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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

More Roof Antics

So, I was able to get the roof done at the front of the house. The 1960s dormer is gone and I have replaced it with one that will be similar to the original Victorian era one. There is a problem with that though. I can’t find a local metal shop that wants to reproduce it. So I will build it up out of cedar boards and seal and paint them. Now I have one whole side left to do and a 10 foot section from a dormer on the side of the house to the corner on the front. It keeps raining though. That or rain is predicted but it doesn’t rain. I took a chance a few days ago and ripped out the gutter of the 10 foot section. Then it rained. Next day I got the gutter section in place, soldered it, removed the slate ... then it poured with rain. Today I had a 2 hour window of opportunity to get tar paper installed and it began to pour rain just as I got it done. It is still raining and will continue to do so for the rest of the day. Anyway, here is a picture of the front of the house as it looks now while it is raining!

Here is the progress after the tarp was removed.

Here is the roof tile close up. That gutter won’t stay that shiney for very long.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Roof (continued)

One day I will have the most famous roof in Dayton. Back in 2010 I had to write this post to counter an attack on me by the local newspaper while I was mayor of Dayton. Their article no longer exists. The journalist who wrote it took a tour around my property two weeks after it was published and called me at home to apologize for the article because he had no idea how much was involved in the project. Of course that apology was never published. Well, here it is eight years later and we now have waterfalls in my daughter's bedroom at the front of the house because the gutters are finally failing there. I have put off the roofing because our summers have been too hot or too wet the past few years but this year we have had record rainfall in March and April so I had to devise  a solution. So here is the story. The mansard style roof and box gutters were installed around 1887-1890 along with the slate shingles. I suspect that sometime in the 1930s the metal lined box gutters began to fail so the solution was to add tar paper and pitch to the rusting out box gutters. Every few years another layer of tar paper and pitch was added and at sometime plastic and tar was added. Between 1955 and 1975 the gutters were rubberized and the slate was painted silver to reflect the heat. Eventually the rubber cracked and water seeped through the tar paper, would run down the metal eaves and decorative corbels, get sucked up by the soft brick exterior until saturated and when that happened would drip through the window casings in the front rooms on the second floor. So, on what was likely the windiest day of this year I did this!

Water would no longer enter the gutter at the front of the house and pour into my daughter's bedroom which encompasses those three windows on the second floor! It has rained for several days after installing the tarp and the wind has caused holes to appear and grommets to fail but it is working.
I was able to work under the tarp and remove all of the slate on this side of the house. I was also able to reinforce any wood struts that were rotting out under the gutters, replace the entire wooden gutter floor and one strut with original 2 X 8 wood that I have AND get the new copper box gutters in place. I was also able to get the old dormer deconstructed, the roof sheathing to patch the hole in place and  two rows of tar paper on the roof without removing the tarp. Here are some  pictures of the gutters as I worked on them. Each two feet of old gutter filled a 5 gallon bucket of black debris. I also had to cut out two thirds of the original metal gutters leaving the front part intact because it connected to the ornate molding at the front of the house.

I then constructed copper gutter corners and installed 10 foot sections in place. I have to bond them together first with self tapping screws, then copper pop rivets and then solder which is difficult to apply on vertical surfaces.

Here I replace self tapping screws with copper rivets.

Here is a length of copper box gutter leading to a corner section. My old campaign sign was used to catch water dripping through a hole in the tarp and channel it into the gutter to drain during a storm.

This is my soldering iron. I hate to think what next months electric bill will be like!

Finally, this is what the dormer opening looked like from inside before I deconstructed it.

Tomorrow the tarp comes off and the real work begins! To be continued .......

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Finally a New Post!

Here we are 16 years into our 3 year renovation project. My daughter is now 14 years old and I have FINALLY painted the bathroom. Here is a photographic recap of what we did to get this far.

Here is the original bathroom circa 2001.

Here is the "Kitchen" next to the bathroom separated by .....

A Bead board wall!

With the wall removed and ....

A fireplace revealed. (That was filled with half a century of leaves and dead birds.)  We could envision....

What we could do with a 12' X 16' room!

I had to tear up the floor so the plumbing could be installed.

Then build out a wall to hide all the plumbing.

Re work the fireplace and restore the windows.

To create a large shower space and a tile floor.

With a wall of marble tile.

And a concrete counter top for the sink.

Plus new doors. At this point it is 2005 and very little changed when we actually moved in in 2009.

Well, this week the wife asked me when the bathroom could be finished. I said "Pick some colors and it will get done." So we have decided on Deco pink  for the walls and a dark grey/ purple for the ceiling which, by the way, is not level. So I had to apply some joint compound around the place and use it to apply a border around the top of the marble tile so that the ceiling irregularity is not obvious.  The bathroom looked chaotic for a few days ......

But I went to work at painting.


I even took care of the threshold issue

by making this!

Now, eventually I will apply tile around the pellet stove but more pressing will be constructing a glass block shower wall so that we can actually use those jets without splashing water all over the floor! I also need some art work to liven up those walls. More later!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Cat Tales

I hate to slam a local business but I will no longer be using Dayton South Veterinary Clinic located at 3200 Wilmington Pike Kettering, Ohio 45429 or the services of Dr. Daniel T. Brauer.

