Our Retro Bungalow

Our Retro Bungalow
The journal of the making of an old house into a lovely new home.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Moving Day #1

First of all...
it's official.
Dean is redrawing the plans where necessary because we are really, for sure and
absolutely taking the brick down.
So, I guess you'd say that we are just building a new house on top of an old foundation.
That's not exactly what we originally had in mind, but we are goin' for it.
This change in plans will definitely set us back in our schedule.
We may spend Christmas in the trailer!
It'll be a Christmas to remember.
Besides the other pros I mentioned in the last post,
(wait...did I mention them? i don't remember.)
I don't think I mentioned that we'll gain about 64 square feet.
That's because we'll be able to move the stud walls out to the outside edge of the foundation.
Right now, the brick and the air gap between the brick and stud wall take up almost 6 inches.
That may not seem like a lot, but the Bungalow is a small house,
so just that much extra is a nice bonus.
But the old brick will not be going to waste.
We came up with a really fun idea.
We will build an outdoor fireplace and hearth in the back yard with it!
That's going to be simply awesome.

Late December 2012
We haven't done it a whole lot in our almost 31 years of marriage,
but we do not like moving.
Even if it is just across the driveway and side yard.
But move we did -
It was just Mr & Me with the exception of Justin,
who showed up "Justin Time" to help Dean with the treadmill and sofas.
Since we moved from Casa di Mossi,
 most of our household belongings have stayed packed away in boxes
and stored in the basement here.
The two bedrooms down there were stuffed to the gills with boxes.
The storage room shelves were completely filled.
And our sofas and chairs stacked on top of each other
and our old, oak dining set was stacked with boxes and...
oh, you get the idea.
We moved it all to our secure, on location storage unit
that we had delivered and parked on the South side of the Bungalow.

It's 40 feet long by 10 feet wide by 9 feet tall and we've filled just over half way.
Mr Mossi is pro at packing things efficiently.
I will admit that I'm a little skeptical, though, about being able to
 get the rest of our things in there and make it all fit.
We shall see.

We were pretty pooped out on Sunday, so Mr M suggested we just relax
 and watch a movie after church.
He brought out "Back to the Future".
It had been a long time since we'd watched that one,
so the old laughs were almost new again.

Marty McFly goes back in time to
That's the year the Bungalow was built!
How apropos.
We hadn't remembered that little detail until watching it yesterday.
The photo above is the billboard at the entrance of Marty McFly's neighborhood
featuring the homes being built in '55.
We got a little kick out of that.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Garage Demolition...DONE!

it's done except for the foundation wall and slab.
That'll all be taken care of pretty soon with the backhoe.

But we finished bringing down the garage walls on Saturday.

 On Monday we finished stacking all the salvageable brick and cleaned up the aftermath.
We could have finished stacking on Saturday, 
but we really wanted to go to our ward conference temple night 
at the Brigham City Temple.
I'm glad we did.
But then...I'm always glad when we go to the temple.

Now here's somethin' I'm gnawin' on...
I thinkin' we're gonna be significantly changin' part of our plan.
(NOT the floor plan) 
Now we're thinkin' about... 
taking the brick off the entire house!
when we drew up our plans we drew them with 9 foot ceilings. 
They are currently 8 foot ceilings. 
In order to get the extra height, we were going to build a 
12 inch 'pony wall' onto the top of the existing framework. 
Creating and attaching pony walls is not uncommon. 
Maybe I haven't mentioned it yet, but we've always planned on taking the entire roof off 
to create a more attractive roof design. 
Anyway, after some research and a conversation with a structural engineer, 
we decided instead to detach the existing framework from the masonry, 
build the new 9 foot frame walls separately, 
then stand 'em up and attach 'em to the masonry with special anchors. 
then we got to talking about taking the brick on the entire house down!
One thing we are concerned about is shear strength and rigidity of the walls.
Ideally, and as is code now, the framework should have OSB sheeting 
attached on the exterior side of the 2x4 framing.
This house was built with celotex, a material that was commonly used 'back in the day'.
Celotex does not have near the strength that OSB sheeting does.
Dean had hoped he would find OSB sheeting at least on the corners of the house, 
which is what they often did on homes built with celotex.
He found no OSB or plywood on the corner where the garage was attached.
We would actually add OSB to the 9 foot 'prefab' walls we construct and attach to the brick.
We've been planning on paying a mason to 'cake bag' 
(imagine a giant pastry bag full of mortar) 
all of our mortar joints with a different color mortar. 
He was also gonna brick up some windows to reconfigure their size and shape 
and re-brick the garage and front entrance. 
All that was going to cost around $3,500 to $5,000. 
If we use siding/hardy board we 
could put it up ourselves 
 have more leeway on color, window size and placement
 we could purchase enough material for the entire house with less moo-la 
than we were going to pay the mason.
Until now, I've been set on keeping the brick and 
maintaining a significant portion of exterior originality.
I'm obviously reconsidering that now.
Mr Mossi gives me complete control over these types of decisions.
And I'm leaning toward taking the brick down.
The only stinker is that it may set us back a little on the schedule.
I wonder if I could fit a Thanksgiving turkey in the trailer oven
how I could squeeze a Christmas tree into the trailer.
Maybe some sliced deli turkey and one of those little, plastic Charlie Brown trees would work?


