It has been a month since I last updated the blog site in regards to the work that we have done. The biggest reason is that by Sunday night I am usually a bit fatigued. Last Sunday, due to road and yard conditions, we were having a paper work Sunday so I decided that I could update the blog site earlier in the afternoon rather than at 11:00 PM. I was also hoping to find all the pictures that I have been meaning to add as well. This often proves to be a big challenge late at night as they seem to be stored in various files (we haven’t invented the perfect storage facility yet for digital photos) but I had hoped that in the afternoon it would be a bit easier but alas it still drove me crazy. Plus I spent a significant amount of time on the internet doing research into lighting and plumbing fixtures and working on our “budget”.
We are measuring our progress in smaller measurements these days for various reasons. We both went back to work shortly after the blog entry of July 22nd and so that meant we just had evenings and weekends to work hard. Balancing that with the weather, soccer and home yard work meant less time at the house. We’ve also had a few days off for the horse show in Edmonton but that didn’t go quite as planned. Alyssa and her horse parted company over the third jump on the third day and she broke her tibia and fibula and displaced her talus. We experienced Alberta health care first hand as it required surgery. Surgery went well and it is healing up (staples are out and the swelling is going down) but it means a fair amount of follow up and being non weight bearing on crutches requires some adjustments by all.
I am back on vacation again and am busy trying to do little projects as well as research items such as appliances, fixtures and meet with contractors/utility people. Ron is trying to take Friday afternoons off so that we can get a head start on projects. Spencer had two weeks off and did manage to get a fair amount accomplished from the landscape point of view.
I think the easiest way to do the update is the same way I am doing my project book; by categories so here goes:
The main floor bathroom/laundry room and porch space has been reallocated. This also entailed taking out the hardwood and plaster walls in that complete area.
The demolition work is complete in the ensuite/walk in expansion of the master bedroom. At this point we are just waiting for the engineer to give the project manager the exact description of the teclam beam required for load bearing so that it can be ordered. Hope to have it on site and in place with the closet load bearing walls uninstalled by the weekend. It will be a bit like pick up sticks as we are reusing the salvage wood as we pull it so will have to ensure that the right pieces get taken out structurally. This will be a controlled demolition of a wall. We took out the hardwood from our bathroom (doing in floor heating with tile this is called a compromise restoration project) last weekend so have a visual idea of the space now.
We had our structural engineer to verify the load bearing aspects of the beams and we are going to weld some gussets onto the I beam as a precautionary measure.
The chimney opening is taken care of on the main floor but still needs to be addressed in the kitchen attic.
There is a large opening between the dining room ceiling and the bathroom “floor” so that will need to have new joists (some of the existing ones have barely survived the original and the 1980’s plumbing) and sub floor.
The trenching was done at the beginning of August for the service from the box to the house. Our electrician; Blaine Marleau of Sommerfeld Electrical, was quick and efficient. The work, permit and inspection were done and just like that a week later we had power at the site.
Spencer and I have completed removing the 1918 knob and tub wiring except were we will need it to pull thru the new wiring.
Ron has completed the electrical drawing (lovely little color drawing!!) and is chatting with Blaine about a couple of issues. We have done the take off of supplies required so hope to have them on site by the end of this week.
I have done a fair amount of research into original lighting styles (thanks to Dianne Wilson for the house tour and the books both were very informative) and have found numerous reproduction companies (there is even a Canadian one in Victoria) and have done some price checking in regards to those versus original lighting available here in the city. We have even looked at a couple of stores in regards to new lighting that looks original.
Heating and Plumbing
This is the big one and as of yet we are still receiving quotes from companies. We are also trying to ascertain exactly what we are doing where (i.e. radiators versus “staple up” that is the correct term for in floor heating) and the attic issues.
I have researching plumbing fixtures and actually had a blast doing so. Met with the store manager of Wolseley Kitchen and Bath turns out she has an interest in catalogue houses and has done some work on heritage buildings here in the city. It was obviously a great fit and we accomplished the look we’re after. Ron picked out a couple other options on some items but thought the basics looked good. Let’s hope we can live with the price of it all. IF anyone sees a farm house sink out there second hand somewhere let me know I really want one but don’t think that we’ll be springing that much money for one.
Had a phone call last Saturday from a fellow heritage home owner; Grant from Plunkett. His heritage house is in the same book that we found our plan in and that Lori from the bath store had autographed by the author. He was looking for a certain type of radiator for his house and was wondering if we had any extras of that type. We are doing a fair bit of emailing back and forth right now in regards to reds and boilers etc. We hope to tour his house the outside picture makes for a stunning transformation so will be interesting to see the inside.
