Monday, September 26, 2016

Victorian Farmhouse - Part 14

Alright, I'm DONE with trying to navigate and figure out Google Photos. No one deserves that much stress. I've decided to try Flickr, because it's linked through Yahoo! and I already have an account there. So far I don't like it either (it uses a stupid "group photo pool" timeline style same as Google Photos), but it seems much faster and easier to navigate and organize.

Okay, so here we go. We're like a month or two behind, and I don't even know exactly where we left off. These are some of the flowers growing in front of the kitchen addition. They are being smothered by goldenrods which are invading the whole flowerbed.



OMG yes this is so much simpler with Flickr! It automatically loads the embed link the same as the previous photo. So much less clicking! Moving along...

This was after a bunch of the electrical had been done, but before the power had been hooked up yet. We can see the new location of the meter, and panel in the basement (farther down).



The flashing on the new roof is done.


These are the 4 garden beds that were setup this year in the side yard. Angie's sister randomly bought a whole bunch of plants, and a bunch of them got planted throughout these beds. The farthest one is tomatoes, the second one is part tomatoes, basil, and eggplant, and the other two beds have an odd mix. We think there's broccoli, cabbage, kale, and some random flowers and herbs.


The new electrical panel.


Upstairs in the master bedroom, the electrician had to install bolts through the exterior wall, so we had to open up this corner of the wall. The drywall was carefully removed so we could easily patch it back in.


Due to some of the renovations, the existing stairs on the back/side of the house (the cement ones) would be getting blocked off, so we decided to reopen the original location of the stairs under the Victorian staircase. This had been VERY poorly patched, and it was very messy taking this out. It's very clear that the stairs were here because of the way that the logs were cut to form an opening here. The white vent pipe and gas line for the furnace will eventually be moved to the other side of the house.


Here's a totally flattering photo of yours truly. This is pretty much how I tend to look during these renos. I know, totally hot, right?


While I worked on patching the floor in the living room, Pierre decided to start demolishing the kitchen floor.


A nasty surprise, which halted the work, was this old vermiculite insulation. No one seemed sure how long it's been there, but there was a possibility of asbestos, so we decided not to work in there until we made a plan to carefully and safely remove it.


Here's the repaired floor in the corner of the living room. This was the most tricky (and least solid) repair, because there wasn't really anywhere that I could solidly anchor the floor. No one will be walking here, so it should be fine. The floor is nailed on the wall edge, and held with screws along the short corner wall. The front (longest) board is the most solid one, because it rests on the logs at both ends.


The next two floor patches were in the upstairs floor. I'm STILL not sure exactly what species of wood it is, but it seems like a hardwood, and it's 1 1/4" thick (very good quality). This was an old stovepipe style vent hole that passed through the hallway ceiling on the main floor, and through the master bedroom floor. It had been very sloppily patched with random bits of tin, wood, and cardboard. It looked really wonderful (sarcasm).


Not only were the pieces of tin random, so were all the nails. Long, short, and even short upholstery tacks.


There was a cardboard cut from an old Green Giant Giblets box!


Garbage. It was very poorly nailed, too.


Always stagger the joints when patching a floor. Not shown is the 2x4 screwed to the left side beam, and the diagonal brace screwed in place to support the second and third boards.


So much better! The floor is salvaged from under the bathtub.



The same process was followed for the hole in the spare room (the one that was in the ceiling of the living room).


Here's the finished woodwork around the corner in the living room.



Our next project was rebuilding a set of stairs to the basement. Because of the odd size, I was barely able to fit the stairs to a good size. It would have been nice to have deeper steps, but this would have made the stairs too wide, which means your head would end up in the floor beam at the end of the opening. The height is around 8 1/2" which isn't too bad (same height as the old cement stairs on the other side).


The stairs look crooked in relation to the floor because they roughly follow the side of the foundation, and the beams are largely eyeballed. If you look at the wood tree trunk beam in the threshold, you can see it's curved, so once the floor is patched-in, everything will look fine.



This is one of the largest daddy longlegs I've ever seen. The leg span was about the width of the entire casing (which is about 5"), yet the body was still half the size of a ladybug.


With most of the electricity finally inspected and passed, I was able to start reinstalling the baseboards. We were going to wait to have the floors sanded FIRST, but instead we decided to sand the floors at the edges of the room first.


Along with the installation of mouldings, I did a LOT of crack-filling around all the old mouldings. These few photos give you an idea of all the gaps that were around the doors and windows.




This gives a good idea of "before and after" crack filling to show just how much difference this makes.







More soon.

