Old Stone House

Our House Has An Ugly Secret

October 2, 2007

Filed under: Ugly Addition @ 5:11 pm

Actually our house has two secrets. The first secret is that our lovely Victorian façade is designed to conceal the atrocious higgly-piggly-cream-vinyl-clad addition at the rear of the house – an 80’s sunroom (complete with curves stained beams). The second secret – a secret that the house has kept from its owners for 3 years – is that the ‘addition’ is a wet, rotten, carpenter-ant-infested ruin.

This summer, a friend pointed out that the siding at the base of the sunroom had a weed growing out of it. Disgusted, I yanked on the weed and pulled all of the siding off the rear of the house… The insulation was soaking wet, and there was no sheeting – only carpenter ants, woodchips and mud! Needless to say, my heart sank. We had intended to restore the front porch this year, but with this discovery our priorities changed. (I’m not sure what frustrates me more; the fact that we have to repair the back of the house, or the fact that even once the repairs have been made the addition will still stick out like a sore thumb. I will include some images of the rear of the house shortly)

We spent the rest of the summer lamenting our findings and weighing our options. In the end we’ve decided that we cannot afford to tear the entire addition off the house a start over, so we will need to do our best to improve what is there. Likewise, we’ve had to succumb to the “while-you’re-at-it” demon and concede that if we are repairing the exterior of the house, we might as well upgrade the windows, doors, electrical etc. Thus the plan is set: We will cover the exterior of the addition with board and batten siding, replace all the windows and the door, install new exterior lights, add a weeping tile, and fix the eaves troughs. In the process of upgrading all of these features we will address the water/ant damage as well as attempt to take precautions against ice build up on the roof – which destroyed parts of the kitchen ceiling this past winter- all with a budget of less then $2,000.

I’ve included a few images from this past weekend’s efforts. We managed to remove the sheeting at the rear of the sunroom, cut out all ant-infested wood, fumigate, insulate, seal, and re-sheet the lower part of the wall in an afternoon. There are still some unanswered questions about how we are going to flash around the new siding as the board and batten is much thicker then the original vinyl (shudder), but I’m sure we’ll find a way…

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1 Comment »

  1. […] The soaking wet sun room wall.  This really had me chuffed. I told her there was no way the wall was wet (knowing full well that I had just ripped out the wall last fall) but agreed that the wall was curiously ’spongy’.  I plunged a knife into the wall and ripped open a hole to reveal a BONE DRY wall cavity complete with dusty ‘drywall’.  I showed her the reno pictures and explained how the wall had just been rebuilt this past fall.  The sponginess?  The drywall was not anchored against the studs – it was sitting out from the studs 1/8′” and so it had some play when you pushed on it – a result of not re-screwing the drywall after the exterior work had been completed. […]

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