A Long Slow Month

It has been over a month since I last blogged our activites out at the house. In that time it seemed that not a lot of progress was made. Ron worked 14+ days at the University doing everything and anything that needed to be done. I read a book or two in that time, sewed a dress for Alyssa, did some Christmas shopping and worked on other aspects. We usually had about 6 hours per Sunday to spend on the project so it didn’t really feel like much got done but we did make some progess so will include some pictures and text for everyone to check out.
One of the last things we got done before the weather totally disintegrated into winter was to borrow a trailer from Stephen Stade of Homestade Construction. Spencer and I drove to Plunkett and picked up four salvage radiators from Grant Jones. We then borrowed the bobcat from the marvelous Peter of Precision Paving. With the bobcat we loaded up the radiators from our house onto Stephen’s trailer. We also used Peter’s trailer to return the garage forms to VCM Contractors, pick up lumber for the basement and bring out the Kuboda tractor (so that we could use our city garage as an actual garage). That was a long day for Spencer and Ron as the weather was pretty awful and there were “issues” but it all got done.
Ron pressure tested the radiators in the driveway and one went down for the count. During the week I hauled the radiators into Saskatoon Custom Powder Coating so they could work their magic. We had researched painting versus powder coating and came to a decision to powder coat all the radiators on the first floor at this point in time. On the recommendation of our mechanical gurus we made arrangements to go to SCPC and pressure test after the sand blasting was done. What a difference that made in appearance as you can see in the picture below. My cousin’s husband, Lorne, one of the two “on call” we need a hand people in our lives came with me to provide the man muscles to tighten up the regulators when we returned; with the results fairly conclusive towards a yes with the remaining radiators. I then got the new slant fin radiators picked up and hauled there as well as the price for doing them was reasonable and they would look so much nicer in the attic as the gold vein color versus boring beige. The day before SCPC was to put them through the process the line man phoned me with the fact that there appeared to be a couple of cracks. So back with the pressure testing equipment I went and definitely the one failed. It was one that we had some issues with on a previous test. The second one that failed wasn’t a horrible failure as we tested it at 30psi but intend to run it at 15psi. So now we are researching the possibility of getting the crack repaired as my scurrying around the city and country side looking for radiators isn’t exactly netting me a ton of them. I have found several steam ones and have a line on a hot water one. Several I have found are apartment or store size so aren’t really appropriate for a house. I do appreicate all the leads I have been given by those I appealed to in an email. Anyway, the radiators and the slant fins are now ready for pick up but that is of course, another story.
The fresh look of sandblasting.
The darn crack!
The strike is over now it’s time to plow ahead with progress and get everyone moving again. It’s been quite a while since we have since our plumber on site so there are no new pictures there. Martin, our mechanical contractor was back after we got the wall up and promises to return again soon to do some lines that are holding up our insulation and vapour barrier under the bay windows x 2.
The Viesman Boiler
Like or lump it I’ve tried 5 times to turn this picture and it won’t work so either don’t look or turn your head!!!
In floor heat lines that are starting to look pretty impressive
Our hardwood guy, Dale, will be back next week to do the patching and preliminary sanding (where the radiators and claw foot tub are going to be). Spencer, Ron and I finished removing all of the old heating pipes and that chewed up one spot on the floor as well as exposed a few holes that will no longer be there (where pipes will run through the walls/ceilings) so we will get those repaired. I also pulled up the rest of the three layers of linoleum in the dining room. It was pretty well stuck down but fortunately only in a 6″ strip from one side of the room to the other.
Although it isn’t really an exciting picture it shows the last view of Herbie’s toilet and shower holes in the dining room.
Our wall progress continued downstairs with about half of the walls being complete. The closet pocket door track arrived and so that will complete that section next weekend. Working in the basement was a bit of a hassle as the trek up and down the ladder was a pain in the legs so it was a blessed relief when our stairs arrived earlier than promised. Our friend Stephen so graciously picked them up and helped install them when Ron was at work on a Saturday. Helen, Lorne (our previously mentioned on call muscles) and Spencer helped as we got them off the truck and into the house. Unfortunately somewhere between my notes and the writing on the other end of the phone there was a discrepancy and the stairs are too short. Ron’s measurements and my notes defintely say 127 7/8″, Stephen measured 128″ but somehow they got built to 116″ so…the bathroom walls will have to wait a bit longer as we wait for a rebuild. The possibility exists of using these ones in the garage for the dormer “attic” there. But in the meantime we created a little temporary landing and taught the dogs to go up and down so they could be where the action was.
The temporary stairs with the temporary dog beds beside them
It is also time for us to finalize the kitchen design and get that ordered. We would really like to check out soapstone counter tops so that will be a “to do” while in Calgary for Christmas as I can’t find anyone in Saskatoon that carries it. Time to also order bathroom fixtures, think about light fixtures and check out tile for the two entrances and our bathroom. There is always a long list of upcoming aspects to look in too. But we are never too busy to give tours as our family and friends from the province will attest to: Peggi from Maple Creek and my brother Brad and friend Judy were up from Ogema. They braved the cold and the ladder to check out the project and only 1 of the 3 thought we were crazy. Peggi and I spent a fair bit of the evening back at our city house discussing kitchen design. It was fabulous to have her perspective. She is even thinking about coming back up for a painting weekend imagine good food, friends and quality paint. Sounds like a plan so if you want to be included on the list just let me know.
So the program has exhausted my patience tonight and brings me up to date so that’s it folks. Comments always welcome. Hit the comments button to record your observations!!

