House Pics


The Home Stretch

So with the flooring and trim in, it was time time to focus on the bathrooms. I installed durarock cement board on the walls and seeled it was a water proofing membrane. I hunted around a bit for tile. Each shower needed 75 sq. Ft. of tile. So i found some white subway tile at a salvage store, and some tile on sale at Home depot. A friend loaned me his tile saw, and the tile started to climb the wall.

The shower trim is a basic brushed nickel off of amazon.

I did some hunting around and found a pair of toilets at a builders surpluse. They just barely fit inside the civic.

With the shower and toilets done, i started building my bath vanities and kitchen cabinets.

I found a couple of cheap sinks, then built cabinets to match them.

I shopped around craigslist and at big box stores looking for a good buy on kitchen cabinets, but everything was looking like it was gonna turn out to cost $1500-$2000 for what i was looking for. So i decided to try to build my own cabinets.

I found a country sink early on in the project, so i dug it out of storage and started to piece my cabinets together.

A lot of YouTube and google searching later, they ginally started to come together. My litte brother found my counter top material. It’s a oak plywood left over from one of his jobs. I worked out to be just enough for my vanities and countertops.

I picked up a hot water heater, it’s only a 30gal, but im hopeing the size helps me save a bit on energy usage.

Of all the details of this project, I realized that i forgot to consider what color I wanted to paint the outside of the house. So i went through a bunch of options trying to find a good one. In the end i just picked one and hoped for the best. My little sister came over and helped me paint.

With the house painted, it was time to knock out the last couple of items on the to-do list.

I built a little stoop on the side of the house, and installed a little Hvac system

Death By Dust

So with the insulation up, it was time to put up drywall! My sister and brother-in-law and niece came over and spent a day doing drywall. three and a half persons, were a huge help.

I had been dreading finishing the drywall, but it was time to finally do it. Ten days later, I finally called it done. I think there is a special level of hell that involves drywall finishing. About day five, all I could think was “This is what I will be doing for forever.” but after an eternity, or ten days, it was done.

with the drywall done, my older sister came over on her vacation, and painted the entire interior.

I got some stilts for the high areas.s

In the process of demolition, I removed all the tongue and groove heart pine on the walls and ceiling. I saved as much of this old pine as I could and stored it under a tarp out in the yard. Unfortunately some of it got wet and was unusable, but I ended up having enough to complete floor my house.

With the flooring down, I rented a drum sander to clean it up. the flooring had never been sanded before, so three days of sanding later, I called it done.

I wanted just to get the natural look of the heart pine without darkening it, or having it go amber. So I decided to go with Bona’s water-base Polyurethane. My little brother took the day off and helped my finish my floors. I’m happy with how they turned out.

I used some prefinished Oak plywood for my window stools.

Finally with the floor down and finished, it was time to install the baseboard. Unfortunately Home Depot only sold baseboard in 16ft lengths. So I got creative with the civic.

But it looked pretty good installed.

Now, I only have to finish my showers, build some cabinets, install my HVAC system, and paint my house.

So close I can almost taste it.

Rough Services and Rough Inspections

So with the windows and siding installed, it was time to move inside and start getting the mechanical systems in order. I stated with running my circuits from my service panel. In preparation for this I picked up a books on residential wiring. After reading that, and planing out my circuits I ended up with 14 different runs in my little house. So yeah, I might have over done it.

After running all my circuits i finished up all my rough plumbing, including drilling two holes through my good roof for some plumbing vents. It felt so wrong, but it needed to happen.

With the rough plumbing done, I moved on to air sealing the house. I used OSB plywood, on the cielings and taped the seams with 3M all weather flashing tape. And then to really tighten up the house I caulked all the penetrations and ceiling boxes.

with the mechanics wrapped up, I called the county, to get my mechanicals  inspected. Three attempts and later, I finally passed my rough mechanical inspection.

I then moved on to insulating the inside of my walls. With all the varied sized framing members, I decided to go with a blown in insulation system. So I ordered some insulation webbing off amazon, and 15,000 staples later. I had my webbing up.

My little brother came over and helped feed the blower while I filled the walls. Overall a pretty good project. my final R-value of my insulation is R-28 for my walls and R-55 for my ceiling, supposedly this is best insulation levels for Climate zone 3, before you start getting diminishing returns on your insulation.