Photo Album Nightmares

So why no posts? Honestly (and this will be full of foul language, so be forewarned) the issue with Google Photos is such a goddamn nightmare to navigate that it's put me off from wanting to post. I wasn't a huge fan of Picasa, but it WORKED FINE after I figured it out, and now I'm back at zero with Google Photos.

For those who don't know, Picasa is being shut down and changed over to Google Photos. Why? I haven't the foggiest idea. People everywhere are pissed and very annoyed because albums aren't working properly, links aren't working, they have different features, photos aren't showing up in the right order, etc. Nothing is easy to navigate, and nothing is intuitive.

When I first found out about this change, it took me over an hour to figure out how to post the photos to my blog for this post: I also had to completely reorganize all of my albums and change all the cover photos for each, because they automatically transferred everything over, but none of the settings were saved. It also doesn't help that my computer is very old, and very slow, and each time you want to do anything in an album, you have to load the entire album (all the thumbnails, even if there are over 600). There are no pages. An album shows up entirely on a single page. You can't set the thumbnail size or the display settings either. The best you can do is shrink the webpage in the browser (which is easy but annoying).

Like I said. NIGHTMARE.

For example: one of the last 3 clock posts I wrote (this one) gave me several problems. This is a simple post. A few photos, and some text (the usual). For the first post, the photos in it are super old, so they were still hosted on my Photobucket album. No problems there. The problem was the 3 new photos I wanted to add. I open up Google Photos, go to my Clocks (blog) photo album, and add the three photos. NORMALLY, the new photos you add appear at the end in the order they were uploaded. NOT with Google Photos. Instead, these photos end up grouped together (but also out of order) in a random place within the album. I assume that this is because they are source images off the web and have old dates associated with the files. This album already has around 500 photos in it, so I had to go through the whole thing to find the three photos. If I want them at the end (where they SHOULD be, and where I want them to be), I have to click "edit album" and then I have to click on ONE photo at a time (you can't select multiple photos) and drag it all the way down to the bottom of the album. This means that all the photos in the album have to load, and also while you're dragging the photos around, the album automatically adjust itself into a collage format, so I have to wait for all the photos to shift around and refresh. I have to repeat this for EVERY PHOTO I want to reorder.

For the second post, the same thing happened, but I was working with about 10 photos. This is not too bad when it's a small number of pictures, but for posts on THIS blog, I deal with about 30-60 photos at a time! It's painfully slow, tedious, and blog-writing is already time consuming enough!

Apparently they have added a "sort by date" option, but now I'm afraid to even click on it, because it could fuck-up an entire album, and there isn't an "undo" because currently the album is considered as having a "custom order". The other problem is that I like to upload photos in a specific order. I will often upload photos in sets (or "batches") specifically so that they upload in a certain order. With the "order by date" it would automatically put them in the normal order, which is also not what I want. According to the Help Forums the albums are SUPPOSED to be in order "as uploaded" but they ARE NOT.

Right now, I think my best bet is to make a test album and try to troubleshoot this issue, but that will take hours of my time. In the meantime, I could be writing about the Farmhouse project (I currently have 129 photos ready to upload, and another 129 to sort through, edit, and prepare), plus I also have several Cornwall Homes posts I could get ready (local houses).


OMFG. Hair pulling.

So apparently you CAN'T make albums in Google Photos. Not in the traditional sense. I don't have the patience to explain it, so here's a direct Help Forum quote:

"earlboss said:
Hi Managing:
In Google Photos, all photos from all sources get thrown together in the Photos collection (sometimes called the timeline) where they are stacked into one big pile sorted by date taken with the latest photos on the top of the pile. This collection contains all your photos and is the source for the photos you want to put into your Albums.

Albums are really just a list of Pointers to the actual photos in the timeline (photos collection), and putting a photo in an album does not remove it from the timeline, so this means a photo could be in multiple albums. The good thing about this is a photo could be in 10 different albums, but it doesn't take up any extra storage beyond the size of the one actual photo in the timeline.

You asked why you would want to create an album within an album, but that is not what is happening, Albums cannot not be nested. What happens is you are creating a new album and that album will contain the selected photos in the original album, so the selected photos would now be in the old and the new albums.
An Example of why you might do this:

You have created an album of your Alaska cruise containing all the photos you want to keep about the whole cruise. Now you want to have an album about Glacier Bay, so you could go into your timeline and go to the date of that portion of the cruise and select the Glacier Bay photos and create an album containing them. It would be easier though to go to the Alaska Cruise album, select the photos about Glacier Bay, and create a new album about Glacier Bay.



