Random house updates time!
There’s a few things we worked on in June that I haven’t documented yet. I actually keep a running spreadsheet of the dates and projects we work on, but I like to post it here too, for narrative/photo documentation.
Project 1 – pulling ethernet cable
To get internet at our house, we have a wireless antenna mounted outside on the side of the house (cable is not available where we live). We wanted to pull ethernet cable from the antenna (which is by the attic) to our first floor office (where our network switch is), so Steven had the brilliant idea of running the cable through the old central vacuum tubing that runs in the house! The tubing already ran from the second floor to the basement, so Steven bought more tubing to run it in to the attic (to connect to the antenna). This required some demolition in our second floor hallway!
The new vacuum tube installed.
Patching up the hole.
Steven putting the tubing in in the attic
We put the new tubing in on May 30, pulled the cables through on June 5, and worked on patching throughout June and finished the wall (painting) on July 4.
All patched up!
Project 2 – fixing the garage attic gas leak
Ha, we put this one off for awhile. We noticed a natural gas smell in our downstairs bathroom when the FHA 203k streamlined contractors finished up their work in the end of April. It turns out that bathroom exhaust ductwork that runs through the attic was punctured, and the existing gas leak (caused by a damaged/tapered pipe connection) was going in to that ductwork, hence why we were smelling it in the bathroom.
The tapered/messed-up pipe.
So the project entailed replacing gas pipes and the bathroom ductwork. We made sure to do it on a really hot day (June 11) since it involved being in the attic. Ha ha! It took all day, and a bit of brainstorming, but we fixed it, and we can’t smell the gas anymore. Yay!
The small space Steven worked in. I was the gopher!
It also gave us a chance to try out rigid ductwork, which we are thinking of using in our other attic!
Project 3 – jacking up the house
This is an ongoing project. Two joists in our basement are being crushed because of faulty loading (due to faulty design!) coming from the upper floors. Because these joists are crushed, the floors on top of them are not level. Our fridge actually leans back toward the wall that is above these joists, and my office shelves lean toward the wall on the other side.
Well, they used to! It’s getting better, because we put jacks in the basement to jack those joists up. We’re using the tall jack to push one up from the floor, and a short jack to push one up from the brick wall it sits on. Steven put in supportive blocking to try to keep the joists from failing by buckling to the side.
You know what would be awesome? If I remembered ANYTHING I learned about loading in college. Gah. Most useless architecture degree EVER.
We started jacking the house up on June 18. We do a little every few days. It’s VERY interesting to see how the house responds. Walls are obviously cracking. The basement door, which is very close to the joists, gets harder and harder to close (and has actually been open since Saturday, since we can’t close it) the more we jack up the joists, because the floor level is rising.
But! It’s not all bad! The first level floors are leveling out, and second level doors that weren’t plumb before are squaring off and closing like they should. Yay!
Eventually, when things are level and we’ve allowed them to settle, we’ll add solid blocking to support the load and replace or sister the affected joists with new engineered lumber joists. Then, we can go through the process of fixing all the cracks and unevenness caused by the buckling in the floors. And eventually, get a backsplash in the kitchen – that is on hold since the wall it would go on is one of the walls being affected by the jacks!
Hopefully I’ve said this on the blog before, but I am very impressed by how much of a go-getter Steven is with figuring out house projects and tackling them. He loves to do research and figure things out, and he’s totally in his element! It doesn’t come as naturally to me, but I like helping him, and that we’re working on things together.