With the walls insulated, I started to think about insulation for my attic. I was browseing,  I saw they had a Pallet of insulation for sale 30% less than what I could get it for in-store with free shipping! How someone can offer free shipping on a 1000lb pallet of insulation is beyond me. But I decided that wasn’t my problem, so i clicked “Buy”, and a week later a Semi rolled up to my house and dropped off the insulation.

My older brother came over and helped blow in my attic.

Having the rough inspections passed, was a huge mile stone to cross. After 2 years I was finally about to put up finished surfaces. and close up my walls.

So far, so good.

Take it easy,


Windowed, Decked and Sided

So with the house wrapped up just in time for tax season, I leveraged my tax returns to purchase my windows. I received several bids for the windows, but ended up going with a company in Tucker, GA. So after carefully measuring my window openings, I placed my order. Two weeks later I went to pick them up, and they were the wrong size. Queue up week long, window induced headache.

Finally I figured out a fix and proceeded to install the windows.

With the windows in, I tossed up some soffit.

I spent some time thinking about my window and door trim. I mocked up some different styles, but in ended up going with something kind of traditional.

Finally after all the prep work, siding started to go up.

So far, so good.

How we are sitting so far:

Amount spent: I stopped keeping track a while ago, but I think i’m somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.

Tool Acquired: Lots of fucking awesome ones!

Emotional breakdowns: *Pops Xanex* “None.”

Thanks for stopping by ya’ll.

Next up, rough electrical, plumbing, and Air conditioning.

A House Size Sweater, Rain Jacket, and Roof

So a couple of years ago I stumbled upon a group of building science nerds. These guys hangout at greenbuildingadvisor,com, and, they play with high efficient building systems.  Using simple building principles like high air tightness, high levels of insulation, and proper ventilation, you can cut the energy use of a home  50-70%.  So I decided to experiment with some of their design ideas on my house to see how they worked.

so I started off with improving the air tightness of the building envelope. so after I put up the OSB sheathing, I taped all the seems with 3M’s All Weather Flashing Tape. The point of this is to cut down all the drafts through the house.

After taping all the OSB joints. I put a “sweater” of recycled foam insulation, over the exterior of the house. this just helps improve the overall insulation R-value of the wall.

After the insulation was in place, I wrapped the foam with house wrap, then used pressure treated 1x3s to hold the assembly all together, the 1×3 strapping is screwed through the foam into the wall studs with 5 inch long screws. And if you think installing 5 inch screws in 30 degree weather is difficult, you’d be correct.

I used recycled polyiso foam that was removed from the roof of warehouses, the foam is in good enough shape for what i’m using it for, even though it was stained with some mildew. to be on the safe side, I sprayed both sides with fungicide, and let the foam dry out before installing it on the house.

My roof rafters were a bit too shallow to hold enough insulation to meet code. so I ended up building what is called an over-roof, where you add part of your insulation to the top of your roof deck, then add a layer of OSB and then your roofing material. It seemed to work well, though it makes the roof line look a bit fat.

My brother and brother-in-law came over and gave me a hand installing the metal roof panels.

So far so good.

Up next Windows, and Siding.

Framing Parte Tres: Return of The Framer!

So with the walls of the house sorted, It was time to work out the roof. The roof was made up of 3 layers of shingles plus the original cedar shakes. 

So the first order of business was to order a roll off dumpster, and take off the old.

My sister Lydia stopped by and sweated in the dirt for a couple hours.

As well as Wes.

With all the shingles off it was time to sort out the roof framing.

The roof was made up of 2x4s on 32ing centers, covered with skip sheathing (1×4 strips). To bring this up to code, We sistered 2×6 to each of the original 2x4s. Then add a new 2×6  in between the existing rafters. 

My friend John came over and helped me put in the ridge beam.

With the ridge beam in place, I started cutting rafters.

Once all the rafters were in place, we started to throw up sheating. And tar paper.

With the tar paper on, I took down the rest of the tung and groove on the interior. I was able to salvage a lot of this old heart pine. I stacked it up, and i hope to use it later for my flooring.

So clean.

With the roof frame sorted, I framed up the rest of my interior walls. And installed the front door, good feelings.