I am totally happy today cuz the façade is all finished and it looks really good! The workers had been here all week busily spraying, cleaning, mixing and applying the stucco to our house. I can’t believe what a difference it has made. The exterior walls look brand new and I believe it has “wow’d” our neighbors. The reason I say that is cuz it’s my neighbors who get to view the new look. While they get to benefit from the aesthetically pleasing wall, Dude and I get to benefit from the protection that our walls will now have. Hopefully, this work will do exactly what we intended for it to do which is to stop the mold and mildew from coming through the porous walls. The supervisor said to double the effort we need to find paint that will let the walls breathe.
Throughout the work I was not able to really take any photos cuz most of the work has been in our neighbor’s yard and also, the work has been significantly messier than the work that was done on the roof.
The workers had to power wash the walls with some special chemical and this created large pools of water and mud everywhere. Also, the mixing of the façade mix was a pretty messy job. It was so bad on Thursday that Dude and I got trapped in the house with cement, water and dirt all pooling in front of our garage and entry way.
One big hang up occurred on Friday morning when Dude went out to survey the work and found that the bottom section of our house on one of our neighbor’s side wasn’t done and the workers had already started to clean up like they were finished.
When the guys showed up, Dude and I hopped up on the wall with the lead worker and talked to him about this. Do you know what he said??! He said that my neighbor didn’t want that part done cuz they wanted to put their plants there! Dude and I were like, “WHAT”!! I’m sorry but this is MY house and it’s MY wall. What the heck are you listening to my neighbors for??!! Are they paying you for the work?! That would be a NO! Are they in charge of this project?! That would be a NO! Are they the ones who are affected by leaky walls?! That would be a NO!
Dude and I were absolutely astounded that our workers would be listening to the neighbor and letting the neighbor tell them what to do. Is there no stopping stupidity in the world! On top of the fact that the workers never even came to us to tell us this. They would have just said okay to the neighbors like they were the boss and went on their merry way! What the heck!
So while all of us were on the scaffolding and wall, I had a little chat with my neighbors and told them that this part had to be done. The reason was that we had mold and mildew in the house do to the porous wall and the humidity and it was bad for your health to be living with that (duh!). We absolutely needed this wall to be done and sealed. After I explained the situation to her, then she was okay with it and our workers were able to proceed. The other thing that was so stupid about this on their part was that the area of wall we were talking about was so ugly and badly maintained and they were getting a new, freshly stucco’d and better looking wall for FREE! Good grief people, how stupid could someone be!
Well, with that almost major fiasco taken care of, Dude and I were of to work.
When we returned that evening, we found pretty much all the tools, machinery and trash out of our yard. Dude went to survey the neighbor’s yard and the work had been done. Apparently there weren’t any more problems with them so that was good.
On Saturday morning I went out to check the work and see how everything looked. When we had arrived home the night before it was already dark so I preferred to wait until the sun came up to see what the house looked like and to take some photos.
Without further ado, here are the before and after photos (and some mid-way with the scaffolding up).
Before pics of ugly wall
Here are the during work pictures
The final product pics-ta da!!
I really like the color and we had told the supervisor that we wanted only a slight texture to the walls. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. Unfortunately Dude doesn’t really like the color that much! He says it wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. I love it, though. I think it’s subtle and clean. I don’t particularly care for the really drab color of houses I see here or the really dark and crazy colors that some people have come up with. I wanted something that was a traditional Provencal color and I think it worked out fine. Besides, only my opinion matters in this anyway, I can’t believe Dude still doesn’t know that!
Later that morning, Dude found a big problem. Remember back when we were drilling holes in the house for the rod and cle to be put in to hold the house together due to the large crack that we had? That story is here, just in case you told yourself ‘No”. Well, the cle is located on the garden side and all ready to go, but the other side of the house, where the threaded rod stuck out for the second cle, is gone. Yup-apparently the workers cut the end off of the threaded rod to stucco the house and they filled in the hole. Now we have nowhere to hang the other cle to tie the house together! They didn’t even ask about what that rather large 30mm threaded rod was! They just went and put their 2 Centimes in and cut it. Now Dude has to figure out what to do. We need to have a cle on both sides to hold in and tighten the structure of the house. Guess what?! In order to fix it, we have to cut a large round hole in our new stucco! More stupidity goin’ on here!
Dude has been working since yesterday trying to figure out how to do this without doing a lot of damage to all the work that has already been done. You know, there’s always something that happens that just burns you up. Even if the rest of the things going on are good!
Because the good old fashion elbow grease was working the best on the glue, Dude thought he would just go ahead and buy a bigger scraper and see how that worked. While he was trying that out, Tinki and I set out to chisel away the glue on the bottom portion of the walls of the first story staircase.
The old owners had put in wooden base molding (that’s actually quite nice and so we kept it) on the staircase. Once we removed those and peeled off the wallpaper, you guessed it, we had glue. I think these guys owned the local glue factory or something cuz we just keep finding it EVERYWHERE! I’m getting really afraid to look behind anything now!
This was, of course, another whole day’s worth of work. The chiseling tools are pretty small, but anything bigger just didn’t seem to work. The smaller the chisel, the more pressure could be applied to the surface and therefore the better we could scrape the glue. I sure was glad that Tinki came to help this day because the peeling off of the paper and the chiseling of the glue would have been too much for just me. She also happened to bring her IPod so we finally got some groovy music to work to.
Meanwhile, Dude was upstairs with his new scraper, but he found that he couldn’t apply enough pressure to it because the end was not heavy enough. What does Mr. Handy do? He modifies the scraper, of course! Folks, you will never see a tool like this in your life cuz it’s home made. You gotta love handy and creative men!
He decided to take the iron “clee” that we will be using to shore up our large crack in the side exterior wall of the house and use that to give the scraper some front-end weight. And why not?! It was just sitting around waiting to hold the house together and not doing its job so he found another use for it. He has aptly named it “The Clee Scraper”. If it works maybe we could market it as the scraper with style!
As the day came to an end, I have to be somewhat happy that Tinki and I actually finished the staircase. It’s nice to say that we had a successful day with SOMETHING that we did.
I can’t say the same was true for Dude. Like everything else he has tried, the “Clee Scraper” was not a success. I guess we won’t be marketing it after all. Dude ended up coming downstairs to make holes in the walls to see what was behind them. I wasn’t too thrilled about that because I was sure there was nothing behind them but glue!
What he ended up finding was a bunch of tiny pebbles and some dirt that was holding it together! What the heck! We hadn’t seen this before. I now had a house made of dirt?! With his new find we now had another concern. What were we going to do to fix this??
So now we have to do some more online research to figure out how to patch a wall that is made with pebbles and dirt. I really hope someone out there has this same problem cuz we have no idea what do with the mess he just made. I think I liked it better when I didn’t know what was behind the walls.
Actually, glue might have been a welcomed surprise over this. At least with the stuff they used, we would have been sure that the house was gonna hold together!
Good thing no seismic activity has occurred in our area. Well, as least that is what we were told. Let’s hope someone wasn’t lying to us.