2008 January to 2011 February



Jan. 26th & 27th / Demolition, Wall Construction, Door Installation

March 1st / Finish Staining Front Door

March 8th / Exterior Siding Goes Up

March 15th / Exterior Painting, Outside is Finished

June / Interior Siding and Slate Floor

August 23rd / Interior Trim

Feb. 2011 / Interior Painting, Mudroom is Done

Demolition, Wall Construction, Door Installation

Construction, or rather demolition began at 8:30 on Saturday morning. The biggest surprise was not the rotten wood but finding the middle layer of siding. I knew that the house had Hardi-plank (a cement fiberboard) siding over horizontal wood siding but didn't know about the middle layer of plywood siding. Our front door is to the right, not visible in this photo.

All three layers of siding are visible in this photo. At the far right and left is the Hardi-plank. At the inner left is the plywood and at the inner right is original wood siding.

Another view of the original and new siding with a bit of the middle siding visible at the top of the photo.

Due to the unexpected water damage, this was the extent of our progress by Sunday afternoon.

Another view of the work after one full day of work on Saturday and half of a day on Sunday.

Exterior is Finished

After the great work Mike did in January I was eager to have him back to wrap up the exterior. On March 8th he made it and we got work. Rotten rafter tails made work progress slowly.

Where ever new siding would meet the old siding we slipped this sticky flashing behind the old planks before installing the new ones.

Here is a zoomed out photo of the above mentioned flashing detail.

These 3 photos show the new siding. Mike and I installed it all, including all of the trim, in one day.

The photo on the left is old corner detail while the new detail is on the right. In the latter the Hardi-Plank butts up against a redwood 2x2. In the former a piece of trim was nailed over the siding and the big voids where filled with caulk.

The following two photos show the new and old light. Adding the solid piece of redwood just for the light was one of many of Mike's great ideas.

And, is it possible, the outside is done. Specifically the Hardi-Plank and trim are painted and gutters are installed and painted.

Floor is Finished

The first idea for the mudroom floor was ipe, a very durable hardwood. Em and I spent over $300 for it and in the photo at the left you can see how I laid out all of the pieces. Each colored rectangle represents an actual piece of ipe while the dotted line is the perimeter of the mudroom. I had to abandon the ipe, as beautiful as it was, after I installed weather stripping on the bottom of the door only to find that I no longer had room for 3/4" plywood and 1/2" ipe. Click here for the spreadsheet and you can layout the wood yourself.

Before abandoning the ipe we mixed 'self-leveling-grout' and poured it over the existing concrete slab to provide level surface for the plywood between the concrete and ipe. The photo above was taken a few minutes after pouring the grout. I should note that the grout didn't level as I thought it would.

In the picture above, you have to imagine that I'm smashing down a small clump in the fresh grout due to our incomplete mixing. To extricate me without stepping on the fresh grout, Em had to grab my pants by the waist and yank while I pushed off the wall.

The fabulous slate floor featuring no grout lines!


The plan was to drywall the mudroom. I hate dry-walling so after discovering wood siding below 2 layers of newer siding on the 3 original walls I decided to put up wood siding to match on the new wall. Only later would I realize that although I saved work in siding, I made more work in trim.

This photo shows the two layers of siding that were beneath the Hardi-plank in the mudroom. The original siding was ship-lapped redwood but that was covered with shingles for some reason.

The wood siding on both sides of the door is new and matches the original wood siding on the house. This picture is taken looking out of the opening where the original front door was.

The mudroom was finally finished on Sunday, February 6, 2011. The final touches included painting the wood siding and trim, installing a stamped tin (steel) ceiling, installing a new light, and installing a coat rack / hooks. Our neighbor Steven handled the final painting and did a fantastic job. However, prior to that, Em and I had to patch every single nail hole and then prime the wood, which took quite some time. The tin ceiling is from and consists of four 2'x4' main panels (model S209) and one 2'x4' panel (model S235) cut in strips to fit around the border. All five pieces, including tax and shipping, cost $168.92. I think it looks amazing. The light fixture and paint are from Home Depot, and cost $45 and $5 respectively, with the latter price being low since it was "Oops" paint. The stainless steel hat/coat rack and hooks are from IKEA.

Mudroom now has new paint, a new light, and a beautiful tin ceiling.

Now when you enter our house you can hand up your bag and coat!

Miscellaneous Tasks

In addition to all of the previously listed work I also had to:

  • Insulate the new wall. This was easy.
  • Run wiring for the new exterior lamp and outlet. This was my first time wiring but I finally got it right. The hardest part was tying into the existing wiring in the attic.
  • Staining the Door. This was a huge pain in the ass. Three coats were required with 24 hours drying and sanding in between. Since you can only paint one side at a time it took forever. It looks great but I certainly don't want to go through that again. The worst part was that the stain bubbled on the last coat. I'm not sure why this happened but it meant I had to do a fourth coat on one of the sides.
  • Weather stripping. Specifically, adding a weather stripping strip at the bottom of the door. This required that I cut the bottom of the door (that I just spent 1 week painting) to get the right fit. It also meant that I had to abandon over $300 worth of Ipe I planned to put down and go with slate instead (due to vertical clearance issues).
  • New mudroom light. I replaced the original exterior light fixture with a new light fixture. This was easy. So easy in fact that I did it without shutting off the power, much to Em's dismay.
  • Siding Removal. At some point I removed all of the Hardi-plank and shingles, leaving only the original wood siding in the mud room. This was easy but it took a while to remove all of the nails associated with the Hardi-plank and all of the staples associated with the shingles.
  • Window and Door Removal. One the insulation was in and the interior siding was up I removed the old door and window, each of which was a simple task.
  • Painting. After Mike and I put up the exterior siding I painted it and the trim. I also had to paint the interior after Mike finished the trim.