September 10, 2011

Preparing For The New Kitchen Window

Or maybe the title should be "Repairing For The New Kitchen Window."

Before the new window could be installed, we had to see how extensive the water damage was under the old kitchen window, and fix it. The first step was to cut out a strip of the kitchen floor directly beneath that window wall. This is what we discovered...

Rotted floor joist

The floor joist was completely rotted out. In fact, the floor in that corner was mushy to step on, so something had to be done about it.

Someone had previously done some repair of this problem, because the outer, rim joist was newish.  How did they manage to replace it and only it, without taking up the kitchen floor?

Exterior evidence of previous repair

By removing the exterior siding at that level, replacing the joist, and covering it up again. This wasn't evident until Dan removed the vinyl siding (which was covering up the original, but badly rotting siding.) We figure this was done when they added the addition to the house (see a rough sketch of the floor plan here.)

New floor joist installed next to rim joist.

After removing the old joist, Dan replaced it from below, in the crawlspace. Next he had to replace the flooring he had cut away. To do that he needed something to nail into to. That meant further cutting away the floor to the next joist.

Floor cut back and ready for repair

This points to a construction issue Dan has with this house. The floor joists were placed on 24 inch centers. Standard construction practice is 16 inch centers. Those 8 inches make a big difference in the soundness of the floors. It's what caused the "bounce" in the floors (somewhat and haphazardly fixed over the years), and is why kitchen's ceramic floor tile is loose and cracks easily; there's been too much "give" in the floor.

Bridging added to stiffen the floor.

Dan added bridging between the two floor joists to stiffen the floor. He also did this before we installed the hardwood floor in our dining room in 2009. It made a huge difference in how sturdy the floor feels to walk on.

Plywood added to cover the hole.

Lastly he nailed down a cut-to-fit piece of plywood to cover the hole. The original floor is oak, tongue and groove flooring. There is no subfloor, that's it. We will use it as our subfloor, when we install a new kitchen floor.

With that done, we were ready to install the new window.


Sherri B. said...

It never fails that a fix is always needed on something before you can even start on the project you have planned to do. - It will be so nice to get your new window.
Have a great weekend!

Rosamargarita said...

Tu casa será más estupenda! Son muy creativos. Los sigo leyendo.
Un abrazo y éxito!

Alice said...

I can't believe how thrilling I find this tale of the kitchen renovation. It's more exciting than "Law and Order." I can't wait for the next installment. You guys are amazing.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

As with any old farm house that's been added onto several times, these things have a way of eventually becoming troublesome. And it's always hidden! We had a situation alot like this with a small addition and the roof. How it never fell is beyond me! Good job and getting it done right!

Nina said...

Old houses certainly have their individual quirkiness when it comes to how they were built! We find the most bizarre and sometimes irritating oddities here whenever something needs to be fixed. However, your kitchen reno is coming along swimmingly and you'll be looking out that new window in no time!

bspinner said...

Never fails when you start working on one project it just uncovers another. You make a good team and the house sure is looking up. I agree I can't wait for the next up date on your progress.

Leigh said...

Sherri, we've learned that's the norm, LOL. It helps to keep that in mind though, because we know not to think anything can be done in a day.

Rosamargarita, thank you! I'm really happy with the way it's coming along.

Alice, there's a good reason why none of us need TV. I admit though, that sometimes I wish I was just watching rather than participating. ;)

Diana, I reckon that's why they came up with building codes! Fortunately we had an idea about this problem before hand and were pretty much prepared for it, mentally at least. :)

Nina,it's amazing what folks will do and it's probably just as well we don't have x-ray vision and see inside our walls! It's a relief to finally have things being done properly.

Barb, Dan gets most of the credit. We do brainstorm, but he always figures out how to fix the weird construction we uncover!

Theresa said...

Well, at least it was consistent 24". The really old ones....LOL, well, the beams at least were very very beefy. Dan is doing a great job and basically, all he can do short of taking it all down to the studs and rebuilding the whole shebang.
It sounds all to much like our old roof. 3 courses already on, stripped down to find no sheathing,
instead a board set up with half of them rotted. Of COURSE they were an odd thickness so everything had to be hand milled for replacement so the roof was even.It was quite the job, not to mention the initial cost of just the roofing material.And it had to be done quickly. I feel your pain Leigh, but you will have a beautiful, safe, sturdy kitchen when it's all done.

Mama Pea said...

My hubby can't sleep nights if he knows there is anything "wrong" in the construction even if it's held up for umpteen years and cannot be seen. We've spent more time on the infrastructure of buildings than anything else! But then again, maybe it put us a little ahead of the game by tearing this place down to the studs and rebuilding from there. Those nasty surprises as you found take a lot of finagling to fix. Very fortunate you and Dan have the ability to do it!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that makes it so much harder to get a job done, when you have to stop to fix a problem like that. So glad your hubby has the skills to get it done.
Can't wait to see the pictures of the new window:)

Leigh said...

Theresa, one thing that's been interesting, is that the sizes are true. The old 2 x 4s actually measure 2 inches by 4 inches. The floor joists were true 2 by 8s (? I think, can't remember the exact width). The challenge to replacing only part of them is that new ones are smaller so the fit is off! But you said it right, "safe and sturdy". That's what's really important.

Mama Pea, Papa Pea sounds like Dan! He really wrestles with the extent the repairs should be. We have a book that helps, Renovating Old Houses by George Nash. It is very practical and common sense. Hopefully it's helping him relax about some of the imperfections which otherwise drive him crazy!

Stephanie, we've come to accept that nothing will go without hidden problems! They seem to be built in to an old house. :)

CaliforniaGrammy said...

It's sure fun watching the progress you're making on your renovation project! And you'll end up with a beautiful home you'll be so proud of and know it's structurally sound. When we were a lot younger we always thought it would be fun to find an old Victorian and rennovate it . . . but I'm not sure we'd have the patience it must take to stick with the project. Good for you two!

Leigh said...

CaliforniaGrammy, thanks! If we were younger (a whole lot younger) I wouldn't mind doing what you say, remodeling older homes and reselling. Now, we're happy to do it just one time around. :)

BrokenRoadFarm said...

Isn't it great to have a VERY handy hubby?! Looking good, even though it seems like it is one step forward, two steps back...the backwards steps are really making it better and stronger!

Katie Nicoll said...

Man, it does feel great to have someone who can get things fixed and ready! The damage does look a little rough, but it's nothing for the new windows to fret about. Besides, it provides an opportunity for a few adjustments to make sure the new windows fit like a good glove.