So we began this project at the end of April. Totally ripping off the entire roof and putting a new one back on took two days. It was amazing. The house shook like someone was ripping it apart, which they were, but, bam, it was done. It looked great. So we expected the same thing from the painters. After 25 days, we still haven't gotten the first coat of color on the whole house. Here's where the process began to take shape, when the tinted primer went up. Everyone loved the blue, but it was so bright! I wasn't sure that was the color we chose, but they assured us it was.
Once they got more and more of the primer up, we could finally see the architectural details of the house that disappeared with the old pale yellow siding and white trim.
Here you can finally see the dramatic change taking place. So eventually they got the primer up on everything except the attic dormer and the side of the house that needed repairs.
This is what needed to be fixed. The previous owner remodeled the kitchen himself. He pulled out the windows that were there so he would have more wall space for upper cabinets. Then he stuck a smaller window in and filled the hole in with whatever wood he had on hand. Then he planted trees in front of this mess so it couldn't be seen. M said we should just plant trees like the previous owner did. I said we were spending so much money to make this house look good, it would be silly not to do it right. I offered up my summer pay to cover the repair costs because it meant so much to me to have it done right. So we also had to wait weeks for this repair to get done. Back in the day when this house was originally built, the width of the wood siding was wider than siding we use today. So there was no wood siding available to repair it with. We have no saw mills anywhere around where they could mill the correct width for us. So our contractor had to search for siding in the right width. The only thing he could find that would work was concrete siding. He ordered it, then we had to wait for it to come in.
What we discovered next was not cool. I went to to run errands when they started the demolition, by the time I got back, there were holes in our house and you could all our glasses sitting inside at the top of the window.
Here the carpenter begins ripping off the old siding. Replacing wooden siding apparently is like repairing a wood floor. You can't just cut out what you want and slap new pieces in because you will see the straight lines where you replaced the wood. Instead you need to feather in the pieces so none of the seams are directly over each other. Here's where everything gets more interesting. The master carpenter who had to do this showed me the cut nails in the original siding. He said, "did you know your house was about 100 years old?" I told him my research showed that this was a mail order kit house that was sold from 1914-1938. I assumed it was built late 20s or early 30s. He said no, the nails were hand cut (whatever that means) and they stopped using those about 100 years ago, so he estimates our house was one of the earliest kits, around 1915. Cool.
So apparently the former homeowner when he pulled out the old windows, he never framed in the new one, it wasn't even nailed in there, the siding was holding it in place, but wait, it gets better. On the inside, where he had gaps around the window, he filled it in with concrete. When they pulled the wood siding, the window sagged and the concrete crumbled. So we had to pay extra for the carpenters to properly frame the window and put wood inside to cover the holes. I will have to patch and skim coat them to cover the damage. One more thing on my summer to-do list.
So the framing and repairs were done properly.
Tyvek liner and concrete siding went up next.
The painters finally returned, primed over the repaired spot, and FINALLY began putting the first coat of the colored paint up. They did the front of the house and half of this side and then left for the holiday weekend. Argh. This has been the routine of the painters, they show up late morning and leave early afternoon, maybe two or three days a week. The house might be finished by the Fall. I am just so ready for this all to be done and for all the messes to be cleaned up.