Friday, September 30, 2016

Victorian Farmhouse - Part 15

So I'm starting to get the hang of Flickr, but it's still not my favourite.

I've sorted through a lot of the photos that I have ready, and I've divided them into certain projects (like the bathroom, the front (side) door, and the upstairs drywall), but basically, we're still jumping around between several projects, so some of the photos will still be a bit random, which I hope is fine.

These beautiful flowers are about 6 feet tall, and they are growing in front of the old detached barn. I had trouble identifying them, but I was sure that I've seen some before. Angelina told me that according to her mom, these were an heirloom variety, which turned out to be correct. These are called Golden Glow - Rudbeckia laciniata Hortensia. They are also sometimes called outhouse plan, or outhouse flowers.


Here are a whole bunch of photos of the baseboards reinstalled in the office, all patched, sanded, caulked, and ready for paint.




The North-facing wall had a big bow at the base due to settling, and it was impossible to install the baseboard properly, so it was shimmed, and we had to go back and feather-in several layers of drywall compound to meet up with the moulding.


For this corner, you will note that it has blue paint on it, which you MIGHT remember is the colour from the hallway. That's because the piece of baseboard that fit between the short interior wall in the hallway was about an INCH too short to fit. I had to make a new length of pine baseboard to go there, so the old piece was used for this corner so that it would be an exact match with the old.


The transition piece looks rather sloppy because 1: it was this way, but even worse, and 2: the baseboards are cupped in different directions. These pieces were feathered together with 45 degree edges, glued together, and nailed diagonally. We added a bunch of drywall compound over the joints and sanded everything, so they should be harder to see when everything is painted.



Pierre had been really REALLY itching to install the crown mouldings. They still were not a big rush to install, but we took 2 days to up them up, and they look great. Remember: we got these for 1$ per length (most being 8-16 feet long)! Angie approves!


They will show up a lot better when everything is properly painted. Right now everything is uneven shades of white on white, so the photos aren't the best. All of the trim will go grey, and the walls and ceilings will go off-white.

Because these are MDF, they are quite flexible, which is a big bonus when working in a very old house with lath and plaster. You can see how crooked these are, but once all the cracks are filled, it doesn't show at all.



Living room crown:




These next two photos show Pierre's enthusiasm after the old electrical panel in the living room was FINALLY FINALLY removed. We've been held up from finishing this corner of the living room for months at this point. This also meant that we had all of the new electrical hooked up and working! No more extension cords everywhere!



So with all the old junk disconnected, we could finally finish up and repair this mess of a corner.


Back to mouldings. This is after everything was patched (nail holes, chips and gouges), and caulked.


You can see the crown a lot better. The nail holes still need to be filled. We were lucky to have a compressor and nail gun to install the crowns.



First layer of compound in the living room corner.



Most of these pieces were already cut and ready. You will also note the opening for the exterior side door that we had started working on. That will be shown separately.



The old mouldings from the side door were going to be about an inch or two "off" so instead of trying to reuse them on the same door, they were installed on the doorway to the kitchen (on the right). The new (matching) tongue and groove was installed at the same height as the rest of the room. For whatever reason the original t-g was about a foot taller ONLY in this corner. That made no sense, so we modified it so everything is the same.



The old casing had a notch in it for an old rim lock, so I fitted patch in there, glued it, and carved it to match.



After caulking:




More drywall compound (and corner seams).


Finishing the crown in the living room. Going around the slope in the stairs was tricky. You can't change the angle of the crown, so normally you either skip crown around slopes or awkward corners, or it hangs funny, and you have to fill it in with a box, like I did here. This is very tricky/advanced woodworking, so if you attempt this, take your time and measure carefully.



This is the ONLY joint in the living room (not counting corners, obviously). You want to avoid joints as much as possible, because they tend to separate or open up. To avoid this, they need to be lapped (45 degree joint), glued, and held with extra nails in the surrounding foot around the joint. Additionally you need to carefully putty and then sand the joint smooth.


You can see the old shadow line on the ceiling from the ugly plywood and wallpaper cabinet that used to be here.


This shows the crown filler strip in the sloped portion.



Crown in the hallway:


At both outer corners, the crown does a "return", where the crown basically does a 90 degree turn into the wall.




Installing the chair rail (custom made by me) in the living room corner.


These last 6 photos are random. Here we see some of the drywall patching in the master bedroom (upstairs).


Angie could not live with the textured popcorn ceiling, so Pierre did a first coat of compound over it, which I'm sure was a hellish job.


Here's the new patching and finishing around the basements stairs that I did. This will probably all be painted grey to match the basement stones/ceilings, etc.


You can see how everything lines up nicely.


