Sunroom Reno 2019 (Part One)

Aug. 16 thru Sep. 6

PANO Sunroom and Patio BEFORE Reno

August 16, 2019
We’ve been getting ready to start a fairly major renovation… the sunroom is coming down. Mainly because it’s sinking into the ground due to having been cheaply and shoddily built in the first place by the previous owner.

Crooked Windows (BEFORE Sunroom Reno)

The most obvious symptom of the problem is the fact that the front of the room (the part not attached to the house) is slowly sinking into the garden, leaving our windows trapezoidal in shape, with a sizeable gap where the wind comes whistling down the escarpment and into the house. Come winter we have to fill the gap with extra chunks of foam insulation strips. Also (not shown) the plaster is cracking where the wall joins the house, and the side door is so out of square as to be pretty much unusable.

Sunroom BEFORE Reno

Lynda has been busily rescuing plants from the sunroom garden, with my help as needed, replanting elsewhere or into pots.

UPDATE: Aug. 24 – Today the grapevine came down. Kind of sad, it was having an especially good year, conditions for grapes were very good, it would have been a banner year for jelly or chutney. We hope to replant it to the right of the patio so it’s not all smushed up against the house like it has been. It’s currently planted underneath the stairs. Hopefully the digger can dig it out of there after the stairs come down.
(photo by Lynda)

After Cutting Down Grapevine

Update: Aug. 27 (Reno Day 1)
Today the contractors arrived to start demolition of the sunroom. The vinyl floor was liberated for reuse in the laundry room, and the drywall (inside) and the siding (outside) was liberated for reuse in the landfill.

Sunroom Reno Day 1 (exterior)
Sunroom Reno Day 1 (10-shot Pano interior)

Update Aug. 29-30 (Reno Day 2-3)
Demolition of the existing sunroom continues today and tomorrow. They’re very systematic about it, no surprises so far. Lots of trips with hunks of our home in wheelbarrows moved around front and heaved into the giant Dumpster in our driveway (turn left at the Porta-Potty, not shown). Lots of reciprocating saws and sledgehammers and pry bars taking the place apart, stick by stick.

Note that all photos in this series are hosted on Flickr in the Sunroom Reno 2019 album.

Sunroom Reno Day 2 IMG_1706

One of the first things we had to do was move my precious pergola (it has held up well, unlike its ill-fated predecessor) out of the way, back down the lawn.

Sunroom Reno Day 2 IMG_1708

Sunroom Reno Day 2 IMG_1711
Sunroom Reno Day 2 IMG_1709

Sunroom Reno Day 3 IMG_1714
Sunroom Reno Day 3 IMG_1715

Down to the ground! Well done, just in time for the long weekend! (Those of you with actual jobs can relate). Seen in the photo below, and as Brad is about to point out in the photo above, is the bottom of one of the support posts that was holding up the sunroom. It was just sitting in the dirt, slowly rotting away. No wonder the sunroom was sinking. Not exactly up to snuff, building code-wise.

Sunroom Reno Day 3 IMG_1716

Update: Sept. 3-4 (Day 4-5)
The last couple of days have involved finishing demolition of the sunroom and removing the debris (the enormous rubbish bin has now been removed from our driveway) and starting (and ALMOST finishing) the digging of the hole to receive the foundation.

Our grapevine, having been pruned back to almost nothing in order to be able to get the pergola out, is the last thing standing, and the first to feel the teeth of the Bobcat. It has been replanted not far from here. Note the still undisturbed and cleanly raked topsoil in the background, soon to be very much NOT undisturbed.

The Once and Future Grapevine

The Bobcat in action, Brad at the helm:

The cellphone pano below shows the nearly completed hole, and the mountains of dirt still needing to be trucked away. Probably three times this amount has already been removed, but it did not quite get completed in one day, as hoped.

Foundation Hole

Update: Sept. 5-6 (Day 6-7)
The week culminates at a logical stopping point, with the pouring of the concrete footings.

Footings Almost Done 2019-09-05 12.28.59
Ready to Pour 2019-09-05 15.05.52
Pouring Cement 2019-09-06 12.00.26
Pouring Cement 2019-09-06 12.12.18

I’ll start a new post on Monday, this one’s getting a bit long…