When you take the first step on to that gnarled, winding path of building your own home, there are things you know you’re going to do. Frame a wall. Tile things. Tear up a few hundred square feet of hardwood floors. Yes, yes, yes. And then there are those unexpected bits of, uh, fun.
Like when the old front porch was torn off the house and we discovered this bit of loveliness:
Of course on the one wall of the house we weren’t tearing down or adding on around.
Since we’re in miscellaneous project mode trying to get everything ready for concrete porch pads and siding, MysteryMan decided this would be a good time to replace that sill and rim joist.
I don’t know why…
There’s some kind of problem with the piece of wood that supports your entire house being the consistency of balsa wood?
So obviously getting the old wood out was pretty easy, since you could pinch it between two fingers and it would turn to dust. Getting it out without the house collapsing took slightly more effort.
This looks like my guy taking a break, but what you are actually seeing is an infinite number of engineering related calculations being carried out inside this man’s brain. Also probably some swearing.
Some of the sill replacement was carried out with the method I like to refer to as the “tablecloth trick.” Mainly because when I was a kid out with my Dad and his friends at a restaurant that was closing, if some poor unsuspecting soul set the tables for the next day before we left someone would get the bright idea to perform a “magic trick” by yanking the tablecloth out from under the place settings with enough force to keep everything in place. About half the time it resulted in a lot of broken china.
Same theory here: Line up the new board with the old board, whack it with a sledgehammer so hard the old board flies out, the new board flies in, and the house never knows the difference.
I should also say that MysteryMan did this with very little (read: no) help from me. I had other things to do that I’ll give you a sneak peek at later.
The alternative method of getting the new sill under the beams was to use a couple of jacks to lift the entire West side of our house up a few millimeters to remove the old board and get the new one in there.
In general, this guy is strong to an unreal degree, but give him a sledgehammer and he’s like a force of nature. I think he could take the whole house down in a day with that thing if he put his mind to it, and I sincerely hope he doesn’t.
Because we’re almost to the fun part for me. (AKA, the part that doesn’t involve hammers and in which I get to be useful.)
And speaking of me being useful… here’s a little preview of some of the things I was working on this weekend that you can expect to see in the next week!