Archived Escape Albums!

Closing things up!


September 17th - Closing things up!

Finiishing up the widows and some minor blocking this week. Funds are getting a little low as we await the refinancing to get the money to completely finish off the house.

We have all the siding on site and are going to be painting the trim this coming week along with getting ready to trim out the windows and doorways. The siding is HardiePlank concrete fiberglass with a composite trim. This coming week will see the below-ground plumbing done along the appraiser coming out to appraise the property. Inspection of the plumbing and electric (there are two floor receptacles going in) and exterminator spraying the entire 1300 sq ft and outside foundation for termites.


September 10th - Windows!

It was a short week due to the holiday, but in the end, the ground floor was prepped for the next stage and we started the process of getting the windows installed. Another week closer to realizing our dream. The doors are going to wait until after the floor gets poured.

No rain, so the burn pile is still there, but we are thankfully at the stage where there aren't huge amounts of burn material to get rid of. It took about 50 tons of gravel, so there is plenty left over to touch up the driveway, especially the area by the bridge. Bringing all that gravel in also validated the strength of the bridge, not that I was particularly worried!

Cleaning up!

Cleaning Up!!

September 3rd - Tyvek, Cleanup & Rock

It is amazing what a day wth a skidsteer is able to accomplish! One more final burn to get rid of the old porch then we can start working on the stuff in the barn, weather permitting. We also received 60 tons of gravel to bring the inside up to grade so the radiant can be installed and we can get the floor poured.

We also installed a frost-free hydrant at the corner of the corn crib, which will come in handy in the coming years. This next week will see the doors and windows being installed in the later part of the week along with hauling all that gravel into the house.


August 27th - Sheathing, Tar Paper and Tyvek

Things are continuing to progress as this week saw the rest of the sheathing and some of the tyvek being put in place. Torrential rains and other issues slowed down progress this week, but next week is promising to be interesting! For the most part the house was dry with the exception of one corner where we ran out of paper and didn't get the rest put on before the rains started. We also had the septic system checked from the house to the beginning of the drain field and all in all it is in good shape, which is a relief because frankly, we weren't keen on putting a new septic system in on top of everything else!

Out with the old!

August 20th - Final demo on the old porches.

What a difference one week makes! The old porches are off and away from the house and we are buttoning up the house in preparation for tyvek and window installation. The kitchen roof is also close to being done, with some more blocking and ties to be installed next week.

We'll be burning trash for ages! Would you believe 10 layers of shingles/plywood/studs??!! In a couple weeks we are going to have the skidsteer out to remove the concrete/cement block footings from the old porches, do some grading and dig a couple trenches for the electric and a frost-proof hose spout by the corn crib, amongst the million other details that are still on the list!

Tying up loose ends!

August 13th - Tying the house together and finishing the kitchen roof.

We are still couple weeks out before getting the place dried in and getting ready for the underground plumbing, concrete, septic and myriad of other chores done in our quest to complete the Escape. Things are definitely coming along though!


August 6th - Roofing and getting the house closed in is the priority!

We are moving forward and in no time we'll be done with the roofing system and working on taking down the rest of the old porch areas, exposing the final house lines, ready for installing the windows, OSB and tyvek.

Once again, I am totally indebted to the excellent group of people working on the Escape and am glad I am able to be associated with them.

Framing and More!

July 30th - Things are looking up!

Things are really starting to come together and this week saw some major framing and the beginnings of the roofing system.

Waiting on final inspection on the last piece of foundation, then continue framing and hopefully by the end of next week we'll have the tarpaper on the main roof and if the kitchen and office roof won't be far behind. Things are getting exciting!


July 23rd - Things are looking up!

After a few weeks hiatus from the website, we are back at it and starting to rebuild! Other than a last minute change in tearing out the last large piece of existing foundation, we are in a rebuild mode and hope to have the major framing finished in the next couple weeks.

The guys working on the house are first rate and Carl even baptized two of them! It has been a privilege to get to know these guys and all their hard work and effort are very much appreciated!

Week Nine Demo

July 2nd - Once you get to the bottom, the only place you have to go is up!

The footers were inspected and poured, block is in-place and parged, anchor bolts ready for the sill plates to be installed next week. Most all of the foundation is complete except for two small areas we will do by hand. Boy, are we ready to get the place framed and dried in!

Week Eight Demo

June 25th, 2010 - Does it ever end?

Not too much different from last week. Shoring up the kitchen roof and digging out the old rotten footers and digging for new concrete footers to lay ouur block on. Kind of sad since we were only able to keep about 1/6 of the original foundation.

The end to the demo is in sight though and we are lookiing forward to doing some conventional construction and can't wait for the new roofs and walls to be in!

Week Seven Demo

June 18th, 2010 - Danger Will Robinson, the termites are coming! ...

Now we have been getting down to the meat of the Escape house. There are very few surprises left that we will have to fix before all the old building / tear down is complete and the foundation is secure and we start working full-time on the actual rebuild. Major kitchen work ahead and footers have been poured in two more areas. In the next few weeks we should see:

  • Roofing to the tar-paper stage
  • Finished demoing with the "porches" GONE.
  • Wall framing in progress in preparation in getting the house "dry".
  • Rest of the block laid for the back of the house.
  • Sill plates and with luck primary framing in progress.
  • Kitchen subfloor complete
  • Sub-ground plumbing / septic
  • Doors! Windows! Floors!

