This Labor Day weekend was predicted as 3 days of perfect weather for working on the house. We set out to replace the clapboard on the section of the shoe room that started the projects all those long months ago (turning into years now). We knew there was some wood rot on the sill and studs, how could there not be after all these years. The hope was that it would take a full day of work to repair. The plan was that it would take two with the third in reserve for the worst case. As they say in the military, no plan survives first contact with the enemy...
Our worst case turned out worse than either of us could have possibly imagined.
On Friday night we started clearing out all the nonsense that we'd let pile up in the shoe room, in case we got to start working actually inside. I grabbed what I thought was a full bag of drywall joint compound and carried it to its new home.
It wasn't full, it was opened and thus I coated my leg and foot
and the dining room floor
The next morning, this is what faced us:
and a close up of the worst
I cut the clapboards as needed and started destruction, working to keep the special cut pieces whole for templates
From the inside looking out
Mithril does not approve of the new cat door
This wood rot was as expected
This wood rot was expected
This wood rot was worse than expected but still within the 'can get it done today' realm
The termite damage to match the wood rot was unexpected and the rot was worse than anticipated
Now is where things went off the deep end. The next two photos caused us a bit of panic... ok, a LOT of panic... and almost crying.
At this point, we went next door and summoned the neighbor, who is an engineer. He came in and looked at the basement, the rot, the whole works and then started drawing. It's bad to be sure, but it is not as bad as it could be and it is still in the realm of a DIY project vs hiring contractors. It just means that our project took on a 6 - 8 week timeframe vs a 2 - 3 day timeframe.
So, the rest of the clapboard we need to remove has been removed
We have filled in the gaps with 2" think Styrofoam insulation and covered the outer wall with 6 mil plastic. Yesterday we priced the individual components needed to complete the repairs and today I did the price list. With the ancillary work required (repairing the back stairs) this appears to be around a $750 project and a LOT of labor. I never thought in my life that I would say I would be prepared to jack up my own house but there you have it.
This just massively changed all our autumn plans, including scaling back on Halloween decorating this year. Based on the damage, this has been in this condition since before we purchased the house. They joys of owning a 150 year old house...