Friday, August 7, 2015

It's officially DONE!

After over six years of labor, sweat and tears, we passed our final inspection last week! We can now legally inhabit our house.
To celebrate, I wanted to share with you a few pics.  And, just for completeness, here's the back stories too.
Here's an interior tour when we bought it. (It's okay to laugh and know that we were nuts to buy it. )
Here's some pics of the gutting.
This post has pics of painting the walls.
And here's how it looks now:
Exterior front (beige and gray, with a dark red door). The front porch has a "bridge" over the lowered front yard, creating a sort-of moat. The main floor is wheel-chair accessible.
Exterior back (I had a hard time getting a good pic of this). There's a walk-out basement, and a huge deck off the main floor. We'll eventually put a second stove out on this deck so that I can do summer canning outdoors.
Gutting the house removed a lot of old character (it was originally built in the 1890s), so my hubby custom-built molding to re-instate some of the character. 
More of the custom molding work. Main floor walls are gray, trim is white. 
Exterior doors are dark gray.
Hickory flooring on the main floor. It's stained a grey-ish mid-tone that is a bit lighter than I thought I wanted, but I ended up loving.
Chester poured in place concrete countertops.
Kitchen has cream cabinets with dark hardware, concrete countertops, stone-look linoleum flooring, and a stainless steel backsplash behind the stove. Same gray walls and white trim as the rest of the main floor. 
Another view of the kitchen, with the custom stainless backsplash behind the stove. Eventually we'll pop a panel over those holes under the sink....
Second story (there's 3 bedrooms and a big bathroom up there) has very pale greyed out blue-green walls (that I'm mentally thinking of as "Russian sage", because it's nearly the color of their leaves), with light maple floors.
I love the teal doors.
The second story bathroom has dark wood, and eventually will have some color other-than-white walls, but right now they're still just primed. It also boasts a jacuzzi. (Main floor bathroom didn't make my pics - it's a very greyed-out lavendar color, with white trim and all white fixtures).
The basement stairs have bright carpet to visually signal that we're entering the kid zone. Basement walls are where the bright and fun painting is, and where the kids play area will be. It's officially unfinished territory (we're not adding a ceiling or floor other than the concrete), but I suspect we'll be down there an awful lot. You can see pictures of most of the fun wall murals here.

The basic themes that we went for in decorating is muted and calm main floor (it ended up with light and mid-tone neutrals, with dark hardware and dark gray doors. The main colors are cream, white and gray - floors add in a mid-tone brown.) Upper story theme is light and airy - it's mostly blue-green - very light on the walls and teal doors, white trim and light floors. The basement theme is fun and kid-friendly - there's murals on the walls, and wild crazy carpet going down the stairs.

We're so excited to have the official "okay" to move in!  Moving date is set for August 29th.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Painting Party

I suppose that one of my favorite things about redoing an old house is the wide variety of how things get accomplished.

A while back we had a "Painting Party", where Chester fixes up a bunch of reasonably nice food (which in our world seems to mean lots of meat), and we invite everyone we know to come join the fun (and by fun, we mean hard work). We generally have 15-40 people show up to "join in the fun". This time we had 25-30, plus the seven of us.

We worked for about 8 hours (people came and went through out the day - only Chester was there for all of it), and managed to prime or paint (sometimes both) everything but two of the three bathrooms in the house (one we needed to keep functional, while in the other we stored all the stuff that couldn't be in the rooms getting painted).
It won't surprise you that we're overly frugal with paint, so instead of buying the shades we wanted, we bought lots and lots of mistints, and Mr. "can do everything" Chester custom mixed shades to my request. The main floor is a sedate gray, the upper story is a light greyed-out blue-green that I've dubbed "russian sage" after the plant. There's a bright orange room (why he bought that mistint, I must admit I wonder, but it'll be canning and freezer storage, so much of the wall won't be seen), and about half of the lowest level (a walk-out basement) is in murals.
Here's way more pictures than you want:
Amy's Office - a light greyed-out green-blue that we're calling "Russian Sage" after the plant.
The "Sun Room".  Not because it has windows (it doesn't), but because it makes your eyes hurt to look at it.  Our freezer and canning storage will be in here.
Some terrific help painting the tall stairwell to the second story.
Main floor walls are gray with white trim.
The library has a red reading nook (aka closet)
Help painting flowers and butterflies in the girls room.
There may have been more painted than just the walls....
The blue tape denotes bed height.  She's having big flowers below and purple mountains majesty above.  She was singing as she painted.
Painting the flowers and butterflies wall.
Painting a tree
A solar system for a bedroom wall
Beware of the little boy with the green roller
More trees
Big flowers
A city-scape by the laundry room wall
A panorama of the kids area in the basement.

