Week 22 Roundup: Extending the House Front

7 Jul

Jon decided this week was the perfect time to start working on the front of the house – we have the perfect storm going on with the house in that  we have a vacation coming up and need the house to be at a certain stage so we can secure it whilst away – to do this we need to crack on with work we weren’t expecting to do before hand, namely  extending the front of the house.

This requires a fair amount of work. Up first was the removal of all the siding and  stucco from the front of the house. Adrian and his trusty helping hand worked solid at this for 2 days to remove all the old covering and stucco. Here is the work in progress…


You know things are getting pretty scary looking when your usually calm neighbor shouts “Oh my god what are you guys doing now!!!!” at us one morning  when she came out of her house! The house does look  like a war zone right now and to the untrained eye I suppose it looks like it’s getting worse before it gets any better!!

We also wanted to remove some of the ugly posts that you can see in the photo above. They were designed to be structural posts but we super flimsy and could have easily been kicked over! For us to be able to take them out some extra structural work had to be done and yet another giant beam lifted into the front of the house…

How many men does it take to lift a structural beam? Well we had 6 working on the job – but both are in finally and they look great – its made the front of the house much more sound as previously it was sagging a little which is never a good thing.

The last and biggest part of the front remodel was getting a new foundation in for the front extension and new doorway. This required the old steps to be cleared of any debris (handrail and bushes etc) and a base built for the concrete to go into.Once we get this construction signed off by the inspector then we can go ahead and pour the concrete.

Obviously this work has presented some entry issues with the house – we are now forced to enter via the back patio doors which means navigating the building site with baby, toddler and gear in tow. Always a challenge!

We were cracking along with the front renovation when yet another severe weather warning had us all in a fluster – there was a massive storm predicted to hit us in the Bay Area and we were still not waterproof and now were even more exposed than before. As the roof was finished and had passed inspection, Jon and Adrian worked solidly  for a day to get us waterproof the day before the predicted storm – they were applying  Grace Ice and Water shield membrane to the plywood roof frame. Neither had done this before so there was some  learning to be done via a quick you tube tutorial and the first few rolls went fairly slow but they got into the groove and before we knew it the roof was covered…..

Its pretty difficult putting this membrane on in the roasting heat (yes we did go from heat to storm in the space of 24 hrs). It gets super sticky and doesn’t allow you to make a single mistake. This wasn’t the ideal learning scenario but once Jon and Adrian perfected their technique and it cooled down a little then the ice & water shield became much easier to work with.

To be waterproof and facing a storm was a breeze – we were almost jubilant when the rain came lashing down, and it came down hard! It was a huge weight off our shoulders to not be up patrolling the house at 3am for leaks (Jon’s job not mine!!) and to know that at least for now we were dry.

Now we still don’t have the roof on, and there’s still some gaping holes in the house that need sealing up but here’s hoping that week 23 brings at least one of those to the Money Pit!!

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