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Pink Houses

10th January 2007


All right, John Mellencamp thinks pink houses are “for you and me”, but really would you want to live in one. I didn’t. Pink siding and trim with orange brick may have worked in the 70’s but it was time for a change. Driving by you really couldn’t see the full scope of the deterioration of the place but you couldn’t help notice the pink pealing paint. Several of my neighbors stopped by to tell me how glad they were to see the place painted, and a different color.

The next few weeks were quite busy. I had to be able to work during daylight hours. Fortunately, I am self-employed was able to juggle my hours. I began to get up between 5:00 and 6:00 A.M each morning, walked across the hall to my home office and worked at my “day job.” I would stop between 12:00 and 1:00 to go over to the new house. Once it got dark I would go back to the office and finish my day. I only had about 3-4 hours of good sunlight each day on the best of days. January turned out to be a fairly mild month for Oklahoma so it wasn’t too bad. While the sun was shining I didn’t really care how cold it was. I kept so busy I didn’t really notice. On the overcast windy days, it was a different story though.

My original budget didn’t allow for much in the way of materials. At first glance it looked like all that was needed was a couple sheets of siding and a coat of paint. Not even close! It appears that when they did the roof in 2004, they replaced quite a bit of the fascia. The only problem was that they used untreated/unpainted pine boards. The untreated pine weathered to make it look like cedar, which through me off. After removing a couple of pieces I found a lot of rot. It turned out that I would end up replacing virtually all the fascia, about 50% of the soffet and about about a dozen sheets of 4×8 siding. I scrimped a bit by recycling some of the siding. I was able to cut out the rot on some of the large pieces and use it to patch the eaves and fill in the gap on top of the new garage doors. I could have replaced another 20 or so sheets but decide that could come later of necessary.

One nice surprise was a piece of plywood I removed from the roof of the porch. The previous owner had tacked it up to make a repair, but I wasn’t happy with it. To my surprise it turned out to be a 4×5 piece of cabinet grade oak veneer 1/2 inch unfinished plywood. Since it was protected under the porch, the weather didn’t hurt it much at all. I would eventually use this to replace the vanity cabinet in the bath.

I spent all January redoing the exterior. One of the biggest struggles I had was finding warm enough weather to paint. Exterior latex should not be applied in temperature under 50 degrees. Technically, the applied paint shouldn’t be subjected to temperature under 50 degrees for at least 24 hours, but I cheated there. I was able to paint one side immediately after replacing the siding fascia and soffet, but had to wait another 10 days to paint the next section. Anyway by the end of January I had the outside looking pretty good. All of the rotten wood was replaced, painted, guttered, and all new doors and windows were in. The inside was still a disaster but at least It looked good to the public.

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