Monday, February 20, 2012

CASE 1816c Skidloader for sale $6500

History and specs:

The Case 1816 was manufactured from 1973-1985, the 1816c started manufacture in 1981.

The Case 1816 is a fully hydraulic skid loader; it was designed with an 8 gpm fixed displacement system pump with a relief pressure of 1150 psi, the drive system is separated into two halves (RH & LH) each having a dedicated hydrostatic pump and motor. Each drive system motor is connected via chain drive to both wheels of the respective side. The hydrostatic drive system provides infinite variable speed from 0-4.8 mph in forward and reverse. The lift arms and bucket tilt each have two hydraulic cylinders controlled via an open center valve. On an open center system hydraulic fluid passes through the pump to the valve and returns to the hydraulic reservoir. When commanded the hydraulic fluid is diverted to the respective cylinder, the system pressure relief ensures that the cylinders are not over loaded. The bucket design operating load is 800lbs.

The Case 1816c is equipped with an Onan B43M (16 hp) gas engine and 20 amp, 12vdc electrical system. It is equipped with 5.9x15 tires. The rims are offset and reversible to provide the option of dual width profiles (35” and 42”). The machine weighs approximately 1900 lbs.

I have personally used this loader through the last couple of years for personal projects including backfill, cleanout, and landscaping. It is a well designed machine. I had a few leaky lines and when the starter died it made a good time for a rebuild. I am a licensed aircraft mechanic with more than 12 year experience with structures and hydraulics. As you will see the job was done right. After rebuild I have run the machine for 5 hours. There are ZERO leaks. Here is a summery of the rebuild.

If you desire, I have a manufacture brochure covering specs, dimensions and options on pdf I can send you. I also have the service manual which is included in the sale.

The Body:

Disassembled, cleaned, primed, painted.
ROPS cleaned and repainted.
Brand New wheel rims.
New hardware.
New Decals (with a couple exceptions that were not locatable)
Teflon washers installed into control system for smoother control arm movements.
Replaced Grease Zerks
Replaced seat belt
Tires are worn but serviceable with 50% or greater tread remaining.
The bucket is rough but serviceable. A prior owner cut the bucket and welded extensions to bring bucket width to about 50” (will double check dimension).

The Engine:

Inspected and serviced
New Oil Filter
New starter
Mufflers are ugly but serviceable.
Replaced broken control arm spring


Completely rewired
New Voltage regulator
New starter switch
New Battery
Aux lights added (2 front, 1 rear)
Installed hours meter

Hydraulic System:

Completely rebuilt the entire hydraulic system.
New Lift Cylinders
New Tilt Cylinders
Upgrade Tilt Cylinders from 2” to 2.5”
Upgrade diameter of Lift Cylinder rod
All new hydraulic hoses and clamps
Rebuilt LH & RH Hydrostatic Pumps
Rebuilt LH & RH Drive Motors
Rebuilt system pump
Rebuilt select valve
Replaced damaged filter mounting block
Replaced filter suction gauge
Flushed tanks, new fluids, new filter
Upgraded dipstick breather cap to a Donaldson Filtered breather cap/dipstick.

. . .

Monday, May 2, 2011

A small hole in the floor.

I do not recall ever watching the entirety of "the money pit" (with Tom Hanks), but I vaguely remember a couple of scenes wherein Tom is sinking into the floor and another having a hole in the floor the size of an elephant from the tub falling through.

While this may bring a few laughs to others it mostly brings a few sobering tears to my eyes. I purchased this beast about 2 years ago, hoping to stabilize the foundation, replace windows and make a few functional improvements and repairs to kitchens and bathrooms. To date I have spent something in the area of 1800-2000 man hours replacing the foundation, several load bearing walls, the roof, the windows, and now continuing on with the small hole in the floor.

As I have mentioned before after gutting the interior it became clear that there was a house fire, which I date sometime in the 30-40's, which damaged some of the floor joists. In conjunction with needing to file a major overhaul permit I am compelled to bring the entirety of the structure up to current day code, which means replacing sections of the sub-floor and joists.