We picked out a washer and dryer for the laundry room. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but we’ve had the same Kenmore units for almost 26 years so it will be nice. Stacking is the best option for the space so it will be interesting to see how the short person in the family makes out long term with that option.
The walk out is complete and both sides have the preliminary slope achieved for them.
The garage pad has been built up and the electrical trench covered back in.
The driveway has been built up (original markers were rocks) and the rocks picked out from the base. The Cruickshank’s driveway is going to be very well lined with rocks.
In fact we have spent a bit of time with the bobcat over the last month rock picking. Spencer, Mitch and Mike did the entire road way and today Ron and I did the driveway as well as the area around the house. I will have to take a picture of our primary rock pile it’s getting pretty huge and as well it has some pretty significant rocks in it. The sewer company dug out one with their two backhoes don’t think we’ll be moving that one but rather creating a garden space around it!!
We haven’t achieved grade level around the house area yet as we are still have some exterior work to do.
The roof repairs, shingles and flashing have been completed and Ron is still in one piece. Thanks to Kirk at VCM for the loan of a really really long heavy ladder that was required for the top most section of the roof. Our neighbor, Greg, has loaned us his smaller one for the last couple of weeks and that sure helped. We have an awesome new ladder but it doesn’t quite go that high and I am always busy on it inside.
The downspouts and eaves troughing is in place so at least the rain is now draining away from the house. Not sure this is all the long term stuff but at least it is in place.
The concrete board is all in place but the mesh and parging didn’t get done today as Ron ran the bobcat so that will be a project for this week during the evenings.
We have removed more of the original siding (2 layers now) and are having some difficulty sourcing something appropriate. Nothing at a new store works and the salvage places here don’t have anything either. Thinking maybe we will take a drive and find some salvage stuff ourselves. Ron has applied the new bottom trim board on 2 sides and I have primed it. We have made a decision about the size of the back door steps although I am pretty sure that will be a next year project and we will continue to use the hot tub steps on top of wooden pallets. My carpenter will have enough to do this fall.
I removed the storm windows (the ugly 1980 ones) that are in need of repair and will get that taken care of. Missing one storm on the window that at this time really just a particle board and no glass so guess I had better figure out an option there as well. Our long term decision regarding windows will be made once we have our basement windows and doors in and can factor in the look, cost and energy efficiency.
There is of course more little things really though they often take quite some time to perform. Such as I scrapped the window sills and vacuumed between the two windows. I even cleaned a few windows yes I know that this is a construction site and that there is more dust and dirt to come but give me a break. They hadn’t been cleaned in about 30 years and it was pretty gross. It is much nicer enjoying our view now. I vacuumed for several hours yesterday not a usual location. I did the kitchen ceiling joists and that whole area above and below for the removal of the “insulation”. We actually had the insulation checked out and the guy stated that it is basically like an R40 the only issue is that it settles down so much in the walls. Not sure what our long term plan is there either. I have swept and vacuumed this house more than old Herbie ever did. I also scrapped off the wall paper on the ceiling in the stairwell and started pulling nails on the trim we have had to remove. Ron and I are discussing painting colors already as the claw foot tub, existing sink and the bathroom trim all need to be painted. These are projects I can get done on my days off (back to work this week) and have ready to go. Starting to research kitchen cupboards and have talked with my young plasterer about coming on board for the project.
Well this isn’t a complete list but it gives you an idea of what we have been up to. Sorry it is so long I won’t let it go so long before updating again. It does seem like things are progressing slower right now but when I list what we have accomplished in a month it seems pretty substantial. Now the challenge comes in finding pictures and uploading them. I have taken the camera out numerous times but have had some battery issues so seem a little behind there as well.
Special thanks to Claire who came out and spent a Sunday afternoon keeping me company and sweeping up after me! Missed her today as I was once again making more messes. Also thanks to Pat and Alan Buckley; Alan got to hold the “dumb” end of the stick for Ron while he did the levels for the garage. Pat and I were upstairs demolishing the first part of our bedroom wall. Haven’t had a ton of visitors lately; the door is always open for a tour.
PS I promise the next entry will be shorter!!
PPS If you are having trouble finding the pictures (not mentioning any names but you all know who you are) just hit the permalink button down near comments,
Looking back up to the house which shows the completed walk out area.
The closet walls are down and the space is opening up for our master bedroom.
Mitch with a load of rocks.
The wall paper from the ceiling but now on the floor in bits and pieces.
The carpenter/engineer hard at work planning the new wall/door way to the bathroom/laundry room.