Palmer House

Renovating and Restoring Our 1880 Folk Victorian

Have you ever been so drained that you just can’t seem to pull your life together? Even in the simplest ways? Welcome. My name is Stephanie and I’ll be your guide through the “Oh my gosh MAKE IT STOP!” portion of your life this morning.

So where do I even start? We now have a six month old who is hilarious and huge and thriving. The whole mother-baby bond thing is no joke – I NEVER want to leave this kid with anyone but his father! And the crazy part is that I can’t control it! You always hear about the bond between a mother and her child but DANG if this mama bear thing isn’t intense!

Oh right. The house. You’re here for the house. Moving on…

So what have we been up to? Not a whole heck of a lot. Babies have a way of derailing the best laid plans. We had our side steps replaced – that will be in a mini-post coming up – however, our hand was forced a few weeks ago. Chaos ensued. It was a thing. A thing we are only just starting to wrap up and finish.

On October 6th, a long-awaited project was FINALLY done! In one day no less! We finally got our roof over the upstairs back bedroom and bathroom torn off and replaced. The guys who did it were great! They got the entire roof done in six hours and didn’t leave a scrap of roofing material on our lawn! You wouldn’t have even known they had been there!

Turns out there were three layers of roofing material on this flat roof. The theory was that as more and more layers were added, any pitch that WAS on the roof was slowly eaten away, and that’s why we had pooling and leaking. So the plan was to rip off the layers, replace anything rotten and put in new insulation, and put a flat roof back on the back section of the house. Yes. Your read that right. Another. Flat. Roof.

We didn’t WANT another flat roof. In a world where money was no object we would pitch the roof to line up with the original roof line of the house. But that would have cost TENS of thousands of dollars, and there was no way we could justify spending that kind of money on aesthetics.

We asked the contractor if he was SURE a flat roof wouldn’t leak, and if pitching the roof backwards toward the back yard just a few inches wouldn’t be in our best interest. He was confident that a flat roof would be fine, and that there would be no more leaking because he was going to run the rubber roofing material up under the aluminum siding where this back roof meets the main house. So off to work they went.

It was a mess! The roof was soaking wet through all three layers, right down to the plywood. Rot abounds!

So the plywood was removed, new insulation put in, new plywood laid and the roofing material was put on top.

The MOST EXCITING thing about all of this is that we got a peek of the ORIGINAL WOOD SIDING ON THE HOUSE! It’s GREEN! I told hubs that now that I know that is under there, I will make it my mission to get the aluminum off this house someday.

So after a handful of hours we had a new beautiful roof! Hooray! Now time to fix up the back bedroom for a permanent bedroom for the baby, right?! WRONG.

So on October 17th, upstate New York was hit with the first (hopefully only) nor’easter of the season. Luckily, it was only rain. Inches upon inches upon inches of rain.

Now, last year, Chris and I decided to ditch our cable company because they charged an extraordinary amount of money and get a smart TV. It’s great, but the downside is that we don’t get the local news, so unless we go looking for the forecast, we pretty much don’t know what’s going on.

So we knew it was going to rain. We knew it could rain a lot. We had NO idea this was going to be a nor’easter that would dump four inches of rain in a matter of hours!

When I put the baby to bed that night, it was raining, but it wasn’t anything alarming. I checked to make sure the sump pump was running in the basement, checked the back bedroom to make sure nothing was leaking (nothing was) and went to bed myself.

Chris worked that night until midnight, and when he came home, he checked on the back bedroom and found this:

It was RAINING in our house. RAINING. Leaking worse than it ever had before! Chris jerry-rigged some drains up, got some five gallon pails to catch water, and went to bed.

My husband is very smart. He didn’t wake me up and tel me what was going on in the back bedroom. He knew it would stress me to the max and I wouldn’t sleep the rest of the night. The next morning, I got up for work as usual, but I noticed that the light to the back bedroom was on. I stepped in the room and saw the mess and promptly called out of work.

All in all, we dumped TEN INCHES of water out of those buckets. The room was ruined. We made emergency phone calls to our contractor and they immediately came over to tarp the roof.

We lucked out with this contractor. They took full responsibility for the damage and the faulty flat roof. A new roof was installed the second the weather cleared with a slight pitch towards the back yard. Our contractor paid for the damage to the room, and we are now waiting for tear out to begin.

In the meantime, Chris made a hole in the ceiling and dropped the now soaking wet (brand new) insulation to try and prevent mold as much as possible. We will have a mold specialist come in for an assessment before we repair anything, but for now, we are in the waiting game yet again.

In other news…there is a new urgency to this project – I found out that I am PREGNANT again! With a July due date, this back bedroom is now a priority so that we have a room for baby number one before baby number two makes HIS arrival! So new updates will be coming shortly because they have to! Hang in there with us people! We’re still here!

“A baby makes love stronger, the days shorter, the nights longer, savings smaller, and a home happier.” – unknown

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