Monday, December 9, 2013

winter prep

jambaloney here!

this is a quick "what i am doing" kinda post...

here is a pic of our front porch for a couple of years ago - we sit on in and suntan on it but underneath there are gaps that let the cold west wind right into the had to go and i wanted to get some windbreak/insulating done on the outside... on a cold winter day, the kitchen floor is freezing!!!

so off it came!! i had our friend e's boys h and n over to help and we did the job in great time!!!!

here is the higher half...

and here is the lower half - you can see the exposed concrete that was poured poorly and sports MANY holes and gaps - right into the basement and under the kitchen floor - yes i have insulated the inside, but preventing drafts from the outside is just as important!!! it was worse than i thought!!!

we moved the old porch to the side of the house - that will be a great ATV shed floor!!!

 i dunno about these old steps !!! the boards will be useful for something, well at least the 4x4s!

next thing we did was fill it all in with dirt - right up to just below the concrete foundation sloping out in all directions as a lot of the water falling from the roof and wall has been seeping into the basement here.. much better already!

and the final part was to slope some old windows  out just where the floor starts in the kitchen - this is a great start - i will seal off the sides and any gaps after i place cloches of water in black plastic garbage bags behind the windows to capture extra heat - for now - an excellent windbreak!

they also helped me clean the rest of the reclaimed lumber i have - pulling nails and whatnot - i have a LOT ready to be used for shed purposes..... i pulled the tarps off today to let the wood dry out..

lots of good stuff!

 and more here - a great  bunch of wood to have

i will add more pics of insulating activities later - i want to wall off all the lower west side with windows to provide much needed heat protection there this winter.

cheers all!


  1. The glass / black plastic sounds like a great plan - clever boy ;)

    Could you also not pour some extra concrete to "seal" the ground near the foundations in case the newly moved soil washes / blows away in a storm?

  2. I always keep scrap lumber too. Seems like when you store things long enough, eventually something in the "saved" pile turns out to be just what you need.

  3. Scrap lumber is the best. I use it all the time and have more than a few relatives who now just bring me any old scraps they have as well. If it is not useable it's always burnable :)

    I also had the same issues with my foundation being exposed. Even with the cracks filled that concrete just isn't thick enough to act as an insulator. I just began sticking haybales around it and letting them rot there until they gradually raised the ground level on their own.

    The entire process would have finished much quicker if my wife hadn't kept stealing the dirt from the composting hay bales for her flower beds though.

  4. It's nice to know that some folks still save lumber and reuse it. As a former sawmill owner, I absolutely CRINGE at the once-used and even UNUSED lumber that's shown on TV being wasted.

  5. Jambaloney,

    Mighty fancy windbreak!!! I love this idea, now get down here and do the same darn thing to my place, lol........

    And NO You Can't Steal My Tractor While Here!!!!!

  6. Excellent job Jam !

    I can relate to your task in two ways. Our NS house was well built but because it faces the ocean, the wood and even steel parts age quickly in the salty wind. This accelerates the need to replace different parts. (Hinges, doors, even doorknobs.) On our home in Virginia which was custom built for us, and is only a few years old, there are some problems. Although the house itself may be solid, the house was backfilled incorrectly around the basement In heavy rain, water is rinsing around the house and underneath the basement slab. If left long enough, it could cause the slab one stands on, in the basement, to crack. In addition, the softening of the soil around the house has caused one of the heat pumps outside to begin to sink. It would also interfere with its ideal function, if left. Normally, my husband and sons would redo even such a large job, but my husband hurt his back. We have hired an expert contractor to remove the soil around the house and fix it. Unfortunately, he cannot start until the heavy rains here cease and the ground is dryer. Just know that even on new houses, big jobs emerge, and that you, my friends, are ahead of the game by being able to do so much maintenance and repair yourselves !
    Best wishes to all of you. Jared sends his love, (with mud.) LOL

  7. I know you have a warmer micro-climate up there, but it still might be a good idea to add some RV antifreeze to the water filled black plastic bags to keep them from freezing and popping. After all, the whole point of this exercise is to keep water away from the foundation. I would also go with contractor clean-up bags, they are heavier gauge plastic. Keep in mind that plastic bags are now made to degrade in UV, and you will probably have to replace them on a yearly basis. Or you could find someone throwing away an old waterbed, the kind with the tubes.