Here’s a closer view (click on the photo to enlarge it and really get the detail). That is the beam/sill plate (that rests on the foundation) for that wall of the house, and it’s almost completely rotted through. So my work comes to a stop until I get a contractor out here next week to look at it and tell me how much it’s going to cost. Not that it matters much–there’s no choice about fixing this, and if it blows my budget so that some other work gets held off ’til next year, well, that’s just how it’s going to have to be.
I’m not hugely surprised, since this is in the corner of the house where the guttering was so badly done that I had to replace part of a stud and sill plate last year (in the one picture in that link you can see the windows I’m talking about). Close inspection made me realize I am going to have to replace all the siding in that corner, which isn’t so bad since it gives me a chance to add insulation and housewrap, and since removing the siding and putting up new pre-primed siding doesn’t take that much longer than doing a good job of scraping old siding before painting it. And if you look closely you’ll see there’s no insulation under that window, so in addition to structurally strengthening my house this is an opportunity to improve the insulation along at least the bottom of that wall, too. And I noticed an old window sash weight in there that I’ll pull out and keep as a souvenir.
This is the life of the old house owner, especially when that house very obviously hasn’t been really fixed up in…forever, I think.