Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reno Day 2

There is a story waiting to be told behind every wall in an old house. Behind the masonite/cardboard we are tearing down, the story is one of caution, and once again reaffirms our decision to tear everything down to the bare wood:

Behold the mildew! This is why you don't want to go slapping up Gyproc over unknown finishes. Once again, those people who say it just needs a coat of paint are delusional and just proves our point! Stuff like this needs to be attended to, and not glossed-over.

I love finding this kind of detail. Old fabric used as insulation to stop air infiltration. One can only imagine just how cold this house must have been before electricity and heaters.

In the meantime, I turned the wood we tore down into wood-stove sized boards. The wood is untreated, which makes it perfect to start the fire in the morning. You can also see the plumbing for the future toilet in the above photo.

The above photo shows another funky repair job. We have no clue what would have possessed someone to nail what we believe to be brass onto the pine flooring as a repair job. There are a couple of patch-jobs similar to this upstairs, and we have no clue what purpose they would have served, other than the "we had it, we used it, job done" philosophy.

The following photo makes me shake my head in disbelief:

$2.50? This molding dates back to the mid-70's! Seems pretty steep, considering this is maybe 35 years old. Minimum wage in Quebec in 1975 was $2.60 . Minimum wage in Quebec is now $8.50. One thing I know for sure: pine quarter round does not cost $8.50 today!

Slowly we are bringing the 4" x 8" beams we need to beef-up the walls into the house. They were milled for us by a local sawmill - our wood pusher, as I like to refer to him. Right now they are being stored smack in the middle of the living room. THIS is why we are still living with plywood floors downstairs.

These 4" x 8" beams will be joined to the original 4" x 4" beams using 9" lag-bolts countersunk into the 4" x 8". The idea is to have about 3" of lag-bolt into the original 4" beam, and 6" into the new 8" beam. This involves some pretty industrial drilling equipment, and would explain WHY we have a drill press standing in the living room. And if you don't know what a drill press is, consider yourself lucky, and if you do, you now know why I am up for the Patient Wife of the Year Award (first prize: a finished house!).

The way I see it, I can view this as a burden, or as a means to an end. I prefer the latter; it's a saner approach to life.


Shepherd's Loft said...

WOW! What an undertaking. You are right to see the drillpress in the living room as a means to an end. It will soon pass. You will do a far better job than you would get by having someone else do the work. You will be most satisfied in completing the work yourselves. Best wishes and keep us posted.

Muddy Acres said...

Hi Linda: Thanks for your encouragement! One question we are asked is, "Why don't you hire someone to do the job?" which is a relevant question where plumbing, electrical, or finishing Gyproc is concerned, but with destruction and re-building like this, I don't think you can pay anyone ENOUGH money to do the job right, simply because it is so labour-intensive. It seems peculiar, but you are right, we are doing a better job than most builders would be able to do. We are on the home stretch right now, and I can almost see the finish line! And the day the drill press leaves the living room with be among My Top 10 days!

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