Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What a difference a day (or two) can make

I mentioned yesterday that because of the rain construction was going pretty slowly.

Between being approved and the days and days of rain, the guys were able to get a little bit of work done. They started with the bottom deck (obviously) and started digging into the rotted wall. About 80% of that level of the wall was rotted badly enough for them to start fresh. They removed all of the siding, wet and moldy insulation, and rotten wood (studs and all!) and essentially rebuilt the wall.

When we arrived this weekend the back of the house looked like this:

You want to see it closer, you say?

Closer? Weird. But I'm here to please.

There was the majority of one deck completed. That was good. The entire first floor wall had been protected from the rain by sheets of plywood. That was bad. Well, not the protection from the rain part. That's good. We're getting rid of rot, not adding to it. What was unfortunate is the fact that people live down there. Their only real light source had vanished. They had no idea they were in West Virginia. They thought they had been transported to a cave in Afghanistan.

OK, not really, but they were living in a cave.

And then yesterday morning at 7:00 we heard the glorious sound of saws and hammers and air compressors. Not the sound of pouring rain. Yippie!!!

Much to the joy of our renters, the guys were able to get both windows and the fancy new French doors in by midday.

After lunch I looked out the window from the top floor and they were already framing the second story deck. (Obviously the photo above was taken after they'd started the second deck frame. And if you're creepily studying it you might be able to see the sweet baby o'mine, my hubby's arm and poor Andy trying to take a nap. Poor guy with a creepy landlord.)

By the end of the day yesterday, the house looked like this:

Can you even believe it?

Here's more:

It amazes me that a) people can construct sturdy, safe structures with their own hands and 2) it can be done faster than I could make a pot roast. Seriously. Think about that.

I was so excited that we were finally making progress. Then, this morning at about 5:30 when Little Man started to stir, I heard it. Yep, rain. And lots of it. I was totally convinced that today would be a literal wash.

But, at 7:05 I heard motion downstairs. I had no idea how they were going to work in rainy conditions, but I was happy.

It turns out that the guys had the foresight to check the weather forecast before leaving here, saw rain and came up with a rain plan. The rustling I heard at 7:05 was them putting plastic sheeting on on the second story deck frame that they built before leaving yesterday. They had a cozy little work tent. Smart guys, huh?!?

Despite the weather they were able to get the railings built for the first level and they installed the metal joists for the second level. And while I was hoping to show you a picture of the second deck built and the third level framed, I am pretty excited about what they accomplished today.

And yes, the sun did come out as they were leaving in the late afternoon, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, they've got other jobs that are going to take them elsewhere the rest of this week, but that's OK. Beau and I have some projects going on around (and under) the house that need to be shared. The under project is happening in that creepy little door that's open to the crawl space in the photo above. Guess who's not involved in that project.

Oh, and here's a scary story. When the guys were cleaning up at the end of the day I popped out to take a look at the day's progress. I said I was so glad to have a sturdy, safe deck again and Randy shared with me the condition of the old decks. I knew they were bad. Turns out I had no idea.

See the green stuff between the siding and the plywood? It is a canvas-like material. Randy told me that  the upper deck was literally being held to the house by that because the material behind it was so rotted that all of the fasteners could be pulled out by hand.  In case you don't have the same image in your head that I do, let me paint a picture. That deck is probably 45 feet off the rocky, steep ground. I'D BEEN OUT THERE WITH MY BABY. I literally wanted to throw up when that occurred to me.

Remember, rebuilding our decks wasn't really on our radar when we first bought the house. They looked and felt fine. Had we not casually asked Stuart and Randy to come out, take a look and give us some ideas on starting places... I can't even finish that sentence.

I need to wash all of that from my little head before calling it a night. This might help: 

That was sunset the other night. For real. Like I didn't need to use a filter on that bad boy. And you all know I don't know a single thing about using photoshop. That amazing sight is straight from the camera of my trusty iPhone. Soon(ish) we'll be on our safe, sturdy deck watching the sun creep below the horizon and the image of my little family plunging to our rotted-deck deaths will be a distant nightmare.

What's the scariest thing you've heard this week? Or best? Or funniest? Or whatever?

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