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A room with a view

The Wandering Monk contemplates his handiwork, mid-afternoon today.

I didn’t figure the Monk would be up for resuming the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project until later this week. But when he texted this morning to say he’d be here, all was good. It’s the most gorgeous day of the year so far. If he’s up for it, I’m up for it.

We’ve certainly had the best day’s progress.

First, the Monk tore out the most rotted corner.

This corner was already well-supported by temporary posts and jacks.

Once the corner was off, we placed the first permanent support. Well, not quite permanent because when the floor beams and joists go in, this post will momentarily be pulled out again so that all the new elements can be cut and bolted together. But this is the post, in its actual position, that will become the outside corner of the screen porch.

Once everything was supported and stabilized, it was time for the destruction derby. The Monk cut the wall in half horizontally, then pulled and pushed the bottom portion until it fell to the ground.

We really expected the wall to fall off in one piece because — as I’m mentioned before — it was a structural element, therefore it was (shall we say) casually attached. The wall was held on only by seven nails at the top and two at the bottom. Nothing held it to the sides of the room.

Yet it wouldn’t fall. And wouldn’t fall. And wouldn’t fall even after the floor and all foundation support was removed from under it and it was just hanging in space. It took some doing even to get the wall down in two pieces. My camera caught the second, upper piece, at the moment it finally dropped.

You wonder why a wall so loosely attached would be such a bear to pull off? If you’ve been reading my house posts, you can probably guess. Here’s a clue:

That’s a piece of the original sheathing. See those nails poking through every couple of inches? They’re typical of the way the old-fashioned fiberboard siding was fastened on. Many, many, many, many, many, many nails. The usual thing around here. Structural element? Hey, a couple of nails will do. Non-structural? Nail the dickens out of it.

Yes, the only thing holding the wall on after we removed the foundation and floor was a bit of old fiberboard. But boy, it wasn’t letting go for anything.

Despite his machete wound, the Monk put in (and is still putting in) a solid, very productive, day’s work. It was a fairly heavy day of minioning for me, also. My biggest job was to clean up. Lot of cleanup. I helped operate the housejacks and measured and plumbed. I also got to use the sawz-all, which I’ve never done before. Rough piece of equipment, but a godsend for household destruction. After that, I had a greater appreciation for the effort the Monk put into using it.

Once the wall was down, the Monk made quick work of the remaining floor joists, then we both cleaned up rubble. And now I have a room with a view.


  1. jed
    jed May 22, 2017 4:39 pm


    Does this mean all the major parts of this project will be finished before the icon painting class?

    Yeah, reciprocating saws are great.

  2. Pat
    Pat May 22, 2017 4:50 pm

    Good work! Looks like a (potentially-) lovely corner of the world. The closer you get to finishing, the more excited you’ll become. Glad the Monk is back on the job – and glad he’s doing well.

  3. Claire
    Claire May 22, 2017 5:23 pm

    jed — I hope the major parts of the project (other than perhaps the screen porch) will be done before the class. The only absolute certainty is that there will be a solid, secure wall at the back of the bedroom. As of this evening there’s just a sheet of thick black plastic.

    The Monk doesn’t want to frame that wall until he’s fixed the foundation on the other (bathroom) side of the house and I hate to say it but that’s trickier than what we’ve done so far. Still. Progress!

    And Pat, yes, it’s going to be a fantastic spot for sitting, reading, and enjoying the outdoors without bugs or rain. Very intimate, pretty, private spot.

  4. just waiting
    just waiting May 22, 2017 6:54 pm

    That first picture just begs the Commentariat comments:

    “What was Monk thinking?”

  5. Comrade X
    Comrade X May 23, 2017 7:48 am

    Monk ever get up this way and needs a job tell him to give me a holler!

  6. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit May 23, 2017 9:10 am

    Wow! On the work and on the lovely porch you’re going to have!

  7. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas May 23, 2017 10:15 am

    Your wall-down-in-two-sections picture shows more of surrounding yard and land than I remember seeing before–looks REALLY nice. Glad WM’s leg is holding together.

  8. Joel
    Joel May 23, 2017 11:30 am

    Good healer, that boy.

    So if I understand where you’re going with this, that outer wall will be screen and then there’ll be a solid interior wall?

  9. Waepnedmann
    Waepnedmann May 23, 2017 2:04 pm

    I did not see the bright orange, “JOB SITE” sign posted so the County Building Inspector can easily locate the project to protect you or future owners from your making a marked improvement to the home.

    What are you thinking!?

    Uh…maybe it is best that remains a hypothetical, maybe rhetorical question.

  10. Laird
    Laird May 23, 2017 9:18 pm

    Like a lot of specialized tools, for the right job there’s nothing that can beat a sawz-all. You don’t need it often, but when you do, you really do. One of the few good things about getting old is that I’ve gradually acquired just about every tool I’ll ever need, including a sawz-all. (Of course, the downside is that I may never need it again, but at least my son will inherit it!)

    Glad to hear that the Monk is back in action.

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