Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Watch That First Step...

gaping hole...

I've been planning for some time to rebuild the steps to the carport, at least since January. When I had concrete delivered, I put in the footings for the new stairs, but mentally the task has been on the "nice to have" list, not the "do sooner rather than later" or "do immediately" lists.

Last night, it took a big leap forward in priority. K and I took a walk around the block after dinner, and when we returned I stepped on to the landing at the top of the stairs...and kept going. I knew some parts were starting to get a little rotten, but it seems that was considerably further along than I thought. The ledger board that holds up one end of the boards for the landing was completely rotted. I dropped the 7 or 8 feet to the ground and landed on my back.

Today I'm sore, stiff, and with bruises aplenty, but no broken bones. Once I'm feeling a little more limber (and I'm past the current work deadline), I'll build a new set of stairs. Fortunately we have our neighbor's steps to use, but I have to admit I was a bit nervous walking on them at first after last night's excitement.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Remodeling Really Fast

Imeant to post this a while back (say, back when I'd actually finished the work in early September), but didn't get around to unloading the pictures from the camera until today. In any event, here's a sped up version of process of renovating K's office. We tore out the drywall in the outer walls; ran new electrical, phone and Cat-5; straightened out the door; installed an exterior light outside the door; and insulated the walls. And of course repainted everything when we were done.
video
While the walls are open, you can see why blown in insulation as a retrofit would be more difficult. Not only are there diagonal braces between the studs, but there are some horizontal braces here and there, too. So it would mean at least 3 holes in some stud bays.

Monday, October 04, 2010

World Habitat Day

Today is World Habitat Day. Millions of people live in substandard housing, and in particular children are more likely to develop diseases and less likely to graduate from school when they live in poor housing conditions. But this isn't just in developing countries in Africa or Asia, it's here in the United States, too.

There are lots of way to support Habitat for Humanity. Check for your local affiliate to get involved, either by volunteering or donating or both.