Major home repairs part duex…

So as a continuation of last years home repairs I did a couple more major repairs in 2011. This year was some doors and a new deck. I started with the doors in August, replacing the front door and basement door. The front door was leaking heat/cold so bad that it was time to be replaced with a more energy efficient one.


Old door removed, getting ready to seal the footer before putting the new door in .


New door and storm door installed

After the front door was installed, the basement door was next. It also leaked water, air and was not energy efficient.

Basement door, seen it's better days.
The jam of the old door.
What was left of the old door jam. nice water damage..
New door and storm door. Rot free jam as well.



After the doors were replaced, I noticed a dramatic difference in the house. The front door no longer was extremely hot or cold on the inside, which is awesome.  The next big project was to replace the deck that I removed last year around this time.

laying the decking boards.


stair stringers built.


Deck boards laid and railings up


Finished Deck, stairs and landings
finished deck
finished stairs and landings


The bonus project that was done was replacing the basement window with a new energy efficient one.


All told with the above work and fixing a water leak that was in the wall going to my kitchen sink, it was another $11,000 in home repairs this year.  Next year I hope to replace the patio door, fix the chimney and possibly get a concrete driveway done..

$11,500+ in home repairs

This year has been a busy and expensive year. Started off in February with some “snow” in the attic. I decided to add some more insulation to the attic to help out with the heating and cooling:

Attic before work
Attic after installation of R-30 Insulation
Showing depth of new insulation

Next up was the finishing of the second bedroom. Not going to show those pics here..

Then in June my clothes washer decided to go on the fritz, so I had to replace it. This is when the rest of the money started going fast. In the beginning of July we had some really bad rain storms. I came home one night to find water in the garage around the walls. Nothing I hadn’t seen before, but it had been almost 6 years since I had seen it. What I found next was not what I had expected. I walked in to my finished family room and noticed that the carpet was wet. It seems that there was so much rain that it had come in to the garage and in to the family room through the basement wall. The carpet was completely soaked. Here is a pic of the carpet wet. The dark blue area is just part of what was soaked, that is where the carpet had started showing the water because the pad was completely soaked there.:

Family room carpet soaked with water

For reference this is what the carpet looked like before:

Carpet before water

Here is what I found when I started ripping up the carpet:

soaked carpet pad
soaked carpet pad and carpet

What the rain did to the drive way that I had recoated with 24 tons of gravel 7 months earlier:

rain ditch in driveway

So in order to fix the “water” problem, I had Bakers Waterproofing from Pennsylvania come and install a water guard system in my basement. In the simplest terms it is a gutter that is placed under the concrete floor that allows the water to go in to a sump pump to be pumped out of the house. They warranty it for the life of the house as long as I live here, or for 25 years to the next person that owns it.

Before they came, I encased the area they were to work in in plastic. The family room looked like one of Dexter’s kill rooms:

before the demo in the family room, looks like dexters kill room

Here are the pics of some of the demolishing of the basement to install it:

part of the garage floor tore up
tools of the first day of demo
trench dug in the garage
sump pump set
underneath stairs going in to family room
trench in family room
water guard with sump pump
water guard placed
starting to pour new concrete
new concrete poured in garage
concrete poured with de-humidifier access port

After the concrete has dried the family room looked like this:

family room before new carpet

So now that the basement had been fixed, something else had to happen. And true to Murphy, my air conditioner died the week that Bakers was here to do the basement work. So I had to have Air Service come out to replace my central air conditioning system.

During AC Install with rain

So what better way to finish out the summer of money spending then getting ready to replace the deck that was getting too old. Here is a before pic of the deck when I bought the house:

deck in 2003

As you can see it has a little bit of a bow in the middle of it. Fast forward 7 years and this is what it looks like:

deck in 2010
deck in 2010 #2

This pic really shows the bow, (3 inches). Needless to say who ever built the deck had absolutely no clue how to build a deck or to properly support or anchor it. Picture of the deck with it over half way torn down. Thanks to my Bosch Drill and Saw:

deck mid-demo

What made me mad (but sort of glad for the demo part) was that they had only “sunk” the support posts about 3 to 4 inches in the “concrete” footer. The footer was only about 5 inches thick and no where near code.:

end of deck post

One of the posts had a nice amount of termites in it:

deck post eaten by termites

And a final picture with the deck down. I left the ledger boards for now:

deck gone

One thing I forgot to mention, and you can see in this pic, is I had new seamless gutters installed. During the winter storms we had, part of the gutter near the back bed room got bent so far that the water would run off the roof and hit the back side of the gutter and bounce back against the house.

And the final thing that I have done this year is to get new carpet put in the family room so that I can try and get it back in to order before the holiday season:

another before pic of family room
carpet pulled up, getting ready to remove the pad
pad pulled up
new pad installed
stretching new carpet
after carpet done
after carpet done 2 (before furniture)
after carpet done (where water was)
after carpet done (family room entry way)

So what will 2011 bring? Hopefully I will get the deck replaced early in the year so I can enjoy it and some grilling during the summer. I also need to repaint the walls in the family room. ( Was wanting to do it before the carpet got installed, but they came to install it earlier than they had thought they would since it was special order carpet. ) I also hope to refinish the master bedroom in 2011 as well.

almost 7 years, finally done

Started over 6 years ago redoing one of the bedrooms in my house. I finally finished it this weekend. Needless to say, I absolutely hate wallpaper, it is the root of all evil. If you are going to put wall paper on, have a hopefully professional do it, so when people want to remove it, it doesn’t rip the backing off the wall board down. Here are some pictures of before, during and the final look.

Just freaking great

I got home this evening to find that the house was really hot.. The AC had been running all day, but the inside temp was over 80ºF… So I went down stairs to the furnace and this is what I saw:

Needless to say the inside of the duct is a “block” of ice and there is now water dripping everywhere from where it is melting.