well, time certainly flies when you’re restoring an historic adobe structure (not sure how it got to be day 70 already). here’s some of what’s been happening over at our house o’ mud lately. enjoy!

Photo Mar 11, 12 57 20 PM

they’ve been continuing to work away at the roof. this is a shot of the south end before it was sheeted.

Photo Mar 17, 11 34 02 AM

along with the roof framing and sheeting, they’ve been working on re-building the top of the parapet (i.e. the top of the wall), with several courses of adobes that get placed over the bond beams. here are some of the masons working on the north end of the house. note the two guys below, supplying them. there were also two other guys on the ground, supplying the guys at mid-level!

Photo Mar 17, 11 33 19 AM

work has also been happening on other spots of the exterior, such as on this corner, where the adobes had worn away. eventually the bottom you can see here will be high enough to reach the top (which is sitting on the concrete bond beam).

Photo Mar 05, 1 13 39 PM

a bunch of recycled bricks (fired, not adobes) sitting in the yard that we’ll use in the zaguan. we had a bunch from the brick interior wall that collapsed, but not enough. randy managed to source a few more for us (where he finds this stuff i don’t know, and i don’t ask!). they’re a lovely pinky-red.

Photo Mar 17, 8 24 54 AM

one of the things i love about renovation: sometimes you get to the site and something really cool has happened. in this case, i showed up one day to find that the guys had taken down the wall between the two small rooms that we’re combining to make our master bedroom. it’s huge! i’m honestly not sure what we’ll do with all of that space, but i’m sure we’ll adjust (reading nook, anyone?).

Photo Mar 17, 8 25 15 AM

another shot of the master bedroom from the other direction. our bed will go approximately where the red-trimmed ladder is leaning against the wall.

Photo Mar 17, 11 40 00 AM

i, meanwhile, have been working away at the inside walls as i can. most of them look like this: flaking paint that has to come off (yeah, it’s killing me, too). so i’ve been scraping away.

Photo Mar 06, 11 48 00 AM

in a couple of spots i’ve had to do more than scrape, however, like in this room, which will be the master bath. unfortunately all of that lovely black color that you see was attached to a bunch of mud plaster which had pulled away from the wall behind. i had to take nearly the entire thing down–there was no help for it. (note: the soot in the corner shows where there was a fireplace.)

Photo Mar 06, 12 26 52 PM

this is how much black was left afterwards. but at least there are some really nice adobes underneath there!

Photo Mar 14, 10 54 53 AM

outside, still more discoveries: as the guys have dug around the structure some, we’ve discovered there is, indeed, a stone foundation to the house (we thought it was all just sitting directly on the ground). this is good news, because having a foundation is a much better thing than not having one. we’re going to try to grade so that the stones are once again visible, and can do their original job of protecting the adobes above from moisture.

Photo Mar 17, 11 39 31 AM

other discoveries: this is a canale (a water drainage pipe) that i found sticking out of one of the inside walls of one of the rooms. a remnant, obviously, of what was the exterior before someone stuck another couple of rooms on the end of that building.


Photo Mar 17, 12 34 37 PM

in that same room (it will be chris’s study), i was working on a ladder and looked up to see there was an old pulley over my head. no idea what on earth someone might have used it for, though i guess if we need to hoist something in there, we’re all set.

Photo Mar 19, 11 25 10 AM

a jerry-rigged brace (in what will be my study) that someone used to try to keep the outer wall from leaning out from the structure. it’s a couple of metal spikes stuck through a larger, toilet-roll-like sleeve. clever, huh?

Photo Mar 20, 12 04 29 PM

the fireplace in what will be my study. that’s a dimplex electric fireplace insert sitting in it. we opted for electric rather than gas to avoid running more utility lines under the structure. i hope it’s going to look okay when we’re done. it fits pretty well! 

Photo Mar 23, 1 20 57 PM

and then, one day, i arrived to find this: a finished corner on the front elevation. yay!

Photo Mar 31, 3 41 08 PM

more building on the parapet at the back of the house.

Photo Mar 31, 3 41 12 PM

and more.

Photo Mar 31, 3 41 22 PM

and still more.

Photo Mar 31, 3 44 05 PM

behind those top walls, meanwhile, the front part of the roof is almost entirely framed and sheeted. which is worth a super big yay. you’re looking at a couple of months worth of work right there! now we just need to get the back arm of the house, which covers the main living area and the kitchen, squared away. 

Photo Mar 31, 3 57 51 PM

last picture: as of just a few days ago, the top of the entire front facade had been rebuilt. it’s tall again! and square again! next up: finishing the exterior repairs, and prepping for lime stucco.