Friday, 11 January 2013

Days 68-73

Things are moving slowly and I’m doing much the same each day so this will be a block entry.

We are continuing to cut the floorboards around the baseboards in what will be our bedroom, a bathroom and Callum’s bedroom. We’ve taken up more floorboards and moved a huge pile of them out to the barn. JM was doing a great job and making good progress until the blade broke on our new saw! I bought another and it seems to be holding out but we are certainly putting it to the test J I’ve taken out all the disconnected knob and tube, removed redundant plugs from the baseboards ( the boxes were 17 cents each from Canadian Tire, that must have been a long time ago!) and dug out an old chimney that must have been originally from a stove in the kitchen. The chimney was encased in old brick and plaster not to mention mouse droppings…
Old chimney hidden in the floor
Floorboard free

Our bedroom, all floorboards are up! 

 Callum's room


On the contractor front, the septic guy seems to have fallen off the face of the earth (multiple phone calls and nothing!), the HVAC guy has yet to get a quote to us (9 days now…) and because of sickness Brett (my friend who I’m hoping will help with the sill plate) has been unable to make it out either. This house is definitely a lesson in patience. I’m used to being go, go, go and now I have to slow down a little and wait for things to come together.

Breaking news: Our other house has SOLD! Now we can get moving on work here since we’ll have some money freed up very soon  J


Day 67

Post gig morning was very laid back and slow. When you get home at about 4am the rest of the day is out of whack by a few hours. Breakfast at around 11am and the morning was done. We were going to head out to run errands when we had an unexpected adventure. The dog had gone in the laundry room and must have knocked the sink because it pulled the water line out and we had an instant indoor pool! JM heard it gushing and ran in to find himself standing in a huge puddle, argh! I rushed downstairs and frantically scrambled to get the water switched off. If the room had been empty it wouldn’t have been too messy but of course it was piled high with boxes and stuff which all needed to be taken out and dried before we could deal with the water.

Action stations! We flung down old towels, Callum and JM took the stuff out, I gave it a quick dry and then I was able to suck up most of the water with our bargain shop vac, thank you kijiji for enabling us to get that deal, it was worth every penny! Once the majority was dealt with we looked behind the sink, removed the sodden insulation which is supposed to protect the pipes then looked behind the washing machine…pandora’s box! There was an icicle about 8” high coming up from the floor. I knew it was cold out there but seriously? The previous owners obviously knew about the leak from the washing machine because there was an old (frozen stiff) T-shirt behind there too.

Since we are planning on insulating that room in the future I didn’t want to waste energy heating it but I can’t take the chance that pipes will burst so I begrudgingly turned on the baseboards heaters. JM got the water pipe to the sink reattached, he tightened the hoses to the washing machine and I mopped the floor. I think we’re good but that is now going to have to be a priority to fix up. I ran the washing machine later in the day and it seems to be good. Crisis over J

Highlight of the day, we got our first bird on the bird feeder, a red cardinal

Day 64

Today I finally connected with the HVAC guy to get the low down on heating this place. I told him where the problem areas were and he had lots of solutions to make it work.  The office wasn’t blowing air through two of the registers and he took a quick look downstairs, there were dampers switched off and he just turned them and there was heat, it was like magic! OK so I didn’t know that vents could be turned off, I’ve only lived in this country for 13 years J We have a plan to run heating to our future bedroom so we can removed the old baseboards heaters and he going to give us heat in the fridge, I mean laundry room. I hope it doesn’t cost too much our other house still isn’t sold.

Day 65

A gap where 6 trees once stood

I wasn’t at the house today but it was all go! I missed it but the septic guys started clearing land ready for the septic system. They had to take down 6 trees, remove branches from many more and flatten a huge area. I had a good look around the next day(I got home after dark) and it was quite amazing what they had done. There is a massive hole in the ground which must be at the furthest point of our property which will be the weeping bed I assume. A friend who has always lived near here said that the land to the side of our front garden had never had anything done to it as long as she could remember, well it has now! What a difference. It makes me want to plant our garden now…
I can see through to the brush, lots of space for planting.

