Projects here should relate to carpentry or structure.

Of course…it’s all connected!

A Bad News, Good News Kind of Day…

The Bad News: A column blew apart at the Old Vic. The Good News: It’s an added column and only a “little bit” structural. The Bad News: It’s a “little bit” structural because the box beam above it has deteriorated … Continue reading

Porch flooring…

The final bit of KDAT (Kiln Dried After Treatment) tongue and groove porch flooring lumber finally came in…so I vowed that unless I got smited (smote?) by a major god (me and Thor may still be having a duel…our status … Continue reading

We have curvage!

The front porch deck framing is complete…and it was a bear. There’s a curve on the house there, and the outer porch is curved as well…and due to the framing of the round parlor room, several beams exit into the … Continue reading

One, two…

Making a *tapered* column plumb on a curvy Victorian house that wasn’t necessarily built square/plumb in the first place is a challenge…but column # 1 was installed on Friday. I also cut column # 2 to length and embarked on … Continue reading

Column prep…part the first.

Okay, on the agenda this weekend, box in the box beam and install a couple columns. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It’s not. The sheer amount of steps required in prepping a column take up a lot of time…fiddly work…but important … Continue reading


Didn’t get much done this weekend since we were too busy getting thoroughly rained upon…seriously…something like 12 inches in 48 hours. Fortunately, Serious Roof is serious…and I can’t tell you how happy I am that all the rain stays on … Continue reading

‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all mad here.’

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland In our last exciting episode, we ended the day with a quite large hole … Continue reading

Down the Rabbit Hole

Alternate title: THIS IS SPARTA! Serious Door install is requiring an entire new sill. A rather massive beam that runs the portion of the width of the mudroom that extends past the house proper. As I’ve mentioned in the past…when … Continue reading

Serious Door is Serious…

Some of you that have been following along may recall WAY back when I corrected/rebuilt the mess that was the back wall/rear entry of the Old Vic (here). We ended up installing some French Doors that came with the house … Continue reading


Why yes, you CAN get more done without killing yourself when the temperatures are milder. We had gorgeous weather for, well, pretty much anything this weekend. So I, of course, worked on the porch. Turns out…other than completely reframing the … Continue reading

Hot stuff…

Getting the porch deck down was on the agenda for this weekend. It didn’t get finished. The deck is 4″ tongue and groove (actually covers 3″ swath). Old house folks are often strangely snobbish about materials to use…you’ll hear something … Continue reading

A porch is a porch of course of course…

The goal this weekend was ambitious…and as usual…the result was mixed. I’m happy with what I got done, but hoped to get a little further. Due to the heat and humidity, it’s vital to get started early. Shorty the Corgi…otherwise … Continue reading

Piers set…

I didn’t get as far on the framing as I would have liked this weekend…with Mike’s help I got the front beam for the porch built, the piers set and filled with concrete…and the old bodarc pilings removed. The heat … Continue reading

We were walking on what now?

This weekend we got the second segment of porch header installed, and started to work on the porch deck and structure. The first part of the project is the 20′ straight (as in not deliberately curved…”straight” would be a hard … Continue reading

In this episode of “What’s holding that up?”…

So, last weekend I built and installed the first replacement box beam holding up my front porch. This weekend I started on the next segment. This required a couple more jack posts and some fiddling around to get the weight … Continue reading

First segment installed…

Y’all might recall that Saturday, I built a box beam for the front porch header…and prepped it for install…all the while managing not to kill anybody or destroy anything (major). We installed it Sunday! The first segment is a success! … Continue reading

Boxing wompy-jaws….

So, in my epic quest to actually GET STARTED on the front railings…I’ve begun to tackle the structural issues on the front porch. I want this stuff to be straight when I add railings. Here’s what I’m up against…the porch … Continue reading

Can of worms = open.

Y’all may recall the massive roof project we did earlier this year. Since, of course, no good deed goes unpunished, when we notified our insurance company that we’d installed a new roof their response was something like, “Meh. Install porch … Continue reading

Rail details

More railing work…got the siding repaired and flashed. Installing the last rail section: We like the look. Now, just need to do something about that sea of Crapsman mowers… On the “Why things cost more front”…this is about $100 worth … Continue reading

Railing progress…

Worked on the railings again this weekend…I only have one section left on the deck side of the house…well…that is…if ya don’t count the trim, priming, painting, and other fiddlings around that will still be left to do… There is … Continue reading

Deck work…

Part Two of the 8-billion part railing saga… You may recall in this post that I started the railing project on The Old Vic…of course…that means doing lots of stuff other than railings. We had always intended the deck to … Continue reading

The start of a VERY long project (railings).

