Monday starts out with Barb & I putting the final touches to the dryer by installing a dryer vent and then doing a load of laundry in our ‘new’ machines. What a treat this is, after 14 years of using a coin laundry! After lunch, we continued our construction with some of the little jobs – closets etc. Barb was excited about seeing the completion and while she was nailing a stud wall section together, nailed the wall section to the floor! Oppssss, the nailing guns get heavy after awhile and sometimes if you don’t get the angle right… well, it wasn’t much to un-nail it and get it upright and in place.
Tuesday was an active day, now that we have the ceiling joists up in the bedroom, we needed to complete the drain venting for inspection. It was a little easier than the actual drains, air can flow uphill. Now with the venting in, we can continue with the walls that a few of the vents go through. The wall separating the bathroom and the furnace was built and the drywall put on before we lifted it into place. There is no room left in the furnace room to hang the drywall so it had to go on before. Gooping and painting is another story though. Once this was all done, we called our building inspector for another visit so they could sign off on the total plumbing and interior framing work.
Wednesday, the wiring of the house begins. It doesn’t seem to matter how much planning and thought you do, there is always something you forget. We had our design drawings that showed how everything connects, so we thought it should be easily completed by the weekend. Drilling holes and pulling wire is not a daunting task but for us oldies, the hands, arms and backs were very sore by the end of the day. We bought new spade bit drills so we didn’t have to fight the drilling but you had better have a good grip of the drill when the bit gets to the other side of the stud or it catches and tries to spin out of your hand. Now that hurts after awhile!
Thursday was our building inspection day and again, we passed. Another milestone for us and we do not see them again until we are insulated. A lot is going to happen before then though so back to wiring. It’s not a big house but I’m glad I bought a condensed code book to help me through some of the code requirements. When we built our house in 1983, my dad helped me with the wiring then but this time, we’re on our own and sometimes, trying to figure out the switches was a little confusing. We did not think we would use the amount of wire we did and if I had been neater in laying it in the attic, we would have used more! Enough said about that neatness thing.
On Friday, we wired the kitchen. Now, here we used lots of wire. It has more circuits to it than the rest of the house. There has to be separate counter outlets on different circuits, same for the fridge, nuke and dishwasher. Barb was instrumental help with all of this – drilling, wiring outlets, helping pull wire, holding the ladder when I am up in the vaulted ceiling and the ole ‘honey get this and get that’! By the end of the day, we were done and only had the back mudroom and hall to wire.
Saturday we did some small wiring jobs that we missed but it was Barb’s birthday and Terri & Mark were coming in to help – actually, Terri knew her mom was a hurt’n construction gal and was coming in to take Barb to a spa for a massage and a petie. Mark & I tested a new beer he brought then poured some concrete.
When the ladies returned, the cement was almost done and then dinner and a few games of fast track before turning in. It was a nice day, even though I had forgotten that it was Barb’s birthday until I turned on my computer and it told me what day it was but by then, it was too late!
That is it for this week and we hope all is good where you are.
Last week was exciting, this week was over the top! Now that all the important rules and regs are out of the way, these two old folks are gett’n down with it. Sunday was a little slower paced, we picked up more supplies (plywood, screws, 2x4s and our toilet – on sale) for the week – something like JIT inventory, we don’t want to keep moving stuff around. We also replaced the floor planks in the kitchen – we didn’t want to get too involved as we were taking the day off to enjoy some music in the park with friends Bob & Sue in Crystal Beach. We had a great time and lots of laughs with Bob & Sue over dinner, beverages and music on the shores of Lake Erie. Life is good.
Monday, we smoke into laying more sub floors. We had more than 70% of the floor left to do and with Terri & Mark’s help, we got it all done by dinner time on Monday. Wow, such a small place looking so big! But I screwed up and forgot to install the electrical wiring under the floor for the kitchen island outlets. This is not a big deal for homes with basements but for us with such a shallow crawl space and we don’t have a trained ferret to pull the wires in for us, we’ll have to lift a piece of the plywood up.
Tuesday, Judy & Larry (our cousin) came over for a visit, chit chat, a tour of our project and discussion of their newly purchased condo in Kitchener. It was a welcomed day off – sort of. After Judy & Larry left, we took up some plywood, cut some of the old plank flooring to pull in wires for the island outlets. Replaced the plywood and now we’re ready for some interior walls! Yipee!
We took another day off, again sorta. We wanted to purchase our kitchen cabinets today to qualify for the 15% savings so off to Ikea. We tried the big box stores as I’m sure I may have already stated but we couldn’t get exactly what we (read Barb) wanted but we could with Ikea. I liked the soft close doors and drawers that are standard with Ikea – I’m sure you pay for it in the end but…. After paying, we had to pick up and bring them home and unload it to the garage – wow, we had our exercise for the day, loading and unloading the cabinets. Still some daylight? Let’s get more supplies for the walls – 2x4s etc so off to Lowes in Niagara and hand picked 100 sticks and some drywall – we had to put the drywall on a wall while it was on the floor because there is no room once it is up – only inches away from the furnace. Again, only the two of us old folks to unload our supplies!
