Tuesday, January 31, 2012

walls and windows

window delivery
is there anything more exciting then a delivery truck filled with new windows?

window in crate
I had my fingers and toes crossed when they unloaded the first window

window trim
the factory finish is a perfect match for the existing trim

office windows
the office windows

TVroom view
a view of snowy rooftops from the TV room

bathroom window
a new window for the upper level bathroom

hallway view to guestroom

Guest room
Susan's room has walls

kitchen view

view to office
from the foyer to the office

office door to foyer
the office walls are going up

office windows from inside

gyproc note
the instructions to the drywall installers are very direct. in the stairwell, some surfaces will be finished in wood so the notes are written on the stud walls to avoid confusion


It is very clear to me that I am not Sarah Richardson. This popular home reno TV personality is on record as saying she does not agonize over decisions. She works hard to make good choices and lets it go. I am a card carrying member of the agonize party. I selected and did trials on 4 trim colours before settling on the combo we applied a couple of years ago. New windows for the renovation posed a problem. Most windows come with white trim and we had to find a window that would give us the colour range we needed. Norwood windows solved the problem. The have a factory finish paint job that is available in hundreds of colours.

The easi-lite wallboard is going up fast and every day there is another surface to reflect the light. Hold on to your hat, this train is moving fast.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the gyprock is coming, the gyprock is coming!

stack of gyprock
even "light weight" gypsum board is heavy. nobody wants to hump it into the job site piece by piece.

delivery truck
huge boom trucks are made for the job. everyone should have one.

window delivery
excellent drivers with amazing parking skills are mandatory

plywood window
the ultra handy delivery port has been boarded up to keep out the cold

closet storage for pink insulation

TV room to hall
we are at a messy phase, the spaces are filled with sheetrock and insulation

upper level hall
upper level hall

now that the skylights are boxed in, I wish we looked into opening up the trusses to provide a wider opening. ...budget, did someone say budget?

upper level bedroom
upper level bedroom

Running a renovation must be something like running a circus. The flow of money needed to keep contractors in supplies seems equivalent to the quantities of cash needed to keep herds of animals in hay and performers on the payroll. Both groups have voracious appetites. Then there is the action. Every day, people and machines rush about in all directions and quite often you get treated to amazing displays of talent, precision and daring. Today we had a high-wire act. Heavy stacks of gypsum board were swung merrily through the trees and scarcely a twig was broken in the exercise. OK, these guys don't wear spandex, but you get the idea.

Monday, January 23, 2012

warm and scratchy

upstairs hallway

crawl space
a cozy crawl space...if I was a kid, I would make camp in here

TV Room-insulation
still life with pink bats

upper window with snow
the pink fluff will help keep the minus 13 on the outside

spray insulation
the lower level is getting spray foam insulation

spray insulation wall
kitchen wall

kitchen wall from foyer

insulation bridge
stud wall shadows

fire hatch
a "fireman's hatch" is required for the building code

Manifold detail
Tony the plumber has been carefully soldering up the heating manifold

Heating Manifold
I hope this thing comes with a manual

Jigs in doorway

I snuck over to the house early on Sunday morning and captured more of the construction progress. The place is a hive of activity and it is a challenge to find a moment when there are not crowds of builders crawling all over the site. This week the plumber created a copper masterpiece in the basement and the insulators filled all of the exterior walls with thick pink fiberglass and spray foam. The gyprock sheeting will soon cover the stud walls and the true sense of the space will be revealed. The play of light will change as we move closer to the completing the project. I am anxious to see where the light will move as wood frames become solid walls.

Monday, January 16, 2012

everybody's doing it

wrapped tower
the Dingle Tower has been under renovation since last fall (photo Jan 2011)

the wraps are starting to come off

the tower is blindfolded

a crane hovers over a new building at Dalhousie University

Fleming Park has become the staging area for work on the seawall

these stones make our wall blocks look like pebbles

can I come down now?

It has been "furry hat" cold for the last couple of days

Jigs opts for all over fur

There is a disconnect between the doom and gloom of the economic news and the building boom I see around me. The contractors tell me that they are busier then they have ever been and all of their associates are rolling in work. Our little park has seen a received some TLC as well. The work to refurbish the 100 year old Dingle Tower is just about finished and they are beginning major construction on the seawall. A huge pile of granite boulders has been growing daily. The blocks are colossal and it will be interesting to watch this project unfold.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

house guts

shiny new vents

a duct to nowhere

laundry room
getting ready for the washer and dryer

hobo code for dryer
hobo code for dryer

guest room window
the window in the guest room

guest room bathroom door
pocket door for bathroom entrance

shear wall
reinforced shear wall in foyer

the closets in the office have been framed in

a small dog waiting patiently for it all to be over

When I thought about renovating the house, the finishes and the space came first to mind. My head spun with ideas about how it might look and I mentally tallied how much it might cost. I thought about how difficult it would be choose all of this stuff and how long it would take to be installed. Thoughts about the house "guts" barely entered my mind. The important and time consuming processes of installing venting, putting in rough-ins and setting up air exchangers were not even a twinkle in my mind's eye. Should have thought about that because it is almost all about that. "That" being the highly unglamorous stuff behind the walls. The changes over the past week have not been dramatic and it is hard to see the wires, vents and pipes tucked in behind the framework, but they are there and that step is almost complete. Next up is the city's framing inspection and then on to insulation! With temperatures around -13 degrees celsius, the heat is rolling right out through the walls and I am anxious to see some fluff between us and the great Canadian winter.