Tuesday, June 05, 2007

This old house

We don't have central air. Our house was built in 1947 and we bought it from the (estate of) the couple who built it. So - we have window units in the bedrooms. The one in our bedroom gave up the ghost a few weeks ago, so we bought another. This past weekend I was pulling the old one out and noticed a hole in the window sill under where the a/c was - and the wood around the hole was rotten. I started picking out the rotted wood and used a flashlight to look into the wall and saw - more rotten wood inside. I pulled the shingles off of the side of the house and the wall boards so I could see the stud wall and.........the bottom half of all of the studs and the sill plate are all rotted away. Apparently this window unit (which has been in place since we bought the house) has been leaking water onto the window sill and into the wall for over 15 years. I had s-u-s-p-e-c-t-e-d something when the paint on the plaster wall below the window started cracking last year.

I'm going to save the plaster wall, so I am basically rebuilding that whole wall, sill plate, framing and all from the outside. I will add insulation, of which there was none, too. Since it will take over 2 weeks to get a replacement window that looks like the others on the house, this will take a little while. I can at least close in the wall (framing and sheathing) without the window and then put plastic over the opening until the new window arrives. I was also able to track down replacement shingles - as many of the ones I pulled off, being brittle, cracked. Not to say, they are made of asbestos and cannot be found anymore.

It rained for the first time in a month this past Sunday - when I had removed half of the outer wall and the only thing between my bedside table and the great outdoors was the plaster.

I am wondering who I pissed off in a former life.........

18 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

meno said...

Oh the joys of home ownership. Sometimes i think that renting would be easier.

jen said...

i love renting sometimes.

but i also love a guy who knows his way around a home repair.

patches said...

I empathize with you. I was on rotten window repair duty earlier this year. Most of it was cosmetic, though I did have to patch a hole big enough to toss a cat through. I discovered the wonders of bondo. Good luck with the replacement.

Bob said...

Meno - yep, me too, except the time we got thrown out after 6 months because the owner's brother was moving back into town and needed a place to stay.

Jen - I watch A LOT of DIY tv.

Patches - were you the cat thrown through the hole?

urban-urchin said...

Oh Bob, I'm sorry. We've just replaced part of the roof. Home ownership sucks sometimes.

Sober Briquette said...

Remember back when I said I didn't think we would ever meet if it were not for the internet? I forgot about the possibility of past lives! I'm quite certain that whomever you pissed off, she was someone I knew, too, now following me around in the form of a black cloud.

Every project has hidden ramifications. My husband, being both a smart man and knowledgeable about building is often stymied because he just doesn't want to "go there."

I think I may have nightmares: plaster walls? asbestos siding? NO A/C?

Sorry, man. When do you leave on your trip?

Bob said...

urban-urchin - I'm saving the roof for a special occasion.

De - they say misery loves company.....

I thought real plaster walls was every homeowner's dream? I may not have central air, but I do have radiant heat - there are pipes buried in the slab that hot water circulates through heating the slab, and therefore the house. Happiness is a warm floor on a freezingly cold day. (it's not my fault that Georgia doesn't have that many freezingly cold days. I didn't run my heater at all this past winter).

It's looking like Bahrain will happen at the end of the month.

Mother of Invention said...

The "The Cool Goddess of Air-Con" I imagine is who you pissed off! Hope it doesn't get too hot before you can get it repaired.

thailandchani said...

Oh, yikes! Admittedly, this is another reason I like renting! It's so much easier to let the homeowner know about a problem.

I'm not good at fixing things like that.

As to who you might have pissed off, well, it's awfully hard to say, but obviously it was someone. LOL


Peace,


~Chani

The Atavist said...

Gilda Radner used to quip: "It's always something!" She was right.

Maggie said...

We have similar suspicions about our outer wall. But, as we still need to finish the basement and then we have a retaining wall that won't last one more year, the outer wall will have to wait. Houses. Humph.

But I still think its better than the two apartments we had before the house in which we could hear a neighbor beating his wife - in each of those two apartments. I'll take the repairs for the privacy.

Bob said...

MoI - it is ALREADY hot, and the replacement window won't arrive for 2 weeks. hmph.


Chani - I miss renting sometimes.....
I hope I'm working off the bad karma.

Sieg - straight up! Little Rosanne Rosannadanna. Gilda was a hoot. It was a shame cancer took her in her prime.

Maggie - priorities, priorities. My roof is next, I think.

I hope those beaten women got the help they needed to get away from their husb...abusers.

Moogie said...

Ahem...who SAYS it doesn't get freezingly cold here much. :) For whatever reason, I completely escaped me that you live in GA.

Ugh on the renovations Bob...I'm so sorry you are having to go through all of this!!!!!

Maggie said...

Bob, we called the cops on both of them. In the first apartment we moved out before we found out if she got away. The second apartment, we heard it several times. Even after the cops took him away for it. Poor soul needed counseling I think. I don't get women who stay like that.

Bob said...

moogie - I have lived in two places where there are actual winters - snow on the ground, temps near/below zero. GA just don't do it.....

Maggie - good for you! too many people "don't want to get involved".

I don't understand women who stay either. Who thinks that abuse is part of a normal loving relationship? I've read stories where they get out (like to a shelter) then go back - and are murdered.

Susanne said...

Well, about the women I'd say that often these women learned nothing else but that abuse is part of every intimate relationship they ever had.

As for the joy of owning an old house: I hear you. Though ours is brick. (The plastering of one of the outside walls fell off so we had to have it re-plastered. Then we had to have a new roof. Then we renovated about everything. Now we're re-painting the new balcony and porch...

Just last week we found yet another wet spot in the basement...

But it beats renting. Yeah. I can play the piano in the middle of the night without anybody complaining. Ha.

Bob said...

Susanne - I expect you're right about the women who seek out and stay in abusive relationships.

no one said home ownership was easy - or cheap!

amusing said...

Oh. Having discovered a giant rotting section of my house not long ago, I have to say I heard someone whisper "misery loves company" when I got to this post. Of course, my heart fell when I got to the part about you instantly knowing what to do with it and dealing with it.

I called the exterminator and never heard back. The contractor gave me an estimate that said it would be about $9,000 for wood and $45 an hour. No hint about how many hours. And a clause that depending on what they find, it might be more. And so how do I pay for a big question mark?

Renting. Hmmmm..........