Y’all might remember that slightly massive project where I just put a roof on The Old Vic… Well, no good deed goes unpunished ya see…my insurance company sent the picture-dude out to see if we had actually done anything and … Continue reading

So screwed…

Sunday was some gorgeous weather…so I spent a chunk of it working on the south side of the Old Vic…we took the old “awning” (term used very loosely) down before the roof job but that had made a mess of … Continue reading

Wall it up…

A severe storm last week damaged part of my Mom’s house. A badly done 50+ year-old addition was suffering from exposure and rot anyway, and was on the (eventual) list to be modified or somehow repaired…we just hadn’t decided quite … Continue reading

Taking down the chimney…

Pulling out a chimney today…over the kitchen. Long ago it was taken down to the roofline. The mortar they used then was just lime and sand…it tends to lose the lime over the years and just turn to powder. About … Continue reading

Cupola roof fix…step the first..

Our 1860’s commercial building on the square needs some tinkering on the roof. Mostly I just need to get up there and fix a few issues, then do some annual maintenance. It’s time to get started. Step the one: Access … Continue reading

We struck dirt!

Me and my friend Mike spent part of the weekend crawling around under my Mom’s new (old) house with a sawzall (otherwise known as “destructor of worlds”). This house is not as old as the Old Vic, but dates back … Continue reading

Door Casement – step the second…

Y’all might recall I installed a new hole a couple weeks ago (here). This weekend, my friend Mike and I did the door casement (step 1). (thanks Mike!) Finally, we are working in the kitchen and the finish up of … Continue reading

Power tools…holes…they sorta go together.

Okay, I installed a new hole today. Here’s the new door from the kitchen to the mud/utility rooms. Well, the hole for the door anyway. Got the powersaw (destructor of worlds) out and presto! Little bit of blood, some smoke … Continue reading

GrrrSnarl (in a most manly tone).

I ripped out the kitchen door today. A Stanley Wonderbar and a screwdriver. I swear I could take apart the entire city with just those. I’m taking a big-ass saw (that’s a technical term) to the wall tomorrow. Bigger antique … Continue reading

…and work…

Go for it, you gotta set the pace and work. Okay, a line from a song I like. From a strange movie I like. (shrugs). Anyway, in keeping with our newly found 2011 Tradition of having absolutely no money whatsoever … Continue reading

Some roof work.

I had not intended on doing any roof work on this house myself. I’ve done roofs. I don’t like it. Under the best conditions…and even if you are in the best shape, it is hard, brutal, knee and back bruising … Continue reading

Why they fall down *slowly*…

Yet more electrical work. Not much to show…as in “interesting pictures”. Basically I’ve been crawling through attics trailing yellow wire all behind me like some sort of giant mutant spider. *shudder* On second thought…strike that mental image…I do NOT want … Continue reading

Making a house…a home.

At what point does a house become a home? For us, and this house, it felt like home before we bought it…but that’s not really it. We still are using a lot of the furniture that came with it. Some … Continue reading

There be DOORS here!

From this: There be DOORS here! The 3 inches of rain Saturday night and Sunday got in the way so I haven’t done the weather stripping or threshold yet…and I don’t have any door knob hardware…but by golly…DOORS! We’ve got … Continue reading

Starting to look…actually…like I’m accomplishing something!

Sooo…window trimmed in…siding up…you’ll notice the bottom glass is clean…SO clean in fact, that air hose and extension cord pass right through it! (a situation I’ll possibly correct next weekend). I WILL have the French doors mounted next weekend… CUAgain, … Continue reading

Operation Cover Up–The Sequel

#title “Operation Cover Up–The Sequel” After much soul-searching, chasing moths out of my wallet, and other advanced avoidance techniques, we determined what we knew all along. The only right thing to side the utility room wall with was the round … Continue reading

Operation Cover Up

It’s like something right out of the seedy side of life. The kind of thing respectable (heh heh) people like me shouldn’t be involved in… Yeah, we paid money…a great deal of it…to acquire the merchandise and have it shipped … Continue reading

Utility room wall progress…

Y’all may recall the utility room wall…badly constructed and falling out of this otherwise VERY solid house…that we had to rebuild. We are relocating the window and door whilst we are at it. Linky-thing Purists will be overjoyed that we … Continue reading

Stairway Windows (part 7)

Alternate title: “Destruction, mayhem, windows.” Oooookayyy…a bit of a LONG overdue update here…sorry about that. Several things happened to put the window project on a back shelf. 1) I got the sills/etc rebuilt and water tight. 2) The worst window … Continue reading

Mostly Dead.

