Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Things That Make Me Happy

Here's a snippet of things that make me smile when I see them:


Heavy duty stainless steel floor registers. ( Is this weird?)  Another ReStore score.

Fancy schmancy wall faucets at bargain basement prices (from a Las Vegas hotel that had its financing yanked after all the materials were ordered, or so the story goes).

Finding ways to build things at 1/5 the cost we're originally quoted.  Here's a mockup of a cantilevered steel stair...I think Jean is more excited about this component in the house than anything else.
And best of all, imagining that one day this project will actually be done, and what started as a doodle will actually come to be.

Soundtracks and Progress Update

I've been thinking of appropriate musical soundtracks for this project.  This week, it's either 'I Can See Clearly Now' as the new dining room window was finally installed.  Or, 'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head' due to a not entirely unexpected roof leak.  OK, bad news first....

When we scraped off the popcorn ceiling in one of the upstairs bedrooms, we noticed a few small discolored spots.  Nothing was soggy or sagging but it did raise some red flags.  This past week we had a fresh batch of snow, followed by warm temperatures which immediately melted the snow.  And sure enough, there was a telltale drip....drip.....drip....like some renovation version of an Edgar Allan Poe tale.  Couldn't see the source of the problem from the attic hatch and clearly there was water above the ceiling so down it came.  It's actually quite remarkable how soggy things were up there and how little it showed from below. 

Once we pulled down the drywall, vapour barrier, and layers of foil backed glass batts, vermiculite, and cellulose we discovered that the source of the leak was an improperly installed roof vent.  In fact, one screw that was never sealed may have been the culprit.  Just another reminder of how important it is to get the details right.  

As for the good news, our friend Mr. Bruce installed the new dining room window with help from Jean while I spent most of the day shovelling up soggy debris or screwing down squeaky plywood floors.  The old window had leaked a small bit at the bottom corner but was simply too high after the raised dining room platform was demolished.  Thanks to Habitat for Humanity ReStore, we acquired a reasonably priced replacement that was exactly the right width and happens to match the existing windows.  The boys had to fiddle around with power tools to find a way of cutting out the stucco to drop the sill.  Again, a neighbour came to the rescue with a monstrous, gas powered masonry saw.  Between that and Monsieur Guy's angle grinder, the job was accomplished in a light drizzle. 

Before (window on the right):

And after:
And it only took four men (Thanks Dave and Dennis) helping to manhandle this triple paned monstrosity out the opening and back into place.  Now, we can actually see outside to the apple tree and the neighbour's back yard.

One major project down....a million more to go.