Saturday Recap: Surprisingly easy to install ground rods (Thanks, N.R.!)

July 29, 2012 by megmstephens

July 28-29 Weekend To-Do List **Saturday Recap**

Sledgehammers are fun!

I had two friends come to help me out today. Allison showed up at about 10 and stayed with me until 6pm-ish. She’s awesome company, and I think I am convincing her of how fun it is to beat on things with a hammer and use power tools.

N.R. also stopped by for a while. He offered help for when we get to the jacking-up-the-house stage, and he earned a gold star for helping with Item #1:

 

1. Pound two 5/8″ diameter, 8′ long metal rods into the ground (ground rods for the electric panels). I have no idea how to do this, so, hopefully YouTube and Google and my renovation books will help me out. This could be quite funny – I’m glad I am not brave enough to do videos on here for you all to laugh at me as I struggle and try to figure it out. Hey, that’s why I bought this house! It’s a learning experience.

Warm fuzzies for me. I love doing this kind of thing!

**DONE! N.R. came over with a handy tool that his dad made for pounding in ground rod- and in less than 10 minutes he had two ground rods sunk more than halfway. From there Allison and I used the sledge to sink them the rest of the way. I got my chance to beat on things with a REALLY BIG hammer today. It was like warm fuzzies in my heart.**

 

2. Run a lighting/outlet circuit in the basement. Install boxes, romex, fixtures, and breaker. This isn’t hard, just takes time.

**Mostly done. The line is run, the boxes are in. I needed another GFCI outlet and the 60 amp double-pole breaker for the garage line, so I stopped with electrical until after a trip to the store. Allison took me to BBHI (Big Box Home Improvement) after lunch so I have all the supplies now. Finishing this up will be top priority tomorrow!**

3.  Get bulbs for all the lights and install them, and install the shop lights in the garage. I might have to wait until next week to get the bulbs. I’m without a vehicle this weekend, and biking to Big-Box Improvement Store gets me strange looks from cars on the bypass, plus it’s not really very safe.  **During the trip to BBHI we picked up all the light bulbs. Now just have to get them installed…**

4. Make all final connections in the main breaker panel. Including connecting to the new ground rods I’ll be doing in item #1. **Not much progress here. It’s on the list for Sunday, though**

 

5. Hopefully a friend will be coming by on Saturday who has some experience jacking up a house (and the bottle jacks to do it). We’ll be walking through the basement and also investigating the areas that need to be fixed:

a. The beam that was cut in the basement (grr. People, beams are there for a reason! You don’t just cut them because they are in your way!!)

**N.R., Allison, and I looked at the beam in the basement, and came to the conclusion that because the subfloor is already mostly rotted through and needs to be replaced and the existing cellar steps are not worth saving, the the best thing to do is use the jacks to support the native timber joists, and then rip out the floor and the newer “modifications” that were done to the structure. While the jack is in place and the floor is out we can then sister up some new joists next to the old ones. This will eliminate the sagging and un-evenness in the bathroom area.**  

b. Floor of the dining room- there is a significant slope to the outside wall from the main center beam of the house. It could be a sinking foundation, or it could be a rotted sill plate. Either way, it needs to be fixed.

**This problem is being caused by a bad sill plate, probably from being right up next to a concrete patio for a long time. The sloping issue is probably related to the sill plate issue, because it appears that the joists are tying into a beam that is sinking at the exterior wall because the sill plate is damaged. Hopefully the issue will be more clear after taking off the siding around the patio door and can really see what is going on there.**

c. Front corners of the house. The front left corner, looking from the street, is the worst but the front right could use some TLC too.

**We took a look at these corners, but really they are not that bad. And, that part of the house is over 100 years old. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow. I have some in-the-future plans for giving the existing foundation a little more support.**

6. Build temporary front steps to the front door and clear the boxes/bricks/blocks that are the current front steps out of the way. We’re going to get classy, guys! No more uneven tripping-hazards to get into the house! **I built the steps! Take a look at the picture of them:

There are real steps there now! Perfect temporary steps for eating pizza w/ husband on work nights.

I was running out of daylight, so tomorrow I will finish clearing away the old “steps”.**

7. Clean up and organize the garage (again). This one is never going to end. Even though I clean up after every work session, stuff still gets messy. Also, things keep changing as we get more materials and tools, so really this is about finding a place for everything.

**Clean for now. Still don’t have a place for everything, though.**

 

8. Frame in the windows for the garage.

 

9. Install windows for the garage. 

 

 

Action shot of sawdust going everywhere while working on framing for the window. I think this was right before some flew into my eye again, even with the sunglasses.

**Number 8 and 9 are half-done, hence the underline instead of the cross-out. Allison and I framed, shimmed, installed, and flashed one of the two windows. The second one is on the list for tomorrow.**

 

10. Prep the exterior of the garage for siding. I’ll have to do a couple of things: install dripedge above all the windows and doors, put flashing around said windows and doors, and perhaps install some blocking in the eaves. **I’ve got the flashing on one window done. The rest will hopefully get done tomorrow.**

11. Finish building a work bench along the wall in the garage, and possibly pimp out my workshop with pegboard and hangers. This could get expensive, so I have to think about what I want and if I can use salvaged stuff instead of new from Big-Box Home Improvement Store. **Still on the list. Maybe tomorrow, after all the other stuff**

12. Pull more nails out of siding. **No progress here today**

 

It’s very doubtful that I’ll get even half of this list complete, but I like looking ahead at what should be done next. I have a whole workplan written up and posted in the garage- I really should copy it into a master list here on the blog. I guess that’s number 13 – Make a page on the blog with master work plan for HeartlandHouse. 🙂 I’ll post updates and more pictures from the house this weekend, so stay tuned. **I am quite happy with the progress from today. And the weather was nice, not as blazing hot as it has been recently. Now I am off to bed so I can get an early start on tomorrow.**

 

 

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