K. Scott's House



Before Pictures

(September 2003)

These are photos I took of the property before I moved in about September 2003. Any stuff you see in these photos was stuff left by the previous occupents.






















Carpet

(October 2003)

I think the first thing I did was to remove the stank-ass carpet that was in living room and the den. The carpet was paper-thin in places, wrinkled all over and smelled of mold and dog. I didn't even wait until I had replacement rugs I just grabbed the crowbar and up it came. The rugs were added weeks later. Turns out the living room had old 70's linoleum tile underneath.

Living room/den before

Living room before

Living room stairs before

den after

Living room after

Living room stairs after


Back Yard Wire

One day, shortly after moving into my new home, I was raking junk in the back yard and came accross a wire. No, big deal right, unless...

Yes a quick test with the volt meter tells me that this silly wire coming out of the ground about 12 feet from the house is HOT. Crap. So I dug it up and watched it disappear right into the concrete slab. Crap. Did I also mention that it was burried in EMT (morons). So, I played breaker tag and found that it is on the same circuit as half the living room. Crap.

So, I did what any good new home owner would do. I capped it and forgot about it.

wire found

wire dug up

wire capped off


Wireless

(December 2003)

Of course no house is complete without broadband internet access. Fortunatly I had this crazy basketball hoop setup in the back yard anchored to 4 inch steel pipe. The pipe was anchored like three feet into the ground with concrete. I am not joking when I say this was the most structurally sound object on the property. It was a real bitch getting out of the ground. But once out it made a very nice pole for my wireless antenna.

uprooted pipe

before

after

January 2008: My wireless provider discontinued their service. I have since taken down the antenna.


Heater

December 2003: The only heat the house came with was one small fireplace in the den and one "gravity fed" gas wall heater in the hallway. That's it! These people must have been from Alaska or something. The house got down right frigid. So, the first major project was a heater. I decided to go with a roof mounted dual purpose (gas forced air and refrigerated air) unit. Before I could do that, I had to upgrade the electrical service to the house.

Old meter

New Box

October 2003: The house came with a rather nice Mastercool II swamp cooler, but it had to go to make way for the new unit. Once it was installed I spent the next month running ductwork throughout the house.

Mastercool II

Rented a crane





Remove the old unit


Wheeeee!


Finished

December, 2007: I never really trusted the wooden frame that was built for my AC unit even after I added stronger lag screws. So, I had a local HVAC guy install a proper metal frame.

Move the unit

New metal stand


Sewer

(July 2004)

Ever wonder why one part of your yard is a lot greener then the rest; especially when the rest is a blasted wasteland? Yup, you guessed it; Sewer leak.

Broken clay/PVC pipe

New ABS pipe

at propery line

only 3 inches underground

A hole the city fixed

(October 2005)

Well, my repair was good but where it connected to the old concrete pipe was pooh pooh. Also, the fact that the sewer line ran just a couple of inches under the concrete slab of my future hottub worried me for several reasons. So, in goes the new line.

old line

addition line

mechanical ditch digger

human ditch digger

90 to my old drop

old drop into main

a plumber

a ditch

diggin up old line

all done

new cleanouts


Fiber

(July 2004)

About the same time I was working on my sewer line, Qwest decided to run fiber down the alley behind my house.

trench

cut my sewer line?

pieces of my sewer line?

2 cut phone lines, one sewer


Power Line

(August 2004 -)

After Qwest trenched my phone line they came out with a trencher to dig a new line to my house. According to them it had been cut too many times to be patched again, so I convinced the trenching guy to dig the trench 32 inches so I could bury my overhead power line as well. However, since there is a serious lack of competent electricians in Socorro the project is still in progress.

I have been able to bury my tv coax though.

















7 months later

inspection finally passes

before

after

I was sick

so I stayed in

old pipe gone

old wire gone


Den

(November 2004 -)

My den, which is a converted garage, still had a garage floor. My goal was to remodel the entire room with heated tile, track lighting and new paint.

