Time to share my plan for May. I am mostly ready to Sheetrock the second floor now. Finally. But I decided that compared with other things to do this is a low priority. One of the top priorities at this point is getting things ready for the roofer to finish up. I now have a flat rubber roof, which is the best. It needs to be painted white a few months after it’s installed so the powdery residue that comes on it (which contributed toward clogging my downspout drain) He’s going to redo the fascia, ripping off this ugly faux stone asphalt siding and covering the wood under it with white aluminum. The wood is in excellent condition despite being partially exposed to the elements up there. The only explanation is that whatever clear coat is on it is made entirely out of lead, asbestos, formaldehyde, VOC’s and PCB’s. That toxic shit really kept things nice.
But this fascia is also to wrap around the cantilevered bay, so it can’t happen until we get the siding up. Which is also really important anyway. It’s been covered with tar paper for too long, even though it usually did the job of keeping water out. It’s been entirely too long now and we’ll need to add another layer of tar paper over what’s already up. Maybe 2. The stuff is cheap.
The siding is going to be fiber cement, HardiePlank, CertainTeed, or something like that. A bit more expensive than vinyl but I don’t need much, it’s much better looking, it’s more durable if installed correctly, and look how close my bay is to my neighbor’s. With all that hundred year old wood and spray foam, the fire retardance will do my house good.
So after that, we are on to interior finish work. The most logical next step is drywall, but I planned to tile the walls around the bathtub and buy and paint all my interior woodwork next. I think it goes without saying why I want the tile. I’m a bit fed up with working on the house and driving a half hour into the suburbs to wash up, only to drive back into the city to see my friends.
The woodwork is a bit weirder, but I have my reasons. Everything that’s to be painted is going to be painted with a sprayer. Except the stairway railing and windows and glass doors. Because that would be ridiculously messy. But while I’m at it (My friend and fellow renovator/blogger Amy calls this the phrase of death) my parents have a bedroom set that my dad painted white some 30 years ago, and it’s ready to be redone. And I have an antique desk and dining chair that I’m sprucing up and painting white for my cousin. More on that later, but she’s coming up from North Carolina in June. Don’t worry, I’m not painting over any antique wood that’s high quality or in good enough condition to be stained.
And also, it’s supposed to be bad to put flatter paint over glossy, so I thought it made sense to turn my living room into a spray booth before the walls go up. Though since I’m priming this probably won’t matter.
But all this? Thwarted. My plumber came in and hooked up the boiler so that the insulation contractor could come back one last time and do the combustion test. He notified me the night before that the electrician had never wired the boiler. So my dad and I went there in a panic, reading how to do it ourselves. Luckily, he had run the wire to a box, and all we had to do was connect it. And the boiler fired up, leaving us all ready to go with enough time to spare to clean out the basement. Right? Wrong.
My dad was on the scene when the combustion test was to go down, and the tester fired up the boiler, put the carbon monoxide reader in, and then the boiler shut off. The water in it got too hot too fast to run the test. Epic fail. So I called my plumber in a panic, and as it turns out he was sick. He came in yesterday and hooked up all the radiators. For the first time I’ve owned the place, it has central heat. OK, not really the first time. For the first month I had heat because I didn’t know that using it could kill me. And enough windows wouldn’t shut that I was probably fine anyway.
So now, the first weekend of the year when it’s hot, my radiators are working. I didn’t have them to heat the house, but now they’re in TO COOL THE BOILER. Yes, my house is basically a cooling tower. The tester is coming back Monday morning, and this time my plumber is going to be there to make sure it goes well. I feel like I should get him a thank you gift, maybe send his kids some delicious croissants from the best French bakery in Philadelphia, which happens to be 2 blocks from my house.
And if this wasn’t enough drama, my approval for the low interest loan that is to finance all that energy and air quality related work that I had done expires on Tuesday, so I’m not leaving much time to close out the job. I can reapply if need be, but that’s more hassle than anyone wants to deal with.
So, there we have it. My plan for May is getting pushed halfway to June. I’ve decided to give up on having the woodwork and furniture painted in time. It actually makes more sense to wait anyway. I need custom jambs for almost every door and window in the house, and until the walls are in I don’t have exact thicknesses. Waiting means I can really paint everything in one shot.