Monday, January 31, 2011

last day of January

Unpacked vanity for main bath so we could see where the baseboard needs to stop.

The new baseboard is a vast improvement over the old. The house is a mess now - please excuse that.

See the baseboard in the main bath? It stopps where the vanity starts.

Also put up drywall in the laundry room. Still have to complete screwing it in, cut out the window opening and tape and mud. Oh yes, prime and paint it too - before Thursday!


Another 13 hour day. Sanding, Cleaning up. Priming. Durabond 90. Cleaning tools. Sanding. Cleaning up. Prime check... Kitchen and bathrooms.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gas hookup

Thursday: the guys from Aecon came to see what they had to do to hook up our natural gas line. They then left the backhoe in the driveway and a trailer-mounted compressor on the road and went home.

The digging started early, guessing that it was around 8am as that's when the breaker tripped when they broke the electrical wire to the post light.

Working away, doing who knows what.

And now we have a gas meter on our house, ready to be connected to a furnace. The furnace is supposed to come on Wednesday.

PS: Yes, they fixed the electrical wire to the post light.

Inside the house on Thursday and Friday

On Thursday, Mario and his crew finished installing the doors upstairs and doing the trim out. I think the doors look really sharp, and Mario did a good job with the trim in such a tight space.

On Friday, Louis was mudding all day (drywall) and I was doing running around, getting things, making phone calls, cleaning up, and then cleaning the tile in the ensuite in preparation for the grout. I thought the shower looked pretty good before, but it looks even better after being cleaned up.

Oh yes, a guy from Rossen Glass & Mirror came to take measurements for the shower enclosure.

This is what the floor looks like after it was cleaned up.

When I was cleaning the shower tiles, I accidentally knocked over my bucket of water and a lot of water poured down the drain, which is not connected! So that made a mess in the basement for me to clean up.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jan 26.4: getting rid of annoyances

Wow - today was a busy day! with lots of stuff accomplished! It seems to me that I spent a lot of time on the phone ordering our main bath and kitchen faucet and accessories (towel bar, etc), as well as confirming that our natural gas hookup will happen by Jan 31st. That will be good because then we can get our new furnace and new tankless water heater installed.

Besides constantly cleaning up, I did manage to get a few things accomplished.

The eco energy audit identified that there was a big draft coming from beside the fireplace. Mario's guys took off the trim so I could caulk it. There were some quite big gaps so I filled it with backer rod (foam gap filler) and then caulked it. I needed to wait for the caulk to set up so I could go back and fill some more. There is over a tube of caulk in this gap!!

Another annoyance was that the stairs from the main level to the bedroom level squeaked. This is my attempt to fix that. I fastened a 2x4 in place under the stair that squeaked the most. The squeaking is because of wood rubbing on wood or wood rubbing on a nail. The risers were nailed to the back of the treads with three nails. When someone walked on the stairs it was obvious that the risers were moving and the squeak was coming from the nails. I glued and screwed this 2x4 to the riser, and the then screwed a few screws from the front (the riser) to help hold it in place. I also put 8-10 screws in to the bottom of the riser (from the back) into the back of the tread, and then removed the three nails that were causing the squeaks.

I had put a number of boxes of floor tile on top of the stair tread that squeaks to simulate the weight of someone walked on the stairs. I will remove the tiles tomorrow and see if the stairs still squeak or if they are okay.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jan 26.3: Tiling the main bath and ensuite walls

Since he couldn't get into the main bath or ensuite because of the insulation guys and the carpenters, Louis decided to lay out the tile for the main bath on the kitchen floor. Not a bad idea as nobody was working in that space.

This is after most of the walls in the main bath tub was tiled.

A closeup of the random glass/marble mosaic. It looks really sharp! All kudos go to Freda for picking out the tile and accent materials.

This is the ensuite shower. Again we have a band of glass tile/marble accent pieces.

And this is a closeup of the accent tile - it is little squares. The tiles have a bit of a striation on them.

Jan 26.2: More doors and trim

As you know, we had the drafty old windows replaced, and at the time I asked the boss if he would be interested in installing some doors and trim for us. He said yes, because he is not as busy in January as a lot of people don't like getting their windows and doors replaced in the cold weather. This is Nick, and he's a whiz with the caulk, patching the nail holes and caulking around the trim.

This is Mike, and he's cutting back the old baseboard as the new casing for the door is wider than the old stuff that we removed.

This photo shows Mario (the boss) at the bottom of the photo and Nick installing the new casing around the old windows. We replaced all the windows except for two - this big picture window in the living room and the big picture window in the dining room. They actually were in pretty good shape and there were no operators in the living room, and two small awning style windows in the dining room.

BONUS PHOTO: Removing the old baseboard unveils the original wall colour! (or one of the original wall colours). Wow.

Jan 26.1: Insulation day

The insulation guys came today. They were supposed to come on Tuesday, but it was so cold on Monday that the truck didn't start so they shifted all the jobs back by one day.

The front door was open while the hose was running up to the attic.

The hallway was really really cramped and crowded. Did I mention that the carpenter and his crew arrived at the same time to install doors and trim?? And of course we wanted to start doing the tile in the bathrooms!

