EVENTS • TIPS • PHOTOS
Last Friday the contractor put in a temporary sink just as we were leaving to go away for the weekend. Which was a great thing as we haven’t had water on the main floor for about 6 weeks. But as we were going out the door, I heard them say, “Wait its leaking!” This is not what you want to hear as you leave the house for two nights and you have newly installed hardwood floors. Hardwood and water; not a good mix.
Its been a few days since we’ve had work on the house here. But it’s actually been a good break for us- a chance to catch our breath while we wait for the cabinets to arrive
Even though the contractors were not here on the weekend, I was still here working to take advantage of the fact that the finished floor had yet to be installed. Just to back up a bit, last week the mason and the installer were here on Thursday ripping out the old window to make a new opening for the new one I just picked up on Wednesday morning from Brock. I felt good that the old one is not going to the landfill but the contractor is taking it away for a shed he is building. I am glad I was here to help with the questions as they sized the new opening and cut the brick. Man oh man what a mess! Since our house is double walled brick construction, they had to cut the exterior and interior brick with the quick cut saw. There was dust everywhere! So instead of going down to my mother-in-laws on Friday like we were going to, we just hightailed it out of here Thursday night instead after a short cleanup. Even though they were here till about 8:30 they weren’t able to get the new window into the frame so they nailed up some plywood over the opening. Plywood for a window? Seems hard to see through The weather held out and we didn’t get any rain so things are looking good today for them to get the duct run above the window and the window installed. New window opening with new brick. The plumber put in the new copper on Thursday and the water pressure is fantastic in the bathroom. It improved in the rest of the house when we updated the water main from lead (ugh) to copper about 4 years ago, but because of the last bit of galvanized, we weren’t getting the benefit in the bathroom. Now just the ceiling needs to be patched. Nice copper! So why then was I here on the weekend? Well since the flooring is going down this week, I took the opportunity to finish patching some access holes the electrician put in so I could put a coat of paint on the ceiling. I know, I know, I will just have to paint again after that hole gets repaired but it wont be as much work and I will only have to tarp a smaller area rather than the whole floor. I also painted (Aura by Benjamin Moore) the first coat on the walls and the new color (Feather Grey) looks great. I have to say that this is the best paint I’ve ever used. Goes on really quickly because it covers really well. So now have to do a second coat for the walls when I get a chance. So today it seems like everyone showed up! The plumber was here to move the drain line in the basement so the HVAC guy could re route the duct into the main plenum. The installer is here to put in the window and frame and drywall the south wall. The electrician is re-wiring something (I don’t even know what exactly…) And on top of that the flooring guys showed up to repair and sand the upstairs hall, and start the finished flooring on the main floor. It’s quite a challenge to move around in here today and even work as the power is on and off. Good thing I’m using a laptop!
The installer working with the duct situation came up with a great plan.
One of the key things in this reno that I've talked about before is moving (actually replacing) the existing window with a new one in a location that allows us to get the upper cabinets right to the south wall.
I have spent the past couple of days framing in the ductwork along the ceiling. Roughed in bulkhead to contain main supply duct. The original plan, last year was to relocate all the ducts to the side wall so we would have the full height ceiling but when I found out that the price tag on that event would be several thousand, that quickly dropped off the scope of work. So now I am enclosing with some G1S ply so that I can get a bit more height under the ducts and it is a bit more durable than drywall. Of course as I was going along putting up the 2 x 2s I found the place where the former owners had hacked out a section of the main duct run, because, well, I guess because they could... Maybe it was the supply to the sauna which they later covered up because there were no registers in the sauna before I took it out. No matter, I had some sheet metal left over from the first patch job I did (which incidently increased the amount of heat we got in the Master bedroom), so I just bent it up and used some self tapping screws to fix it in place. Then I taped the seams with some of that metal duct tape. BTW, the traditional "duct tape" is good for everything but ducts. It dries out so that makes it useless for patching ducts. Who would have guessed? The next task is to get the plywood cut and secured into place. Roughed in bulkhead to contain main supply duct.
A slight bit more demo last night. Took out the drywall on a wall for the furnace room; one which I though I would not have to tear down. Tonight have to rip out the studs and rebuild as it has to be extended for the door to the work/laundry area. Behind this wall are two jackposts which were put in years ago that I sure don't want to touch, so I will just build around them. I have studs left over from the closet project Graham did, so hopefully I will have enough wood to construct all this. Existing joists with plywood laminated and blocking installed. I also took a look at the return air duct because I need to put in a floor level return and route it to the return duct which is attached to the ceiling. I put my hand up there (behind the water pipes, wires etc.) and found that there is a huge hole in the duct on the top surface. Normally this is not a problem since the way the return is done, there is sheet metal covering the joist space so that becomes the plenum for the return air. The problem is that the joist space is open on the other end so air just gets sucked in from between the wall and the floor. After the electricians finish with the wiring I will go in and close it off and route a return to the floor level.
For those who haven't heard my constant complaining, I am finishing the basement in our 1920's vintage house. The house is pretty small and to boot, also very narrow (about 12 and a half feet wide on the inside), so getting the most out of the space means using every inch effectively. I wanted to start documenting what I have done, even though I have completed a lot of work to date (and many trips to the nearest Home Depot). So for those of you who have been asking here are the latest images. Rigid insulation fixed to wall. I finished putting in the rigid insulation and securing it using strapping and many tapcon screws, so that I can have a surface to attach the drywall. I am using Type "X" drywall for the walls and want to get all the surfaces trued before I start putting it up. As you can see the bottom of the wall is not quite in line with the rest of the wall, so I have to shim a bit to get everything straight. Also, have to wait for the Electricians to finish rewiring the basement next week before I can put up the ceiling drywall and tape. More insulation. Note 'slide' I built to get bags of concrete into the basement leaning against the far wall. Sunday, as I was looking at the bathroom, I decided to take a peak under the drywall on the exterior wall of the bathroom. I was trying not to disturb too much in that room as I wanted to focus on the main space, and besides, it was already pretty much finished, except for some awful cedar siding which I ripped out. I was just going to patch these areas and put up a new ceiling and call it a day, but as these things go, there is always something else hiding behind the wall. When I looked behind the old drywall, lo and behold, there was no insulation behind the wall. Hello? Exterior Wall? Insulation? I thought that generally insulation was supposed to go against the cold wall of the house, but I guess the person who renovated the house in the 70s wasn't so fussy. So I figured, take out the drywall and put up the rigid insulation to take care of the problem. As I took down the drywall, I noticed an area of about 9 x 3 inches which had insulation stuck in it. I had to remove this and it was really dirty. Why was it dirty? Well as it turns out, it was covering a hole in the wall which went straight through to the outside! No wonder the bathroom was so cold in the winter! Bathroom bulkhead built around gas supply pipe. But hey, never let an opportunity go to waste. I was going to replace the vent fan anyway (the old one just vented into the joist space, duh), so I went to the Depot on Monday to buy a fan and duct so that I could use the hole to vent to the outside. So what if I had to wriggle myself under the front porch of the house through dirt and stuff to install the duct from the outside and seal it. All in a day's work. Hooked up the fan and the duct and built the bulkhead for the drywall and thought, this was just supposed to take a couple of hours; what happened to the rest of the day? Bathroom bulkhead built around exhaust fan using existing hole in wall.
© 2016 JEFFREY VEFFER