Sunday, February 13, 2011

Slow Going

We are moving ahead on the work at the new house, albeit slowly.  The damage from the fire was more extensive than we thought.   A few of the roof joists and rafters were burnt nearly through and were not sound enough to provide reliable support to the roof or the attic floor, and so that meant more work for Mac.  The second floor is now almost completely framed, and after we get the electrician in to do his thing, we can install new insulation and sheetrock.

I spent this weekend installing joist hangers with a palm nailer (nifty little device that acts like a mini-jack hammer, pounding in nails with shocking speed) and pre-drilling holes then putting screws into those holes to hold a fire barrier in place where the walls meet the roof.  I also had the displeasure of pulling off more lath and plaster as well as removing more clumps of rock wool.  The photo below shows another wall that was damaged by the fire with some clumps of the dreaded stuff still clinging to it.

I also chose the space where the skylight will be installed a little later this spring when Mac puts the new roof on. I am so excited about the skylight, I can't even say.  I have loved skylights ever since I was a kid and went to a friend's house for a playdate. There in her bedroom was something I had never seen before - a window in the ceiling! She could lie in bed at night and watch the stars! I stood transfixed with my head thrown back, staring at the blue sky and the branches waving with pink and white clouds moving behind them. Since that time I have promised myself that someday, I would have a window into the heavens over my bed.  Now, it's really going to happen!  There will be a four foot high, by two foot wide skylight in the roof within the next couple of months.  I just can't explain how giddy with joy that makes me feel.

My sister and I installed the dark channeled material you see between the rafters here - it is called "proper vent".  It creates a channel for cool air against the outer walls of the house, behind the insulation, thus making ice dams less likely.  We each took turns holding it in place while the other secured it with a staple gun.


These horizontal pieces you see below we installed this afternoon.  They will keep the new insulation in place.

Very soon now the plumber will be here to install the fixtures for the little half-bath. Once the plumbing and electrical is complete, we can sheetrock and paint.  It is not looking like we will be ready to move in by our original deadline of four more weeks, but Mac is trying his hardest.  The poor guy is teetering on the edge of burnout this week.  He is spending nearly every free moment at the house trying to do as much as he can, staggering home after midnight.  At least there was no more snow this week to hamper his efforts and distract him with a load of shoveling to do on top of it all.  I thank the Lord for such small favors.


  1. I am exhausted just reading about your work. But, I'm also learning a lot, Deedee. I have some work to do on my house this spring and summer, so I'm paying close attention.

    Hope you and Mac can take a day off to rest and recover. Best wishes!

  2. I know that it's very hard work but the fact that you are actually creating your own nest must be very rewarding. Realising a dream, like your skylight, is wonderful - even more so because you will be creating it yourselves.

    I'm enjoying being there with you.

  3. Ah, I found you again! I'm the exclaimation point that is following you. I was too lazy to do my picture, ha! Your background is a lot like my new blog face - oh new name too and plus a website. Hope you'll stop by - the blog is linked up with the website -

  4. Hi Deedee. It's fascinating to see your work as you progress. It'll be lovely for you to have a skylight. We had one in our previous house, but it was in the ceiling above the stairway - it would have been nicer had it been in the bedroom as you've described. I used to love hearing the rain pitter-pattering off it. I admire you both for taking on all the work on your house..... an exhausting but very worthwhile adventure. :)