeth to bits, and flossing out a crown to boot. 

Anyway, got to ...some DEMO!


, and former bathroomS, future bathROOM.

Not much to look at, but, you know...

Now for a steak biscuit and scrambled egg dinner.


wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/1/19 5:54 p.m.

Good news: I got the cast iron "stink stack" down. 

Bad news: I let it fall through the "finished" living room wall.

We peeled a bit of the kitchen drywall ceiling to find this funky stuff:

Peeling drywall in the bathroom was a mess, dictating removal of the window to remove more multiple layers of drywall-these were in the shower, but the new layout takes that out of the equation.

And, I finally got a look at the cemesto.

It's that fibrous bit just to the left of the normal wood stud. Much thicker than I expected.


Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/1/19 6:07 p.m.

The stuff in the ceiling: could it possibly be hot water bearing for radiant heat?

wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/1/19 6:38 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

That or electric version of the same. Either way, it's gone.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/5/19 6:21 p.m.

Lots going on, but not too much photogenic.

Some may wonder about my statement, direct from codes that there are no structural interior walls in this house. I know I did. Here's the best representation I've found yet:

Basically, I live in a pole barn with site-built trusses. 3 horizontal boards, followed by a header. I ASSume these run the length of the front and back walls. Approximately 60'. There's a 4X4 upright in there, too, and I ASSume they appear every now and again. The above pictures are the two bathrooms upstairs to be turned into one large one. There's a lot of tarpaper over rotten wood which gives the appearance of something horrible-Toilet Fire!, but I believe its just rot. All to be fixed in time.


cforberg New Reader
3/6/19 8:55 p.m.

I'm really enjoying this, thank you.  I hope to never again undertake a project like this, but hats off.  Love your attitude.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/9/19 1:06 p.m.

In reply to cforberg :

I'm glad the subterfuge is holding.angry

The good news: drywall and insulation are down.

The bad news...

The heavy a$$ 1950s light/fan fixture swung down and got me. Might've really hurt if it hit me anywhere besides the head. 

I was using my trusty maul to bust up and pull the drywall. I ASSumed it was attached to the trusses, and failed to avoid in when it came down in a hail of drywall, insulation and sheet metal. It rang my bell pretty good, and bled profusely. Picture is after extensive cleaning/iodine and Neosporin. After 8 hours in the dentist's chair over the last two days, this was a cue to take the day off. If I get too physical, it bleeds nicely. I checked, and my pupils are dilating, and I can't see bone, so I'm just going to roll with it. 

We both agreed that it was somewhat miraculous that this is the first noteworthy injury in the 4 months we've been at it. Happy Days.


AngryCorvair MegaDork
3/9/19 6:06 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy :

Now that it has drawn blood, you own it!

frenchyd UltraDork
3/9/19 6:29 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy :

Glad it wasn’t worse.  Injuries are part of remodeling.  I posted about my head splitting fall a while back.  I also drove a nail into my finger but that’s About it.  

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/9/19 7:34 p.m.

Kind of cool that there are no load bearing interior walls. As I've remodeled my house I've fantasized about building a house like that so that I can change it however I want in the future.  

Still enjoying reading along. 

wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/10/19 4:46 p.m.

It's a bit lame, but I needed a visual change, but low-impact was the plan for the day, so I mounted kitchen cabinets.

The bottom ones are mocked up. Trash and recycling will go between the two on a roll out platform I'll build when I get there.


wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/12/19 6:05 p.m.

An unexpectedly bad afternoon of doing taxes had me in the mood for more demo. (It appears my employer wasn't taking out Federal income tax. Totally my fault, as I didn't notice on my paycheck stubs. Still hurts a bit, but nobody's fault but my own.)

The Master Bedroom:


wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/19/19 5:19 p.m.

This post is mostly a cautionary tale.

Also, a profound shout out to OHSCrifle.

Last week, I got knocked in the head, caught the flu, and my recently repaired excrement pump E36M3 the bed. Let me explain.

When I replaced the excrement pump, I followed the previous MENSA member's design. It had check valves like this:

As a gesture of courtesy, my Special Lady Friend and I like to light matches after a deuce, just like grandma and grandpa did. Well, those one way valves clog with matches, or damn near anything other than water, poo, and toilet paper. In my feverish state, I heard an unusual noise in the night, but failed to identify it. Turns out it was the new pump burning itself out. Could have been alleviated with an alarm (nod to OHS). 

What I should have used was check valves similar to this:

' along with a better design. 

So now, I have a new, more Heavy Dooty (pun intended) pump on the way, as well as this redesigned crap (to be re-done AT LEAST once more) going.

I freely admit that I'm an idiot who is tired of scooping poo.

I've still got to do the sump pump. Both will get alarms. 

lnlogauge Reader
3/19/19 5:59 p.m.

You might want to do a little more research with the check valves. Without a spring, those swing ones can get stuck open. Also they are made for cleaning out. Pretty sure you don't want to clean that. 

wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/19/19 6:03 p.m.

In reply to lnlogauge :

duly noted


wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/20/19 6:54 p.m.

Got a new pump, and this:

Does that look proper to those in the know?


wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/25/19 6:30 p.m.

The new pump is a Hoss. Maybe too much so. It runs hard for all of two seconds before it evacuates down to its shut-off. I do have it in the minimum advised tank, and adjusted as high as possible when it comes on, and as low as possible before it starts sucking air to shut off. It is nice to once again have an indoor bathroom.

   Demo continues on the upstairs bathroom.


wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/30/19 2:56 p.m.

Today: more demo.

I need to replace a couple of floor joists , as well as the entire bathroom floor. To do so, I need to figure out what's below, get wiring out of the way, scratch the beard, etc. 

As such, the basement continues to morph back into a basement.

I know it is hard to tell what the hell I'm doing viewed through the narrow lens of my camera/ the interwebs, but below is a shot from the mound of earth at the far end of the shot above.

and an intermediate shot perpendicular to those two, showing the plumbing that I have been involved with all this time.

All this involves careful sawzalling around, as well as snaking of live wires through various holes and such. Slow, tedious work, but necessary for the plan. Plumbing first, THEN electrical.


Scores from Habitat for Humanity:

5' bathroom vanity top $20

Square kitchen light light surround thingie $7


ShawnG PowerDork
3/30/19 4:34 p.m.

Umm.... West coast Canadian here so my experience is all above-ground, slab-on-grade houses.

WTF is with the big pile of dirt in the basement? Did they only dig half before the beer got too warm?

wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/30/19 5:26 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Footers only go so deep. Rocky ground, Government contracts, tight time-lines, etc. Basically, we had Yankee contractors digging foundations in the South on a tight time-line...Hell, to think of it, I really don't know, but yeah, 1/3 of the basement is 4' above the concrete floor of the rest of it. It leaks water like a sieve, but is built like a sick bhrickhouse. I gotta make it dry-ish, do some pressure treated framing, drainage, and cosmetic work, then we're all good, right?


AngryCorvair MegaDork
3/30/19 7:35 p.m.

I’ve never seen a combination cellar / crawl space that didn’t have retaining wall keeping the dirt with the other dirt.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
3/30/19 7:48 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

In my admittedly limited experience in Tennessee and Colorado, this is not at all unusual.

I have to admit that I'm making this up as I go along, though.


ShawnG PowerDork
3/30/19 7:50 p.m.
wheelsmithy said:

In reply to AngryCorvair :

I have to admit that I'm making this up as I go along, though.


No shame there. I'm a master at making false bravado look like skill.

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