Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Full Steam Ahead!

Where the kitchen cabinets used to be
Now that we got the building permit, renovations are moving forward.  Full steam ahead!

The contractor had brought in a large dumpster bin (the 2nd one!) to deal with the remainder of crap from the garage (there was a lot of garbage in it - some from demolition work we’d already done, much of it left by the previous owner... grrrr.)  But it had to get moved out of the way to allow the small excavator into the yard to work on the perimeter drainage on Monday or Tuesday.  Eeep!  So Friday night, and Saturday after work, I spent several solid hours cleaning up, demolishing what I could and dumping stuff.  In the freezing cold, because the furnace has been disconnected.  But husband man was sick and had a sore back, so I had to do it all myself.  I’m full of awesome, but I just can’t lift large shelves and giant bags full of electrical cables by myself.  I did what I could.

On Monday morning, the contractor and his crew deconstructed the hideous and useless metal shed in the backyard (again, for excavator access) and the upstairs kitchen cabinetry.  Kid 2 and I helped where we could. We had to hurry to fill up that bin before it got picked up.  We are very lucky that our next-door neighbour is a metal recycler, so he took all our metal junk, including the shed, and an old futon frame and, and... Except for this:

Husband-man asked the contractor to set aside all the copper piping so we can sell it ourselves.  It’s valuable enough that this smallish amount adds up to something, yet small enough stuff to fit in our Echo.  He thinks we’ll get enough for a dinner out.  I’m not sure if it will be McDonald’s or Les Faux Bourgeois, but I’ll be happy with whatever it is.

We had to clean as much as possible out of the basement, because the city inspector (one of only 2) had to come to do the pre-inspection on the house and the framing inspection on the garage.  This man was really nice (he even brought back the containers I’d used for the cookies I brought to the building department).  Our contractor had been worried that the city might insist on all kinds of things to bring the house up to snuff.  Maybe other municipalities are pickier... maybe this city is just happy whenever an old house gets fixed up.  Maybe they read my letter and felt really really sorry for us.  In any case, he was happy with what he saw and what our plans were, and signed a paper saying they could finish up the garage roof.  Yay!  (I need to make these people some more cookies!)

Oh, my favourite thing that the crew did on Monday: they reconnected the furnace!!! Now it won’t be so freezing.  And the poor unheated house just seemed so forlorn.  Of course the upstairs will start to smell like cat pee again.

In addition to helping out, Kid 2 got to watch several different kinds of work get done.  He asked questions about equipment.  He wore his steel toe shoes (under duress, like the rest of the outing, as he’s still getting over some cold/flu thing), and his HEPA respirator mask and ear protection as needed.

Here he’s watching one of the crew cut the concrete slab behind the house - where the shed used to be.  They need to cut this so the excavator can dig a trench there, from which they’ll access the drain in the stairwell to the basement.  This was a very noisy and very stinky job.  Two-stroke motor - peeyew!  Later they had to use the same thing inside the basement to cut into the foundation for the new basement bathroom plumbing (awwww, no more throne room!).  Poor worker had to take a break because the fumes were stinging his eyes.  At this point we had to head out to Kid 2’s lacrosse practice (which he didn’t go to because he insisted he was too sick), and then I had to work for 2 days, so we’ll catch up with the crew on Thursday and see where they got to.

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