Work on the House Returns

May 12, 2016 § 2 Comments

Last fall, we had drywall cracks in the bedroom and master bath fixed by a professional since our efforts didn’t take. Unfortunately, the cracks came back this past winter. Our repair guy said that if that happened, there might be a more serious problem and we should call him back. So, we did.

Turns out that there were structural issues. A vertical support beam that should’ve been solid was build hollow instead (apparently that kind of a beam construction is called a pocket), and couldn’t bear the load. That’s why our bedroom door corners cracked. No wonder we couldn’t get them to stay away!

Adding Support Beam 1st Fl w Mark

We got a beautiful hole in the stairway wall and an added 2-by-4 for support (which I lined with orange in the photo above to see it better). Seriously, I’m not kidding about the beautiful part. This crew is so neat and tidy!

There was also a second spot where the support was inadequate. A wall continuing up through the first floor to the second was essentially floating between two floor joists, and consequently the first floor flooring had started to sag. This photo is not at its worst, but it’s noticeable:

Green Room Floor Sag

We got a new lolly post in the basement underneath the wall / sag. It required a hole to be dug into the foundation, and a lot of work, but it’s soooooo worth it not to have the house slowly fall down under you.

Basement New Support Post

Neither of us is upset at having an additional post to deal with in the basement. Sure, it’s a little inconvenient, since we’ve been used to not having a post there. However, it’s actually in a place that we’ll be able to easily accommodate – essentially just push a shelf against it and forget it’s there. And it could’ve been so much worse. (Plus, the whole house-not-falling-down-under-us thing!)

In addition, the same issues caused the floor to sink in a few places all the way upstairs by as much as 0.25” / 6 mm or so. Aaaaah! That we hadn’t noticed at all. The guys added support under the basement stair landing to combat it.

Basement Stairs w Added Support

The orange line in the photo above shows you the new support; there’s another set at the other end of the landing.

It’s such a relief to have all of this stuff done. There’s still some patching and repainting to do, and a back door rot issue to check out (hey there, mushroom from last fall and persistent ant issue), but we’re close to being done – hopefully for a good long while.


Work on the House

September 29, 2015 § 2 Comments

Last winter’s snows made our roof leak, and since we were going to have to get someone in to look at that anyway, we decided to have some other work done while they were at it.

The good news is, there doesn’t seem to be permanent damage in our walls or roof. Nevertheless, at one point we did get a mushroom of some sort growing in between the floorboards by the back door:

Back Door Mushroom

Yikes! It hasn’t been back, so most likely it was a fluke.

The biggest task was to repair and repaint drywall damage from the leaks and a few spots elsewhere in the house. I don’t seem to have a good photo of all the water damage by the back door and the fireplace where most of it happened, but here are two shots. The picture below shows the biggest ceiling stain when it was still of middling size:

Back Door Ceiling Damage

Living Room Work

In the picture above, the back door is just out of the picture to the left. The leaking water dripped down along the ceiling beam, ran along the beam to the fireplace and finally ran down both the side and kitchen front of the fireplace to the tile floor in front of it. You can kinda tell where the primer covering the damage is by the different reflection (gleam / lighter shade).

We’ve had cracks in the bedroom drywall for almost as long as we’ve lived in the house, and our efforts to patch them haven’t worked. It was fantastic to get those fixed!

Bedroom Doorway

A few other spots:

Upst Blue Bath

Upst Yellow Office

We also want out basement to look a little nicer, plus painted and water-protected to some extent:

Painted Basement North Wall

Painted Basement South Wall

The white on the walls is a kind of sealant, the green is just floor paint.

Then we got two of these beauties put in:

Dual Flush Toilet

Dual flush toilets! It’s a glamorous life we lead if new toilets can get you excited. 😉

And finally, we had a bathouse hung in the south west corner of the house:


Mr. E made the bathouse following his father’s proven design. The funny thing was that the evening when the bathouse went up, we kept the garage doors open till dusk to release the fumes from the basement wall treatment. As we went to look at the work and close the garage doors, we startled a bat in our garage! The poor thing flapped around inside for a bit, confused and scared by us (most likely), then flew out. Unfortunately we can’t yet tell whether it’s settled into the bathouse or not. Here’s hoping!

And only two days after this round of work, we had to call in a plumber to replace the leaking overflow tank on our waterheater. He also discovered that our water pressure way exceeded the recommended, and installed a valve. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Ohwell. 🙂

More White & Blue

March 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

Wall art and paintings have been on my mind lately. This photo combines DIY painting with my favorites, white and blue:

DSponge Texture alasully

Alaina Sullivan.

Alaina Sullivan on Instragram. (Originally found via design*sponge.)

Although there’s a little too much teal to my liking, I do concede that shades that are too similar make the whole look flat. Adding a small amount of something different makes a stronger, more lived-in, more interesting combination.

Paper Heart Garland

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Isn’t this paper heart garland inventive?

Etsy Bookity Shakespeare Paper Heart Garland

Bookity on Etsy.

Upcycled Shakespeare text paper heart garland by Bookity on Etsy.

We don’t hang garlands in our house, because both Mr. E and I are allergic to dust. I really liked the technique Bookity used, though, so I tried it out with two cardstock hearts. I added color but reduced the layers for less bulk.

Dimensional Paper Hearts

I haven’t decided what to do with them yet.

Small Shelf Redo

March 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

Tiffin Mills gave new life to an old shelf, and, wow, the results are great!

Tiffin Mills; via design*sponge.

Tiffin Mills; via design*sponge.

Found via design*sponge.

Makes my paint fingers itch! Alas, it’s still too cold.

SUPER Kitchen with PANGcake Recipes and All

February 28, 2014 § 2 Comments

This made me laugh out loud:

Super Kitchen

Photo: Patrik Hagborg; found via Desire to Inspire.

From a Swedish home. Photo by Patrik Hagborg; found via Desire to Inspire.

Seems I have pancakes on my mind this month. 🙂

Happy weekend!

Painted Ceilings in a Finnish Pancake Restaurant

February 13, 2014 § 2 Comments

Yesterday’s hotel ceiling post reminded me that I’ve never mentioned the pancake restaurant we like to visit in Finland.

Pancake Restaurant

The restaurant is in an old, small timber storage house from either the 1700s or the 1800s. That means that the spaces are constrained and a little weird, and there’s a lot of exposed wood. They have intricate mosaics on their walls and ceilings. Painting murals in the little nooks and crannies is a great idea for such a choppy space, I think. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have any non-fuzzy pictures from the downstairs, but here is one from the upstairs:

Pancake Restaurant Ceiling

We just looove both their sweet and savory pancakes! This winter we had a warm pancake filled with smoked reindeer and bacon followed by a chocolate-pear pancake as dessert. Splitting the two between us filled the tummy quite nicely.

(Note: I do not not publish sponsored content, or accept gifts or discounts to write about products. Blog posts are based on my personal opinion.)

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