Thursday, September 07, 2006

More Homeowner Fun - Masonry

Continuing my intermittent series of the joys of being a new first-time homeowner we have my latest adventure, brickmasonry. Many of you have probably heard this already, but perhaps some other poor soul with find this and feel less bad about themselves. Plus I've got pictures up!

Anyway, a few weeks ago we had a rain & hail storm. In fact Wendy even took a few pictures of it. In between photography sessions she heard a rattling sound in the ceiling near the dining room.

As it turned out, there was half a brick missing from the outside of the house! I'm not quite sure how this happened. Probably it just weathered apart, but who knows? Either way, it's a hole in the side of the house, and if you look up close you can see a piece of wood back there. It's not a woodframe house -- that's the floor joist on the inside of the house. That rattling sound Wendy heard in the ceiling? That was hail, coming into the inside of the house.

Clearly this couldn't be allowed to continue into winter. I tried getting insurance to pay for it, but they declared it "normal wear and tear." Much as I would've loved to argue with them, I suspect they're probably right. That left me in charge of getting it fixed.

So after a trip to hardware store, up the ladder I went. Unfortunately the remaining half of the brick was still tightly mortared into the wall. So I ended up breaking it apart with a chisel, which pretty much covered me and the entire side of the house in red brick dust. I also got one of my goofiest self-picture yet!

After that a little fun with brick and mortar and I've got a complete wall. It remains to be seen whether it's going to fall down in the middle of some dark and stormy night. But I take comfort in the thought that it can't be worse than it was before, and that the house has probably been treated worse than this at some point in it's 115 year history. Besides, it stayed in the wall for over a week, so it must be good, right?

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