We were a family, and this house sustained us. We revolved around it in orbit for the better part of twelve months. I struggled to direct the flow of work, with the owner hamstringing me and himself with his stubborn ideas. Please, don't get me wrong. This guy is one of the most generous people I know. He gives of himself out of purpose, to lift up anyone he can. Working with him elevated my game. His openhandedness was equaled by his insistence on rewriting the very method of every trade model in construction. He wasn't particularly qualified to make these amendments to protocol. It isn't my intention to embarrass him. I think he knew that he needed to let go of much more of the process than he felt comfortable doing and we had a special relationship to the point that I was singularly responsible for talking him out of several of his ideas and supporting him in the ones which I felt would be constructive or helpful to his desired outcome. He learned to trust my instincts and experience. We couldn't have done this without him, and he couldn't have done it without us.
I love the way the light plays with the particle filled atmosphere of the demolished room in this shot, and how the chimney and the studs are leaning in different directions. The nuclear winter ash pile on the floor is actually old blown in insulation, which was blown through the large bungholes, all in a row across the wall. This was the wall which was shown in the last post(from the exterior) inexplicably not caving in.
Charlie makes a discovery. These panels are probably 200 years old. They were unceremoniously used as a substrate for a partition wall, covered in lathe and plaster, and then wallpaper. We extracted them for storage and possible reuse in a more prominent feature, though I don't think they were used in the finish of this house, and they may still be in storage with the owner.
A view after one of the panels was extracted reveals an open stairwell and some of our new framing. Blurry shot, but you can see the extracted panel leaning in the background.
Tim doing some yoga, I think this is Kumbhakasana. We installed our siding with design directives from the owner to mimic some of the older homes in the area. The courses started small and grew to about four inches. The owner encouraged us to "make it a little crooked." He didn't want it to look like a new house, and even though we used Hardie siding, we were excited to meet his aesthetic expectations.
James, returned from his injury. Does anyone else remember bouncing back like a 25 year old? I don't think I could allow anyone to use a step ladder like this again. If you are worried about James in this picture, I assure you, he survived this staging. What you can't see is the planks nailed together around the corner to the left.
This is what two hundred year old siding looks like. See the joints between the boards? See how they are made with a long, high angle scarf joint? That's the way it was done. If this wood had been maintained, it wood have outlasted concrete board easily. Alas. Que sera, sera. C'est la vie.
In the above shot you can clearly see the aforementioned aesthetic in action. The boards are not on perfectly straight snapped lines, instead they were allowed to stray slightly while maintaining the overall grid.
We are getting close to the end of this story. The exterior has a couple details left. The interior has plaster and trim to be set and painted. We will get there next time. In the back ground you can see my old F-150, when it was new to me. It was by far the cleanest truck I ever owned at the time. I still have it. This was the first truck I put the wood grain and logo on. I can't wait to finish this story so I can write some more personal stories on the blog. I'd like to tell you a little more about my parents for one thing. I also have some team members I would like to introduce you to.