Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Paying Project Long In The Works

 Fall of 2020 a repeat customer called to put in a couple windows and an atrium door.

High up on a ladder on the second floor too . . . . oh my aching knees . . . and the inspector had to inspect

Thankfully only one window was on the second story

That's the south face of the house I was working on . New upstairs window is in yet to be trimmed .

And that's what it looked like on the inside when I started . New atrium door to go where that window is .

Strip the drywall and insulation , build a temporary support for the upstairs .

Cut a big hole in the wall , install a six foot header, and remove the temporary support .

inspector pays a visit

He's cool with the progress so far

 Install the new door

Yank and replace a window just to the right of the new door .

 Yank the old door

. . . . and find this mess in the sill

Repair and replace the sill , frame in the old door for a new small transom window and sheathe over .

More sill rot just to the right of the door . . .

Excise and rebuild 

 and sheathe

Replace two more windows and trim out

Go back up the ladder and trim out the first window I installed

Glad the ladder part is over with .

Start patching in the cedar shakes on the wall where the door was and we had all the sill rot .

Got most of it done and left the space for the small transom window yet to arrive as it is a special order

 By this point I am feeling a bit worn out and this is where the original scope of the project was supposed to be done . . . . but as things often are its an evolving process . . . so . . .

. . .  we move on to the interior work . Those nasty ass barn boards are coming off .

Pepsi can time capsule found behind boards . The pull tab and graphics style dates it to 1973

I frame in a new six foot opening to the small side room with blocking provisions for the installation of an overhead rail for two three foot wide sliding barn doors .

 Opposite wall with the entry from the garage  . . .

Barn boards also removed to be replaced by drywall .

 Inspector seems to be impressed by my geriatric fumbling .

 Special order transom window finally arrives so I install it .

And trim it out

 Back wall in the small side room to be moved back a couple feet only as far as the water supply line allows .

 Wall gone

New wall built


Plumber is called in to re route pipes once hidden by dropp ceiling to now fit flush and within the new wall . He turns out to he a total mook and cuts my new wall to shreds . He is promptly told to leave and never come back and loses contract to install new heat pumps .

I repair the wall , frame in old bedroom door and frame out a chase to hide the upstairs sewer pipes .

Once the electrician does his thing the rock wool insulation goes in .

Windows get framing extended by two inches for two inch thick foam insulation to be added .

Doors get the same treatment .

Strapping goes up on the ceiling in preparation for drywall

Two inch thick foam goes over the studs , note electrical boxes also firred out two inches .



And strapping goes over that .

Note that by now we are into early December 2020 and we have snow on the ground.

After a one year hiatus waiting for others to do plumbing , heat pumps , drywall and flooring in early October 2021 I finally got to go back and start on the interior trim work . . .  next post will be the show and tell on that .


  1. Did the next plumber do a better job?

    1. Yes, absolutely . The first guy was a big time contractor that was in it for the heat pump part and the guy selling the project was not the guy doing the actual work . They apparently sent someone who didn't have a clue about plumbing . The second guy came recommended by the electrician and the results were light years ahead .

  2. It's nice to be paid... sucks to have a full time inspector on the job critiquing every nail and screw placed. You appear to do good work Mike. I would hire ya had I graced the Great State of Maine. Too bad the experience of that "plumber" more like a destroyer. I pray you gave him a solid dressing down, I know I would have.

    1. Switch , the "inspector" is not bother . Him and his brother Ipad the yellow cat , like to check things out a couple times day . The mook that hacked my wall to bits was hired by the homeowner so I never met the guy . The customer was not happy at all when I showed him what he did to my work . Glad I did not have to deal with that part .

  3. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

    It’s relaxing, watching others work themselves into aches and pains! 😆👍 I’m not kidding either - I remember working with Pop. We built our own houses. We let the pros frame them… but everything after that we did ourselves.

    Right now I am watching that ape, Shawn - on My Self Reliance on OyTube. Gawd that man can work. His arms are as big around as my legs. He can swing an axe or a hammer all day long. I envy his energy. I’m watching him build a log cabin in the woods right now.

    I wonder how he’ll fare when he’s our age?

    1. I am good for about five hours a day and then my body is just screaming at me to stop and if I don't, bad things start to happen. I just get punch drunk, my brain gets even muddier than it normally is and I start making serious mistakes. At that point it its simply too dangerous to be using power tools or be up on a ladder. Last thing I need is to wind up like our friend Bruce Patten who fell through his hangar roof and died last week.

    2. You have my permission to slow down a bit, Mike.

      I hope you left that can of pepsi in? A guy should almost put a plastic bottle of Coke in for when the next poor slob has to make repairs in another 30 or 40 years…😊

    3. Like it or not, I don't have a choice but to slow down. Forty years at this line of work have done me in. Back in 86 I fell sixteen feet and broke both ankles when a staging plank broke. Have had serious back problems ever since. I was lucky I was not paralyzed or wound up like Bruce.
      As for the Pepsi can I brought it home as I was trying to figure out the vintage. Didn't think to leave a replacement. Though I am in the habit of leaving date inscriptions along with "headline news" of the day on my work in places likely to be found. I have worked on some old places where newspaper was used in place of tar paper under the siding and it sure was interesting to peruse the news from the mid 1800s on forward. Once even found a school girl's essay assignment from the 1850s titled "The world fifty years hence". She spoke of the great move west. I donated the two pages to the local library.