Thursday, November 29, 2012

A last minute rush job....

.... the unglamorous part of carpentry work..... Got a call on Sunday night from a customer needing a quick repair job to comply with pre-sale inspection faults. Closing of the sale is to take place this Friday. Turns out the trim under the front door on her house was rotted due to improper sealing. Sheathing and rim joist were rotted as well. First part of the job involved moving the 8 x 8 foot layer cake entry stairs. It was not attached to any foundation but the framing was filled with a couple of yards sand to hold it in place. Ughhh we will sort out the sand part later..

Blocks and pry-bar made a quick job of moving it away from the wall to allow some working space.

upon peeling back the rotted trim I find the rotted sheathing and framing just as expected.


and the left side....

so we excise the bad rim joist careful not to cut the wiring and pipes behind it.

and replace it with a new piece.

....on goes some new OSB sheathing with some ice and water shield. The door frame is naturally punky as well, but the customer is not willing to spring for it and we really don't have the time for the job, so the worst of the rot on the door frame gets cut out.....

...and fit a new piece to fill the gap.... new Toughboard synthetic trim goes on and we refit the cedar clapboards I removed previously to access the bad sheathing.

 All joints sealed with polyurethane caulking.

then due to the 0 degree C weather and flurries we tent it over with 2 mil polyethylene plastic...

 .....and put the kerosene heater under the tent to keep us warm.... when I say US, I mean me, myself and I.. operating solo here though I have been known to talk to myself quite frequently....

....and we give it a coat of paint and stain the clapboards to disguise the work done.

Then the struggle to get the stairs back in place.. remember the two yards of sand under the stairs? ... lot of digging on my knees under the deck..... back and forth a few times with the bar and blocks I removed about 4 wheelbarrows of sand to make it all sit level and square...

11 hours of labor and a blown truck engine we are all done..

now about that truck engine.......


  1. Replies
    1. Gorges: McMansions we call them here.. just row after row of the same cookie cutter thing... over priced, way to big and not to well put together, leading to sort the problems I had to repair. The house is only eleven years old, banged together during the construction boom a few years back. I would not be at all surprised to learn many others in the same development have the same sort of problems. Which if my name gets about enough on the neighborhood bulletin board this owner found mine, could be a steady source of projects for me.... I wish I could have done the job on it that should have been done. Pull the whole door and start over, but the budget and time did not allow. There was so much more that needed to be done. Lipstick on a pig as they say down your ways.

  2. A good repair job very tidy :)

  3. There's plenty of carpentry work that isn't very glamorous! You made a tidy job of something that didn't look very fun. Make sure you're careful having that heater under the plastic, over here there's lots of stories of people dieing in tents by having gas/parafin heaters in with them due to the fumes. Mind you there's nothing worse when its cold and the glue and paint won't go off!

    1. Kev: Lately this kind of job seems to be the meat and potatoes of my work. It's the stuff that absolutely has to be done and can't be put off. Tough times leave no room for the major improvements. The job actually came about as a result of the owner having to sell the house as she was no longer able to afford the payment and the repair was part of the pre-sale check marks from the lending bank pre-closing inspection. Unlikely it would have been done otherwise. As far as the tent, there were quite a few gaps and it was breezy enough to keep the CO levels down. My biggest concern is that it would collapse upon the heater due to a breeze when I was not looking.I only had the tent up for about 4 hours. Just long enough for the latex paint to dry in the sub zero temps.