Friday, November 07, 2014

Apartment Renos

For the past few weeks, (at work) we've been renovating and painting my boss' rental units (two of three which are in a building right in front of our shop). Basically, the main floor tenant moved out, so we fixed-up the main floor apartment (gutted the bathroom, changed the light fixtures, fixed a few doors, and painted everything). Then the basement apartment tenant moved into the main floor apartment.

Now that I've been working in the basement unit, I can't help but really appreciate my tall ceilings, and large, ornate casings. The basement apartment's ceiling ends just about an inch (or slightly less) above the thin colonial casings (the standard ones you tend to see everywhere). It's not too bad for most people, but when you're 6' tall like me, it just seems really low. I much prefer having a ceiling high enough that I can't touch it.

I should take just a moment to point out that the building is quite nice, and sturdily built. It dates from around 1936 or so (according to my boss, and also according to the dates on some of the oldest drywall fragments found). The main floor still had some of the original (thick) mouldings, including a beautiful archway in the hallway.

While I'm at it, here are some of the renovation photos (first floor apartment). To make it more simple (fewer photos and explanations) I've set these up as grouped "before and after" shots.

Here's the bathroom. This was gutted to the studs. New drywall, new floor, etc.

Completely new tub and surround. The old tiles were quite nice, and came off easily, so I salvaged 95% of them, as well as the old ceramic towel bars.

This entire wall was knocked-out (including the closet on the other side) and completely rebuilt to fit the vanity here.

Another shot of the new vanity. It's kind of neat because it has a bottom drawer, which works well if you have plumbing coming off the wall.

We installed a larger door so that the washer/dryer could fit inside.

Here's the much improved kitchen (doors taken down, painted, and everything reassembled)

Lastly, two photos showing some of the nice old details. Not many of the old mouldings remain, but what's there was quite nice.

Anyhow, that random side note aside, the only other house news I have to report, is that I've done more work in the back staircase (attached to the garage). I've pulled- down some of the insulation, and relocated the light fixture at the top landing. After this was done, I replaced the insulation, and finished attaching my vapour barrier.

I also installed wooden filler strips along all the necessary doors and window openings. Normally the window openings come up flush with the drywall, but in this case, the original window openings had been modified, or not meant to work well with a drywall installation, so the strips were needed. These strips just give a clean edge where I will be able to attach the finished mouldings, and decorative "stop mouldings" around the inside "jamb" to hide the insulation round the window insert edges. I'll show this in more detail later.

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