I have been taking my time with the sub-floor replacement to ensure that I get it reasonably close to a planar surface, but one section of the living room area requires complete replacement. So I have removed both the sub-floor and joists in this section even though the picture might cause a weaker man mental neurosis. I may have needed to wipe my eyes a few times, but I swear that was because of the dust.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Now is not the time to visit.

About six weeks ago I was working on re-organization and cleanup of tools for the thousandth time and as I walked over to the tool box I found myself much like a trapeze artist who misses the wire, dangling with one leg on each side of the rope. Everything is fine, though I can now sing half an octave higher.
With the winter I have finished the exterior shell of the structure to the extent that I am able. The walls are relatively straightish and sort of vertical, but most importantly they are structurally sound. There is no more rot on the bottom edges of the studs, no more cutouts without headers. House wrap has been installed as are the windows and the vast majority of the construction debris has been cleaned out and removed.
The next stage of the project is to adjust the interior framing to be reasonably straight, parallel, level. Also I am going through very carefully to make sure that the fire damage is repaired well and appropriate fire blocking is installed. I am working from the basement up as any adjustment made to make a floor level will effect the floors above. The basement girders/beams are very close to perfectly planar (I think that one corner was about 1/32" off) and the floor joists are bearing correctly on the girders. However, since the lumber has a large amount of variance, there are joists which are 1/8" difference in height from the adjacent joist. This calls for patient endurance.
The major sections accomplished on the main floor joists I spent a good deal of time inspecting the sub-floor to make sure that it would be able to be used for installing wood flooring on top. I was not at all satisfied and so while the cost is not too substantial (less than a grand) the time certainly is. I am going through very carefully, removing a single 4x8 ft segment at a time, shimming the joists if required, and installing new sub-flooring (3/4" osb) with glue and screws. In this way there are going to be far less structural stability issues, although it is rather inconvenient to replace the floor under a load bearing wall.
With all of that said, now is not the time to visit with small kids.

Friday, March 11, 2011

As spring draws near, here are a couple of picts for those flower lovers.
These are non-hybrid canna flowers which I grew last year, height was about 6-7 ft, very healthy and vigorous. I as always saved plenty of bulbs for this year. This year I am hoping to try a little hand at cross breeding, but we shall see. I have a few seeds from yellows and a couple odd balls also.. Who knows. If you want some bulbs please let me know, reasonable offers accepted.
Pictures are, red stem orange flower. Basic profile and vigor. And lastly, the healthy rhizomes I dug up before cleaning them off.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I just do not feel supported.

The exterior shell is now a completed structure, house wrapped and windows installed. Much thanks to my brothers and Mr Gbr for the help in getting the house wrap on. It was great fun monkeying around on the scaffolding 30 feet above the rocky bottom.
Now I am plugging away at the interior walls and structure. For the last several weeks I have been doing my best to ensure that the beams will be level, the walls moderately perpendicular, and nothing majorly damaged. You may have noted in a previous posting my concerns with what is considered abnormal joist framing, but my notes today center around the stairs to the basement.

The basement is an interesting scenario, we ended up replacing the whole foundation and while I am very glad that we did there have been some technical issues resulting. One of these issues is that the stairs going to the basement, in addition to being ripped out with the old foundation, do not have the required headroom and do not have enough length to accommodate a straight run before running into the exterior wall. My solution is that I am making a U-shaped stair. However, as the landing occurs prior to having enough depth for the required headroom I am forced to have a segment of floor aprox 16" higher than the main floor. I doubt that this would be a major issue, except that the stair walls are both load bearing and I must shorten one.
I am not able to do walls from the basement floor as I have not had one poured yet so I am using a triple 2x8 load bearing beam and using the assumption that I will not have any support under it. While not true in the end, it will be until I have a basement floor. The ends are supported at the foundation wall and also on one of the two main steel beam girders. All of this to say I rebuilt the wall after placing a temp support which would hold the load of the second floor bathroom and the ceiling. The temp support was jacked to a position 1/32" above my desired final wall height. (My philosophy is using the "least change poss") After building the wall I removed the support beam and jacks, the wall came down 1/64th and hoovered there. I had to go up top practice my awesome dance moves in order to get it to make physical contact with the new "load bearing wall". I find it rather amazing that a floor and ceiling would just "hang out" only being supported by one side but as they say old wood has found itself a set position and just does not like to move. It is now well secured and up to current codes (ish).