That is only part of the changes that need to go on. We are pouring tons of concrete in the original section of the house and the whole back with the exception of the office. Before that can happen, we need to run radiant heat tubing in those areas in preparation for going solar some day. A minor investment now will save thousands later. We'll stub them out in the pump room where the manifold will go.

I am really looking forward to getting rid of the termites, rotted wood and getting the new structure in place so we can get to the point were I can get the water, phone and electricity back into the house. By the time autumn rolls around we hope to be completely dry and well on the way for our winter projects of rewiring the house, tiling the floors and the meriad of other items that need to be done. We are still a year from moving back into the house, but progress is being made.

Nick, our resident stranded fisherman also put his handywork to play for the next person who digs out the footer, hopefully a hundred years from now!

Week Six Demo

June 11th, 2010 - And so it continues ...

It has been a week of cleanup and prepping for the rebuilding process. Next week we plan on doing more cleanup with the skidsteer, prep and maybe pour the footers and most importantly, put in the new wall along the back which will allow us to get back to work on the roof. We have the lines snapped where the outside edges of the footers are going to go and we are looking forward to doing that.

The upstairs windows are in along with all eight skylights and we have enough material on hand at the site to finish the roof to tarpaper stage. That'll by us the time we need to get the metal roof materials in place, currently around one ton of steel roll. What a job, but we can't wait to see it done! In the meantime we are framing out the walls and prepping to do the final demo ... removal of the old porches/rooms. The next few weeks should be interesting to say the least!

We got a good look down the old well today. It is about 50 feet deep with 12 ft of water in it. About the top ten feet of it is concrete with the rest hand-dug. We are planning on putting the original hand pump back in once I get it rebuilt although I may end up with a combo pump that can be driven by a windmill. We plan on storing a lot of the runoff there for reuse in the eventual greenhouse and my calculations are we can safely store over 7500 gallons, even with a 25% safety margin! Worse case is we divert any overflow down the hill towards the creek.

Week Five Demo

June 4th, 2010 - Slowing Down

The back of the house is one mother to demolish! Things are progressing, but we are going to need a jack hammer, backhoe and skidsteer out there to help out. In the meantime we are working on fixing the one corner that is rotted out so we can rebuild and finish off the roof and tyvek the outside.

We are going to go as far as adding in the utility room and footers for the back of the house before closing up the house so it will remain dry. This will allow me to get the electical box back in the house and start finishing off the inside. It will also put the metal roof in place.

Week Four Demo

May 28th, 2010 - More than the roof is changing!

At some point, you have to say to yourself ... "Self, if we are going to do this, lets not do it half-way!" We are revamping the front fireplace and tearing down the back one. As a matter of fact, we are tearing everything from the back chimney off and doing a total rebuild! Boy, some parts are already looking great!

Week Three Demo

May 21th, 2010 - Rooflines ... They are a changin!

Lots of work done removing the roof and demoing Carl's bedroom. The back of the house is terrible shape and they guys mentioned that while Carl's carpentry skills were, um, lacking in some regard, what he built, he built strong! Next week we should finish the demo upstairs and start on the roof!

Continuing Demo

May 14th, 2010 - Another week of demo shows the bar and eating room behind the now dismantled fireplace gone and more demo throughout the house.

As we delve deeper and deeper into the foundation we found termite and mold damage (no surprise) and are revamping our plans as needed to cope with these new issues. There is no real crawl space under the original part of the house, so we are leaning to pouring a concrete slab from fireplace to fireplace in the original part of the house.

Starting the Demo

May 7th, 2010 - Demo has begun and here is the end-result of our first week. The place is a mess, but the old "Escape smell" is diminishing. This next week's chores include disconnecting most of the electric, more demo and removal of the big 10 ft window in the room behind the kitchen fireplace, which is also coming down.

Highlight of the week .... Finding a timecapsule behind the bricks in the fireplace from the Robinson and Scanlan families!

For Posterity's Sake!

April 3rd, 2010 - We closed on the Escape the other day and took these pictures of how the Escape property looked at the time we closed. Somewhere down the line someone will want to compare.

Escape the Snow!

February 1st, 2010 - Marti and Max took these pics of the Escape after our last snow. Personally, I am done with the snow for winter as it really puts a damper in getting some of the outside work done, but it looks like there is more on the way.

Carl's Memorium

June 14th, 2009 - Yep, a day after the wedding the family and friends gathered at the Escape one more time to say goodbye to Uncle Carl by spreading his ashes, drinking the rest of his hidden scotch to him, and having a party. I know he would have appreciated it, and in true Escape fashion, the septic system went the way of a ghost too!

Wedding Pics

June 13th, 2009 - The family came together to see Marti and I married. The wedding was at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Lovingston, VA. The reception was held at my new mother-in-law's house and a good time was had by all. We hope to have some additional pics at some point, so check back!

Memorial Weekend 2009

Michael, David and Steve come out to Escape on their 2nd annual road trip!!

Road Trip 2008

Michael and Steve come out to Escape on their first cross-country road trip!!

Naro-Escape April 2008 Pics

The Escape in April is a beautiful place. I took these pics to show Uncle Carl. He loved viewing the Escape pics in different times of the year!

Naro-Escape November 2006 Pics

This was my first view of the Escape after many years of being away. It had sat empty (except for wildlife) for several years after Carl's accident forced him into a home. I did a road trip from Colorado after it had been eating at me for months. A visit to the Escape, my Uncle Carl and two of my brothers came down so I got a chance to see them too! Truly a life-altering trip!

Old Naro-Escape Pics

Some scans from some of Carl's original albums dating from the 70's on.