A new home #3: Entering without a hammer and leaving without nailing :)

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Blog entry by derosa posted 05-28-2013 12:08 AM 1828 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Off to a slower start then I expected; but progress and materials. Part 3 of A new home series Part 4: Really good progress, looks like the kitchen has a window, maybe a ceiling. »

I’ve worked my schedule for the rest of the summer to have sunday evenings free, all mondays and most tues. That gave me the time to head out an get some work accomplished. The first step was actually replacing the corner post of the house. 2 2×6s with 2 pieces of sandwiched 1/2” ply made a beam thick enough and I just left it the 5.5” wide since it would fit in the wall and offer extra support.
The back wall below the side entryway window was also as bad as I expected and required replacement of the sill plate. While pulling stuff out of the wall I found this little guy, no clue what he was.

A nest of 4 birds was also discovered after pulling over a foot of of hay from inside the wall. They are doing well at this time.

My dad insisted on helping and also on not listening to how to properly create a window frame. The result was a window frame that is properly designed to the 1908 standards under which the house was constructed but not to modern standards. The result is a top plate that is nailed in from the sides of the wall studs but without the support of jack studs. It also took a lot of explaining to convince him that the fins of new construction windows don’t get hammered tight but that all the nails have to allow the vinyl to expand and contract. Either way the new frame is still stronger then the old one and the window is in a lot better then the old one.

Final task was to finish installing the door. I used 2.5” screws and shimmed the one side at the hinges hiding the screws as hinge screws while on the other side I hid the top and bottom screws under the weather stripping and the third as a screw for the latch plate. the new lock was installed. Everything came out square and the door doesn’t swing fully open or closed on its own but stays right where you leave it.

No more hammering up plywood to close up for the day or taking it down to finish for the night. Next week is the kitchen window and the kitchen door. Unless it rains, then it’s rebuilding this inside of the side entryway, we’ll be keeping the ceiling but everything else is going. This is its current state

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

8 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#1 posted 05-28-2013 12:16 AM

Only 3 more corners to go.

Looking great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3958 days

#2 posted 05-28-2013 04:14 AM

Coon? Possum? Hopefully all the relatives are long gone :).

Good progress! Hope you get some more done soon.

-- Robb

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2031 days

#3 posted 05-28-2013 10:25 AM

My guess was gonna be a raccoon or a cat.

At least you’re making progress.
Psalm 18:29 says…
For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. (And may I add), “Or put a door in it”

Making progress is like miners’ work: it doesn’t advance as quickly as one should like, or as others expect; but faced with such a task, patience and faithfulness are essential.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2860 days

#4 posted 05-28-2013 11:03 AM

I’m hoping the relatives are long gone as well. The next window is a 7’ wide kitchen window. It’ll require tearing out the remains of the old cabinets, replacing studs where the old windows were and building a new frame. What really surprised me was that all the studs along the south wall where I was working weren’t originally long enough, the builder used whatever he had and butted too boards together. A foot long 1×4 was then used to link them together. My father was trying to use this as proof that after replacing the sill plate we should just do the same thing to any stud that had rotted on the bottom. Took forever to convince him this wasn’t legal under current code and that even if the building inspector never found out I still didn’t care to do it.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1893 days

#5 posted 05-28-2013 11:08 AM

I’m going with opossum.

Derosa, it looks like you’re doing exactly what I want to do which is restoring a farmhouse. If you don’t mind my asking, where (generally speaking) is this beauty, how many acres, and (more sensitive subject) what was the purchase price?

I want to live rurally but not so far out that if I fail at growing my own food, that I drive an hour to get groceries. I’m no farmer, but I do romanticize the notion of farming.

Apples, spinach, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, chickens, and maybe even beef, but I’d need to first prove to myself that I could handle chickens. :-)

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2860 days

#6 posted 05-28-2013 11:51 AM

Bucket- the house was free for me. My parents paid 11k for the house, a barn and 8 acres since they wanted the barn. The one thing I like about this is that the house isn’t too rural. The small city of Oswego, pop. 18,000 is only 10 minutes down the road and is a straight drive to the center of the city; 104a is main st and runs past the front yard. Fulton, pop. 11,00 and the drive in are only 15 minutes away and fair haven state park with its sand beach is only 7 minutes away. Syracuse is the closest major city at about 40 minutes. So rural but not too rural.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1893 days

#7 posted 05-28-2013 11:37 PM

Upstate NY… I have been looking in that area via zillow. I’m in FL now, so moving that far nort seems daunting from an income standpoint. I’m working regionally, so travel is part of my deal…. Driving range. Your little slice of heaven has me envious. I need to take a leap of faith and try to land some jobs in the north east.

Is the union influence such that an individual carpenter is unable to build a business up there? I have tried to win contracts in NYC, and it proved unworkable.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2860 days

#8 posted 05-29-2013 01:59 AM

Unions aren’t a big issue up here the way they are downstate. When I was roofing we never once had a problem in the Syracuse area and I know plenty of independent contractors around here. Doesn’t mean there aren’t unions, just that not everyone is in them nor are they a major impedance that I have heard of. Like I can do my own electrical on this job and any licensed electrician can inspect it. Same with plumbing no unions in the way of me doing my own work where they can get in the way downstate.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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