Y’all might recall the last post…where I stated in no uncertian terms that “The Shed Must Die”. Well…it’s mostly dead. I was deep into killing it but had to stop when the alert level was raised to DefCon “KillMaimBuzz”. Hell … Continue reading

Destruction Slated

On the agenda this weekend…the shed must die. Destroying this: I will be SO glad to see that thing gone… Gonna start a deck in it’s place, so we can enter/exit by way of the new French doors…then I can … Continue reading

Utility rooms, walls, destruction, and of course, more heat!

Yeah…the year is fading away quickly. I looked at the calendar and said something like, “August! What the heck? GHAAAAAAAAAAA!” Anyway, “Getting near the end of the year” triggered some sort of “I’ve got to get this done” reflex… That … Continue reading

Warp Factor?

Sooo… We have this Sunroom you see… At some time in past generations one of the windows was removed and AC was installed: Now, I can’t blame them…here in Texas…and especially in east Texas…without AC you would simply burst into … Continue reading

Misplaced another wall…

Much flailing about with destructive implements occurred this weekend. Y’all might remember this second kitchen thing…it was carved out of an old screened-in porch or mudroom. Plans call for it to be a utility/mud room but back with the rest … Continue reading

Wall goes down…wall goes up!

The Sun Room…soon to be my art studio…was on the agenda this again this weekend. Seems we’re having guests for the Arts Festival *NEXT* weekend and needed two operable guest rooms. “Operable” here means a place to sleep, a bit … Continue reading

Headlines: Car thinks it’s a truck. Door vanishes. Rain Falls. Yard Grows.

Interesting weekend! Between 6 and 8 inches of rain fell in 24 hours…Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. This is, of course, because I really, desperately, needed to mow the grass. I even had the mower key with me this time! … Continue reading

Destruction in the Sun Room

The Sun Room…soon to be my art studio…was on the agenda this weekend. The ceiling was covered in 1×1 foot fiber ceiling tiles, circa 1960’s I would guess. One section had water damage, and the rest, even though there was … Continue reading

Got wood?

Imagine this…show up at your local “Homeowner Hell” big box home improvement store and ask for one of these: “Yes, I’d like a 16 foot long, one inch thick, and none of that 3/4 inch means 1 inch crap…I want … Continue reading

Stairway Windows (part 4)

Alternate title: “Destruction, mayhem, windows.” One side effect of rebuilding the window sills… In this picture… …All the fish-scale that the paint is scraped off of…was loose from the wall. It had been repaired over the years with short roofing … Continue reading

Stairway Windows (part 3)

Alternate title: “Destruction, mayhem, windows.” Y’all may recall about 6 weeks ago I headed upstairs to pull two sashes (the worst in the house) and begin the rebuild process. Of course, I ended up with a 5’x7′ hole in the … Continue reading

Stairway Windows (part 2)

Alternate title: “Destruction, mayhem, windows.” Well, after two weekend’s work, $26 worth of lumber, the jigsaw puzzle from hell, $1500 worth of tools (two nail-guns and at least 5 different power-saws were involved), well, I’m right back where I started…about … Continue reading

Stairway Windows (part 1)

Alternate title: “Destruction, mayhem, windows.” So, at the top of our stairs are a set of three windows. There’s an extra wall in the way of course…doesn’t belong…will be removed later…but gotta build a stairway banister first, etc… Anyway, these … Continue reading

Porch Eave Repair

This was a project I was eager to tackle…simply because it’s the most obvious “blemish” on the house, AND it is causing further damage while it sits un-repaired. This project has it all. Good food, good friends (Hi Mike!), an … Continue reading

Closet Addition Removal

In 1922 the owners created a couple extra closets and effectively split the house in half by walling off a segment of the hallway. This covered the door from the dining room to the hall (that became one of the … Continue reading

Leave a Reply