What riduculous fuckery is that? I'm so pissed and annoyed over the whole mess. I was going to make a test album, and then delete it which seems simple, right? Can't do that. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Oops! Victorian Farmhouse - Part 12.5?

Actually, we're not all caught up on the Victorian Farmhouse project. I just found another batch of photos I forgot. All of these should have been posted between parts 12 and 13.

Alright, here's the roof on the kitchen addition being redone. I'm really not sure why the roof was redone right away. It wasn't my decision, and all the tin was bought (Angie's parents?) so everything got done now. I would have waited until the back structure was raised and leveled. I don't really think anyone realizes just how much the barn addition has sunk. I estimate (by what I've seen of the structure) that it's sank in places between 2-3" in the better spots and as much as 12" in the worst spots.

The entire roof wasn't done, either. Just the part with the kitchen.

On top of that, the decision to redo the whole section of roof over the really terrible old cobbled together roof of the side additions (basement stairs and old laundry room) was good, but a huuuuuuge pain in the ass at the same time. Now we're going to have the trouble of removing the old roof while the new one is sitting on top of it. Most of this was done while I wasn't there, but I was under the impression that the old (small) roofs of the side additions would be taken off first.

Pierre had also said he wanted to completely knock down the last little corner section that is just sitting in the ground (and falling apart). I don't know why they put a new roof on that part. I think there was also something about just making a small little corner porch, which could look cute.

It's not my house, so for a bunch of stuff I just have to nod and smile, and worry about it later.

While I had this photo out, Angie and Pierre had mentioned several times (at least half a dozen) that they'd like to see if they could put a door in the bathroom leading into the room over the kitchen. Not going to work. The buildings are too far off-centre for this to work. A standard door would be about the height of the window, and the back (short) wall of the bathroom lines up with the plumbing pipe that passes through the roof. That gives you this:

The property seems to have an abundance of really pretty wild flowers. I think these might be a type of phlox that's run rampant around the edge of the grass. You can also see buttercups, and there were lots and lots of daisies as well.

The peony bushes at the front were also gorgeous, and you could smell their perfume on the breeze all the way to the barn (a good 75 feet away).

The electrical upstairs is all done. Nothing too exciting. There are now plugs and switches were previously there were none.

On the closet wall, there was only one tiny section of wall where a plug could be installed, because the rest of the wall (staircase wall) is only an inch thick.

The main part I forgot about was the kitchen demo! It's fairly clear what's going on in the photos. Everything in the room was shimmed to appear square again (because of severe warping and settling - because this addition was fitted into the frame of a sinking barn). Thin plywood, wallpaper, and other junk was added over the years. The original room is all tongue and groove.

The ceiling has a good amount of curve to it, but with all the braces removed, it's much less noticeable.

This wasn't a big surprise. This stovepipe hole fed into the chimney above. See one of the last photos in this post:

Pierre was having a great time tearing off all this junk! Notice the original narrow window outline.

This was the only section of Mactac with a brick pattern. No idea why.

The layers of Mactac came off pretty easily.

This other short door leads into the barn to that side staircase.

Evidence of old built-in shelves over the sink.

Outline of a small wall shelf next to the door. Note the shadow of the long door casing next to the side-light.

Across the other side of the door, it had a window. The shadow of the window casing is still there. It would have been a door with a window stuck right on the edge of it (something I tend to see most often on old Dutch log houses from the mid 1800s). See next photo.

I picture something like this. This is an 1851 log home restored in 2009 by Paul Cutting. You should definitely check out his stuff if you haven't: Trout River Log House. Paul has restored about a half dozen or more log homes in the Iowa region, but let's not get too side tracked. Just go have a look.

In this photo, you can see 90% of the original baseboard under the door jamb.

In the opposite corner, however, the entire baseboard is about 3" below the floor.

The drop is at least 6-7" in height. It goes from nearly no drop against the old part of the house and near the basement stairs, to about 6-7" down near the side of the driveway. With all this framing removed, the ceiling is actually about 8 feet high. With all the additions and layers it was barely 7 feet, and not the same height across the whole room.

The foundation along that side needs repairs, so the plan is to jack-up this side of the barn addition. I'm not too sure how that's going to go.

The addition has a nice grey painted solid wood floor under all the braces and plywood. The issue is that we would need to get under this to insulate and to run plumbing. We might also like to check for any rot, rodents, or any other surprises. It might be possible to save 90% of the floor and re-lay it. We'll see.

The original heating ducts (and no, I have no idea how they got those installed because it's practically a rubble crawl space under the addition) are still in place, and they just added extensions on them to reach the new floor height.

Okay, NOW we're caught-up.