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Home Remodel - current project
Decided to move this thread to off topic so as not to clog the housekeeping board.

The wife and I decided to gut the family room and start over. Pulled sheetrock and wainscoting. Ripped out three small windows and replaced them with ceiling to floor length, much wider units. To facilitate that process for new construction windows, we decided to strip the siding on the front porch, which needed work anyway. Plus a total remake of the porch was due, so we have combined the projects.

old window size
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Reframing process:
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New windows in place plus new can lights which go across two sides of the room. Sheetrock up, in the process of finishing.
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Fireplace after brick woodbox to the right and appoximate ten foot long hearth removed. To be faced with stone. Technical problems have me saving this until last.
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Fireplace skim coated, waiting on stone facade.
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Floors sanded, stained, and resealed:
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Current task in progress, replace old porch flooring with cumaru.
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Ceiling material was replaced with high quality plywood. A little spackling and a final coat of paint, trim and that will be complete. Wife insisted on 'haint blue', a southern superstition and tradition. Windows and doors have been trimmed and painted. Lap is up and painted. We opted for Hardi plank.
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Wow! Where'd you learn to do all that, Alex? Were you in construction before you retired?
I was High school science teacher for about 28 years. Dad was really handy though, and I helped him do an addition to our house and later he built his own house at the lake when I was in high school. Spent lots of week ends working on that house and watching friends ski by. As it turns out, the house building was a much better way to have spent my summer, as opposed to playing and skiing. Building/remodeling skills reward a person for an entire lifetime. My dad was the kind of person who could just watch someone, or look to see how something was put together and then do a competent job himself. I don't have the skills of a pro, but am much more careful and that care is a pretty big equalizer, giving a better result than many who call themselves pros, but in fact are not. I only got a modest dose of mechanical/common sense from my dad, but that is still enough to provide me with the skills to do most anything. My dad's confidence and ability was simply unbelievable!

I also got a bit of experience with summer jobs when in high school. Worked with a framing crew one year. Also worked with an electric contractor for about a year. Got lots of experience building/contracting my current house, in 1978. Only contracted out the heavy stuff plus the plumbing. Did everything else with a lot of help from my dad.
Probably a lot of the same skills that make you a good investor!
After much thought and consideration, after lots of procrastination, the fireplace refacing is finally coming along. I installed a support and faced over the top of the fire box this morning. This stacked stone facade looks quite different from the red brick fireplace with large wood box to the right, where the cabinet is now. Also, had a massive hearth running about ten feet across and all the way up to near the fire box.

The only part of the job that really bothered me was the fact that the chimney face was not plumb, being about one inch further out across the top than at the bottom. Lots of skimming and feathering, and I finally got the surface close to plumb. That prep is really paying off as laying the stone sections is a piece of cake.

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Looks awesome. Really wish I had some of those skills!
Transformation is complete! Phew!

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