Oh, Sh*t

As I began prepping today to remove and replace a section of wood siding on my house, I noticed a piece of loose wood beneath the dining room window, pulled it, and discovered this.

photo(2)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.

Not all is bad news, though. We finally stained our back stoop today. It looks awfully nice now.


About James Hanley

James Hanley is former Associate Professor of Political Science at Adrian College and currently an independent scholar.
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5 Responses to Oh, Sh*t

  1. lancifer666 says:

    Don’t panic. If it is a short section of sill plate a new piece of treated lumber can be inserted by lifting the joists on either side with jacks. If it is longer than a couple of feet it still can be repaired it’s just a bit more involved. Don’t let a contractor scare you into a multiple thousand dollar job.

    I had a long section that had a corner involved that had rotted away. I used it as an excuse to put all new joists (and sub-floors and beautiful Brazilian cherry hardwood floors) in my first floor since the originals were drooping and the floor was pretty saggy and uneven. But I could have just replaced the damaged section of sill plate if I had wanted to.

    Email me further details when you get a chance.

    On a related note I am going to replace my second story siding sometime in mid July if you still want to work a labor swap.

  2. James Hanley says:

    That’s pretty much what I thought. I wasn’t so much panicking as intensely frustrated. I don’t want to put off my residing because we’re having good weather and I don’t want to have to do it in 90 degree heat. Also, even though I don’t expect it to be thousands of dollars, it’s going to blow a hole in my summer budget, which means I’ll have to hold off on something I really wanted to get done until next year.

    Mid-July might work, depending on when “mid” really is. I am available from the 17th to the 21st.

  3. James Hanley says:

    P.S., what really startled me is how the beam was rotted almost entirely through. I’m a bit surprised there hasn’t been any sinking of the windows. And of course that makes me wonder how extensive the rot is.

    Want to come help me fix this instead of building a screen room? (The most likely victim of the budget cut.)

  4. lancifer666 says:

    Sure, we could do that instead. The result of the project wouldn’t be as much fun as a screened porch but it would probably be the better use of time and resources.

    email me and we’ll discuss logistics and scheduling.

  5. Pingback: Libertarian Labor Exchange | The Bawdy House Provisions

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