A Strong Foundation

The project of the decade continues here at the homestead. Unfortunately, we learned pretty quickly that windows and siding were not all we would be replacing this fall. Due to years of enduring a leaky roof and ineffective gutter system, much of the framing along the stone retaining wall has rotted and is in need of replacement. And you may notice that much of this rotted wood is OSB, meaning it was already replaced once in the not so distant past. This poor house...

Here is some of what we discovered when removing the siding on the south side of the house:

The other issue we discovered on this side of the house was that the foundation was barely above grade, meaning the lowest portions of the wood framing and siding were within an inch or two of the ground where they could collect water and rot away. Matt quickly determined that we would need to add another row of cinder blocks to raise the foundation. This required a temporary wall to support the joists a couple feet inside the house while the exterior wall was removed and the blocks were added. Thankfully, this is a garage wall and not, say, our bedroom. Take a look.

Foundation and wall before it was removed:

Wall is gutted but still there!

Old wall is out, temporary support wall is up, and new blocks are being added to the foundation. Thanks, Josiah!

Building the new wall on the improved foundation.

The new garage wall has two larger windows instead of one small window. This was done to provide more natural light in the garage (which doubles as Matt's shop), and to more closely resemble the architect's design of this side of the house. Originally, there were three windows in the garage with two windows and a painted panel above (see blueprint below). We are eliminating the painted panel, so the third garage window won't be making a comeback.

Unfortunately, more rotten wood was found around the fixed glass windows in the guest room.

The neighbors enjoy a more complete view of our guest room while the wall is being rebuilt.

Closed up and ready for new glass.

House wrap up and two new awning windows installed in the office. New fixed glass windows in garage and guest room measured and ordered!

The west and south sides of the house are officially prepped and ready for new siding. Let's hope the north and east sides do not present as much of a challenge.