Den New Power

In order to use my new electricly heated floor, I would need better power. There was a sub panel feeding the north half of the house with two breakers. It was old, scary and insufficient. I wanted a new one.

old panel

3 AWG THWN

100 amp BOX

Den Tile

The floor was the most work. I had to remove carpet, carpet nailers, fill cracks, level the floor all before I could even think about heating elements and tile.

removed step

removed railing




diagonal pattern

diagonal pattern

diagonal pattern

square pattern

square pattern

square pattern

square pattern

floor leveling

floor leveling

underfloor heating

underfloor heating

thermostat wires

my friends helped

dougan trowel

tilebot

all tile cut

ready for grout

grouted and wet

grouted and dry

Den Track Lights

Since the floor was a dark grey or almost black, I decided it would represent the stage of a theater. To continue this idea, I purchased track lights that resembed fresnel lights, complete with barn doors.

just out of box

on the ceiling

on the ceiling

and now powered

Den Paint

(October 2005)

I needed a good paint scheme that would help represent a theater and also reflect the light well from the track lights. I tried several color schemes. I wanted a red component to represent a theater curtain and for a while I thought gray would go well with red. I was wrong.

I paid a visit to Sherwin Williams for paint advice. The brick wall ended up being a solid SW-6260. On the two side walls, one large and one small, I used SW-6600 base coat and ragged SW-6601 as the topcoat.

red and gray

faux finishes

Ah, hell no

hidden elec. wire

small wall

big wall

small wall again

Den Drywall

(August 2006)

This part of the house was a selling point and an annoyance. There used to be a wall between the original living room and the garage addition. At some point, this wall was removed. When this happened a cheesy "box" was erected across the span, I suppose to look like a nice big support beam. There is no support beam, my house is help up with wishful thinking. I liked the openness of the combined rooms but the silly "box" always looked terrible.

Since there is no support beam why not finish the thing off in drywall? If for no other reason then I tend to hit my hed on it. So, one day I pulled off one of the planks that made up the "box". The house didn't collapse so I got the sledge hammer. A good and proper mess was created soon there after.

removed a plank

found wire

removed wire

applied sledge

look insulation

added braces

cut 2x4s

remoevd trim

first drywall

metal corner

spray foam

more drywall

need more corners

built door frame

added door

added drywall

ready for paint

Finished door
(April 2009)

Some trim was still missing.

missing trim

added trim


Roof

(July 2005)

Early in 2004 I decided I was going to re-insulate my attic. The idiots before me had "insulated" the attic with 16" wide R7 rock wool for 24" centers. Morons! I was going to replace it with 24" R30. After removing the insulation from just the den I decided to hire someone to finish the work.

old attic insulation

16" R7??!!

that's gotta go

Fortunatly, in October 2004, god attemted to destroy the city of Socorro with hail. He did a pretty good job.

front yard

this was average










Lucky for me I was insured and thus began the replacement of my roof in July of 2005. They replaced everything down to and including the decking. It was rather springy decking even before the hail. They also replaced the trim and porch roof. Since they were replacing the decking I asked if they could install new insulation. They said sure.

old trim

new insulation

new tar paper

new tar paper

porch roof gone

new porch roof

new shingles

new turbines

finished roof

finished roof

finished roof

September 2008: The paint on the fascia board was peeling so I stripped it off and applied an oil based primer this time.

Stripped trim

Oil primer


New Appliances

(March 2006)

I was getting tired of my closed not getting very clean or dry and my fridge leaking every summer. So, thanks to some creative financing from a not-so-local Home Depot, I purchased a new washer, dryer and refrigerator.

fridge hole

new fridge

washer/dryer hole

new washer/dryer


Block Wall

Ever since I purchased the house I wanted a block wall in the back yard. My neighboors are ok with the idea so I am slowly working on the project.

