3R HomeWorks is a blog site to show off remodel, renovation, and repair projects that I have done. I am Ralph Guenther, a home improvement contractor, working mostly in Eastern Kansas. I have been known to do projects in other states. I mostly work alone, but have on occasion contracted with others to assist in projects where an additional set of competent skills were needed.

You can contact me by telephone: 913-488-6811
or by email: rguenther01@everestkc.net

Each of my completed projects is listed below under the "Projects" heading. Clicking on any "Project" will take you directly to a description of the project, complete with photographs. You may need to scroll below the Project Listing to see the project you have selected.

Enjoy the reading.

Screened Porch into Sitting Room

This project is a story about a Mother and her Son. A few years ago the Son bought this neat 2 bedroom house for his Mother to live in. It has a nice stucco exterior over cinder block walls, built on a concrete slab. The major flaw of the house was this screened in porch in the rear of the house.

The screened porch looked tired and in poor repair, as the picture shows. Screens were torn, the screen door was barely secured with one hinge, and there were a couple of holes in the siding below the screens.

The Son asked me if I could put a different style roof on the porch. The existing flat roof leaked, and he though it needed to be re-roofed. I got out a ladder, climbed up on the roof, and quickly saw that the roof had an issue: a sizable depression where a lake of water stood.

So I looked at the under side of the roof; at the ceiling of the porch. And it was a mess. The ceiling tiles were water logged and mouldy. Instead of being framed with a minimum of 2x6's, it was 9 foot ceiling span was framed with 2x4's, and a couple of them were broken and sagging. They would need to be replaced.

So I tried to figure out how I was going to get the current roofing material off so I could rebuild it. While I was thinking on that topic, I studied the structure, of the porch. I noticed that the exterior wood siding seemed to be blistered and bubbling, like plywood that was delaminating from excess moisture penetration. On a whim, I kicked a corner of the siding and my foot went right through the rotten siding into the wall cavity. I looked inside the wall cavity, and noted that the corner 2x4 posts had totally rotted away from the wall footings. There was nothing holding the wall and roof up but rotten plywood siding!

A little more investigation revealed termites, more rotten siding and 2x4's, and so I made the decision to pull the entire structure down and let the Son decide what to do after that. When I finally got the structure pulled down, and was able to see the reason for the roof failure. If you look carefully at the next picture, you can see the 1x8 roof decking material, covered by a sheet of plywood, then about 1 inch of hot melt tar/roofing paper, followed by a 1/4" layer of luaun underlayment, and then 2 layers of roll roofing material. The roof was so heavy that a 2'x2' square of the material weighed close to 100 pounds! A Kansas tornado couldn't have lifted that roof!

So after I got the entire structure torn down, a process that took only about 2 hours, I was left with what you see below: a concrete slab with 2x4 sleepers covered with 2x4 deck boards, bounded with an 8" high solid block foundation wall, and lots of left over debris.

The Son decided I should build a new screened in porch but with a gable roof. He liked the little gable that was over the entry door leading into the kitchen, and wanted me to incorporate that feature into the new structure. As I reviewed the plan with his Mother, she declared that if all she was going to get was another screened in porch, then she didn't want it. She hadn't used the last one so she wouldn't use a new one. She wanted the porch room to be more useful, possibly good for at least the spring, summer, and fall seasons. That led to a more ambitious plan, with 10 energy efficient double hung windows, a French door, insulated walls and ceiling, and a completed interior. In the process of tying the new gable roof for the "porch", now a sitting room, I discovered that the roofing material on the rest of the house was old, in addition to there being three layers of shingles on the house. So I tore off all the roofing material and re-roofed the whole house, complete with new gutters and downspouts.

So this is what the new Sitting Room looks like. This view shows seven of the 10 windows as well as the French door. The siding on the structure is a cement board made by the James Hardie Corporation.

This view shows the third side of the Sitting Room, with the other three windows.

This picture was taken from outside, through one of the new windows, at the old gable over door to the kitchen, as well as the ceiling and side walls. All the walls and ceiling are covered with V-groove pine boards. Each board is 7 inches wide, features beveled edges and a V groove down the middle. The boards were stained a complimentary color and then covered with two coats of satin polyurethane. The white stucco on the lower portion was painted the same color as the exterior by the Son after this picture was taken.

Looking up fron the kitchen door at the vaulted ceiling, the ceiling fan and the gable end over five windows.

The total room interior dimensions are 9.5 feet by 15 .3 feet. This picture is looking from the wall with 3 windows in it towards the new French door leading outside.

This picture is looking from the French door across to the other side of the room. An existing 20 Amp outdoor electrical circuit was used to bring electricity into the room, with a number outlets provided to allow for unlimited arrangement of furniture and lighting.

The Mother has since made this her favorite room in the house, moving in some comfortable furniture. The 2x4 deck boards are covered with a 6 mil vapor barrier and plywood underlayment before a Berber carpet was installed. By adding a portable space heater this room is now used a year long.