Gardening · Hers · His · House · Ours · Woodworking

Wonderfully (?) Wacky Weekend – unauthorized pe(s)ts

Mmmmmm… I awoke on Saturday, sleepy but wonderfully relaxed from my week in Hawai’i with friends. I had just awoken from a dream in which I was talking to my BFF and as I woke, I also rolled over to finish our conversation. I could tell by Partner’s facial hair that he wasn’t my friend Lori. Then I turned and looked out my bedroom windows. From this angle I could see the brilliantly blue sky. I just “knew” that if I got up and peeked out the window, I would have a view of the ocean. Nope. Back to reality.

Up we hopped. Partner had picked me up from the airport, so I wanted to treat him to breakfast as a “Thank You”. We headed to The Kitchen, we hadn’t been there for breakfast in awhile. As usual, it was wonderful.  As we enjoyed our breakfast together, we talked of the projects that we planned to work on during this long, holiday weekend.  My project was to replace the too narrow window well with one made from cottage stone.  The old one had made it possible for water to damage the wooden frame around the daylight basement window on the West side of the house.

and so the project begins…

Partner thought that this sounded like a good idea and so, off to Home Depot we went.  We needed the cottage stone to be able to start the project.  Then, back home to begin digging the hole.

We dug down until the depth was close to the same depth as the current window well, before we removed the too small one.

this was definitely a team effort

During the removal of the old window well, it was determined that the wooden, window sills were too rotten to remain.  Partner headed for the basement to open the window in preparation for removal of the whole thing.  Unfortunately, the window broke.  But, that did make it much easier to remove all of the rotten wood.  SURPRISE!!! The wood was not just rotten, but full of termite larvae.  ARGH and GROSS.  Back to Home Depot we went.  This time for termite spray, pressure treated lumber and replacement windows (why not do both basement windows at the same time?). Of course, we had to put in a temporary ‘window’ so that uninvited guests didn’t enter while we were shopping.

windowless window

This is about as far as we got the first day.  Son and family had invited us over for dinner.  He was cooking Cornish hens on his Traeger grill.  We brought a fruit bowl and headed over. I had all kinds of thises and thats that I’d brought back from Hawai’i. There was matching Aloha outfits for the whole family, beautiful hand painted name signs that Auntie Lori had got for the boys, Kukuwi nut leis, chocolate Macadamia nut candies, twist drums, and more.  The biggest hit with the grandsons was the twist drums and the red noses left over from Red Nose Day.

The chicken was AMAZING!  Props to Son for his cooking skills.

As we were getting ready for bed, I voiced something that I had been thinking of all day.  “Sweetie… there might be termite damage up under the vinyl siding…”

Day two – termite style:

Partner got up earlier than me and he went for a run.  When he got back he says to me, “well you are right”.  The way he said it lead me to think that this was one of the times that I really would rather of not been right.  There were termites under the vinyl siding.  bleh.  The siding had to come off.  We were always planning on taking it down and replacing it with something more aesthetically pleasing anyhow, but we were planning for it to be next summer’s project.

Taking off the siding has been interesting.  In doing it, we had two goals: 1. finding out the extent of the termite damage, and 2. removing it for replacement. I have never worked on a vinyl siding installation project so I didn’t realize how it was put on the house.  Each layer is inter-locked with the next layer.  This is true of the siding-siding, the trim on the corners, the trim around the windows, the vinyl soffits, and all of it. Depending on which piece that you remove first, the task could be difficult or bloody difficult.  Directly under the vinyl was a Styrofoam layer.  This was only under the vinyl where the previous siding had been removed.  If the installers had left the old siding up under the vinyl, there wasn’t a Styrofoam layer.

Mogdog – Molly modeling the evidence of the termite damage on the underside of the Styrofoam layer

Under the Styrofoam was a paper layer and under that was the sheathing.  The sheathing is made up of ship-lap.  There was damage to some of the ship-lap sheathing that also needed to be replaced.  I continued to work on tearing down the vinyl and removing old nails while Partner removed the damaged sheathing.

Under the sheathing was the studs and some insulation.  We are still scratching our heads over the sturdy studs construction below the first floor window and above the basement window.  Why would a builder put so much support between two windows?  This isn’t the first thing about this house that has left us scratching our heads.  Once the sheathing was removed we could see that there is also damage to the large wood plank that sits on top of the foundation.  This is not good.

a close up of the damage

First things first.  The sky was gray and ominous, so we knew that we couldn’t just leave the exposed sheathing with rain threatening. Partner remembered that he had taken down a bunch of ship-lap from the basement walls, in preparation to installing sheetrock.  He used that ship-lap to fill in most of the missing bits of sheathing. Then it was back to the Home Depot.

A roll of Tyvek, some Tyvek tape, box of staples and a new stapler (still can’t find the old ones since the move last June) and the house was safe from the weather.

None too soon either for it rained during the night and the next morning!

What have you been up to this last weekend?