With the framing the place, and the work done it was time to do some sheathing. Although you don’t typically paint the sheathing, this seems like a good time to experiment with color combinations and patterns. It also seems to be easier to do all the priming and painting inside downstairs rather than up on the scaffold. After priming the plywood and marking the pattern out with the pencil, I went over the edges with masking tape for the basecoat.
Once the yellow paint was mostly dry I could remove the masking tape and came back and just with a careful hand, added in the green trim color. In the actual facia this will be raised trim but for now will just go with the color.
Once the green paint has dried, I hoisted the sheathing up to the top of the scaffold and put into place. Finally the tarp can come down.
With the scaffold in place, and ready access to the attic via the high bridge, it became apparent that the front wall was collapsing. When it was first constructed, a pair of 2x4s were set in place of rows of bricks to provide a nailer for the facade. Alas, after 100 years, they have rotted out. As a result, the top three rows of brick are leaning out, being held in by the facade itself.
The first order of business was to secure the bricks for the fall out. To do this we ran threaded rod through the brick and through the façade and then both put it back into place this will keep things from sliding out.
On closer examination it became clear that this front wall was in fact structural, and to make matters worse the façade had become load bearing. As an added precaution we rigged up a tarp to help catch anything that fell.
The next order of business was to install some blocking in the roof structure in the attic. Along with the blocking we added some metal angle brackets to help tie the current structure together.
The next step was to install a lifting beam near the front of the trip that would be supported using scaffold jacks, driving scrap pipe to lift the whole structure up. This was also tied into the structure to keep it from rolling.The pipes, which we got from Mike Douglass, had to be cut to length before I could install them.
With the bracing in place and the safety tarp set up, we were ready to try lifting the roof a tiny bit to take the weight off the bricks and try to catch them before they fall on the cars below.
With the loose bricks remove we can finally start exposing the work area. We certainly will have many opportunities to excel.
The project to repair the facade of the house requires access to the attic in the north wing. Unfortunately, that access is via a hatch in the closet ceiling. Getting up there requires dragging an extension ladder upstairs, and moving a bunch of stuff.
Well, maybe a bridge from the south wing roof to the north wing roof. Although that requires getting up on the roof of the south wing. Rather then dragging out the extension ladder, maybe we can put in a pull down stairway.
But the existing opening is a bit too small (and the ONLY ceiling in the south wing that still had lath attached). But with a bit of work and some power tools, a new opening was formed.
With the opening rebuilt, and the new pull down stairs in place, it was time to make some parts. Many years ago, we had to move a screen house, so I cut some 1″ pipe into rollers. Adding a hole in each allows them to act as a base for scaffold railing posts. As it happens, that is the size of scaffold pins. I also had a set of pipe legs from a church table. As an added bonus I had some 1 1/4″ pipe caps from an earlier scaffold project. All of the hardware will get held together with some UniStrut that we cut into 12″ lengths.
With the hardware all set, it was time to build a frame to span the gangway.
Once the frame was assembled, we could push across the gap, and start decking it with left over Trex off cuts from the deck project. One last trip through the closet, and we could set the legs on the north side, and finish the decking and railings. The railings can come off once the work season is over.
My day job includes a lot of work on Identity Management (IdM), and part of that includes the card access system. My employer is leasing some office space in the office block of the old Proctors Theatre. We ran into … Continue reading
There is a wooden fascia along the top edge of the house – about 25 feet up. But the years have taken a toll and part of this fell off. This was eventually was noticed by code enforcement, so a project I had planned for the spring, got moved up a bit. Having no desire to work on this from a ladder, setting up scaffold seemed the next step.
After some judicious trimming of the shrubs, I was able to get a base unit in place and level, and a second level on top of that. The next day I was able to get a start on the third level. I got the tower tied into the house and a few deck boards in place.
But getting to the fourth level was looking to be a challenge – I seem to have inherited my father’s dislike for heights, but they say that where there is will, there is a way. So, I recruited my friend Will, and work continued.
With Will on the high work, we quickly get the forth level up, railings installed, and a ladder set up in the tower for easy access to the top.
With ready access to the facade, the scope of the problem became visible. When the house was built, they let in a 2×4 instead of a row of brick. There’s a second one higher up. These provided a nailer for verticle 1x4s that supported the facade. Alas, the 100 years or so was too much for the 2x material and it has rotted away. Some of the brickwork needs some repointing as well. It appears that some of the work can be done from inside the attic, although this will disrupt Joyce’s closet a bit. Once the front gets done, I can move around to the sides. Haven’t decided if that will be from a ladder, or more scaffold, but that is a problem for another day.
At least there is a view from the top