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10 Responses to A Long Slow Month

  1. Lenore says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your Eaton experience with us.
    Spelling mistakes, flipped pictures … this just adds to the charactr of this most valiant effort. Bravo on this family effort and beyond.
    This is truly a labour of love and for those of us who love older houses we are enjoying living vicariously through your experience.
    May the remainder of this year be most productive and yet restful for you and yours and may 2008 be filld with many wonderful experinces within and surrounding 1918 Eaton’s Eager! Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.


  2. Megan says:

    You may feel that not much was done during the last few weeks. But I beg to differ… You all have done a ton of work and it shows. The house is looking like house not a work in process. The radiators look wonderful. The heat pumping out of them in a next # of years will be worth all the work and effort done by all.
    Turning my head sideways is the only neck muscle exercise I did this morning. Thank you.. Not too difficult and things look great.
    Have a great Christmas in Calgary. Drive safe.


  3. Gladys says:

    OK Bernie this is the third time I am trying to post an entry this morning so here goes again. (Maybe I might even hit post this time) Well thanks for the pictures we appreciate them even if we have to stand on our head to see them. I know in person would be better but life just seems to get in the way.(Can’t think of a better excuse) Painting sounds great but I think I will be working parttime and fulltime by then but keep me posted if I am available by then I would love to join you. You are sounding a little stressed/tired so just to add a little more Christmas is TWO WEEKS AWAY. ttyl


  4. Cousin Helen Johnson says:

    Thanks for keeping us posted – what a huge huge job! I really don’t know where you get all your energy – oh yes, I know I am much, much older than you as you always let me know. Keep up the good work.


  5. Frank Korvemaker says:

    I think I can…. I think I can…. I think I can…..
    You folks remind me of the Little Engine That Could – very determined and just keep on going. The project continues to take good shape, and I am sure you appreciate each new critical step – like getting windows and doors operating properly, or having the heat installed. Water is nice too, I am told.
    Well, it looks like you could celebrate Christmas in the house in two weeks’ time – though it might not be as opulent as it will be a year from now.
    All the best to you, Bernie and Ron, and have a very Merry Christmas. I am sure you will enjoy a wonderful New Year in 2008.
    Cheers, FRANK
    P.S. Where in the world do you find the time and energy to post a blog amidst all this?


  6. Rey LaRocque says:

    So?? what exactly do you put in your coffee?? You’ve all got more energy and drive then anyone I know! I LOVE seeing all the pictures and reading the blogs. Now I can’t wait to get a chance to perhaps see it in person this summer.. I’ll call, bring out the bevies and will be expecting the GRAND tour!!
    Merry Christmas Cruikshanks!!
    Rey LaRocque


  7. Georgina says:

    count us in for the painting party. Maybe by then we will actually have time for the grand tour!!!


  8. Claire B says:

    Count me in for the painting bee – whenever – it’s much more fun than working on my own house!!


  9. rob the nephew says:

    How about a photo shoot that shows the 360 view of the house.It would make Ron’s explainations of relative space easier to follow. Excellent house!! wanna trade?


  10. aimy thiessen says:

    hey bernie! was cleaning out the garage today and came accross something that might just suit your house perfectly. It’s an old door knob my dad salvaged out of a house when I was just a little girl (yeah, about 30 years ago!). When he passed away, I felt like i needed to keep this knob, but know full-well now it will never find a place in my home. If you want it, you can have it. If not, I will keep it until it finds the right home. Email me and i’ll send you piccies!


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