Thursday, April 23, 2009

Take a Header

Here is the new living room window, again almond vinyl and casement argon filled thermopane. I really like the "bulky look" of these windows - probably why they were so cheap (less glass).

These old houses had two four foot wide windows on this wall - with the top plate of the wall supported by a center beam. I have opened this up to a 102" rough opening.

My chief advisor ( and investor) dad insisted on an upgraded header. This old house is 2x4 wall construction - the header is two 2x6's, on edge - the traditional header - but filling the gap between the two boards is a 1/2 " steel plate. This steel sandwich is bolted and construction cement glued. Should be plenty strong to resist the sag of a fully snow loaded roof.

Other notes: yep, that's dads new 1958 M38 Willy's jeep in the driveway. The 6 mil plastic ceiling seen here should be covered with 5/8" fire rated drywall by the end of this weekend.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Concrete Galoshes

A few of my few followers of a certain age will appreciate the title...

It's not witchcraft, but these mixers of Portland cement, rock and sand have become known as "concretins". The gray matter that it takes to make a life of the gray matter is sometimes skewed.
Fortunately, I found some fairly well-grounded (pun intended) concrete sub-contractors. Three hours and a bunch of folding money, and I don't have to step over the trench in the kitchen and laundry room anymore. Money well spent.

The protrusions in the floor of the laundry room are the toilet flange, the floor drain - every laundry/mud room should have one, and the forced air heat duct for the new 1/2 bath. The aforementioned eruptions in the newly screed concrete may appear high, but there is more to come. A self leveling mortar and tiles should get us pretty close to leveling the drain and water closet ring.

There I was, there I was: In the Congoleum

Scraping the two layers of vinyl flooring from the kitchen floor, cooked on in places from the fire, was a challenge. A full day of scraping left me with season-appropriate injuries, stigmata-like holes in my palms.

The suspicious gray, fibrous material under the 70's layer ( vinyl pattern/color forensics ) had me concerned enough to dawn a dust mask, isolate this room from the house with .7 mil plastic and dampen the substrate while I peeled the the old linoleum. I minimally disturbed the layer of mastic in question - and will seal it with a primer as soon as the concrete is poured.