After the electrical was relocated, the old iron plate that was bolted in the peak of the house was removed. I noticed that some decorative cedar shingle work could be seen through the hole in the siding.



Monday, September 26, 2016

Victorian Farmhouse - Part 14

Alright, I'm DONE with trying to navigate and figure out Google Photos. No one deserves that much stress. I've decided to try Flickr, because it's linked through Yahoo! and I already have an account there. So far I don't like it either (it uses a stupid "group photo pool" timeline style same as Google Photos), but it seems much faster and easier to navigate and organize.

Okay, so here we go. We're like a month or two behind, and I don't even know exactly where we left off. These are some of the flowers growing in front of the kitchen addition. They are being smothered by goldenrods which are invading the whole flowerbed.



OMG yes this is so much simpler with Flickr! It automatically loads the embed link the same as the previous photo. So much less clicking! Moving along...

This was after a bunch of the electrical had been done, but before the power had been hooked up yet. We can see the new location of the meter, and panel in the basement (farther down).



The flashing on the new roof is done.


These are the 4 garden beds that were setup this year in the side yard. Angie's sister randomly bought a whole bunch of plants, and a bunch of them got planted throughout these beds. The farthest one is tomatoes, the second one is part tomatoes, basil, and eggplant, and the other two beds have an odd mix. We think there's broccoli, cabbage, kale, and some random flowers and herbs.


The new electric panel.


Upstairs in the master bedroom, the electrician had to install bolts through the exterior wall, so we had to open up this corner of the wall. The drywall was carefully removed so we could easily patch it back in.


Due to some of the renovations, the existing stairs on the back/side of the house (the cement ones) would be getting blocked off, so we decided to reopen the original location of the stairs under the Victorian staircase. This had been VERY poorly patched, and it was very messy taking this out. It's very clear that the stairs were here because of the way that the logs were cut to form an opening here. The white vent pipe and gas line for the furnace will eventually be moved to the other side of the house.


Here's a totally flattering photo of yours truly. This is pretty much how I tend to look during these renos. I know, totally hot, right?


While I worked on patching the floor in the living room, Pierre decided to start demolishing the kitchen floor.


A nasty surprise, which halted the work, was this old vermiculite insulation. No one seemed sure how long it's been there, but there was a possibility of asbestos, so we decided not to work in there until we made a plan to carefully and safely remove it.


Here's the repaired floor in the corner of the living room. This was the most tricky (and least solid) repair, because there wasn't really anywhere that I could solidly anchor the floor. No one will be walking here, so it should be fine. The floor is nailed on the wall edge, and held with screws along the short corner wall. The front (longest) board is the most solid one, because it rests on the logs at both ends.


The next two floor patches were in the upstairs floor. I'm STILL not sure exactly what species of wood it is, but it seems like a hardwood, and it's 1 1/4" thick (very good quality). This was an old stovepipe style vent hole that passed through the hallway ceiling on the main floor, and through the master bedroom floor. It had been very sloppily patched with random bits of tin, wood, and cardboard. It looked really wonderful (sarcasm).


Not only were the pieces of tin random, so were all the nails. Long, short, and even short upholstery tacks.


There was a cardboard cut from an old Green Giant Giblets box!


Garbage. It was very poorly nailed, too.


Always stagger the joints when patching a floor. Not shown is the 2x4 screwed to the left side beam, and the diagonal brace screwed in place to support the second and third boards.


So much better! The floor is salvaged from under the bathtub.



The same process was followed for the hole in the spare room (the one that was in the ceiling of the living room).


Here's the finished woodwork around the rebuilt corner in the living room.



Our next project was rebuilding a set of stairs to the basement. Because of the odd size, I was barely able to fit the stairs to a good size. It would have been nice to have deeper steps, but this would have made the stairs too wide, which means your head would end up in the floor beam at the end of the opening. The height is around 8 1/2" which isn't too bad (same height as the old cement stairs on the other side).


The stairs look crooked in relation to the floor because they roughly follow the side of the foundation, and the beams are largely eyeballed. If you look at the wood tree trunk beam in the threshold, you can see it's curved, so once the floor is patched-in, everything will look fine.



This is one of the largest daddy longlegs I've ever seen. The leg span was about the width of the entire casing (which is about 5"), yet the body was still half the size of a ladybug.


With most of the electricity finally inspected and passed, I was able to start reinstalling the baseboards in the hallway and living room. We were going to wait to have the floors sanded FIRST, but instead we decided to sand the floors around the edges of the room instead, and just install and finish the trim.


Along with the installation of mouldings, I did a LOT of crack-filling around all the old mouldings. These few photos give you an idea of all the gaps that were around the doors and windows.




This gives a good idea of "before and after" crack filling to show just how much difference this makes.







More soon.