Now, back to work, enough days off playing around! Today we start erecting the interior walls – this is almost too exciting, to see this progress. So, this is Thursday morning and we start, Barb cuts and I nail it. The nail guns are a bit too heavy for Barb to handle. Once we get the wall standing, Barb measures and cuts the wall blocking and I nail it in. It is like an assembly line. By dinner on Friday, we have all the walls up! Matching the flat ceilings and the vaulted ceiling took some ‘MacGyvering’ but it’s an old house so adding one piece at a time, measuring and cutting as required. Barb & I are a good team and soon it’s mostly done.
On Saturday, Terri & Mark stopped off for a visit. The War of 1812 re-enactment was playing out at Old Fort Erie so we walked down to watch the happenings. It was very busy and noisy with the cannons blasting and their muskets roaring. A neat experience and a nice way to end a week of hard work. Hope all is good where you are….
We started the week off a little slow, Barb was ill and flat out all day Sunday. I was ok so I got some more small jobs out of the way, like replacing floor boards that we lifted out for the foam spraying and the HVAC, picked up lots of construction or de-construction rubble that had fallen down the open perimeter of the floor and tidied up some.
Monday is a day off sort of, we have doctors appointments all the way on the other side of TO, a 6 hour return trip!
So, on Tuesday, Barb still not feeling 100%, we start laying in the hot and cold water lines. We decided early in the project to use PEX pipe instead of copper. I did the lines in our Stouffville house in copper and if your soldering is not 100%, it is a pain to drain the line to re-solder the joint – need I say more? One has to get the crimp ring on the fitting though. I missed doing that on a fitting on the kitchen line and when we turned the water on, it quickly spit the fitting off and water was shooting all over the floor! By the end of the day, we’re all done and I call the town a little after 5 for an inspection of all stuff under the floor (HVAC & plumbing).
Wednesday we are waiting to hear from the town about an inspection appointment so why not go out for breakfast and pick up some supplies. We get a call and the town will be out tomorrow to look at our progress. In the meantime, we put pipe supports on the hot & cold water lines on any spans over 4 feet. We also sold (basically gave away but they didn’t go to the landfill) a surplus window and the wall furnace that we took out when we did the de-construction.
Thursday is inspection day but we’re not so nervous this time as we’re confident in our plumbing job and this wasn’t the HVAC guys first rodeo. All of our plumbing drains were only dry fit so we wouldn’t waste parts or time if they were not correct. The inspector was happy with everything we did and okayed the job for next steps. Yipee, we’re excited now, we are clear to glue up the drains and start laying subfloor! The inspectors parting comment was “you guys will have a cute place here when your done”. Right after a quick bite, we start gluing the drain fittings and get the system cut into the main drain. Barb did most of the gluing – she is good at it and much neater than me, needless to say, I would have had glue everywhere! We have to wait until tomorrow to do a water test so it’s clean up time and then a beverage to celebrate our progress.
Another milestone day, water test day. Our sewer connection is a ‘Y’ so we just removed the stub on the one side and insert the test plug and started filling the kitchen drain with the garden hose. Seconds later, the water nozzle flies off and we are spraying water all over the floor inside the house – yikes, is this an omen? We’re too busy to fix it now so we kink the hose and carry on, we want to make sure our gluing is good. Barb is watching the toilet flange and the water comes to the top so the plug is working, now we wait. I get the broken hose outside and shut the water off and by the time I get back, Barb says the water has dropped an inch or so. Now this is not good news, do we have a leak or is the test plug not completely plugging the sewer. So we check all the fittings to find the leak. We found the culprit – the shower drain trap is leaking! Crap, but after a closer look, we missed gluing this one! That was a relief, an easy fix and we carry on, satisfied that our glue job is good, we put pipe wrap on both the hot and cold water lines and are now ready to start laying the sub floor – yahoo!
We already have a few sheets down in the bedroom and so we carry on from there but soon realize that this old house is not square and we have to make custom cuts to fit the plywood in. Naturally, our new floor joists are bang on! The bathroom floor was a little tricky with all the pipes coming through but I have a quilter working me and she can figure any puzzle out and soon, we have the plywood cut and in place perfectly.
Saturday, more subfloor up into the main area of the house, more pipes and custom cutting. After a long day, Barb wasn’t tired enough so decided to cut some grass too! I can’t slow her down these days….
That’s it for our week, hope all is good where you are…..
We are expecting the HVAC installed tomorrow – Monday! But we have to do some things to be ready – like prep the area it is to go. It should have a floor, potential wall locates and some electricity. We also want to have everything out of the house in case the guys need to cut more floor to hang the ducts etc. Before we move all our tools back into the garage, it should have a little house cleaning so ‘things’ have place to go! At the end of the day, a small floor area is down with the finished walls marked on it so the guys know exactly what space they have to work with. The garage is tidied up and the house is empty except for the chop saw and stand. We also have our fingers crossed that tomorrow actually happens and the HVAC is finally installed.
