Monday, June 29, 2009

Beam Installed

Once the concrete footing was dry, we were able to move forward with taking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Jerry and Rich came by to help Dave with the work. First, they installed two temporary walls to hold up the floor joists while the wall was removed.

They installed a post in the basement (on top of the new footing), removed the old load bearing wall and put the new beam up in its place.
Here's what our "open concept" main floor looks like now!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Concrete Footing

Our drawings called for a 36"x36"x18" footing for the post, which will allow us to take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We dug the hole and had it inspected last week. The hole needed to be filled with concrete before the post could be installed, so that was our big project this weekend.

We rented a cement mixer from Home Depot and set it up in our back yard. We built a shoot so that we could pour the concrete through the back window into the hole.

Our initial estimate was that we would need 27 bags of concrete to fill the hole. We were pretty close - it took 29! Thanks to Krissy and Kevin for coming by to help.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Boiler Removal

The big old boiler and rad pipes are finally gone! Thanks to Stu and Phil for helping out. The boiler came apart into pieces which made it easier to remove, although one section weighed over 200 pounds!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


We did our research and finally settled on which appliances we want for the kitchen. We decided to order them now so that they're ready for delivery when our kitchen is done. The Brick gave us a great deal. Here's what we picked:

  • Frigidaire side-by-side stainless steel refrigerator

  • Frigidaire built-in stainless steel dishwasher

  • Frigidaire slide-in dual fuel range

  • Panasonic stainless steel over-the-range microwave.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Last of the Demolition

The demolition work is finally winding down, with the last few areas finished this week.

After making our final decision about the second floor, we gutted the smallest of the three bedrooms. We removed the trim from the other two and opened up the closet wall between them. Now we can make the closet in the master bedroom a bit larger. It still won't be the walk-in closet that we're used to in the condo, but it's something...

To finish up the main floor, we pulled up the old hardwood and removed the front hall closet.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Good Luck Charms

While removing some old wiring in the basement, Dave came across two horseshoes. They were stuck up in the ceiling, above the beam. We don't generally consider ourselves to be superstitious people, but something told us that we should probably leave them there! Here's what we've learned about horseshoes in houses:

The horseshoe is considered very lucky and used to be hung in many homes to protect and attract good fortune for the family residing inside. As with many superstitions, there are contradictions to be found with the beliefs associated with the horseshoe. For instance, many believe that to hang it with the ends pointing upwards is good luck as it acts as a storage container of sorts for any good luck that happens to be floating by, whereas to hang it with the ends pointing down, is bad luck as all the good luck will fall out. Others believe that no matter which way you hang the horseshoe, good luck will come. According to this superstition, the ends-pointing-down display simply means that the good luck is able to flow out and surround the home.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Water Service

Something we knew we needed to do right away was upgrade our water service. Several years ago, the City of Toronto had replaced the city-owned portion of the pipes but the previous homeowner had opted against replacing the private side of the service line. We hired Anta Plumbing to do the upgrade for us. Our front lawn and part of our basement had to be dug up, but better now than once basement is finished!

We decided to get some drain work done at the same time. We should be able to get a rebate through the City of Toronto's drain grant program.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Marty and Marilyn came over to plant the cedars this weekend. We planted 19 of them along the back fence line. Although they will fill in a lot, they look great already. The back yard has really come a long way!

Our neighbours have been doing a lot of work on their backyard as well. They've ripped out their yard and are putting in new grass. This weekend, they pulled out the(very weedy!) garden that ran along the property line.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Oil Tank Gone!

A friend of Dave's wanted our oil and oil tank for his place, so he came this week to help take it out. Here's the before and after:

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Results Are In!

Thanks to everyone who voted in our poll. The race was very close! We continued to flip flop on the decision throughout, but we think we've finally come up with a solution for the upstairs bedrooms.

We think that this plan will allow us achieve most of what we hoped for, while causing minimal damage to the exisitng floors. While the "leave as is" option won out in our poll, we've come up with a plan that is a bit of a combination. We'll call this "partial gut."

Here's what we're thinking:

Master Bedroom

  • Add "foamed in" insulation with minimal damage to exterior wall
  • Leave the adjoining bathroom wall as is
  • Add sound insulation to the party wall
  • Gut the wall that is shared with the second bedroom to gain more closet space

Second Bedroom

  • Add "foamed in" insulation with minimal damage to exterior wall
  • Add sound insulation to the party wall
  • Steal about 12" from the closet to add to master closet

Third Bedroom

  • Gut the entire room (this room has two exterior walls, so it makes the most sense to gut it completely)
  • Drywall the ceiling (this has been done in the two bedrooms already)
  • Insulate the two exterior walls with spray foam

After doing some research and talking to lots of people, we think that this plan will work best for us. It will be less work (and less messy) than completely gutting the bedrooms. We'll still be able to insulate the exterior walls, as well as get some sound insulation between our house and the neighbours.

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