Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Many hands make light work

If you follow me on Instagram  or Facebook  you'll have seen my photo of the bracing wall that was erected in the living room this past Sunday and a brief description of the things we got done that weekend.

If you don't follow me on those social media platforms, you should. No, really. You should. Not even just for my own vanity's sake (although that is a REALLY important factor).

I post things on Instagram and Facebook that don't necessarily warrant a full blog post so you can see progress or fascinating finds or (I've decided this is going to be a new aspect) beautiful architecture that I come across without having to endure my endless talking.

BUT have no fear if you missed the photo mentioned above because here it is:

A view of the new bracing wall that was put up in the living room, looking toward the kitchen.

This post is going to be a brief (relatively... okay, not really at all) description of all of the things we managed to accomplish this past weekend.

If you can't tell, I am SUPER excited and incredibly happy with how far we got.

On Saturday my parents came and helped us get rid of the lath that we had piled in the spare bedroom (Spare Oom) and my closet. We also spent the day getting rid of the rest of the attic insulation as well as giving the entire house a general sweeping up. When removing all the insulation upstairs, a good amount fell through the studs to land in big piles around the whole perimeter of the main floor, so this was definitely necessary.

So we successfully went from seeing things like this:

First view I had into the attic.

and this:
The last bit of attic insulation clinging to the ceiling beams. This is in the upstairs hallway.
and this:
The colossal mess the insulation made once removed from said beams. This is in Spare Oom. 
To looking like this!
Dining room after it had been cleaned up. We also took some time to properly stack the lumber (most of which is now in the living room. This bit was from a ramp my dad suggested we make so we could just dump things into the bin from the upstairs window. A suggestion that my legs thanked him for).
 It was a very long, but very fulfilling day.

Sunday we had my parents help again but also had the help of my brother-in-law, Greg, and Jake's best friend, Dave.

My mom and I focused on removing nails from the studs. After removing the lath, many of the nails decided they'd rather hang out with the studs than go on whatever adventure the lath was taking (some to a man who makes art with it, some to our neighbours who I believe are lining a few ceilings with it for asthetic reasons, a great big chunk of it for a rather epic fire Jake and I had, and then the rest in the garbage bin).

This meant that before we could put any drywall up, we'd have to remove them. We opted to do this now so that we stop catching our clothing and tools on them (the stairs were a notoriously bad area for getting caught).

I apologize in advance for some of the garbage photography. The cold killed my phone on Sunday just as I was taking pictures of everything, so I took these in the dark last night when I was working at the house. Composition is pretty bad on many of them because it was pitch black until the flash went off.

Some of the nails still in the studs.
We have to remove all of them in the house so that the drywall can be installed properly.
Remember these bad boys?
These were some of the nails holding the trim in place.
Some of the nails had a "finishing" head on them. Many of those were stuck in the studs still. 

They look like this and take some muscle to convince them they don't belong there.
They make a very satisfying squeaking sound when you pull them out though. 

To date, I have all the walls in the dining room done, the staircase done, and all of the walls upstairs (with the exception of the master bathroom. I'll explain that later in the post), I also managed to finish the ceiling in my closet and as of last night, I have the ceiling in the master bedroom complete as well. So by the end of this next weekend I hope to have the whole house done.

My dad and Greg spent Sunday putting together the bracing wall that will hold up the wall (and house) while Greg (we've commissioned him! ha ha) replaces all of the dry rot. Putting up the wall seemed to go very smoothly, but unfortunately I can't give you much of a description of why they did what they did. Looking at it I can guess, but I specifically picked them to work on this because I knew they worked well together and I knew they knew what they were doing, whereas I would not.

Same angle as photo above, but with the wide-angle lens activated. 
They also had time to cut some of the infected area away, leaving a relatively clean job for Greg to put the pressure-treated lumber in to replace it.

Cut away section of one of the worst case of dry rot in the house.

Close-up of above. This spot had rotted right through and you could see into the basement. 

 Dave spent his time removing the old electrical panel and all of the old wires in the basement.

Old panel.

Old panel next to the new panel we had installed back in October.

The old panel is no more!
As Dave would say, "There is so much room for activities!"
He even left the old wires in a neat pile for us. I've seen Dave work before, and the "neat" thing astonished me. (In his defence, Dave works incredibly well, incredibly fast, and he's got apprentices to do the clean up usually because he doesn't have the time ha ha ha!)

All in one pile! Ready for Jake to strip if/when he ever feels like it.
He also found this amazing, original outlet!

Porcelain outlet found in the basement.

It was a really cool find.
We had no need for it (and no room to display it properly) so we let Dave keep it. Being an electrician, he has a soft spot for unique electrical pieces.

Jake spent a good chunk of Saturday and all of Sunday working away on demolishing the master bathroom.

This room has caused us a few issues when it came to demolition for a few reasons that I just don't feel like getting into right now. But the main issue we face is that there are a bunch of holes in the floor, so it's a bit precarious.

Here are a few progress pictures for your viewing pleasure:

The master bathroom used to be a bedroom with an en suite bath. 

It gets incredible light (actually quite hot in the summer. By far the hottest room in the house)
So we decided that we'd turn the whole room into an amazing master bathroom. 

Bathroom walls came down and flooring torn up.
You can see some of the holes in the floor in this picture and one of the causes for them; pipes.

Here's another cause for a hole; an old stove pipe hole.
That's me, in the downstairs bathroom, looking up at Jake taking the picture in the master bathroom.

Demo coming along.
And here is where we stand now.
Jake had to stop on Sunday for two very valid reasons:
a) he wanted to cover the holes with plywood before getting the rest of the plaster and insulation down so they wouldn't rain all over our tools that we have stored in the Study below.
b) he needed to do laundry and pack for a work trip he went on this week.

Doorway into the master bath. We believe this was just an attic space originally and sometime before the 40s (based on newspapers found under vinyl floors) was turned into another bedroom with a bathroom attached. So it's a step down with a bit of a strange-angled entryway. We plan on using a sliding barn style door to add privacy. We're adding a water closet to the bathroom that will have a proper door for extra privacy while actually using the toilet lol!
And that is where we stand right now!

This upcoming weekend we are going to walk through the house and mark all the places necessary for our new electrical so that we can get that going. I can't wait!!

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