Friday, January 16, 2009

Reno Day 8

We slogged away again today.

I tore down more of the ceiling. This involves wearing a mask, eye protectors and head covering, and still managing to get sawdust into every orifice. Literally. Quelle fun!

Today I found a layer of plaster board underneath the knotty pine. This does not please me simply because I am the poor slob who will ultimately shoulder the responsibility for getting this stuff out of the house. Plaster board does not a happy camper make.

The good news: the temperature rose to a balmy -16C during the day. Even the cats went outside for about a minute or two, and both promptly came in and went straight to the litter box. Thanks, boys, for doing inside what you could have done outside just minutes earlier. With this weather, one of my prime occupations seems to be scooping out the litter box.

Also from the good news file: Eric got another beam into place:

The rafter on the far wall is cut to size, but hasn't been put into place properly yet. It is a 2x8 and isn't nearly as hard as the 4x8's to place; the only purpose this rafter will serve is to provide a place to screw in the boards that will cover the rafters once the Roxul is in place.

Here is a detail of the top of the rafters:

This is how the bottom of the rafter joins the the top-plate that runs the length of the house:

Eric gets an A+ for precision. I get an A+ for patience. We both get an A+ for perseverance. The 3 P's of home renovation.

These monster lag-bolts are 1/2" x 10" and Eric is using 6 per beam. For lighter-duty fastening, we both have one non-negotiable requirement: Spax screws with Torx heads. No use messing around, these are the best screws money can buy. They should be industry standard.

The floor upstairs turns into a veritable skating rink when covered with sawdust. It is amazing just how slippery it becomes. In the photo below, the little door that leads to the knee wall is open; you can see the knee wall is not that wide. Guess who will have the honour of insulating this space? You guessed it!

(It most certainly won't be the cats, although Bob and Howie are both obsessed with this space. The Howarnator jumps over the wall, makes his rounds, and then promptly sits down on the other side of the door and meows plaintively. Apparently he can get in, but can't get out. Or maybe it's just his passive/aggressive way of showing me who's the real boss.)

This also shows the state of disorder that reigns supreme as the work is going on. They don't show you this on home renovation shows. I remember watching "This Old House" as a kid and being obsessed with Bob Vila and Norm Abram's antics. All the houses I remember them doing were pristine and organized, not at all indicative of our reality. Nary a housewife in sight, ready to hurl herself from the scaffolding.

At the end of the day, all the tools are piled into one corner, the power-tool batteries get recharged, the floor gets vacuumed, and all's right with my world once again.

We put a zipper in the polyethylene sheet that serves as a dust/cold barrier. This cool product is called a Tarp Zip-Up and if you are into heavy-duty home renovation, this is a sanity-saver. The box is adorned with a photo of a housewife, happily ensconced on one side of the tarp (the "clean" side), while she looks on wistfully as her husband and son work on the other side (the "dirty" side).

Lucky her.

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