House Repairs, Day One

in #diylast month (edited)

Well, it's nearly 4PM as I sit to write this, and it's been a long day already. It's been a long day since about 3.

Yesterday I got sent home with a fever and diarrhea. Yuck. On account of the fever, I decided to call off the work day/festival that we were planning with my men's group. There was going to be around 25 folks here, and I don't want to be responsible for spreading some kind of funky illness to my friends and their families. So, on the cheery note of cancelling long anticipated get-together with my friends, I started work this morning myself. I'm still tired and weak, so I took it really slow and easy. Lots of water breaks.

Step one was to get out the flooring. The carpet wasn't very old when we moved in two and a half years ago, but it's carpet. As we rebuild, we'll be using vinyl plank flooring. It doesn't rot, and has a lifetime warranty for the fancy stuff that we'll be using. The upside to ditching insurance and the contractor is that we'll have the freedom to upgrade. The yankee bastards at the insurance company made it very clear that they would cover no upgrades and would replace everything with the same grade of material as before. God forbid they help improve our quality of life after we pay them thousands of dollars a year. We'll be switching to a company and agent that's actually local to us as soon as this is over. I think it would help if I wasn't having to call a disagreeable agent in Minneapolis every couple of days for a month. I tell you what, that's about the most frustrating thing I've ever done.


The carpet rolled up easy enough. I cut it across the doorways of the closets and just rolled it right up. We'll keep the carpet in the closets. I took it in two pieces at first, but ended up knifing the bigger piece into two pieces because it was too long and heavy for me to drag out. I wonder if this carpet would make good weed covering for my beds to help prep them for next year... Maybe turn this crap into something useful. I don't know if y'all can tell right off, but in that pic you can kinda make out the beam in our ceiling. At some point, there was an addition made on this house, and that was where the old exterior wall was. The addition is slab, and was made on both ends of the house.


After rolling out the carpet, I got to work pulling up the subfloor. I expected it to be on the joists, but it was installed on top of the original 1975 diagonal plank sheathing. This stuff was pretty strong, and this style was used because they didn't have the economical means to make ply wood sheets back then like we do now. Each piece spans at least three of our 16" centered 2x6 joists at a 45° angle. That's where things go south.


On the top, the ply wood looks largely unaffected, except for a few spots. I knew this didn't mean a whole lot, but didn't expect it to be so bad when I picked up a sheet. The diagonal sheathing is done for, and this sheet of ply wood was the cleanest I've cleared yet. Very encouraging. The worst piece couldn't be picked up in one piece, and I called it a day with that, the third piece for the day. No sense starting off the project by overdoing it.

So things get a little funky with those diagonal boards because when the house was built, the walls were built on top of that material. So the walls are built and nailed onto some nasty stuff that'll likely need replaced. Annnd, if there's that much rot on the original subfloor, it'll be really interesting to see how the joists look. Joists are the foundation on a pier and beam house, so I may be replacing our literal foundation. With the house still on it. Somehow. I'm a tad overwhelmed at the idea, but whatever. I'll get it figured out. No other option, right? Overwhelm seems to be the theme of this year on a global level, doesn't it?

The plan at this time is to get the master bedroom done first along with the installation of a couple of crawlspace vent fans. Of course plans change as information is presented. I'm not certain yet how much of this diagonal sheathing needs replaced. If it's bad throughout the whole 1300 square feet, well, that's a new situation. And if the joists are bad too, yeah, that's another thing. So things will move forward as scheduled because step one is still to remove carpet and tile and subfloor.

We're unsure yet if we'll be adding insulation under the subfloor, or if we'll add a moisture barrier like tyvek. I need to see how the wall and French drain are working for us in a heavy rain as well to see if those two things are being helpful. It's supposed to rain this week on my week off work, so maybe I'll get that chance. It's a good thing I have a week off, because I've got a friend that needs a few days of help rebuilding his barn that was destroyed in a tornado. Busy week ahead, huh? Oh, and I have to change the time today on the truck too so I can use it to bring materials home from the store.

This is the beginning of the biggest single project I've ever done. I'm excited and terrified about it, but if it works (and there's no other option but for it to work), it'll just serve to harden my resolve to steward this place the best I can in the time I'm given here. I mean, how many folks can say they've built the foundation on the home where they live, and that they're fed by the landscape that they also helped to form?

Well, I'm tuckered out, gonna go shower and read stories to the kids til bed time.

Love from Texas

Nate 💚


You may want to think twice and definitely research about using carpet as a bed for weed control and gardening. Most carpets are made out of petroleum and not very many natural materials.

I hope the floor joist are okay for you.

Yeah, that's what I'm finding. Some folks swear by it, and some folks swear it's awful. I'll be looking a lot more, and probably just test it on one bed to see how it goes.

Yes! I was going to say same, glad you picked up on that.


I've inquired about it to the great @bobydimitrov in the NM gardening channel. The ultimate authority on all things gardening.

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Ooolaa laa that's a job! Have you got enough cieling height to run new suspended floor? I mean new joints just a bit off the ground?

I think I'll have enough room to work. A foot or two from the soul to the joists under there, just varrying based on terrain, but it's fairly level.

Good luck man! That's a mission you got there

Ummm, us? LOL

Sounds like a good start to a big project...

I almost put in parentheses "(besides @goldenoakfarm)" 🤣 y'all's work is definitely in my mind.


Yeah, and us? Hahahah

Y'all too? Well damn, I'll be in the company of the two best women on hive. Hell yeah.

Overwhelm seems to be the theme of this year on a global level,

I hear that!!

When we bought our place we had to do similiar, so yeah, we can say that too. Just write lists and complete each job to the end without getting distracted is my advice.

Sorry you missed your meet up, that sucks.

How'd you handle it? Everything I'm finding online is little dinky scale stuff that doesn't help. I need a quick tutorial on how to rebuild a whole foundation with the house still on it. 🧐