Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

October 25, 2007

More House Repairs…

Filed under: Gentilly,New Orleans,Our House,Rebuilding — Tags: , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 7:17 pm

Now that the gang is working on the structural aspect of the house I’ve started taking photos of the repair work.

Many floor joists had to be replaced because of rotting from the top edge (leaky plumbing for years). We couldn’t see it from below once the house was raised, but when the botch-job flooring from the previous owners was ripped up, almost half of the joists had to be replaced. It’s fine by me since I don’t relish falling through the floor when I’m on the potty, and I damn sure don’t want the pool table crashing onto the garage floor (“Oh the Humanity!”).

The rafters are being replaced and properly tied into the old portion of the house. How the place survived with this incompletion I do not know, but it’s getting fixed now.

Next week the slab will be poured and the string-walls built. Rebar ties all of this together with the pillars and creates a great foundation for the place. The front staircase also goes in at this time, and all of the lower area will be able to handle up to a 300 mph wind blast. (Plumbing and electrical starts during the week too.)

These guys are amazing in how fast and accurately they are working. Their attention to detail is fantastic considering how many changes are happening inside the house and their thoughtfulness when it comes to our living in what will be a very easily managed home is laudable (Just have to keep them reined in concerning costs. *rolls eyes*). We are also replacing the windows and cutting down on the total number of them in order to be able to add storm shutters for more protection.
The Pool House is almost finished, and the other cottage will be functional near the end of the year. The back deck (imagine a courtyard with a 12′ wide mezzanine surrounding it) is going to be so tres kewl! It’s reminding me of some places in the Quarter in look and feel. I just need to get back into the house so I can rebuild the courtyard at my leisure in order to restore the old ambiance of the place, and that can’t happen until the boys are done.

The front yard is going to hold four driveways (two for us and two for our tenants), so we’ve decided on doing the remainder as a rock garden. The drainage to the street will also be improved by putting in a pipe and filling in the ditch so the yard stops eroding into the storm drains.

It’ll probably be late Spring before I can start rebuilding the side yard, but that’s the breaks. I won’t be able to put in the new trees until next Fall now, so we get to ponder more on what we want this part of the compound to be like.


  1. Wow, it seems you had to essentially rebuild the house from the floors, up. Amazing work.

    I still have to say its strange to see homes around town elevated so high.

    Comment by karen — October 26, 2007 @ 4:00 pm

  2. The house does look a little tall, so I’m going to do the old “Brick and Board” treatment to the lower level and make it look like it was an older place with a Caribbean-style cottage on top. (Besides, the property was the edge of New Orleans in 1821… I can even see the lots on the maps.) It’ll fit aethestically if not exactly historically.

    We chose 9′ because the worst-case scenario for our area is 8+’ of flooding. The cottages will be easy to clean out and remediate if necessary, but we will never be out of our home again. (Getting too old for this poop.)

    The geo-thermal and all will be behind everything so it will still have some charm, but the Solar panels will be visible.

    The courtyard is going to have a Japanese flair. I need to rebuild the waterfall and the koy pond into one coherent landscape. The side yard, except for my greenhouse that is two years away, will be more of a Celtic/Megalithic garden. The banana trees will look a little out of place, but the willows should pull it together.

    Comment by Morwen Madrigal — October 26, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

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