Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Rotten Situation

     Nothing like a good ol' notice of cancellation letter from your homeowners insurance company to get you going. We got one of these not quite a month ago saying that our coverage would be terminated unless certain conditions were met, namely Nationwide didn't like the fact that our house was in a state of "extensive renovation" and we had no estimated finish date. VERY luckily for us, this list of conditions has been narrowed down to having an approved floor in our kitchen/dining space... still wondering how our agent pulled that off.



     Homeowners insurance was not something that we ever thought would become an issue with living in an old house. Everyone (including several DIY renovators living in our neighborhood) we have talked to was shocked and said they had never heard of a company threatening to cancel because the house was under renovation. It's possible though that insurance companies are needing to be more aware of what they're covering after handing over so much money because of April tornadoes.
     We've also been given more time to get the floor done than we were originally told. As of now our deadline is mid-January, but this could very well get extended also.This is great news because we thought we would just have to put something down temporarily and redo it later whenever we got around to overhauling the kitchen; however, now it's looking more like we'll get to put down the flooring we actually want in what will become the kitchen. Our insurance company's main concern is that they see progress, so we have to update our agent periodically. Steven has started a journal to keep up with what had been done and we're taking pictures of everything too.
  While removing the particle board that had been covering the subfloor in the entryway/future kitchen, we discovered this: 

  
     As you can see, the vertical beam on the left, which is supporting a steel I-beam overhead, was crumbling at its base. The green paint is marking the rotten areas that need to be removed. Our contractor was awesome enough to come over and tell us how to repair it ourselves, but we did end up calling him in later...
   We started by putting up some temporary framing to support the I-beam while the wooden beam was removed and replaced:


   



Steven also went under the house to check for rot that wouldn't necessarily be visible from inside. Fortunately, there was no rot, and he even brought up some artifacts for me from the crawlspace! :)






Before...
Steven began removing some of the wall covering to get behind this rotten beam so that it could be removed. At this point the task was becoming a bit overwhelming, and we wanted to be absolutely certain that ALL rotten areas were removed since the beam would be supporting a major structural component of the house.







     
After...
It was decided to bring in our contractor and his framing subcontractor to make sure everything would be structurally sound. It's a great feeling to know that we're one step closer to putting down a permanent kitchen floor, but our next hurdle is going to be an even bigger challenge.
Our lovely assistants :)