Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Then and Now

     Whew, it has been too long, hasn't it? I think Ginny's been a bad influence on us ;) We have officially been in our house for over a year now. I wouldn't say we have accomplished everything I hoped we would by this point, but I am impressed with what Steven and I have tackled all by ourselves.
    
     Just wanted to update you all with what's been going on, and I've REALLY been wanting to write a post to share some Merrimack Mill Village history. Over the last year, I've learned quite a bit about the Village from so many who have lived here for all or most of their lives (being the community newsletter editor is a great excuse to be nosy). Also, just a couple weeks ago, I finally met Dee Sellers Gentry who grew up in our house!
  
     A few small projects have been completed (or maybe "started" would be more correct) over the last couple months. Hopefully, we are getting back into a groove of steady work. I'm sure we will be more motivated now that the hottest month in recorded history is behind us! More on that from NOAA.

     On the first weekend in June, we put up a plastic vapor barrier over the newly-sheathed framing and made some needed repairs to the existing sheathing around the garage doors.


      Always looking for ways to improve energy efficiency, Steven has been doing a good bit of research on insulating (or actually sealing) the crawl space. Yes, sealing as in non-vented and climate controlled. I was skeptical at first, but it makes sense and is something we can do ourselves. This article from the U. S. Department of Energy explains the benefits and process pretty well: Energy Savings: Crawl Space Insulation. The article mentions installing perforated drainage pipe along the perimeter of your foundation to divert water away from the house. We recently did this on the front of the house where we were already noticing standing water after heavy rains.



     ... And, over the past weekend, we attached 6-mil plastic to the concrete block walls inside the crawl space to begin sealing it up. (And no, we didn't attach it with blue painter's tape as seen below- that just held it in place while the adhesive set!) We are starting the crawlspace seal-up in the future kitchen area so it will be done before all the plumbing is installed. After the plastic sheeting is up, the crawl space walls will be covered with insulating foam. We'll be using 1/2" polyisocyanurate insulated sheathing (available at Lowe's) for this. Finally the crawl space floor will be covered with 12- to 15-mil plastic. Once the entire crawl space is sealed up, a dehumidifying unit will be installed to regulate the moisture level.

     

     As for the Merrimack history, a teaser may have to do for now as I have run out of time for tonight. When I met Dee Gentry on July 27th, she was so kind to give me copies of several documents and photographs from our house. This one of her mother, Clara Adams Sellers, in their backyard garden was my favorite. Mrs. Sellers very much enjoyed both flower and vegetable gardening, and she canned many pints of food they grew every year. Steven and I hope to honor her and the entire Sellers family by continuing this tradition.