Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Termites vs. Kitchen

This is a sad story with a happy ending. The story takes place in my (Lauren's) grandmother's kitchen (pictured above as it once was). *Sidenote: Yes, you do see two refrigerators. The one on the left is actually a small counter top one... "For canned drinks," as Nanny said. Since apparently they couldn't fit in the regular one. ANYWAY...* One day, she noticed a few termites flying around but could not find the source. After a few days of detective work, we determined that they seemed to be gathering around the dishwasher. David pulled the dishwasher out, and underneath the floor was almost completely rotted. Apparently there had been a slow leak, undetectable due to the fact that the ceramic tile floors had been installed up to the front of the dishwasher, so the water was just flowing underneath. And where there is water under a house, there will be... termites. Here is the scene of destruction under the dishwasher. See what just the TINIEST drip can do over time?? Scary!! You could literally flake it out with your finger.Well, as much as he dreaded the thought of checking, David felt certain that if the water/termite damage was this bad in this one spot, it had most likely run all under the floor. So the only thing to do was... start pulling up the ceramic tile.

That is NOT what it is supposed to look like under tile! All of those discolored splotches are either wet or dry moldy places. EWW!!!!

This picture above is where David's foot went through the floor while just walking across it. It was that bad. Are you ready for the scary part? It's where the REFRIGERATOR once sat (*the big one). The only thing holding up the floor was basically... the ceramic tile. That, and the millions of termites underneath who were standing on each other's backs.....

So at this point, there was only one thing to do... complete demolition. The termites had taken over everything under the sheetrock and the paneling in the pantry behind, and the lower cabinets had water damage, so it all had to go. The sledge hammers came out. The guys (David and my sister's boyfriend, also named David) pretty much had the time of their lives.

Ok boys, fun's over! After the wall dividing the kitchen and pantry, cabinets, and sheetrock came down, it was time to pull up the subflooring.....

and THIS is what they found......

Feel free to gasp in horror. Yes, we are now down to the DIRT, and yes that is a floor joist rotted in two.

The black stuff is mold and rot. The white lines are termite trails. We had been walking around on this for years, expecting it to hold up not just a crowd at every holiday gathering, but also a kitchen full of appliances, cabinets, and more pots and pans than you can imagine.

This was the main support for the exterior wall that holds up.... the roof. Yes, I said the ROOF. Basically, all that was keeping the roof from caving in was the brick, because all the framing was basically shot.

Can you take any more of this destruction?? By this time, my grandma was in need of her smelling salts. The good news is, here is where the restoration begins. Because, well... it couldn't have gotten any worse, unless the roof actually HAD caved in. So the new floor joists went in.

The support for the wall was replaced (it's the greenish looking board at the back, behind the tiny radio). :-)

New subflooring went down, plus new insulation.

The sheetrock went up. NOW it's starting to look more like a room, and less like a war zone.

Backer board went down for the new tile.
Electrical went in for the new lighting (6 recessed lights and a ceiling fan.)

Followed by sunny yellow paint, white chair rail, and a new french door leading into the dining room. (Don't mind all the baskets... this was still during the "moving back in" phase!)

Beautiful white custom cabinets went in, to which we added a slight antique-look glazing in the grooves to coordinate with the new antique style bronze hardware.

David added a custom tile backsplash to match the new countertops.

And finally, a beautiful new tile floor!

So despite all the horror, destruction, and turmoil, my grandma ended up with a beautiful, sunny new kitchen that was twice the size of the original, thanks to the elimination of the pantry room. It was a long, hard job that seemed to keep getting longer the more we tore out and the more destruction we found underneath, but it was more than worth it in the end. My grandma loves her new kitchen, and we don't have to worry about falling through the floor anymore. Oh, and as of this date, no more termites have been spotted flying around, so we can only hope they have moved on.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

From Screened Porch to Sunroom!

Welcome to our first project post! Since we just started this, some of these jobs are a year or more old and we've been saving all these pictures and trying to decide on a good way to share them. This job actually took place last year, but it's definitely worth seeing. The homeowners have been very pleased with it. It started out as a screened porch that was original to the house. It opens up to a patio surrounding an in-ground pool outside, and leads into a breakfast room inside. With our steamy South Carolina heat, it was hard to enjoy the screened porch most of the year, so the homeowners decided to enclose it. We kept the original footprint, foundation, and roof and turned it into a beautiful room that can be enjoyed all year long! Here are some pictures from the project. First, the before pictures:

The screens and old door had to come down. Then framing began for the new walls.

Next came insulation, sheetrock, new windows and door, electrical outlets, and then new siding to match the existing trim. Whew! It was a big job! David worked hard, but luckily it was still winter so it wasn't hot yet.

Vents in the ceiling were added for heating and air. With energy efficient windows and a good insulation job, the homeowners have commented that they have barely noticed a difference in their monthly power bill since the enclosure of this porch!

Sunny gold paint, white trim, and a neutral colored tile floor complete the casual room. The homeowners filled it with comfortable furniture and plants to bring the outdoors inside!

Finally, here are a few pictures of the room as an (almost!) finished product! (Don't mind those boxes in the corner, ok? Thanks!) :-) Kind of just makes you want to kick back with a copy of "Southern Living" and some sweet tea, huh?

And here's the view from the outside!

Thanks for viewing our screened porch makeover! We hope to be posting more projects soon. Come see us again for more before and after picture fun! :-)

Welcome to our site!

Welcome to the site of A Southern Accent Construction, LLC! We are a construction, remodeling, and handyman service owned and operated by David Hindman, a SC residential builder who is licensed, bonded, and insured. We are based out of Inman, SC, but work all over the Upstate. David can handle projects including additions, remodels, repairs, flooring, decks, porch enclosures, and many other building and handyman projects. He is committed to excellence in every job, big or small. If you have questions about a project you have in mind for your home, or if you just want to knock a few items off your to-do list, please don't hesitate to contact us for an estimate! They are always free.