On February 20, 2017 the wife took one of our cats, Hunter, to the local Emergency Vet because she was constipated and had not had a bowel movement for several days. They did some tests and a day later we were able to take her home and were $1,290.96 poorer. The working diagnosis was as follows; Obstipation: large stool that is hard and not able to pass. Dehydration. Urinary tract infection with bacteria. Early kidney compromise with mild elevation of kidney value and arthritis where the back meets the pelvis. BTW, this cat is 18 years old. We came home with some antibiotics and a 10 day supply of Lactulose which is a prescription laxative. We scheduled an appointment for her to visit with our regular vet at the above mentioned clinic on March 1st. They kept her for three days and did a series of tests focusing on the kidney issue and the bill for this ended up being another $1,390 because of some special diet food. Some of those charges for medication and treatment could probably be disputed. 

There is a $24.00 charge for ear cleaning. A $43.00 charge for Tresaderm which is used to treat skin disorders. A total charge of $107.94 for 7 doses of Famotidine which is used to treat ulcers. The cat was NOT diagnosed with ear problems, dermatitis or ulcers. Did they really perform these treatments? We will never know.The cat isn't talking and I can no longer trust this clinic to tell the truth. They sent us home with an expensive kidney diet that we were told Hunter loved but she actually wouldn't eat unless we deprived her of her regular food, and an antibiotic called Baytril that could have nasty side effects that we were not informed of.

Once home Hunter was happy and acting normal. We continued giving Lactulose in a smaller dose then held back about 3 ml of the Lactulose to see if she was fine with the bowel movements. She could detect the Baytril pills in her food (they smell awful) so we had to crush them and add some water so we could shoot it into her mouth with a syringe. Once we learned that a side effect could be irreversible blindness we stopped the Baytril. We don't need a blind 18 year old cat. On March 30, 2017 we noticed that Hunter was straining to poop again. She was successful but it appears that Lactulose would be something she would need for the remainder of her life. We made an appointment with Dr. Brauer so that we could get a prescription for the Lactulose. Here is where we began to distrust his services and question his credibility. He told us the cats ears were dirty and he could clean them. That was declined. That service was supposed to have been done 4 weeks earlier. We paid for it. He then went in the back room, returned and presented me with a 160 ml bottle of Lactulose. So I pay the bill. It is $180.00. That is $52.00 for the office visit and $128.00 for the 6 oz bottle of laxative that grants 3 refills that I have since discovered can be bought through Kroger Pharmacy for $7.00. Online, a 16 oz bottle is around $16.00. Here is what Drugs.com lists for pricing.

Here is what a $128.00 bottle of Lactulose looks like and here is the bill to prove it.

It gets better. The next day I go to return the bottle for a refund and get a prescription. They will not take the medicine back and refund my credit card. Dr. Brauer and one of his employees both stated that they can't by law take back the medicine. That is not true. There is no law that states that he can not do this. He can take it back and refund the money. What he can not legally do is re dispense the medicine. He has to destroy it and in doing so is at a loss. Fine I get it. He is still a liar though. How about charging me $7.00 for the bottle and refund the difference. They won't do that either. He could offer to sell me the drug for $20 which is still excessive but a more reasonable choice than having me pay $128.00. He didn't. Fine, I will contest the charge with the credit card company and he can explain to them why he charges 18 X the market rate for his medicine. He was fine with that idea. I can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and post a negative review on the clinic Facebook page. He can explain to the BBB and the 763 fans on Facebook why he charges excessive fees for medication. Now he charges me $10 for the “Outside Pharmacy” prescription (which he is allowed to do) so I can get the next bottle for $7.00 but circles zero refills. What a racket. He is willing to prescribe the same medicine through his pharmacy and charge $128.00 each for up to three refills but is not willing to prescribe the same for using a regular pharmacy that charges just $7.00.
As far as I am concerned the credibility of this business is completely shot and I can no longer trust any of the staff to tell me the truth. Never take your pet to this place if you don't wish to be taken advantage of.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

How's That Roof Coming Along?

Here is a series of photos showing current roof progress!

It  takes a while to remove four layers of shingle, clean it up. Tar paper a roof and then put metal on it. This was a repair. A major one really so that means I can write the cost off on my Federal income taxes. Next year I can repair the front part of the roof. Some shingles are missing which justifies a repair.
Now I get to clean up and remodel the other house that was destroyed by my former tenant.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

More Roofing Antics (a little late)

It seems that is is raining just about every two days so far this year. This is a problem when you are trying to tear off a roof that has 4 layers of shingle over the original cedar shakes that were put on in 1900. It takes forever because I need to preserve the shake layer as best I can in order to install metal roofing over it. This saves me from having to haul 8' X 4' sheets of plywood onto my roof which weigh far more than the 17' X 3' sheets of metal roofing!

The roof over the walk in attic has leaked ever since we bought the house and based on the damage to the bathroom ceiling, probably had for years. It would also appear that it had leaked in the same area many years before that. The end result being this hole below the gutter line where all the rotten wood shakes just crumbled as I tore of the overlying asphalt shingle.

From inside it looked like this! Culminating in a giant hole where the straps had rotted as well. There had been a previous repair done here.

Here is a view of the rest of the roof on this side of the house. Complete with tarp for the next installment of rain.

And here, in the eaves was where I found a whiskey bottle that was produced between 1905 and 1915. Since it post dates the original 1900 roof, it must have been someones secret stash or a place to hide a bottle that would be found over 100 years later. There was another bottle (you can see it in the photo sitting on the floor) stashed in the floor between the wall. It still contains some moldy liquid but has no dating marks and just has the 1 quart stamp on it. It was placed there after the rock wool insulation was installed.

This side of the attic roof is currently under tar paper. I am now forced to strip the section above this on the main part of the house in order to properly install the metal because there is a valley and a chimney at the junction of the two sections.

I don't know which I hate more, roofing or plumbing.
To be continued ......