Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Reno Week, Day 4 or Honey Badger Don't Care

More than a few people thought we'd lost our minds when we planned to install a concrete driveway and sidewalks, strip all the old siding and put up new, replace 14 windows, and replace 3 doors including a patio slider in seven days but we did it - even after the driveway took a day longer than we'd anticipated.  Like the ferocious, tenacious little honey badger who keeps on going no matter what, our project manager (Dave), carpenter (Chris), and electrician/plumber/general construction specialist (Steve), helpers (Mike and Adam) and runners (Harry and I) kept on going all day and into every night. 

I had planned to post our progress every day but being dog tired took on a whole new meaning for me by the 4th day.  I just couldn't do it so now I'll have to re-create each day.  In my last renovation post on May 1st, we'd pretty much finished the driveway.   May 2nd started with driveway finishing touches like cleaning and sealing it.   As soon as he was finished sealing it, Dave started on the house and he wasn't at it long before my brother Steve showed up to lend a hand.

Here, we've finally removed all the limestone brick and old siding from the front of the house.

Then Steve and Dave removed a couple of the old windows and began the framing that was required for the change in window shape.  We've always hated those old, difficult sliders and were thrilled at the thought of replacing them.  What wasn't so thrilling was the additional work involved but Dave assured us that as long as we went smaller rather than larger with the replacements, it was doable.  I really don't think there's much that can make you feel more exposed than having windows and parts of walls removed.
Steve was an enormous help (especially with the electrical since plugs had to be changed) and for most of the day, it was just Steve and Dave with Harry and I doing whatever we could to assist.
Here's a pretty good view of how the house looked before anything new was installed but after all the old was off including a couple of windows.
Here Steve is cutting the insulation board we used to fill in the places that had been cut out.
After Ken (who helped us with the driveway installation) got off work, he wielded the walk-behind concrete saw that we had rented earlier
while Dave used Duke's handheld concrete saw to make relief cuts in the concrete.  This is done to prevent cracking.
When that was finished, Dave helped Steve finish wrapping the house in heavy plastic which is an awesome moisture barrier.

Next they cut the plastic wrap to install the windows.  And here you can see that more help has arrived in the form of Beth's friend, Adam.  Beth was also an enormous help because she picked up door hardware at Home Depot in Valparaiso before she arrived to help figure out dinner for the crew.
 And all of a sudden, we had two new windows!
Of course two new windows wasn't enough progress for Dave and he decided to start on the front door.  It wasn't long before there was just a hole where the door had been.  And once again reinforcements arrived just in the nick of time.  Our granddaughter and her husband and kids arrived.  Our granddaughter is a beautiful, wonderful girl and we're always thrilled to see her but on this occasion we were even happier to see her husband.  He's not only a licensed carpenter but he's one of the hardest, smartest workers with the best attitude you could ever imagine.
And not too much later, there was a front door.  Unfortunately, at this point I must have thought I was too tired to take pictures because there are none.

Amber and Chris really didn't have time to relax.  It was soon time to put their 4 little ones to bed and, believe it or not, they slept great despite a lot of pounding and other construction noise.

We got to bed late again and were poised for an early start on Day 5.

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