Thursday, June 11, 2015

A house update

While we were away, Ray was doing a lot of gruelling demo work on our house.  He sent me a couple of shocking pictures plus an entertaining video of 'wall meets sledgehammer', but I didn't see the real thing until I went over for a site visit last week.  Whoa.

Walking in the front door: Honey, I'm home!

It's like a house skeleton.  And of course, it looks even smaller to me without walls and ceilings, but Ray and Al assure me it will be just fine with the new floor and everything finished.

The fireplace is going to shift a little to the left, and Ray is going to try very hard to salvage some of the bricks because thank goodness, they match the exterior.  Pete really, really wants the finished house to look like it was always a two-story home, and to pull that off we need matching brick, which will be near-possible to source outside our own walls after so many decades.

That window to the right of the fireplace?  Hello, window over kitchen sink.  I can really see how the layout we've planned will drop into this space and it's exciting, but at the same time, hard to grasp how we will get all the way from here to there.

I stood on the basement stairs to take this picture of the front door.  In the old days, I would have been pointing my camera at a wall between the stairs and the kitchen.

Weird.  Weirder: being at eye level with the floor of what was once our bedroom closet, thanks to there being no wall for the stairwell any more.

We are looking straight into what will be the new kitchen from here... with the new living room in the foreground.  There will be more windows on the wall on the right hand side, but facing us, just the existing window.  The rest of that wall will be cabinetry.

Speaking of windows: you'll love this one.

Behind this stack of salvaged doors - you can see the traces of it just above them - lies what looks like an attempt at a window opening that's been filled in with scraps of cinder block and broken bricks.  Judging by the look of it, Ray figures the builders messed up and put the window in the wrong spot, and weren't too happy about having to patch it up.

The other cool thing is to see how the builders dealt with wartime shortages in 1942.  And when I say cool, I mean that literally (because paper bags stuffed with a little straw don't do much for heat retention, especially when unaccompanied by other insulation and used only in random crevices) and also not at all, because what could be more miserable than taking out a 12" depth of sawdust from the attic?  Ray figures that's how they insulated up there before a later owner added batts.  Glad I was in Newfoundland for that part.  And isn't it nice that Ray, not to mention Al, is/are still speaking to me?

The condo doesn't look anything like this, but it doesn't really look like a condo either... more like nicely furnished storage locker with boxes lining the walls.  I'm not quite sure how to finish unpacking without more storage furniture, but I don't want to buy more furniture for the condo because I really, really don't want to have to move it again later.  Not sure how to deal with that job, but it's a much nicer one to have than the one Ray's got, so I am not complaining.

Hope you've been having a good day and I'll see you tomorrow!

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