Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Friday, December 11, 2009

Been a while, so Dave's stepping in. :)

It's been quite some time since this blog has seen an update, so I'm going to try to get it caught up a bit.

Our last update was in August, and there's been quite a bit of activity and progress since then.  Thanks to a ton of effort from Shelly's aunt and cousin both of the barns are cleared out.  They provided the labor in exchange for the ability to sell anything we didn't want/need at auction.  This was a win/win for all parties.  They needed the money, and with our limited time to be there this job wouldn't have been done for a LONG time if it had to wait for us.  Even better, they found somebody to clear the steel and aluminum scrap piles, and to take all of the 100 or so windows that were laying around the property.  The place is looking GOOD!

One problem we had been having was a roof leak, which was coming into the house around the vent for the wood stove.  Shelly's uncle said that he had been up there and had tarred the heck out of it, and that the problem must be further up the roof, with the water running under the tin roof and in around the stack.  I figured I'd take one more shot at tarring around the stack.  Once on the roof I found cracked tar and some gaps.  I filled it all in, and we haven't had a leak since.  Afterward I told Shelly's uncle.  He said that his son had been up there, but when I talked to his son he said that his dad had.  OK...lesson learned.  :)

At the end of October, when the grass stopped growing, I did some work on the tractor to get the snow thrower attachment operational.  It's running like a champ!  It's backed into the barn with the battery conditioner attached...just waiting to be put into service when the snow flies.  Okay...we're so late in updating that the snow has already begun flying.  :)  I also did some work to get the walk behind snow blower up and running.  I also performed a temporary fix for the "window" between the master bedroom and the bathroom, tacking up some Reflectix.  We'll be drywalling this in.  Also did some work on the futon to make it usable.  The bars on it could be felt right through the mattress, so I attached some 1/8" plywood over the bars.

During all of the trips above Shelly has been cleaning and organizing.  She reclaimed all of the rooms, getting everything cleared out, cleaned, and organized.  It is really beginning to feel like it's ours.

All of the trips up weren't about work.  Shelly's brother and I headed up there to do a bit of Salmon fishing in October.  We did some work getting the trails to the deer blinds cleared, and laying some feed.  More recently, he and I went up in November to do some deer hunting.  Shelly's dad and uncle, and a friend of the family also went.  We didn't get any deer, but we had a great time. 

I did end up having to do a bit of work on the place during the hunting trip.  We got a call from Shelly's uncle, who had stopped by the house to check on it just a few days before we were heading up.  He let us know that the basement was flooded.  The sump pump had failed, and it had rained so much that the root cellar filled up so much that the water backed up into the drains in the basement.  I installed a new sump pump, and mopped up the water in the basement.  I got a burn pile going and cleared out all of the ruined boxes and such.  I also bought a dehumidifier, and set it up in the basement to drain in to a floor drain so that it could be left on.

I mentioned that Shelly's dad was up for the hunting trip.  This is the first time that he has been in the house since giving it to us, and I was surprised that he was staying at the house instead of with Shelly's uncle.  See, he and Dale, the previous owner...and resident until he passed away 2 years prior...were extremely close friends.  Shelly's dad is not comfortable in the house...too many memories.  He is also not comfortable with the changes we've made, even though he realizes that everything we're doing is necessary.  He stayed two of the four nights, but then packed up and headed back south.  Honestly, he stayed longer than I thought he would.  I think he had a good time, and the next time likely won't be as difficult for him.

With the cold weather and the snow flying we're going to move the work indoors.  We plan on heading up for the week between Christmas and New Year, and our plan is to seriously tackle the basement.  Shelly, when she was still at Lifecare, was gifted three gallons of Kilz mildew resistant paint.  I'm hoping to get the walls in the basement painted, which should help to keep the moisture down.

So, that gets us caught up.  Hopefully I didn't miss too much. Here are some PICS back from September that will show some of the completed work.  We'll be updating more regularly after this, so plan on coming back after the first of the year to hear and see about the work done just after Christmas. 


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