Sunday, December 19, 2010

Front Room Drywalled and (mostly) Taped

After a flurry of activity when Malcolm was here, we've hit a bit of a lull. Colin spent most of his free time in October and early November watching Alistair, while Alyssa was not feeling well due to morning sickness and then a bad cold. Alyssa is feeling much better now, and after the holidays we plan to make quicker progress. We now have a deadline - May 28.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Workers

Colin and Malcolm, a little dusty.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Closet

Colin and Malcolm framed out the new closet in the front bedroom and started to hang drywall. With no drywall on the eastern wall, you can see the front hall stairway ceiling and the original, small closet.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Insulation

Here is the upstairs front bedroom with the new windows and new insulation.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Windows

This afternoon, after cleaning up the rest of the construction mess, Colin and Malcolm installed the two new front windows. No more holding up the windows with odd sticks and bits of wood.

Demo Day Two

Today Colin and Malcolm removed the rest of the old panelling, plaster, lath, insulation, windows, and yellowjacket nests (all four of them) from the front bedroom. Alistair called it a "big mess".

The old building material is now on our front porch and in our front yard.

Hope the neighbors don't mind.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Demo Day

Today Colin and Malcolm started to demolish the upstairs front bedroom. They removed the painted wood panelled walls and also the plaster and lath underneath. It is a messy job. When pulling off the east panelling they found a wall of graffiti. One of the names written on the wall is one of Colin's work colleague's husband. Behind the wall of graffiti Colin and Malcolm discovered a wasps' nest. They found four in total. This one we had sprayed for last year, so we knew it was there somewhere.

Upstairs Front Bedroom Before

The upstairs front bedroom is at the top of our renovation list. The walls are painted faux wood panelling and are holding up crumbling plaster walls. The flooring is carpet squares over orange tile floor. There is water staining on the ceiling (from our leaky roof). There is one small closet that is over the stairs.

We plan on removing all the panelling, plaster, and lathe then reinsulate the walls, rewire, install a vapor barrier and then drywall. The ceiling we are going to cover with some type of bead board. (We are sorry that there will be no more starry nights. All the plastic glow in the darki stars underneath the plaster will be covered up. We're still not sure how they glow through.) We are also going to build a closet next to the chimney.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gardening and Painting Trim

Today we spent the afternoon outside. Colin expanded the perennial bed by Judith's garden and Alyssa planted some perennials. After Alistair woke up from his nap, he helped by scooping the compost. Colin painted some trim on the side porch and the front steps. (Yes, the side porch ceiling is on our To-Do list.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Garden Bed and Wall

Alongside our border with Judith, there was an ever growing area of ugly ferns. We took advantage of a couple of warm spring days and dug up all the ferns and rebuilt the rock wall there. This afternoon Colin added some compost, and Alyssa planted some bee balm and bleeding heart she dug up from elsewhere in our yard. Alistair had great fun playing in the dirt with a spade.

We would like to do more work in the garden. One side of our rock wall has fallen down, we have an enormous pile of brush that needs removing, and the right side of the yard is a mess of weeds (a previous owner wanted a meadow).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


One problem we would like to address is flooding in our basement. We live at the bottom of a small hill. Our location combined with an 150 year old granite boulder foundation and no gutters or exterior drainage means that we get a wet basement every spring and during large heavy rains.
We have two sump pumps, but they are both a bit temperamental. We have had a lot of rain the past couple of days. The sump pump in the front half of the house had stopped working in the middle of the night, so we had two inches of rain in the basement this morning. Colin fixed the pump, so now it is entertainment for Alistair, who calls it the "river."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bathroom Blinds

Hurray no more plastic sheet window treatments in the bathroom! Tonight Colin installed our new wood blinds from Smith and Noble. They look great. Next step, paint the rest of the bathroom trim.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last few Tiles by the Booth

Today we finished the last few tiles around the outlet by the booth. (The tape and shims are to hold up the tile above the outlet while the adhesive dries.) Now we're halfway done. Next step is to remove some of the trim from the window over the sink, make it slightly bigger, nail it back in place, and then keep tiling.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tiling around Outlets

Today during Alistair's nap and after he was in bed, we tiled around most of the outlets to the left of the stove. Colin did all the complicated cutting around the outlets. The piece under the center outlet was particularly difficult.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tiling the Kitchen Backsplash

We have learned that doing any kind of DIY is difficult when you have a baby. We have been using our new kitchen for 15 months but still have not tiled the backsplash or installed the pendants (although that is another story). The pink, blue, orange, and two shades of yellow paint give glimpses of how the kitchen has been decorated in the past. That history needs to be covered up.

During Alistair's naps this weekend, we tiled most of the wall that the kitchen shares with the bathroom. We had tiled part of the exterior wall before Christmas. We used some of the leftover subway tile from the bathroom.