Sunday, March 6, 2016

The restoration has begun!

Finally! After 8 months the restoration has begun.  Though we did a LOT to clean up the house and the remainder of the property (and I still have some posts to publish on the work we did), we couldn't actually do the restoration work.  We had to wait on pros for that.  But last week, the restoration work began with demo of the bricks under the front porch so that they could be rebuilt after the house was leveled.  

I stopped by the house on the way back from a deposition in San Antonio, and was shocked to find the railings had been removed from the porch and that the demo of the brick columns had already begun.

And the guys had begun removing the front row of bricks from the porch.  I frankly had no idea that there was a second row of bricks behind there--that's because I'm WAY too much of a chicken to crawl under the house.

We totally lucked out because the bricks supporting the front porch and that make up the columns were solid and did not have holes in them, which meant a) the guys could de-construct them relatively quickly; and b) they could chip off the old mortar without damaging the bricks.  SCORE!

When I came back on Sunday with Larry, the guys were not only continuing to demo the brick, but also bracing the roof so they could re-build the columns.

 They had also already pulled down the rotted pergola.  It will be rebuilt, but we decided to demo the planter box too.  That brick work was completely different.  The bricks that made up the planter box DID have holes and the guys spent hours trying to get those out.  If I had known how much of a pain it was going to be, I would have told them to just leave it.

 While the guys were doing their thing, we took advantage of a fabulous opportunity.  The school next door did some construction and ordered one of those huge commercial dumpsters.  The mayor stopped by and told us that it was only half full so if we wanted to get rid of anything in the dumpster we were welcome to.  We JUMPED at the chance!

  We got rid of at least 5 garbage bags of junk from the cistern house, about 40 or 50 granite rocks that we found scattered EVERYWHERE and didn't know what to do with, at least 7 or 8 wheelbarrows full of other items from the scary garage (I will do a separate post on the scary garage soon it has been a long process to clean that out.)

And this is partly why I call it the scary garage.  I'm not sure what died here, but it's never comforting to find remains of any sort.  Even worse than finding remains is finding something ALIVE.  Larry climbed a ladder and came eyeball-to-eyeball with a mouse in the rafters of the scary garage.  I'm not sure who was more surprised.  But I'm glad it wasn't me because I probably would have fallen off the ladder.  

By the end of the day, the porch roof was fully braced, and most of the columns demolished.

The house leveler came out on Monday or Tuesday and boy can you tell a difference.  All the doors now open and shut with ease.  And the floor feels really solid and not as creaky.

I took a peek under the front porch and this is what's there.  I have to be honest: I don't know what this is.  I'm pretty sure that the pyramid looking things are the old system, which is probably why everything was kinda wonky because they don't seem tall enough to have provided any support.

I am pretty sure I know what this is...termite damage on one of the joists under the porch.  Lovely.  I'm pretty sure there's still some work to do there...

But now that the house is level, the guys are already rebuilding the brick columns.  Two other notable developments this week:

We have a building permit.  Yay!  And...

We have a functional electric meter box and electricity!  Double Yay!  I did ask the contractor if that was safe given the sad state of the previous wiring.  To avoid burning the house down, he disconnected everything and installed a temporary plug so that they guys can at least run their tools (and the microwave they brought to the jobsite for their lunch) without the generator.  

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.


1 comment:

  1. I understand the blessing of free dumpster access nearby! Anyone who has cleaned out/ demolished an older building can appreciate thatšŸ˜Š