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De-Winterizing? No... Re-Winterizing!
Posted on 02/13/10
Okay, so I tried to de-winterize last weekend, and failed. Over the course of the week I had the people who'd installed the furnace (Highlands Plumbing & Heating, nee Horrel-Neiderhiser Plumbing & Heating) come up and fix it, and turn the heat on. The plan was to have these guys heat the place up, then drive up and turn on the water so the home inspector could do his thing next week. Well, they say no battle plan survives its first contact with the enemy.

While the heating guy was successful turning the heat on, what I didn't account for was how the mass of snow on the roof would react with a warmer house. Despite the huge amount of insulation up there, the roof will get warm enough to melt some of the snow. And these big eaves, so wonderful most of the year, are fantastic at refreezing the snow melt as it comes down the roof. Yep, we have ice damming, and water's getting into the house. Not much water, but really, how much water coming in from the ceiling is accep
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De-Winterizing, First Attempt.
Posted on 02/08/10
I drove up to the PA house this weekend. I finally have an offer and needed to de-winterize (summerize?) the house for the home inspector. Alas, with all the snow this was not as easy as I'd hoped. First, the heat came on, but didn't stay on. The propane line had frozen and the thermostat had packed it in. Once the propane in the line was depleted the furnace shut down and that was it, no heat. Well, without heat I wasn't about to turn the water on. Oh well, at least I did some snowshoeing. I also shot a short video of the place. Enjoy.

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Preparing For A Cold Winter
Posted on 10/19/09
Went up to Pennsylvania to winterize the house. I didn't do this last year and spent around $500, maybe more, for propane to keep the place above freezing all winter. Not again.

Drained the water lines, tanks, and filters, opened all the valves, and put non-toxic RV anti-freeze in all of the traps. Turned all of the circuits off, except the front door light and living room lighting. Finally, I cleaned up and took as much stuff out of the house as possible. I even left notes to remind myself that all the valves are open (before I turn on the well pump and flood the place).

With any luck, come spring, everything will be just as I left it.
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Everything Must Go!
Posted on 02/24/09
The house is on the market, finally... or at least I think it is, I haven't checked the MLS. I drove up to drop off some paperwork a few weeks back and took these pictures. Lots of snow up on the mountain this year. Anyway, while the inside looks great, the outside needs some love. If spring breaks before it sells (and considering the economy, I expect that) I'll spend a weekend or two up here and do a little exterior work and slap it with a coat of paint. Curb appeal, right?
In addition to the house, the Element is finally on eBay. We bought ourselves a Subaru Outback back around the beginning of February (see the previous post, about the Xtracycle). I love the Honda, but the Subie has four real doors for getting the baby in and out. Once the Element is sold we'll only have the Outback and the Westy. It f
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A Little Filler And Paint
Posted on 11/18/08
Drove up to do some painting and finish work, and that's what got done. First, obviously, was the skylight trim. Took more than a little filler to make it look good, and even so, it's a good thing that the skylight is 10 feet up. While here I also painted something that I've been meaning to paint since the sheetrock was done, the electrical panel cover. You have no idea how much better that looks to me. Oh, and all the closet doors got two coats as well. Paint? Check.
Sorry about the crappy iPhone photos, I left the camera at home. D'oh!
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One Thing
Posted on 11/08/08
I went up to the house this time to do just one thing. Finish off the gaping hole in the ceiling. I've been worried about how I'd do this ever since I decided to insulate and put some kind of ceiling in place... years ago. As is usually the case when I end up obsessing about somehting like this, I shouldn't have worried, it was pretty easy in the end.
This first photo shows what I did. The near window shows the initial wrap, simple 2x10 lumber. The far window shows the second layer added, simple 1x8 pine.
And finished up with 1x4 and 1x8 pine. All it needs is a little filler and some paint.
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Weekend with Danny
Posted on 10/05/08
My brother came up to the house for the weekend to help me with a few things. Partially because I needed the help, and partially because having him there helps keep me motivated and working. I really needed help with placing the last few patch pieces into the corrugated ceiling. We also hung the microwave, put handles on all the cabinets and replaced the faces in front of the sink, installed the track lighting, built an attic door, installed the flooring beneath, and hooked up the washer and dryer, and put up wire shelves in the closets. The other huge (Huge!) favor Danny did for me was to pick me up in Morgantown and drive me up to Pennsylvania. This allowed me to finally drive the Westy home. Thanks Dan!

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Up To Date Update
Posted on 08/10/08
It's been a little while since I posted any pictures of the 388 house. More than a month. Well, I've been busy. After the ceilings there were a million little details to get done before the party, and then there was the party, and now I'm just trying to get as much done as possible before the new one arrives.

Anyway, since I probably won't get back here for a few weeks, I found a few minutes to shoot a few photos as a record of my progress and to post here. We'll start with the basic shot that you've seen before, now with 100% more kitchen than last time. if you look up you can see that I still have some strips of ceiling to fill in up near the beam soffit.

Here's another shot of the kitchen and then the bathroom. Without going back and checking, i'm not sure if I posted any shots of the long completed bathroom. I did however finally get around to paint
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Ceilings... Almost Done
Posted on 06/08/08
Well, here they are, corrugated ceilings. It was a lot of work, but my brother Danny and I finally hung the ceilings. Other than a few adjustments, a filler panel or two, and possibly some kind of trim, they're done.
We cut the 12' x 26" panels using an abrasive blade in my old circular saw.It worked. The sparks where so dense that they melted a new hole in the back end of the saw's plastic housing.
We attached 2x4's to the ceiling beams, and simply screwed the panels up. Simply is a big understatement though, it wasn't easy. One of the problems was that in the bedrooms the pieces were as wide as the room, and fitting these flimsy, sharp-edged panels into the room, let alone getting them in place, was rough. Required a lot of touch ups to the paint afterwards. I'd also recommend snapping a chalk line for your screws too, we didn't, and it's pretty obvious in a lot of places.
Here's my old bedroom. The bedrooms came
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Posted on 06/07/08
Just let me grab this extensio... eek!
Found this little guy living in the shed up in PA this week. I have no idea what kind of snake it is, but it was definitely more afraid of me than i was of it, so I'll make the assumption it wasn't poisonous.
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