Painting — day one

Clare and Rob went down to the house for a weekend in April, and met Dave and Ellen there. Our main goal for that weekend was to make some assessments of the state of the house, and decide on our plan of attack. From that weekend, we decided to try to finish the upstairs before we move in, then work on the downstairs a little at a time after we had moved in. We picked out some new carpet while we were there, and then decided that we should paint before the carpet arrived. Dave decided to quit his job at the end of April and go down to Spencer for two weeks in May to do some work on the house. Harold had volunteered to help paint, so Rob decided to take him up on his offer, and they scheduled May 2nd-7th for painting in Spencer.

Uncharacteristically, Harold showed up nearly 30 minutes late to the house. We packed up the car full of painting supplies, a small refrigerator, some utility shelves, a microwave, and a few other odds and ends, then set out for Spencer around 10:30. We ate in the car, and the driving was pretty good, though it did rain a little bit. We pulled up to the Spencer house around 4:30 p.m., making the trip in the approximaely six hours, as predicted. As we approached the house, Rob heard the sound of sanding.
harold is dirty with dust
Sure enough, Dave was busy sanding down spackle upstairs. First Harold was given a brief tour of the house, then it was decided that we would sand and spackle for another few hours. During this time Rob tried to convince Dave and Harold to yootle over what to have for dinner, but unfortunately Harold was not very cooperative. We ended up going to the grocery store for a few odds and ends. Harold got a microwave meal for dinner, and Dave and Rob had left-over Indian food which Clare had made before she left for Europe. We also got some beer, and enjoyed our dinner and had some nice conversation. Harold was absolutely astounded at what bad shape the house was in. Rob tried to get him to focus on the present, not on the past. We got to bed around 11:00 p.m. Originally, Rob thought that he and Harold could share a bedroom, but once he started snoring, that idea quickly faded. Rob moved his sleeping bag and pad upstairs, which he apparently did not notice until the next morning.

For more pictures, see the before shots and the during shots.

Indiana here we come!

Welcome to our new house blog. Clare and Rob FeDibblety will soon be moving into the house built by Dave and Ellen Dibble, and in which Clare spent her childhood. The house has been rented out for about 10 years now, and needs quite a bit of love and care put back into it. Clare and Rob have taken up the challenge to do so. We hope to document our experiences repairing and improving the house, as well as the many experiments we are bound to try, for example in the garden. At the least, we hope to document our experiences for our own pleasure in the future, and at the best, perhaps some one else may benefit from reading about our experiences.

Here we go!

Summer Progress

Digging the trenches

Kristen works on a trench between posts
Clare inspects a trench

The trenches go below frostline for central Indiana
Walls and Rafters

Dave Lifts a Rafter
Second floor

The rafters on the second floor are finished

Building Beginnings

Clare and Ellen and a beam

Setting up a beam

The beams were lifted onto a pipe clamp and bolted to the posts. It appears in this photo as if I lifted the beam into place with Clare’s help. But after we set them up, Dave was the one to lift the beams. He climbed that rickety wooden ladder with a 2X12 on his shoulder and lifted it into place! This kind of construction was perfect for home builders who were not experienced. The bolt holes were drilled with a hand auger and a long drill bit, one of the more expensive tools purchased for the construction. The bit was 18″ long and cost about $30. It was 1/2″ size and the bolts were about that thick. Each beam was held by 2 bolts.

Posts for Addition

After the posts were set up and braced together with beams

Clare and Drew are in this photo of the completed first step in building the addition. The posts were squared through use of the storey poles and strings. The far right set of posts is the outside wall that does not bear the floor so is bolted together with a 2X6. This is the wall by the staircase to the second floor. The section on the far left is only a 6 foot span instead of 8. Perhaps that was to save money on materials? It seems like an odd design decision in retrospect but it actually made the third addition easier to attach. The third addition was built after the third child was born and was the final child and last addition to the house. It attached behind the 6 foot wall and along the entire east side of the back and it was built into the hillside so that the back and side walls are concrete block and the front is framed. It extends another 8 feet from the edge of this addition for a 16 foot wide bedroom downstairs with a larger bedroom and bath upstairs.

Long View

Construction goes on behind the kids

This photo shows that the season is indeed early spring, probably April. The leaves are just coming out on the trees, except for the earliest types near the cabin. The grass is just greening through the stubble of the last year’s growth. There is not much construction visible but the beams can be seen and the rafters of the second floor are not in yet. There is some barbed wire fence just behind the kids for Fairy’s pasture and it seems as if they are between the fence and the stream which should be just behind the photographer.