Day 63

Another day and more floorboards… We got a few up and JM was taking some downstairs to dump in the barn when I heard an almighty crash! The boards had caught on the wall or something and he went down hard with the boards clattering all the way to the bottom of the stairs. He was damaged, huge bruise on his buttock and a scrape all along his forearm, and the stairs now have a few chunks taken out of them. Needless to say that was JM done for the day. He was in a lot of pain and I felt for him L

I stopped ripping up boards but I did flatten all the nails on the remaining floor boards and stack them neatly for moving later. Not as productive as we would have hoped, I’m just happy he didn’t break anything- he has a gig in a few days and that could have ended very badly. No photos I'm afraid, it doesn't look that much different to be honest J

Day 61

Today was not a work day as such. The only job that got done was that JM moved most of the old floorboards down from our bedroom and into the barn. At some point we’ll have to rent a skip to take away anything we can’t burn including these floorboards since they are painted. There is plenty that will be going in there if I have my way…
What will be our bedroom and bathroom...

Day 60

This morning JM and I removed the remaining barn boards from the ceiling in the kitchen and what a difference! It is so much brighter in there now, despite fact the hidden drywall underneath is tobacco stained and gross. Who would have thought nasty drywall would be an improvement!  It took us a while and I had to stop to head to town for a bit but it was finished in the afternoon and I’m so glad. I picked up a type of zip saw so we tackled the floorboards in our bedroom again and this time we could go all the way to the wall. We managed to do quite a few, in fact we ran out of space to put the ones which had been taken out and that determined when we stopped work. A productive day today J
Kitchen ceiling without barnboards, now we need to rip down the drywall and start again.

Day 59

Today was the first day in a week we did anything in the house. We figured we’d get started back in Callum’s room so we took down the remaining part of the partition wall, thanks to the reciprocating saw it took practically no time at all J. We lifted a floorboard to try and patch where the wall had been only to find the joists were all different heights! Why was I not surprised…Now we have the choice of ripping all the floorboards out and starting again, or leaving it as a sub floor and covering it up( that of course would be the quickest and easiest option).
The remaining wall has gone, now to fix the floor...
And the ceiling...

We had a friend come over and we showed him the house, with experience in the building trade he may be able to help us with our sill plate problem, hurray! We’ll see what happens there but it left me feeling a little more hopeful that we can move on and get it done soon.

Next, we moved on to our future bedroom area: The floor in there has been opened up in so many places and the boards are worn so we are definitely taking those out and replacing with a nice sturdy subfloor ready for new floors, hopefully hardwood in our bedroom and tiles in the bathroom (that we need to create). We started taking up the boards and it was tough going at first, they are ¾” pine and nailed in with 3” nails. We were battling with them for a while when we realised it would be easier to take them up in the opposite direction so we needed to try from the other side of the room. We could make our lives a lot easier if we replaced the baseboards too but they have so much character I don’t want to lose them. After our experience taking them out in Callum’s room, broken, splintered and not in the best shape to reuse, I decided it was best to leave them in place in our bedroom. The drawback to keeping the baseboards in place was that now we needed to cut all the floorboards flush at the baseboards and the reciprocating saw couldn’t get close enough so we stopped for the day and I’ll pick up a tool that can do the job we need tomorrow.

Day 55

JM and I spent a while taking down lath and plaster on the ceiling on the basement to expose the joists above. We were hoping to get it jacked up to start removing the rotten sill plate. We got it all ready, nails removed, measured and then looked closer and we think the way it all ties in may not be as simple as we hoped. I’m going to try again to find a contractor who will be willing to do it for us… Otherwise it was a day off.

The floor above will need some support

Our living room floor as viewed from the basement, this is what we need to jack up.