This is afterwards. The insulation is sloped towards the edge of the roof, and there is almost 2' of insulation at the center.

In a couple of places they were able to put some attic vents in place.

The final step is putting the fiberglass insulated attic hatch in place.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Door problems

The doors were delivered last week and were being installed today. The installer discovered that some of the doors were cut too short, or hinged wrong, and one was missing (not delivered).

Louis installed the waterproof membrane on the area behind the tiles.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The last of the demolition

This is the ensuite bathroom. It looks a lot different with drywall! The grey stuff is cement board, a water-resistant backing for the tiles. We will put a waterproof membrane over top of that and then the tiles.

This is the main bath. I need to get more sound insulation for the partition wall.

This is the basement after the last evening of demolition. There were two small closets that were accessed from the stairs that I didn't like because I thought it was dangerous to be accessing closets through a small opening from the stairs. We are going to reframe the closets so they can be accessed from this level.

The area under the heating ductwork is going to be framed as a pantry and storage area for kitchen things. You can see David standing on the landing on the right (well, you can see part of him). He was kind enough to come over and help me with the demolition. Hopefully that is the last of it. Now I can call the guy with the dumpster trailer to come and pick everything up.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Plumbing rough-in completed

The plumber didn't finish on Friday so he came and completed the rough-in so we can tile the bathrooms and put drywall on the laundry room. The plumber asked me to install the shower base so he could hook up the drain but the base seems to be warped, so waited to see Louis' expert opinion on it...

I was working alone today (and didn't have the proper stuff to sand the 1st coat of mud in the kitchen) so I did electrical work instead - replacing old two-prong receptacles and installing plugs and switches in the kitchen.

(Sorry, no photos today).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jan 21st update

No photos today, sorry!

Today the plumber came to finish the rough-in work of the ensuite shower, main bath and laundry area, so we can put up the tile (bathrooms) and drywall (laundry). However he didn't have all the pieces he needed so he had to keep running out to get stuff and then he ran out of time to get it finished. He is coming back on Saturday at 9am to finish.

The kitchen cabinet guy came by to look at what we could do for the ensuite cabinet, and told me that the microwave plug was too low. We were just about to start mudding the kitchen so it'sa good thing he came buy. We removed the board, moved the plug and replaced the board. Then we mudded the kitchen. We had to move the big pile of trim to be able to do that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We have Drywall!

While I was waiting for the building inspector, I installed sound insulation in the walls around the bathroom. The inspector came and okayed everything, so we can install the drywall.

Our doors and trim were delivered today.

Here is Louis fastening the drywall to the ceiling in the ensuite bathroom.

The kitchen now has drywall too - Yippee!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

made in Canada

This is a Kohler shower base (the plumbing trade calls this a receptor). This base is Made in Canada.

So why does it:
  • take 4 weeks to get this product if I order it in Canada vs 1 week in the US?
  • cost $800 in Canada but $550 in the States??

Monday, January 17, 2011

Plumbing inspection passed

This is the bathtub with the shower valve rough-in installation complete.

The plumbing inspector didn't like the venting because the plumber had tied his 1 1/2" ABS pipe into an existing 1 1/4" copper. The copper vent turned in 1 1/2" in the attic space because another fixture had joined it, so the plumber just extended his vent to join that so it was 1 1/2" all the way. The inspector liked that and so he passed it.

Looking through the partition wall from the main bath into the ensuite. The wall with the shower fixture is now framed out, as is the base for the counter.

The electrical code requires a light at the top and bottom of stairs that are more than 4 steps. The inspector said that he wouldn't require me to install a light at the bottom of the stairs because (a) there are only 4 steps and (b) it is an old house that is just being retrofitted.

When I was trying to puzzle out why I couldn't get the lights to work with the existing wiring, I called a good friend, Richard, who is an electrician. Richard told me that the problem was that I didn't have a neutral at the light at the bottom of the stairs and that was the problem and said I would need to run a wire to carry the neutral down to the switch.. That's exactly what I did in the end. Thanks for your help figuring this out Richard!

In summary, the problem with trying to hook up another light was that I only had the hot (power) at the switch, I didn't have the neutral. This made it impossible to add the light at the base of the stairs. I thought it was better to have the light at the bottom of the stairs and Louis said it wouldn't be too difficult, so we fished a new wire from the light box at the ceiling above the back door down to the switch. So now we have proper (to current code) 3-way switches at the top/bottom of the stairs with lights. It is much nicer too, so Louis was absolutely right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jan 13 - bath fans, floor tile

Today we installed two bath fans - one in the main bath and one in the ensuite. Before there was only one fan in the main bath. Technically you don't need a fan if you have a window, but honestly, who wants to open the window when it is -20C.

Since there was only one fan before, we had to install a new fan vent. This is the fan exhaust going to the new vent cap. The new vent cap and the two fans took about 5 hrs.

The tile floor for the main bath is laid out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jan 11 - door handle, ensuite floor prep, basement insulation

The old front door lock was very finicky and quite difficult to open. I ordered the replacement and fortunately it came in on the same day the the plumber broke the old lock.

The outside.

The inside handle.

Prepared the floor of the ensuite bathroom.
Insulated the basement wall (laundry room area).