Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Latest Breakthrough

The rock foundation wall in the basement that we originally thought we would keep started crumbling as small pieces were taken away. Most of the wall will now need to come out for safety and structural reasons.

Before the removal began.

Busting it out.

The work conditions in the basement got a bit wetter with all the rain we've had lately.
I tried to finish running some low voltage electrical but since I didn't have a boat I had to hold off.
A sump pump was put it today to help.

 The view from the inside, plastic to keep the rock debris from flying in. Cable runs to the attic on the left. Washing machine draining into garbage can, sump in can to pump grey water outside.

 Outside the cellar door, rocks from the wall are piling up.

The non subterranean parts of the project are progressing as well.

We have bathtubs upstairs now!

 The main HVAC trunk going into the attic. This will supply the new and old rooms.

 Rough kitchen electrical almost done, switches are next.

Living room and bedroom rough electrical is in.

The weather warmed up a bit and the kids were able to spend a little time outside together.
The family down near the pea gravel pile.

We've been using this walkway of OSB to keep out of the mud.

Friday, April 19, 2013


The electric, plumbing, and HVAC are moving along. Hopefully the nights of navigating parts of the house using a flashlight are coming to an end.

We haven't posted in a while because I've been working in some spaces where a camera would be very inconvenient. I've come to know the attic and crawl space quite well as I've worked my way through replacing much of the old wiring in the house.

Working with the plaster and lathe walls has required a delicate touch. I was only able to get one of the walls to cooperate, a few of the other walls I have struggled with as they crumbled away with the slightest disturbance.

I'm sensing a bucket of flexall patching compound in my future.

I think the wall paper and cover plate were holding the plaster in place next to this switch.

Pulling new 12/3 from the top of the stairs to the opposite side on the bottom.
This is for a new 4 way switch circuit.  A little wire lube really helps.

This is the outside existing bathroom wall. Looks like wood patch was put over a hole next to a stud.
I wonder if there was an outlet there at one time?

In a grand compromise to get heat to our old existing upstairs bedrooms we had a main HVAC trunk placed in the front entry closet. We are still deciding on how the wall should be extended and a new closet placed next to this stack.

The right-most vertical sheet metal seen in the picture below is the trunk going into the attic. The idea was to rebuild the closet to the left of this trunk, this will result in a smaller opening going to the existing dining room. What is more important, closet space or symmetrical openings?
We are thinking the closet space is of higher value.

Plumbing drain/waste/vent work was started.
Toilet and sink drain for the new east bathroom.

Main waste stack for both new bathrooms.

Sink waste pipe for laundry area.

Laundry washer hookup.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Electric Spaghetti

Much of our time over the past few days has been spent sorting out the spaghetti of electric cables running through the house. New wires needed to be rerouted due to old ones being cut. Old fraying cloth cover cable needed to be replaced.

The attic has been my little hangout area. I've spent hours here pulling cable, undoing connections, redoing connections, and bringing items up to code where possible.

An old 220 supplied fuse box was on the far wall, most of the circuits running to this box needed to come out and be rerouted.

New service to the attic and east bedroom was pulled in from the basement.

Installed a new tamper resistant outlet in the hall. This will be a good spot for a night light.
Multiple lines run under the hallway upstairs, the old stuff will need to come out.

The old bathroom wall outline can be seen on the floor. That vent stack was in the old bathroom. Wires ran through this wall and supplied most of the power to the upper rooms. 

This old hall light junction will need to be moved to a new location over the stairs.

My next adventure is to get to somehow get a four way switch at the top of the stairs with two three way switches on each end of the hall lighting circuit.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Breaking Through

Hope you all had a happy Easter.

Today the entries into the existing house were framed. Our plastic barriers worked well keeping all the dust and paint chips from flying into our confined living area. Closets near the front entrance were framed as well.

The electrical has been interesting, it weaves it's way into parts of the house we are not yet demo'ing. We are having to string circuits up temporarily and will need to reroute a few others to keep the house functional.

The dining room lighting control was freed from the wall.

It was pulled back to the other side of the wall along with a few other branches of the circuit.
The gang was just pinned up to the left of the ladder for now.

I'm not sure how many NEC violations these next couple of pictures represent.

Running low on junction boxes? No problem, use the ol' ball o tape trick.

What's that ya say? Ran out of box cover plates too?
No problem, fill the box in with plaster, it's non-conductive... at least once it dries.

Bedroom closet and entry closet framed.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sealing off Spaces

Our Easter holiday was spent in a construction zone. We are sealing off parts of the existing house with plastic so crews can break through into the only remaining livable areas of the house. Hopefully the mile of duct tape we used will keep the dust out.

Having lunch at the dining room table. Plastic wall in background.

The landing and bedroom is the only part of the second floor we can get to.

We gutted the second floor bath in preparation.

Dining room plastic barricade.

2nd floor rooms sealed off.