Masonry Work Is Done For The Year
On the one hand, I'm a little bit lost right now with the rehab given how all my rehab time and attention went towards getting the porch built this year. Now that I've postponed the porch build for a few months, I'm not sure what project I want to - or should - tackle in the meantime. And, I'm having porch-related withdrawal; I'll have to settle for watching this little animation until next spring in lieu of actually getting to build any of it.
On the other hand, I got a lot of masonry work done over the past few months. It's maybe not a lot relative to what one could accomplish if one were to work at it full-time (or really knew what they were doing), but with only having non-rain weekends and a couple hours here and there after work to sling mortar, it feels like I covered about as much ground as could be covered.
The side-by-sides really don't indicate all the obstacles that made this far more than a simple repointing project. For example, the limestone foundation, the mortar near the ground was hot trash and there were a number of places mice were undoubtedly entering the house. Additionally, whoever bricked in that basement window must have tried resetting some of the limestone 'cause the stones near the sill were all very much out of place; I did my best to clean that up as well.
Don't let the dirty limestone fool ya, the section under the bricked-in window got redone but that whole side of the house suffers from a situation where rain falls at just the right angle to splash all kindsa mud onto the house. I don't specifically remember why I started my repointing work there - as opposed to the brick wall just to the right and out of the pic - but I'm sure it was because of those (mouse) holes. Nothing is as demoralizing as walking to the front of the house to turn off the lights and TV for the night only to see a little rodent scamper from under the couch, across the room, into the wall by the fireplace, and out of sight. I've experienced that too many times in this house so anything that looks like a mouse access point, it gets addressed ASAP.
From there I went around the corner to the right and started working on the brick above the limestone. I included that wall in the porch-related repointing because a post will go up that corner and once it's in place, it'll be impossible to fix anything behind it and halfway challenging to fix anything near it. I figured I might as well deal with it while it was exposed and since the big window meant not THAT much brick, I figured I'd go ahead and get everything below, to the left, and above the window. I did NOT think it would require as much rebuilding as it did.
The section of brick just above the basement window quickly turned into a bit of a fiasco.
I cleaned out the mortar there and then moved back to the porch section and cleaned out the mortar in the brick under the porch door. I find that it's a lot easier, or the work just goes faster, to work horizontally than it is to work vertically so anywhere I can give myself long horizontal runs I go for it, even if that means turning corners. Plus, there was a beam pocket, aka another mouse access point, to fill in.
It also quickly turned into more work than I wanted it to be.
But, it all went back together decently enough.
From there I worked my way up the walls I'd already started, tackled the delaminated section above the window, and then got to work on the last section of lower wall I needed to deal with: the section between the bricked-in basement window and the original porch doorway.
At that point, the end was in sight; all that was left, primarily, was the upper sections of wall where the porch roof will attach to the house. And, of course, another beam pocket to fill in.
That's about the last work I did to the house, and definitely the last exterior masonry work I'll be doing for a while. The walls are ready for a porch...I just don't know what I'm going to do until it's warm enough to get out there and actually build it.
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