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Beginning of Bringing Down the Brick

We've begun tackling the brick walls of the garage.
And I'm not gonna lie...
it's  a bit daunting.
There are so many bricks.
And they've all got to be individually cleaned so we can reuse them.
But we are not quitters.
that's not really an option now, is it.

Mr Mossi loosens them and tosses 'em down,
being careful not to let them land on each other 
because we don't want to break any.

I gather them up and stack 'em.
Mr Mossi apologized for me having the hardest job,
but I'd rather be doing that than be up on the ladder.
He came down and helped me stack them anyway.
This photo is just the start of what was stacked tonight.

This is how far we got tonight before it was time to clean up.
We won't be able to work on it again til Saturday because
we have the missionaries coming for dinner tomorrow and
a wedding reception to attend after that.
And on Friday evening we've been invited to a BBQ 
at our new friends, Kyle & Machel's home.

Things are going well.
We both have tendinitis in our right elbows.
I've decided I need to break down and wear a knee brace.
(almost dislocated again this evening) 
And my skin is a bit dry from showering twice a day.
But, we are happy and still excited about 
our Bungalow project.

Thanks for stoppin' by.

Now, if you'll excuse me,
I'm goin' to bed.
So tired.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cinder Block

We finally got around to tackling the garage walls.
We intended on starting on them last weekend,
but we had a doozey of a windstorm that Friday night that caused a bit of a detour -
it blew off part of the hen house roof.
Dean put a new roof on it using materials saved from the garage roof demolition.
Well, actually we needed to finish enclosing the coop too.
And the floor needed repair 
and the roost needed to be put up 
and the nesting boxes needed to be secured.
Long story short...
the hen house is complete and my 'girls' 
are all settled in and poppin' out eggs like crazy.

So, on Saturday this is what we did...

Dean took 'em down and handed 'em to me...

 and I stacked 'em up.
We figure there's about 500, counting the ones we had to scrap because they were broken.
Most of them came off real easy.
Anybody wanna buy cinder block?
When they're cleaned up they look like new.

Now we've got to tackle the brick.
We've done some of it already. It's time consuming because 
we are cleaning them individually to be reused for the reconstruction.
I think I'm just going to work on them after school everyday for a few hours til it's done so 
Mr & Me can work together on other things when he gets home in the evenings.

This, by far, was the worst part.
(for me, anyway)
Gobs and gobs of spiders nests 
 lurking between the inner cinder block wall and the outer brick.
I really, really, really detest spiders.

We were warned by a few people familiar with 1950's cinder 
block wall construction that this would be an arduous task that would likely require heavy equipment. 
They said the cinder block were probably filled with concrete and rebar. 
We were very happy to find that this was not the case.

That's it for today's update.
Thanks for stoppin' by.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

So much to tell and not a lot of time.
So, I'll be quick.

We started taking the garage roof off on 
Saturday, the 27th.

Dean assumed we'd just be prying up sheets of OSB, with roofing felt and shingles 
nailed on, right off the rafters.
But we found that the original 1955 roofing planks were still in place under the OSB.
This required more time and more sweat equity than we'd anticipated.
But we were not be discouraged.
We just plowed ahead.
And I do mean 
Being up a the roof,
any roof,
is about a million miles outta my comfort zone.
Spiders, fire, small enclosed spaces and heights.
Yeah. That just about sums up my personal 'no fly zones'.
Oh yeah...
and we found LOTS of spiders nests in those old rafters! 
But, up there with Mr Mossi I was.
I pried and lifted and hucked debris over the edge and into the dumpster below.
I kind of got used to it after a while, 
but I'm still not looking forward to being back up there when we take the house roof off.
We worked on getting that roof off almost everyday during the week
and yesterday (Sat 5/4) the very last bits of it came down.
Here are some photos...

 Just starting out...

 Prying up the OSB and shingles. 
Sheets of OSB covered with shingles are HEAVY.
But this man can pull 'em up, lift 'em over his head, 
walk to the edge of the roof and huck 'em into the dumpsta like nothin'.
That's my man.

 The original roofing planks sans OSB.

 The dumpsta below...

Yep. That's me on the roof.

 And then we pried the planks off...

and sent 'em over the edge into the dumpsta.

By Tuesday, we had the planking off.

Mr Mossi doing his "Here's Johnny!" impression.
We have a good time working together.

On Wednesday we started taking the 'drywall' off the ceiling of the garage by walking on the joists between the rafters and stomping it down. It was all fun and games until I dislocated my left knee while climbing over the ridge beam. My knees have always dislocated easily, especially if I move (twist) wrong. 
I'm pro at getting them back into place quickly, but let me tell you what...
it HURTS like the dickens and leaves me so sore that it's hard to turn over in bed at night.
I never dreamed it'd happen standing on a roof joist with
 nothing but a concrete slab ten feet below.
That knee is still a little stiff, but improving..
And it didn't keep me from working the next day, so that's a good thing.

The drywall ceiling that we stomped down all over the garage floor.

Then it was time to take the rafters down.
Dean mostly did this by himself.
I mostly stayed on the ground and collected all the debris and put it in the dumpsta.

Next, the joists and gable ends came down.

And there ya go!
Garage roof demolition complete.
We're a little tired, but still excited and havin' a great time with this project.

Up next for this week...
the garage walls come down.

And one more photo before I go...

THIS was my reward for being a brave girl and workin' up there...
Sunset from our roof.
Worth it.