Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mark your calendar

My friend Emily of Blackbird, a super cute shop in the super cute town of Almonte (in fact, if you click over to her website, you'll see her standing in her shop doorway, and even she is super cute), is putting on this craft show for November 6th.

There promises to be tons of, um, super cute - and cool - stuff at this show. Each artisan was put through a juried process of applying to the show, so you know there'll be no granny-ish crafts and doodads. Well, some granny-ish stuff is cool again, but you know what I mean. I've seen a preview of a few of the items, and I can't wait to go.

Here are the details:

Handmade Harvest Craft Show
Saturday, November 6th
9 am to 5 pm
Almonte Old Town Hall

See you there!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Off the Wall

Rumour has it that there is now all new wiring in the house, as of this week! My inlaws kindly went over to pay the electrician for his work thus far and they report that there is miles of new white wiring running all through the house. This is great news. Now we just need walls.

Or do we? Here's a recap of what the upstairs looks like right now (plus new wiring now, of course):

Since the next step is new insulation, vapour barrier, hundreds of sheets of drywall, tape, mud, etc., plus the labour involved, it will be rather expensive. Not sure how soon it will realistically happen. So what do you think of this (via Martha Stewart)?

Pretty, I think. Honestly, Chris and I talked about this possibility. We could make it livable so that we could stay there in the meantime. We're all family, after all - who needs walls?? I'm tempted. But we would need a bathroom first.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Destruction Continues

We arrived on the island with zero intentions of doing much work at the house during our vacation. We figured we'd meet our contractor there and see what he quoted us to do the gutting of the main floor, since Chris found the task daunting after doing the upstairs in the spring. When the quote came in within our budget for the year, we jumped at it. It was a messy and huge job that we were glad to hire out.

As a bonus, one of the workmen took the ancient, broken parlour organ off our hands (it weighed about a million lbs.) as well as the old, broken sewing machine. My trash? Another man's treasure, apparently. On the last day of cleanup, they actually managed to also remove the two (yes, TWO: one oil, one wood-burning) dead furnaces from the basement.

We popped in to visit a few times, but didn't stay long because of the mess, dust, and danger factor (turns out small children and large renovations don't mix). I only got one nail through my flipflop, though thankfully it missed my foot.
In no particular order, here are some snapshots of the gutting process:
The boys inspecting the debris:
The back room/dining room, well on its way to being gutted:

Looking through the doorway into the kitchen. The wall between the small, closed-off galley kitchen and the back room/dining room is being taken out completely:

The back entry/mudroom/future laundry area:
A mountain of lath:
The living room, much the same still. The last we'd see of that damn organ:
More of the living room. The workers were under instruction to save and set aside any original architectural features, like these doors:
The staircase wall as viewed from in the living room:
Standing in the front entry, looking back through to the back room/dining area:
Andrew upstairs surveying the damage in the bathroom:
Cameron checking out the view from one of the back bedrooms upstairs:

Here's his view. It's not ocean, but I think it's pretty anyway:

Looking straight down:

The next day, the living room was gutted too. Here's the view from the living room through the wall into the kitchen area:

Here's the back room/dining area, mostly cleaned up:

Standing in the dining area, looking at where the wall came out to open up the kitchen. The pipes coming down the middle will have to move to an end wall:

The living room corner where the organ used to sit, all cleaned out:

The former owners actually left this next to the back door. Thanks!

The front door. I think it could use a little more curb appeal, no?

That's it for now. Next step, wiring. All new, including an upgraded electrical panel. Then drywall and hopefully a bathroom. All in good time, of course.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Over Our Heads

That title is a double entendre. This is a flashback to the roofing adventure of last summer, but we were (are?) indeed over our heads in the figurative sense as well as the literal.

In my post about where things were left last summer, we'd had the old oil tank and wood-burning stove removed from the property, and had just managed to secure a quote with a roofer to replace the roof shingles. The roof was in bad shape, and had started to leak in the bathroom area where the dormer window is. Clearly, fixing the roof was priority #1 before we bothered trying to do any work on the inside. This is what the worst part of the roof looked like:

Barely any shingles left in many spots. We were within about three days of having to leave the island when we showed up one afternoon to finally find this:

Hooray for scaffolding! The weather forecast looked good, so the contractor decided to get on with things at our house (probably leaving someone else's interior reno waiting). Very exciting. He figured two days should do the job, weather permitting.

The next day we showed up again to check on progress, and found two lonely guys working very slowly in the extreme (for PEI) heat. They were about one-quarter finished and it already looked so much better:

We popped back over for one last look before leaving, and they weren't much further:

So when we arrived at the house last week, we were happy to see the finished product:

Lookin' good! Or at least much better! (Note the difference a mowed lawn makes.) Time to move inside the house again for some more demo work...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Appetite for Destruction

Clearly nothing happened at the house over the winter. But over the April Easter weekend, we installed a giant dumpster out front and Chris, his brother Kevin, and two nephews Jon and Josh met up to tear out the entire upstairs. We're talking layer upon layer of old drywall, plaster and lath, insulation, all bathroom fixtures, and those gross old laundry appliances as well.

Kevin was skeptical when he heard I'd ordered the 6' x 20' dumpster, which has 6'-high sides. Well, the only other option was the same dimensions, but only 4' high. I figured, better to have more room than you need than to run out of space. It turns out I was right. They filled that sucker well past the brim.

Since the dumpster was somehow not placed very close to the house (the guys had hoped to be able to throw stuff out of the upstairs windows to land in the dumpster), there ended up being a massive pile of debris on the grass. They found a neighbouring farmer with a tractor and paid him $100 cash to spend 20 minutes shovelling it into the dumpster. Chris says it was the best money they spent all weekend. The same farmer expressed an interest in the tired old sewing machine and possibly even the old organ, but never came back for it. Perhaps he will come claim them this summer?

Apparently it was messy, dirty, stinky, hard work. I'm not surprised. But I will say, believe it or not, that I was sorry I wasn't there. I think despite all the bitching and moaning about sore muscles and inhaled dust and god-knows-what, the guys had fun doing it. Apparently Kevin only fell through the ceiling from the attic once!? They stayed at the Grays' cottage in Stanley Bridge and worked at our house during the day. But enough blathering, I'll let the pictures tell the story:

Above: The Dumpster, placed nowhere near where we had hoped it would be. The guys unloading tools from Kevin's car.

Above: The house upstairs, in the state that Kevin had left it when he'd been there for a few days in March.

Above: Jon wields an ax and takes out the lath in one bedroom.

Above: The dust starts to really fly.

Above: The destruction, the mess.

Above: The rubble starts to build up.

Above: Josh tackles the bathroom.

Above: Tub not out...yet.

Above: The ceiling has come out, along with a lot of old pink insulation.

Above: The dumpster, still pretty empty.

Above: The pile of rubble that has come out of the upstairs windows so far.

Above: The wall is down between the two front bedrooms.

Above: What's left of the bathroom.

Above: One of our neighbours pitches in with his tractor.

The tractor accomplishes in 20 minutes (and an extra $100) what would have taken the guys hours to clean up.

Above: Ta da! All cleaned up - and amazingly full.

Above: One of the back bedrooms, all cleaned up.

Above: Looking through the wall from one bedroom to the other.

Above: The large front (master) bedroom, all cleaned up.

Above: Small front bedroom, straight through the bathroom on the right, and into the back bedroom in the background. You can see the footings of the closet that was in the foreground.

Above: The hallway, with a bedroom on the right.

Above: Done and getting ready to go.