Project Recovery in Apple Valley

I recently wrapped up a project recovery in Apple Valley, and as is always the case, it was both a complete mess, and a surprise to the owner that I got it under control so quickly.

When a project goes awry, it can happen for any number of reasons, but most of the ones i’ve dealt with have been because the existing contractor finally pissed off the owner(s) too much, and got themselves fired. I did work on one project with a very picky client who has driven the previous contractors to quit, but I still got that one handled, too.

This project went awry because the contractors were taking too many shortcuts, doing shoddy work, and skipping steps, so we ended up with finish flooring installed, but paint work left to do, appliances left to be installed, and cabinetry not completed yet, among many other issues.

I started this project the same way I do all my recoveries, one long, slow walk through to capture the current condition of everything, inside and out, and then I made a plan of attack.

I always plan my recovery work to follow the standard building order of operations to make sure the work we’re doing now won’t be damaged by something else later. So here I started outside with the removal and reinstallation of some windows that were leaking, then addressing some siding concerns, then dealing with exterior doors and doorways that weren’t properly sealed.

Once I had the outside weathertight, I moved inside and got to work on replacing the bad subflooring, finishing the plumbing and electrical that was missing, patching up walls and trim, and getting everything ready for paint. Inside, I like to ‘build from the bottom up, finish from the top, down’.

Project recoveries aren’t easy, but I enjoy the challenge, and having done so many of them, I have a playbook of successful methods at the ready.
If your project has gone sideways and you don’t know who to call, drop me a line and let’s get your project back on the rails, and all the way to DONE-ville.

The threshold with no support…

On my recovery project in Apple Valley, the back door threshold was loose, and kept making a racket as we walked in and out. When I got to checking it out, I found that the subfloor underneath was rotted away and couldn’t hold it properly, AND, it was undersized.

Some threshold… won’t even hold water out!

I picked up a new threshold at the hardware store, and got the old one out to see how bad the subfloor was damaged.

That’s bad….
Very bad!

I took all the old rotted stuff out, trimmed it out very neatly at the edges with my Oscillating tool, then trimmed some new pieces to go back on the joists, which were in fine shape.

Halfway there!

I cut two pieces that would meet in the middle so I could be sure to get the ends of the board underneath the door casing without having to remove the casing; the owner was quite impressed!

Now you see the gap…
Now you (mostly) don’t!

I got it all lined up nice and neat, screwed in on both sides, and most importantly, not rotted! Last, I installed the new threshold, and adjusted it so it would fit snugly underneath the door.

Now when you close the door, it’s a snug fit with no drafts, AND, the threshold protects the siding piece underneath it, too!

The little gas block…

Every now and then I run into a problem that seems to stump a lot of folks… enter, the gas line that was too low to operate the valve:

Forever off…

I got myself a scrap of 2×4, drilled a hole through it from one side, sliced it in half, pre-drilled some screw holes, and put it all together to make this:

It’s a little higher now!

Now the gas can be turned on or off easily without having to wrestle with the line!

We’ve got gas!

No outlet? No problem!

My client was talking to me about how he’d like to have his TV in his bedroom mounted up on the wall, but doesn’t want wires hanging down all over the place. He said it couldn’t be done since there wasn’t an outlet and coax jack up high on the wall, only down low on the wall.

No outlet, no coax jack…

I told him not to worry, being familiar with the houses in this subdivision, I knew there was a lot of space in the attic, and I would just tap into the existing wires and put in some new holes! We crunched some numbers, signed some papers, and I got to work!

First I marked where he wanted the TV to be, and we left some room for putting a larger TV up later. With the ceiling being ‘popped out’ as it is, adding a larger TV wouldn’t be an issue even if we mounted the TV all the way up to the top of the wall.
Next I traced and cut my holes for my ‘old work’ boxes; one for power, and one for the coax.

The tracing for the TV mount, and the new holes for the old work boxes.

I used a fishing drill to sneak up the wall between the sheetrock and insulation, then drill a hole in the top plate of the wall, right into the attic.
Next I entered the attic, wandered over to where the drill came out, fished the romex through, and then repeated the process with the coax cable.

I went ahead and finished up my boxes in the wall first, tying my romex into the outlet and installing it into the box, the box into the wall, with the cover, and the same for the low voltage box I used for the coax. With those parts completed, I shut off the power, wandered about in the attic again, and tied the wires into the existing system.

Once I was done in the attic, I came out, cleaned up, mounted the TV, attached the box to the wall, and zip tired all the cords so they’d be out of the way.

The work all done.
The Finished project!

Saw Station Setup

I’ve had many versions of my saw station setup over the years, but after fighting with it for a few months, I finally settled on just setting it up however it best made sense at the job.

For this job, a project recovery in Apple Valley, i’m cutting everything from siding, framing, and blocking, to trim, shims, and lots of custom pieces.

First, having plenty of room on either side of the miter saw is really important when i’m swinging 12′ sticks of trim. I like to check/cut my ends square, but if I have a long run, i’ll be mitering those ends for a tight scarf joint, so I need to be able to get to the end. The house here wasn’t big enough for me to REALLY lay out, but I was able to get it done by just moving my saw from one side of it’s stand to the other when needed.

Second, having multiple saw horses is really valuable to me. Here i’ve got my stock on the floor, but the horses on either side of the miter saw really help extend my reach on those long pieces without having to struggle much.

Third, i’ve got a combination outfeed/work table past my table saw, which is really handy, and that lower shelf on those horses helps give me a place to store my tools without scratching up the floor. You can also see that i’ve cut a long sheet of plywood using my table saw as a third stand of sorts; it’s very handy to be able to do this. I like to be efficient, and this setup lets me switch gears really fast. I also really appreciate being able to adjust the height of my sawhorses, that’s a very handy feature!

Fourth, when I ripped that long sheet, I slid one of the sawhorses from the miter saw over a couple feet to in front of the table saw to act an infeed assistant. Normally i’d just get a second guy, but it’s a really small project with a tight budget, so I have to make do.

All of this neatly folds and stows into my work trailer, so I can take this to any job site and have a very similar setup wherever I go. Also, that LED worklight above my saw is SUPER handy for when i’m working after sundown and want to maintain my clean, tight cuts. It’s important to be able to see! My other miter saw has an LED worklight built into the saw, which is super nice.

The best tools in the world won’t make you a great carpenter, but having solid tools and an intelligent setup will help you work smarter, faster, and with less wear and tear on your body, and after doing this for many years, that matters!