The Walls Start Coming Down, and More Concrete

Monday, September 27, 2010

This past weekend, I started tearing out walls and found the job to actually be kind of fun!  Sharlee even joined in for a while so I was able to scold her about wrecking people’s homes.  Plaster littered the living room by the time we were done for the day.

Interesting discoveries abounded.  Once upon a time there had been a larger window in place of the current stained glass piano window.  Once upon a time there was also a wall dividing (presumably) the living and dining rooms (or maybe the family living/dining area and the formal “parlour” for when company came).

North-east wall of the living room

Our first demolition! The plaster has been removed but the lath yet remains.

Insulation in the exterior walls, or the lack thereof, has been an interesting dicovery too.  So far I have found almost none — no crumpled newsprint, no sawdust shavings, nothing except for in the spot where the dividing wall would once have met the exterior wall.  There, in place of the plaster, was a partial sheet of drywall (gyproc), which must have been installed when the wall was removed.  In that one spot, the bottom half of the wall holds some vermiculite, much settled, and the top half of the wall seems to be stuffed with some type of wool fibres.

Inside one set of living room studs.

This "insulation", such as it was, has all settled down to the bottom of the wall.

Poor John.  While I was having fun on the main floor, he was back in the gravelly basement, mixing and pouring cement again.

Upon consultation with furnace folks (we live in Saskatchewan, Canada so a furnace is an absolute necessity!) it seems the best option is to totally start anew with the furnace and natural gas supply.  Unfortunately the previous owner was not overly concerned about doing things in compliance with building codes and the like.

So, this past weekend John built another concrete platform in the basement, this time for a future new high-efficiency furnace.  As soon as we have finished opening up the walls, the furnace people will be back for consultations on where and how to run the forced air furnace ducts.

We spent the night on the floor in our respective bedrooms Saturday, and John and I lingered over glasses of wine into the wee hours of the norning as we tried to re-organize the kitchen layout in our heads.  More functionality is definitely needed there, but how to get it without too much more money is the big question!  We think we have an idea now.

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