Friday, October 23, 2009

A Project that we shouldn’t be starting so late in the season

We found a guy who does masonry at a reasonable price (see previous post) who we hired to re-point our entire foundation.  He completed that job earlier this week and in speaking with him during the work, we decided to get him to help replace/restore some of our stucco.  We have a few sections that need replacing.  One in particular is in really bad shape (a good chunk of it has actually fallen off the side of the house).

We really probably shouldn’t be doing stucco work now.  The temperature is just holding above where we need it to be for it to cure properly.  The mason has suggested tarping the area where he’ll be working and setting up a small heater inside the tarp.  It really came down to price and the fact that he did a good job on our foundation (pictures will be forthcoming shortly on that job).

So, we decided to go for it, and are having enough scaffolding delivered tomorrow to put a platform up 10 ft wide x 40 ft high.  We don’t really need to go 40 ft high, but that’s enough to reach the top peak of the roof where I want to close a hole that some birds are getting into.  There’s a local company that rents scaffolding really cheaply and provides everything you need, including all the safety equipment.  The mason is experienced with scaffold work, and I’ll be helping erect it since it’s a two-person job.  Once we have the platform up where we need it, I’ll take some really scary pictures of our bad stucco.

In case you’re wondering, we’re going to use a traditional stucco based on the specifications from the Historic Preservations briefs.  Here’s the link for the stucco brief:  We’re going with the ‘Traditional Natural Hydraulic Lime Stucco’ which is 1 part hydrated lime, 2 parts white portland cement, and 3 parts mason’s sand.  A local masonry supply place has hydrated lime (yey!) at only $6.50/bag.  We’ll be applying a 3-coat application to new diamond lathe nailed to the house sheathing.  We’ll wait to paint it until the spring.

In other house-related news, we took down a 25ft tall weed tree that was growing against a fence (I used an axe old-fashioned style), and we had a gas leak at our meter.  I guess the diaphragm that is used to regulate the pressure was leaking.  I smelled the gas when I went to chop down the tree.  It was before the meter so we don’t have to pay for the leaking gas, but still a waste as we don’t go near that side of the house often so I have no idea how long it’s been leaking.  When the gas company came out to investigate they realized our meter wasn’t moving (yey for us, free gas), so they changed that too, and told us they have to come back and dig up our gas connection as the end segment is crimped and not to code.


  1. Hi guys, great blog as always.

    What is the company that rents out scaffold for cheap ? I'm not going to do it in the near future, but I'll probably need some when comes time to paint my house. I don't know exactly how high the peak of our home is, but it's well past the end of my 24' ladder.


  2. Hi Phil, thanks for reading!

    The company is Scaffold-Fast ( To give you an idea of cost, for enough scaffolding to erect a 40' high x 10' wide scaffold, including all the platforms, cross bars, adjustable legs, banana clips, and a safety rail cage for the top, for 16 days, including drop-off and pickup was $209 (including all taxes). For an extra 16 days, I think it's $80 more.

  3. That's great - in my case, that even gives me plenty of time to procrastinate *while* I have the scaffolding in place - Stephanie will love that ! :)

    Thanks for the info!