A/C It Be True

Well the day has finally come, our old farm house graduated to the 21st Century. We got Central A/C installed a year ago this month. Gone are our beloved window units strung about the house. Moving into summer I look back on this upgrade and don’t dread the heat of the summer to come.

Before the A/C was installed I had the idea to free up some floor space by moving our furnace across the basement, so that had to happen before the A/C could be instaled, The benifit has been a cleaner and more organized basement with space to walk around.

The unit install just took a few hours and was installed by Eberhart Heating and Cooling out of Pine Village. We were really happy with the quality of the install and the overall process of working with Eberhart. We have even gone back to have them make some custom fittings to fit our old trunk lines as we have expanded the HVAC pathways through the whole house

I thought that the condencer coil that is installed in the furnace unit itself was really cool to look at.

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Scary Stairs

 

When someone builds a house, or remodels it their marks can be seen long after their work has ended, leaving their legacy mark on the house. In the past I have captured some of the horrors that the previous owner of this house left behind in work that looked pretty till you scraped the surface. The stairway that was taken out as a part of Replacing One Wall: Surprise Yeah Right was one such example. The stringers of the old stair case were built out of 2×8’s, which meant that by the time they were notched for the treads there was only a little over an inch of material tying the whole thing together. It was no wonder that no mater what we did these stairs were noisy. They have now been replaced with 2×12 stringers.

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Just a little bit better right. I was unfortunately not around for most of this process, but each of those notches had to be marked and cut by hand. I am sorry but I don’t have that kind of stability when I cut.

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Between the new stringers going into place and the new treads being installed there was a day or so, but after not being able to get upstairs for a week there were a few items that we needed from our bedroom and the full bathroom upstairs. We started a game of climbing up and down the 1.5″ edge of the stringers and holding onto the stud wall for support. 145.jpg

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The new treads are 2x as opposed to the old 1x so they are much more sturdy as well as being just a little bit deeper. Now our absurdly steep staircase is just a little over code steep. The treads are installed upside down and unfinished without risers for the time being until we are able to finish a couple of big projects upstairs. Then we will be without stairs for a little while again the treads are stained and finished. We are looking to go with a dark stain and light grey risers when it is all said and done.

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Redevotion

This corner of the web is dedicated to C & L Rausch Farm in Indiana. This is a 10 acre hobby farm and 101 year old home that are all going through a major transformation. While I have been documenting projects for the past couple of years it has been hit and miss, and this is a redevotion to the cause of sharing our many projects with family, friends and future friends who want to share in our adventure. 4-17-13 010.JPG

 

Fishing Pole Storage

Anyone out there who enjoys the occasional fishing trip knows the struggle to store poles when they are not in use. Stand them up in a corner and they risk getting knocked over. Lay them on a top shelf and you risk something getting set on them and they get crushed. Buying storage cases can be expensive and even more bulky to store even if they protect the poles. This is a problem that has been plaguing our garage for some time. We tried laying them between supports in the rafters, but they were still prone to falling down or getting crushed. Christopher being the crafty Engi-farmer looked around the barn and was able to build a rack that mounts up by the ceiling where it is totally out of the way out of spare project supplies that he found lying about. He made this out of scrap lumber and piece of left over pvc pipe and some fasteners off of the workbench. Not bad for a couple of hours and $0.00 spent I would say.

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Replacing One Wall: Surprise Yeah Right

Christmas time brings a two week vacation from work some years, and for Christopher this year was one of them. We agreed that the downstairs bedroom was so close to being finished that he would take down the old lath and plaster on the west wall to finish that room, and build our under stair closet. True to form out 100 year old house had just a few surprises tucked up her skirt for us. Opening up the bedroom wall showed us that some studs were missing, bent or in other ways buggered up. The old original oak was still there in places so it was a pain to get that hardwood out where it had been messed up. We got to see old classic construction with hand chiseled beams, old cut 2×4’s that are actually 2”x4” and handmade square nails. Once we get past reconstruction we have discussed turning some of those old beams into shelves for pictures and finding a way to show off some of those crazy old nails.

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Christopher continued to take apart the walls of the stairway that you walk under to get to the bedroom the real horrors started to show up. The stairs turned out to be horribly under built. Where a 2×12 stringer should have been present only a 2×8 was found. It was quickly obvious why the stairs were so loud and the treads kept cracking on us. Rebuilding the stairs became the top priority. That took tearing down one wall to multiple walls that were in one way or another connected to putting in new stairs. By the time that the dust settled on demolition related to putting the new staircase in the stairs were down with the adjacent walls in both the upstairs and downstairs bedrooms.

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Half of the wall that separates the dining and living rooms revealing more cut beams and sagging in the walls.

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The flooring down to the joists in the area where the stairs would go back in.

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This one project has kicked off work in 5 different rooms of the house so there will be lots of adventures to come.

Expanded Landscaping

Earlier this summer I finally decided to work on some of the landscaping at the back of the house that I have been putting off. The goal has been to make it easier to mow the area around the sidewalk and back of the house.

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The picture shows the tractor with the bushhog hooked up which is only slightly larger than the finish mower used on the yard. Imagine trying to negotiate this rig into tight areas.

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The area that was the corner in the sidewalk. The radius was too tight for the tractor to make. I was lucky on this expansion that my dad came for a week to help out while I have been laid up and did all of the work. He put in the first section last year when they came to visit. The light colored mulch marks part of the expansion that was completed. I also leaning towards sprinkler bulbs to fill in the area before the rhubarb grow up each spring.

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The triangular area to the back of the house was intended for a bush, but it didn’t survive so instead we moved up an Oriental Peach that was having a lot of trouble keeping alive at the campsite. It seems to be much happier along the house. I am looking forward to when the leaves start to turn to the dark red as the new limbs mature. Then I think it will be a nice looking tree on the back of the house. For the mowing goal this means that Christopher no longer has to back the tractor up to the back of the house.

Here is a pretty rainbow from the other day just because. SMILE 🙂

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Remainder of the Garage

The remainder of the garage was finished within a couple weeks of the South Side. The remaining sides were much simpler. The North Side has no angles or windows so once we got up and running the sheets went up very fast for this 40′ run.

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The grader boards were totally rotted out so it was a good thing that we had already planned on replacing them.

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The finished product looked a lot nicer.

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The East side was pretty simple except for having to cut each piece to the needed angle for the ridge line. The West Side carried the same need to cut for the ridge line, and we also added two windows to that wall. Between those windows and the windows in the garage doors the whole west side of the garage has lit up.

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The main disconnect electrical panel is also on the West Side of the garage. We were making good progress and there was rain on the horizon,  so Christopher pulled the electrical wire from our side of the panel where it passes through into the garage and cut the lags loose from the panel. That allowed us to use a ladder to support the panel; leaning it away from the wall. The rest of the metal went up and we wedged the panel against the wall until the REMC could come out a couple of days layer to open their half and the lags could be replaced.

The garage looks like a whole new building from the outside.