Saturday, May 30, 2015

House Update 5.30.15

There have actually been numerous work days between now and the last renovation post I made, but it was mostly Mark and his dad working over there.

Mark doesn't spend so much time goofing off and taking pictures documenting the progress as I do.

There is literally ONE wall left to come down, we just didn't get quite that far this week.

Otherwise, the walls are all gone and SOMEHOW, SOMEHOW, we have managed to pull out nearly every nail and every staple in every board in that house. I never thought that would be possible.

After spending a lot of time discussing options with our local fireplace store, we decided to go with a free-standing wood stove and not go back to an insert. Mainly because none of the inserts approved for mobile homes heat a large enough area. Most of them are rated only up to 1200 feet (we have 1700).

So Mark took the wall down, and we are going to see if anybody is willing to take the fireplace insert off our hands.

Ha. I think it's funny that this bed is STILL in there. We've been so busy tearing walls down it just kind of keeps getting overlooked.
We will be building a corner hearth and hanging a triangular mantle above it. I think it will be beautiful!

I was tearing the walls out in the master bath when I came across this little guy:

Blue-tailed skink, right? At least, that's what we always called them, growing up.

Actually, there are 3 species in TN that can look very similar, depending on their age and the time of year.

Yep, nature lesson time!

Okay, the 3 species that can get confused are the Common 5-lined Skink, the Southeastern 5-lined Skink, and the Broad-headed Skink.

Broad-heads can get surprisingly large - over 12 inches! So, there's no mistaking one of those (as adults, anyhow).

Males of all three species undergo a change in appearance during the breeding season. Their heads turn bright orange and swell up (some old timers still call them "red-headed scorpions" and mistakenly believe them to be venomous). Juveniles are the ones with the bright blue tails.

Juveniles and females of all three species can get confusing. But there are a few ways to tell them apart....

To rule out the Broad-headed, you want to observe the face...

Between the nostril and the eye is a row of scales known as labial scales. In Broad-heads you will count 5 in this area. The other two species have 4. So we know he isn't a Broad-head.

So how do you tell Common 5-lines from Southeasterns?

Look under the tail...

As you can see, the middle row of scales under the tail is enlarged. In Southeastern 5-lines, all rows of scales are uniform in size.

So our little specimen is the Common 5-lined!

Okay, okay back to the house....

Something else they have been working on is replacing all the light switches and a few of the outlets...

Most of the light switches either didn't work right or were broken off.

All we have left to do before the sheetrock guy can get started, is to rip out the vanities and bathtubs and get everything cleaned up.

Yeah, I have a feeling that will end up taking more time and effort than we anticipate, just like everything else we've done up until this point, but you know.

Hopefully we can knock those out on our work days next week.

In the meantime, we're making a billion other decisions - replacing doors & door frames, replacing insulation, replacing windows? Lights & light fixtures? Does the septic system work? Dunno. Oh yeah, and we have to figure out a solution to the water problem.

It seems like this could spin out of control at any time. [head throbs]

The house isn't exactly looking its best right now, but soon enough we'll start fleshing this poor sucker back out again.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, good job on the major renovations underway! Also thanks for the skink lesson- we have the little buggers around and now I desperately want to catch one to count labial scales and peek at the tail, lol.