Friday, February 20, 2015

Soooooo... A Snag.

My house is a very, very, very old house. There’s one cat in the yard… renos can be so hard…

Did you sing that in your head to the tune of the famous song?

Today is windows “day three” and I had a conversation with the contractor today about the big window for the living room.

I have to back the bus up just a little bit, to a conversation we (me and my contractor) had with my neighbour yesterday about his house… evidently, when he bought his house, he had to do some major indoor structure upgrades – I guess that when his house was built, the walls (like mine) were shiplap covered with siding and drywall.  What he told us was that the walls had actually started to separate from the floors and bow out because they were just nailed in, and the nails had rusted out.  Over the course of 100 years, this is something to be expected!


They finished up for the day and went on their way.

Today they came back to continue working on the project.  When they arrived, Jeff (my wonderful windows guy) had a look at the side of my house where the windows are to go in and…


When you stand at the side of the house and look, it actually looks like the walls are bowed out a little bit. It may just be the ugly vinyl siding, but the likelihood is that it is not. 

So what does this mean?  Well, it means that the final window installation will have to be put (slightly) on hold until further investigation and remedial action can be taken. The remedial action is actually pretty simple.  It’s basically installation of a wall (properly framed) inside the actual wall.  This means it can be insulated.  The current wall will just be bolted or screwed to the old one, to shore up the weakness. It will be built all the way up to the TRUE ceiling height… so really, this just moves forward another project I had already planned for – the removal of the false ceiling in the living room.

With an old house, it is all about give and take.  Projects just DO take longer.  They DO uncover surprises.  They DO cost more.  They DO require more flexibility.  At the end of the day, though, old house projects also have a lot more potential and a lot more opportunity. The reality is that my house has already given me a lot more than I have had to put into it.  I love my house.

In the mean-time, though, here are the finished pictures of the windows that have gone in.
Both done now, trim on.  I need to figure out a curtain or blind...

Inside trim in, now to touch up the paint!

Outside trimmed in and totally sealed

Look how BIG this is!!!

Now… on to the kitchen floor project!

Floor washed.  
So, to finish the flooring part of this project I will have a few things to do:

  1. I have about 5 squares I need to peel up so that popped nails can be pulled and screws can be put in.
  2. I have to take out some quarter round that is under all of the cabinets and a couple of very small pieces of baseboard still in place.
  3. I have to install new squares into the spaces there will be - I couldn't locate anything to match this so have some totally ugly unmatched tiles I can put in.
  4. I have to install the NEW flooring.
  5. I have to put in baseboards and quarter round to finish the job.
Stay tuned!

With love across the waters…

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Birthday and…. WINDOWS!

So this week has been another shortie at work – I try (every year) to NOT be working on my birthday – a personal birthday gift from me to me…

The universe also decided that this would be a great week to gift me with new windows!  The order had been placed a while ago - and since all of the windows were custom sized (old house, weird window sizes) it took a while for the manufacture to happen.  I got call last week saying they were expecting them in this week and could we get things rolling ASAP?


This round of windows finishes off a total window replacement for the house.  In addition to replacing all of the windows, I also wanted to have the sliding glass door totally replaced (it was old and opened from left to right…) in addition to all of this, I also wanted to take advantage of the work being done and have the window in the kitchen that had obviously been there one upon a time, put BACK in. 

This required a leap of faith on my part. The night before the installation was due to take place I worried. What if they pulled out the square of drywall and what was underneath was nothing but black mold??  I left for work yesterday just hopeful that things would go well.

I arrived home from work while it was still light enough to see what was going on, and promptly looked for the square of drywall they pulled out so I could see if there was any mold – NO MOLD!!!


This morning before I left the house for the day, I grabbed my camera and took a whole pile of pictures… so here is where things were this morning.
Stuff in the back yard

New bedroom window

Garden window - HUGE
Straight on the Garden window - back yard

Side profile of the Garden window

Back wall - new window in

What's this now...? 

Solid wood siding under the tar paper and vinyl siding...?
And today they spent the day finishing up the outside stuff and installing the sliding glass door. They put on more tar-paper before putting the (ugly) vinyl siding back on, and all of the windows are “blue-skin” sealed – meaning that it is totally draft-proofed now and also completely weather sealed.  Yay!

Huh.  There really IS no insulation in my kitchen walls!

May be thin, but dry as a bone and NO mold!
Old slider gone, checking out the next part...

Now how gorgeous is this?

Slider in and trim on, trim to be put on new kitchen window

Tomorrow will see the finishing off of all of the trim.  

If time permits, they will also be doing the big picture window in the living room – but that may be a bigger job than we thought, so it may be waiting until Monday…  All in all, a VERY great day… and I came home with the material to complete the flooring update for the kitchen – so once the dust has settled from the windows portion of my project work, I’ll be laying flooring – more to come for that one!!

With love across the waters…