Thursday, March 17, 2011

TCP: and so it begins

The crew started tearing roofing off this morning, among other things, and we've all been milling about (smartly) on the roof pointing at things. For the most part, not as bad as expected. The kitchen roof came off without incident. Never seen it before, but there was a layer of metal under the layer of asphalt sheets. The flashing was completely gone. The peeling soffit in front also came down, and revealed itself as the quarter-inch luan we'd suspected. The surprise was that it was right over the original soffit, which showed all the damage we'd expected. So the look won't change, but they'll be using the right materials this time.

One major surprise, which explains a LOT of confusing things. That's not just the compressor on the upstairs back roof, it's the whole damned air handler! They ran fiberboard ducts from the unit on the roof, through large holes in the brick gable end, into the attic to feed AC to the second floor. The ducts had been eaten back to the wall by vermin, leaving the ducts (supply and return) open to the outside. That explains why all the upstairs vents and returns had been stuffed with insulation. So there is NO chance the upstairs AC system can be simply turned back on. For now, we'll cut back the ducts to the wall and plate them over.

I've been stripping back the carpet, and so far, the news is not good. The second floor is a half-inch layer on top of the original floor. The thin layer may have been nice, but it's been painted, either blood red on the stairs and landing edge, or almost complete blotchy white overspray from painting the walls and ceilings before. Unfortunately, it does appear that when the thin layer was installed, it was done properly, and all the radiators are on top of the thin layer. That means that removing the thin layer means removing and reinstalling all the radiators upstairs. I think my decision is made -- rehab the thin layer as underlayment and reinstall new wall-to-wall carpeting upstairs. It means patching where the closets move, though, which I'd hoped to avoid. Still, it's the fastest and cheapest choice, and this time it's easier to tell when to not start, rather than where to stop.

Stripping the paneling out of the atrium has been more interesting. The first revelation was that it's not just paneling, the paneling is on top of five layers of wallpaper! Which did make the paneling much easier to remove. The mouldings were all plain pine in stock profiles, and will be replaced with new. The stairs appear to have always been painted, and appear to have several generations of glued-on treads before carpet runner was installed along with the rest upstairs. So when we're done, the stairs get carpeted again. The water damage does not appear significant, and major repairs will not be required, just refinishing and recarpeting.

Snow boards, cleats, and so forth should be done this week. Gutters should be done next week. I'm hoping to schedule plumbing callbacks next week, too, but I've been waiting to see the chimney/fireplace quote first, as reconnecting the fireplace is on the plumbers callback list, too...

Monday, March 14, 2011

moving toward a web commerce site

I'm slowly moving toward setting up a simple web commerce site and establishing an online identity and storefront for hot pepper sauce and honey. I'm inclined to opt for a prepackaged turnkey solution rather than build a custom or DIY site. Initially, there's less than a dozen SKUs. If anyone can recommend turnkey solutions, I'm open to suggestions.