Wow, first thing Monday AM we see a furnace being carried into the house! Yes, we are dressed and ready and go out to take some pictures and ensure all goes correctly. They set it on the floor and set about assembling the plenum to the furnace and bringing in the duct structures. It’s happening, we’re starting to move forward again! The first estimate on time was they would start Monday and probably be out at the end of the day Tuesday.
While all this excitement was going on, Barb found a deal on a washer-dryer pair for sale not too far away so we have an appointment to see and buy them at 2PM. We arrived a bit early but the seller was there and happy to see us. We took one look at the pair and realize they were very well taken care of and immediately pay the asking price. Barb & I carried the dryer out without any problems, not too heavy for us. As we were taking the dryer out, another buyer was approaching and was not happy that the units were sold – I guess he thought he had first dibs on them and made the trip for nothing. The washer was another story. We used a blanket we had with us and got the washer to the front door – thank heavens it was on the main floor. The seller felt sorry for us and helped us carry it down the front walk! As we were nearing the last step, Barb lost her footing – she was on the short side of the walk and was starting to fall. She managed to set the washer down but could not stop her fall and she went down hard into the garden. Why didn’t I have an appliance dolly you say, a good question but we didn’t and Barb was hurting and I felt terrible. After a few minutes of rest, we wrestled the washer into the truck and secured it for the ride back. How in the hell are we going to get it out of the truck & into the garage? Maybe we’ll have to hook it up there and do our laundry in the driveway! By the end of the day, the furnace was in place with the plenum installed with the cooling coil, the cold air returns in and the hot air trunk under the floor. So, good progress today but can’t see them finishing up by Tuesday. We have a ‘new’ washer and dryer and with help of our neighbour, Rob, got them stored in the garage. Then we get Barb settled in to relax and tend to her wounds.
Tuesday was another exciting day of action. The HVAC work continued and we went shopping again! Off to HD for some electrical supplies – we want to have stuff on hand so we can have the wiring under the floor for the island kitchen cabinets. We also picked up our shower stall. It has to go in the same time we put the floor down so we can ensure the drain lines up and connects properly. This is a challenge when there is no room under the floor to work on plumbing etc. Normally, most of this type of work is done from underneath after the sub floors are installed but with only 10-12 inches of clearance, it has to be done as we lay the subfloors. It’s kinda like building a house backwards and everything has to be thought of before the subfloors go in. We bought a 3 piece unit but it came as one piece and we have to disassemble it when we install it.
We had a nice surprise soon after we got back, Randy & Norma stopped by for a visit and gave us a ‘house warming’ card and a gift certificate for our favourite eatery. After hugs all around and some chit chat, Randy & I unloaded the shower and stored it in the garage too. Thanks guys for stopping by, your welcome any time even if not bearing gifts!
Our water meter has not been reading our consumption so we called and the town sent out a repairman on Wednesday to check it and replace it if necessary. After a short look and see, he replaced it with a more modern RF unit, one meant to be in damp, dark places! Also on Wednesday, the compressor is installed and more ducts are in. The furnace is vented and all is moving forward. There is a small glitch for parts – apparently, they had ordered parts but the other team took them and can’t get to them because the floors were refinished and no one can walk into the house for a few days! So they only worked a part day here but will be back tomorrow!
We’re too excited on our progress so we unwrap the shower and it is nice and big – compared to what we have been used to for the last 14 years! With little action going on inside the house, today is a good day for an ad-hoc project. Remember we acquired another door for the back of the house? Well, the one we took out was ear marked for the garage so we start that project – it should be a nice afternoon peace of work! While I was doing that, Barb got the power washer out to clean the fridge that was here when we bought the house. It was too disgustingly filthy to even think about using so we were going to sell it in our neighbours garage sale on Saturday. After a lot of scrubbing and power washing, the fridge sparkles, I can’t believe it is the same unit. Maybe if we hadn’t already bought a fridge, but it’s not the right colour!
Thursday was a day off we were looking forward to, our dear friends Ann & Bill from the Plantation came over for a visit. We gave them the cooks tour of our hobby house and had some chit chat, checked out their new truck – too bad it is a Chevy Bill but nice anyway. We took them down to Erie Beach for a little walk about then off to – yes, you guessed it, the patio overlooking the Niagara River for lunch. We came back here for more chit chat and they bought the fridge for their son – he was in dire need of one. Bill & I loaded it into their new truck without scratching the bed and they were on their way.
So, Friday we get at the drains. You would think it is pretty straight forward, as long as it has a downward slope – you don’t want anything flowing up hill!. With all the duct work under the floor, we had to plan it out carefully. It certainly was more difficult than I expected and again due to the limited work space, 11-12 inches plus the duct work. When we did the plumbing drains in the house back in ‘83, it was not too difficult since we had a basement to work in. This time, we made many trips to Timbrmart and Rona to get the proper fittings to make all the connections and still get a proper slope. They say poop does not flow up hill but ya never know….. We finished up mid day on Saturday.
That’s our week, we hope all is well where you are….