(August 2006)

First, I had to move the sewer line because it was going to be right under where I wanted the wall for about 10 feet. I forgot to mention this when I had the entire line replaced. Then I had to have the gas meter moved because it was right where the wall was to go.

before move

after move

a plumber

with assistant

October 2006: I then began looking for the type of blocks I wanted. I wanted a color other than the normal grey and also a texture. I also wanted a very well built wall and a reasonable price.

Liking the right

good texture

colored mortar

February 2008: After months of looking I discovered I can't have all of that. After becomming dissatisfied with my options I chose to go with my neighboor's pick of a wall builder. The price was right and I was tired of looking and arguring.

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

South Wall

West Wall

West Wall

West Wall

West Wall

West Wall

West Wall

West Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

North Wall

There was a big wind storm the night this small piece of wall was put up. The idiot hadn't filled it with concrete yet so it fell over.

collapse

collapse

collapse

collapse

Originally I wanted a 12 foot gate. I had a 12 foot gate with the previous chain link fence. I told the moron I wanted a 12 foot gate. He replied that ten feet was enough for a cement truck. I repeated that I wanted a 12 foot gate. Guess what. I got a ten foot gate. Fortunatly I was home the day the goofball was assembling the gate and I was able to show him how to do it right.

gate

gate

gate

gate

Other assorted pictures.

South property line

12" deep footing


he did use rebar



15" for 6" blocks

blocks in footing



bad rebar


power and cable

sewer


hand smoothed crap




not his fault

pre-existing humor


non-connected

cracked already

August 2008: After less than two years, the wall that the looser built was collapsing. I could shake it with one hand and see through a big crack. I found a much better contractor and had him send his wall guy to fix it. He also added cap blocks which the boob never did.

Before

Big crack


Cap Blocks

North Wall

Pilaster footing



rebar refit

West pilaster

South pilaster

West wall done

South wall done

rebar refit done

September 2007: I thought that I could build pilasters to hold a wooden gate in the front of the house. However, after an investigative dig exposed three seperate pieces of foundation and a water line I decided to call an expert.

Foundation

and water

March 2009: I hired the same professional mason that fixed my wall to build pilasters for a gate. And on June 28, I hung a gate I purchased from Pacific Gateworks.

Before

Before

Foundations

wet pilasters

dry pilasters

gate front

gate back


Ceiling Plaster

(January 2008)

Most of the ceiling in my house is plaster complete with non-knocked down texture that descends up to one half inches. So, on a whim, I tried scraping it off with a putty knife and a chunk about one inch square fell right off leaving a smooth plaster surface behind. A quick trip to the hardware store to buy special ceiling scraping tools, and away I went.

first step

close up

finished area

Second step


Bathroom

New Toilet

(May 2009)

The toilet that came with the house was about as old as the house. It was very small and flushed poorly. In comes the American Standard Champion 4 with elongated bowl and right height. The box says it will flush a basket of gold balls but I haven't tried it yet.

old toilet

toilet removed

damned bands

repaired linoleum

toilet installed

Bathroom Caulk

(Apr 2010)

The mold on the shower caulk was to entrenched to be removed with cleaning supplies, so new caulk was the solution. During the process I learned the many layers of my shower stall.

Anatomy


Crawl Space

The crawl space under my house reveals many sins in the construction of my house.

(Jul 2008)

First example, is the laundry room. I assume it was constructed when the garage was, but if that is so, then why is it at a different level? After construction it looks like it was refitted with new water lines. Notice the large gaping hole that was dug for new water lines and never filled in. Notice the bottom, yes bottom of the slab.


Gaping hole

Bottom of slab

Hole in block

(May 2010)

The floor joists are 2x6 on 16" centers atop doubled 2x8 beams on 5' centers. The footers are not exactly level and certainly not smooth.


Only three beams

Very strong twig

non-level sisters

Foot in footer


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K. Scott Rowe