Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Difference Between an Issue and a Problem

At work a lot of things don't go as planned. As things don't go as planned it means you have an issue or a problem. An issue is something that takes more time to fix, but is really just an annoyance because you know a solution as soon as you find the issue. A problem is when you uncover a potential issue, and you don't know how to fix it.

Yesterday I had an issue. The stairs are missing 4 balusters, and I need more balusters to reinforce the railing at the top of the stairs. The balusters in landing are spaced about every 12". They should be about every 4.5". I took one of the balusters to HD and of course, they don't match. Instead of buying around 25 balusters, it looks like I'll be buying 50-60 of them. This was an issue because I knew the solution. I just didn't like it because it costs more, and takes more time. Today was different.

Today I found a problem. As we were demo'ing the back bedroom we removed the drywall, plaster, lath, and trim from the back wall. Below the window we noticed the wood didn't look right. After poking around a bit I came to the conclusion we had termites. Not good. I'm not sure if they are still there, but I'll research this tonight. The termites ate some of the framing supporting the window. This explains why the upper sash of the window was broken... I wish the termites stopped at this. They didn't. They have eaten the main transverse support that is supporting the 5' overhang off the back of the house. This is a real problem. I have a few ideas of how to fix this, but it all involves more work than I expected.

Hopefully I can come up with a solution we can fix from the inside. The outside of the house is covered in formstone. If we have to rip this off the job will become very difficult, and a much bigger endeavor than I want to deal with.


RehabOrDie said...

Don't panic.

A lot of this type of stuff looks horrible, but fixing it is just a matter of wood fixative, 2x8's (or 2x10's), and carriage bolts, or even just nails.

Make sure your little buddies are D-E-A-D, DEAD! You don't want them doing other damage.

If you post a pic or two, I'll try to offer suggestions or moral support, anyway. We dealt with a lot of rotted joists ourselves.


momnipotent said...

Issue: Wonder if the "Loading Dock" has tons of balusters?
Problem: Ugh, sorry to hear about this. I hope the little buggers are gone. It occurs to me that if they attacked all that on the second floor, what did they do on the first floor? Any other signs? Keep us updated.

Corey said...


I wish our problem looked as easy as your above solutions, but access is tight and the area has already settled a lot. I'll try to take pictures.

I think I've come up with a solution, so hopefully it will be fixed by the end of this week.

Corey said...

momnipotent - no other signs of damage that I've found.

Good idea on the second hand stuff. The idea of buying 50 balusters doesn't make me happy. :-)

Steve said...

Issue: You may also have luck finding balusters at Second Chance.

If not, Mark Supik does wonders with a lathe

Problem: Let your friends buy you a drink at the PPNA Happy Hour Thursday.

Transom: Glad you called Steve, he is the best for that stuff.

Katie said...

Check out Lowe's for the balusters too. Theirs are slightly different than HD's. We just had the same "issue" but fortunately only had to replace 5.

Laura-Jane - Whimfield said...

Arg!! I hate termites and things like that! Just commiserating.

We weren't sure what we had when we encountered such problems, but the bugs that ate all our structures were "powder post beetles." Those little buggers can do an amazing amount of damage.

From reading your comment above, hopefully you're heading toward a solution.

Jessie said...

I totally sympathize. Every time we open up a new wall, we find more evidence of termite damage. Its so demoralizing! I have some info on my blog about the treatment we did including the beams we had to replace. Good luck.

Damian's mom & dad said...

Cory What is your last name I am going to quote you in one of my MBA programs papers

Damian's mom & dad said...

Cory What is your last name I am going to quote you in one of my MBA programs papers

Damian's mom & dad said...

Cory What is your last name I am going to quote you in one of my MBA programs papers

Corey said...

Hey there. My last name is Profit. :-)