Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have lost count!

Even though I have not been posting regularly, not one single day has gone by that we have not worked on the renovations since my last post in February. Things are moving along, but there was still a mood of discouragement in the air this morning. This is how things looked:

Well, if that's not enough to make even the most hardy of home renovators let out a sigh and shake their head in sympathy, I don't know what is.

The north-west wall is now clad with wood, and just needs to have the Ayr-Foil and Gyproc applied. This is rough-hewn lumber and it is a bit warped, ergo there are a few gaps where the boards join, but it is solid and once the Gyproc is up, I can vouch for the fact the wall will be as straight as an arrow.

All of the inside divisions are gone on this side of the house, and it feels strange to see such a vast expanse of space unencumbered by walls. We are going to change the placement of the walls slightly. Instead of making two equal-sized bedrooms, we are going to make one larger and one smaller by about 2 feet per room, to line up the walls over the beams we have in our living room downstairs.

Eric made plugs to fill the holes he drilled for the lag-bolts that join the new rafters to the old. These were glued into place and then made flush with a chisel.

Here we are putting up the boards. Eric decided to place 1/2" shims behind the boards to give the insulation just that little bit more space to fill, so we have a true R44 insulation rating. We removed the pink surveyor's cord as we worked our way up the wall, and this little ingenious fix proved to be just the right solution to keep the insulation in place as we went along, without getting in the way.

Eric started to replace the wood of the ceiling in the former tool room yesterday, and I am happy to report that by the end of today, the job was complete. I had already removed the knotty pine blight, the insulation foil, the Gyproc and the tar paper last week while Eric finished up the wall, and yesterday, Eric started to replace the boards one by one. Since the pink fibreglass insulation that is in the attic would fall down if we tore down the entire ceiling with one fell swoop, Eric replaced each board one at a time. At the fourth or fifth piece, he found some rot in one of the collars that was not visible when we emptied the attic of sawdust several years ago. In order to make this repair, he needed to take down the boards he had just put up, which drives home a point I made earlier: use screws, and not nails to fasten everything. Had the boards been nailed, they would have been impossible to remove without damage. It took mere minutes to unscrew the boards, and once the collar was jacked and repaired, the boards were screwed back on, and we could resume our work. As an added bonus, the ceiling ended up straight once the repair was done, much to our delight.

Here we have a detail of the wall paper I found in the closet, once I had removed the cardboard (yes, cardboard) that lined the closets. I like finding this kind of detail, and wonder who had put it up and when.

Since the sawmill was not operational when Eric ordered the wood, he took what they had in inventory. This meant having to handle 16 foot long boards. The easiest way we found to deal with them was to put them in bucket of the tractor, and hoist them up to the window in our bedroom. From here we reached them across the window sill, and into the main part of the house we are renovating. Of course, we could have cut them into smaller, more manageable pieces outside, but 16 feet happens to be exactly half of the length of the house, so we made do. It is far quicker to install a 16' long board than two 8' long boards, provided there are two people doing the job.

In the above photo, the former tool room ceiling is finished, the wood pile that had been unceremoniously dumped in the middle of the room yesterday has been cut into kindling and is now warming me as I sit beside the wood stove and ruminate about our progress.

Tomorrow I will continue to destroy the knotty pine in the guest room, and remove the boards in behind. Then Eric can work some more magic by rebuilding the wall with 2x8's, then insulation and wood cladding. We are still arguing about the lighting in the former tool room, which in its new incarnation will be a guest room. Eric wants a light in the centre of the room controlled by a switch for practicality, whereas this idea just gives me the heebie jeebies. Tomorrow we will have a duel with the cordless drill and reciprocating saw, and I will probably end up winning. Hope I don't lose a finger. Or two.

Wish me luck.


Shepherd's Loft said...

Glad to see things are progressing well. I was beginning to worry with no posts to read.
Have you had time to play with your sock machines in the midst of renovations?
I begin 2 weeks of vacation right now to deliver lambs. I wanted all the ewes to wait till I was home to drop their lambs. Now I am home with no lambs on the ground. Those ewes better get with the program.

Muddy Acres said...

Hi Linda:

Thanks for your encouragement! No need to worry, we are fine, but the amount of work is taking its toll at the end of the day.

I managed to take apart and put back together the latest sock machine, knit a tube, and put it away again. Truthfully, with the renovations and all the dust that abounds, I felt better putting the machines in a safe place for the time being. We are each planning a corner for our hobbies upstairs; I have already staked my claim!

Hope your ewes are cooperating. Nothing like sitting around waiting. But hey, time off means more time to knit! Post some photos of your baby lambs when you get the chance.

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