I cannot believe I am actually typing this but SOFFITS ARE COMPLETELY BUILT!
Yes, we are a little excited about this. :)
Although there is no such thing as a Manor project that doesn't have it's obstacles that you have to work through, the construction gods were pretty kind to us for the last stretch of this project and there were no "major" problems. But, there were a couple of snags and the first one we encountered was the location. With the other areas of the house, we have moved the lift to where it needed to be to get to the roofline. This particular side of the house was kind of tricky and tucked away in an area that was surrounded by concrete walkways & steps. There was also the block foundation that is still there from the room we tore off & a little hill you would have to get the lift over to get to it...and that lift does not like hills at all! Basically, the lift was not an option for this spot unless we got a skid loader in there & really moved some serious dirt. Instead we opted to use scaffolding which ended up working great.
Once the scaffolding was built, the demo went pretty smoothly. This is the only time where "the more rotten the better". Besides some flashing that was nailed into the roof pretty well, everything came right down. Another plus was that the brick was in decent shape behind the trim boards so there was no switching gears to masonry right in the middle of the project.
The second obstacle was the roofline. I'm not sure why but the rooflines are not the same at this corner of the house. This is the only part of the house that is like that and it really had all of us scratching our heads on how to get it to look uniform. Oh and check out the layers of shingles on that roof! No wonder the attic is dry...it's like Fort Knox.
We weren't completely sold on how it looked but once it was painted we were a little more okay with it. I think when we get the gutters, decorative molding and trim pieces up we won't give it a second thought.
While Jeremy was conquering the soffits, I was on clean up duty. Once "the bad room" was demo'd and cleared away there was still the flooring that needed to be torn off and hauled away as well...which created a whole new mess.
Done! After taking a sledgehammer and pry bar to the floor and shoveling it onto a trailer, the rotten room is completely GONE!...and I discovered muscles the next day I didn't know I had.
This is where things got a little exciting for a second. While I was smoothing out the dirt in this area, I stuck my shovel in the ground & hit something...something hard and concrete. I thought at first it was a cinder block or brick but once I started to dig around it, I uncovered a concrete slab. After the dirt was cleared away from it I kind of just stared at it for a second & said "WHAT DID I JUST UNCOVER?!?!".
There is a "handle" that has been hollowed out on the corners of it & in the middle is a little section that has been dug out that has wood in it. We're still not exactly sure what it is but the popular vote is a step since half of the slab looks like it has been painted...at least that's what we're hoping it is! It was pretty hilarious bringing a few people back there to take a look at it. Every person had the same reaction...they stare at it for a second and then with a very concerned look on their face ask "WHAT IS THAT?!!!"...knowing exactly what it "looks" like.
One of these days maybe we'll pry it up & see if there's anything under it but at the time, getting the soffit finished was top priority. So here it is...
It needs to be painted & we forgot to buy the trim board that goes under it on the right side but that's a fix that will take about an hour so I'm still comfortable claiming soffit victory. :)
While we were admiring the roofline I asked, "So what's next?" and after some debate we both came to an agreement. Introducing our new headache/marriage tester....
First we'll be repointing all of the brick on the front of the house.
The front of the house took on water the most & has the biggest problem. I can take my finger & scrape out the old mortar if there's any there at all. Also, I'm not sure what is keeping the bricks up above the door right now.
Once we get the front repointed, we'll be rebuilding the terrace that is completely gone. Here's an old picture that shows what the terrace should look like. I can't decide if we should build the terrace railing to look like the original or come up with our own personal design. I do know the arched spandrels WILL be going back up...those things are wicked cool!