Work Men Arrive

Well, once again I missed the weekly update but hopefully won’t get too wordy and drive away interested parties with super long stories. One sibling stated “I’m only interested in your pictures not all the words!”. Nobody says it quite like family.
So, in brief, things are slowly moving forward. I won’t committ to a move in date despite the pressure from certain parties to do so. We did a review of all systems last night and most of the puzzle pieces are working their way into alignment. As everyone comments it isn’t a small project. Every week my binder grows bigger and the budget gets stretched!!
The plumber and his mini work crew arrived and set to work. The house was vastly different with the Dewalt Radio blaring, tool noise and singing. Also the occasional profanity as the old wood went through drill bits and saw blades quickly and efficiently. (SEE PHOTO 1) They haven’t quite hit their target date for in and out so still waiting on tne final stages and the inspection.
One of the high lights over the past two weeks was that SEnergy came and marked out the route for the gas line. This meant that the heritage review could be completed by the Sask Energy consultant. This in turn, means that it should be to the construction crew early next week (*pending the heritage review results don’t even jinx us by thinking it!!) so we should have a gas line before freeze up. Sorry there are no pictures of this exciting development because in photos in only looks like 6 stakes in the ground from our house north.
We have met a couple of times with our mechanical contractor, Martin from Airstream Mechanical. Trying to sort out the radiator locations and sizes as well as the mechancial room set up. Also trying to decide about powder coating the radiators versus painting; how to go about moving them and cleaning the interior of them as well as ordering the new ones. Issues with where the run lines go (forced me to open up a couple more walls which was hard to do with good plaster covering them) and support for the attic ones.(SEE PHOTO 2).
Trying to clear up the job site for easy access had me pulling nails for hours on end. This would make boring photos but I will include a picture of the stacked wood (approximately 1/2 of the main floor stack that I did so see PHOTO 3) that I stashed in the main floor bedroom closet. I also did the main bath trim as well as all of the pantry wood. I still have a few attic trim pieces to do saving those for a rainy day I guess.
Ron and I rebuilt the subfloor in the bathroom which included additional floor joist support. Amazing how much wood had been cut away from the original joists (see PHOTO 4 for the obvious details of new wood versus old). It seems strange to have no access to the main level from the bathroom. Also in the flooring department I met with Dale from Dale’s Hardwood (another contractor who worked magic out at the Forestry Farm project) and he gave me homework. I finished pulling up the hardwood in our bedroom wall realignment. He is coming out next week to lay down salvaged (from our ensuite area) hardwood in the main floor bath as well as our bedroom.
Since the last update Spencer and I spent a long Sunday in the basement. A lack of information on the blue prints had the basement contractor build the level up too high for the infloor heating components etc. So by hand and by bobcat (*thanks once again to Peter from Precision Paving hard to say enough good stuff to this friend who keeps lending us equipment) we took back the gravel and dug out the clay (anywhere from 4 to 10 inches worth). This was not my favorite work day or activity rather hard labor but I kept thinking about how nice those heated floors would be while enjoying the view out the picture window. Spencer had been pretty wasted the night before but he drove that bobcat like a pro no incidents and we were in some pretty tight spaces. He even got out and helped his “old” mom do some shoveling when there were big piles to be cleared. (See PHOTO 4).
Ron finished the trim boards and the parging on the 3 “ground” sides and just has to do the weather stripping on the walk out side. Spencer did some of the backfill so that the house has better drainage and doesn’t look like it is set up on stilts now.
I started a long term project that won’t be finished for a while. I started scraping off the tape (3 different types of it) from the window sills and window trim. We are assuming that Herbie did some weather proofing of the windows. The long term effect (ie 30 years) of tape on a wood is that it doesn’t really come off easily. I am getting quite proficient at scraping it but it is discouraging to go back a while later and think still stuff on here but at the time you are willing to accept it as cleaned for now. See PHOTO 5 & 6 for before and after of this.
So I was a little more “wordy” this week than the last issue but I had some stories to tell. It is great when the comments come in and even more wonderful when people come out to visit and can share our “vision”. So feel free to visit or write you know where and how to reach us.

The Dewalt Radio and some of the many tools of the plumber.
One of the nice plaster walls that was cut into for the heating system.
A small portion of the salvaged trim (all of it in very good shape) safely stored away.
The floor joist in the worst shape is the last one in the photo hidden by the new wood. The second joist at least gives you an idea of how cut up the joists were. The floor should be suffciently stabilized with the new joists and the 3/4″ plywood we layed down. An interesting aside to this repair was that we discovered (while doing more demo) the “balloon” construction of the house. We read about it in Les Henry’s book and were able to see it in our own. In short the outside wall studs span both floors which is something they would never do today. In the case of our house it has stood the test of time.
Tight spaces but it beat the heck out of hand digging it all. Thanks again to Peter for use of the bobcat especially seems he had to handdig his own basement out !
It doesn’t look like much but each window casing has been cleaned of the tape which Herbie used liberally. He often used 2 or 3 different kinds to hold up the window “poly”. I have taken off at least 2 layers of it and cleaned up all the windowsills. When I finish one it looks great but then when I walk by it later I am struck by the fact that it needs to be sanded and refinished. ?? Completion date ??

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2 Responses to Work Men Arrive

  1. L Swystun says:

    Just a thought. You may consider turning your blog and your growing archives into the new “Eaton’s Catalogue” – it may well serve as an inspirational heritage story, guide and reference book. Again, hats off. – Lenore


  2. Lynette C. says:

    It saddened me to see the lovely wall being destroyed to get heating and plumbing in but in Saskatchewan heating is very important. It’s going to be a lovely house – good for you for tackling such a huge job!


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