Monday, July 26, 2010

(Day 207) A renovation snippet

Mon. July 26, 2010

As I've previously mentioned, my son's 135-year old home is undergoing extensive renovations. Professionals are doing the bulk of the restoration work after we looked after the demolition and cleanup of the interior walls, floors and ceilings. The cellar has always been quite wet and to help with this problem, gravel was brought in - 17 tons, in fact. I brought the camera to document a day in the life of the renovation project. Oh, I also helped move gravel as it was being poured, via a conveyor belt, from a large truck. The task of distributing and leveling it throughout the cellar is being left up to someone with a much stronger back!

The photos were all made with an 18-55mm lens, an aperture of f8, and shutter speeds ranging from 2 seconds to 1/640 sec.

The start: my son raking furiously as gravel is poured in through the living room floor; he's working so fast, he's just a blur. Note the ray of hope though.














This is a view of the living room - part of the floor was removed to allow the gravel to be catapulted into the cellar (not all of it made it through the hole). Note that the exterior walls have new studs and have had insulating foam sprayed on them (there was no insulation previously). There is also a new sub-floor, new electrical wiring, plumbing and duct-work for heating and air conditioning.














This is the front window through which the gravel was catapulted - the conveyor belt was about 2' short of the window. Most of the gravel made it through, and we washed the lilies off afterward - they're expected to make a full recovery.














This is what 17 tons of gravel looks like, in cramped quarters. Someone with a strong back has been hired to spread it throughout the cellar this week. Then it will be covered with dimple wrap. Note all the new jack posts - these are now being used to slowly lift the floor to greatly reduce the sag and provide support. New duct-work and water lines can also be seen.

29 comments:

darlin said...

Oh my goodness, what a ton of work! It's very interesting but the question is now, wouldn't it have been much cheaper to just build a new home and get exactly what they want built? I'm curious why someone would go through all of this, the work and the expense. I've heard that house prices there are much lower than they are here, can you say if there's any truth to that?

Great photos Rick, I never would have even imagined!

Rick said...

@darlin - well, they did look into building a new home. The cost was far more than doing the renovations, they have a large lot (1.5 acres) in town, and they really like their neighbourhood and neighbours. Plus - they're living with us for free right now! They looked for another house too before deciding on the renovations - nothing much in their price range for what they were looking for. I think that generally, where we live, house prices would be less than Edmonton - not true for Ottawa though.

I'll post a few more photos when it's done - should be quite a difference! Thanks Darlene!

S. Etole said...

What a major undertaking ... look forward to more photos as the work progresses.

Rick said...

@S. Etole - I think what keeps them going is the 'prize' at the end - right now they're hoping for something they can't quite see yet. Sort of like life!

I'll post some at the next major milestone.

Carolyn Ford said...

Oh, my back hurts and my head hurts! I am always in awe of people who have the ambition to take on such massive projects...I will look forward to seeing the progress through your lens...great start!

Carolyn Ford said...

oh...about PhotoShop...I have the Elements 5 and there is more I can do with this version than I will probably ever learn. I think CS4 would totally overwhelm me. I would like Adobe Light Room though...hmmm. It would probably be a giant step, as well.

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Biana said...

I love the idea of a new house in an old framing. That renovation project seems very intensive. But also a lot of fun to see the changes.

That first shot with the slow shutterspeed is great! Fijne dag verder!

marty said...

In France people love to renove old houses
and when finished, they are very beautiful , but what a hard undertaking ! the ray of hope says it will be a great home !!!! the images
are interesting and impressive!
courage for your son !!!!

Photog Ave said...

First of all, I love that ray of light!! Wow!

I think the thought itself of living in an old home, is amazing. I've lived in a 100+ year old house. Imagine the stories you would hear or even come up with. And when you are renovating it, it's that much better, you are adding your touch and story. In 135 years from now, someone will be renovating it again, going through the same process and thinking the same things.

I think it is all worth it. Keep documenting it! And stay strong...in the long haul, it really will be worth it.

Keep us updated!
['รด ] Avery

P.S.Request- I would love to see the front/exterior of the house! I don't think it's posted anywhere?

Scott said...

That looks like a lot of work going on there. I'm glad you don't have to do much of the back breaking part of it. Nice shots of it. Glad you took your camera with you.

Kerri said...

Wow ~ that looks like a LOT of work.

CarreraCaballo said...

A ton of work - But again to work on something is different from just buying and settling in ;-) That way your son and his family will have a life lasting relation with their to be beautiful home :-)

I like the first photo with the light ray :-)

Do you have pics of the whole house?
I love brick and stone walls ;-)

Greetz,

Joseph

imac said...

I feel so tired just after looking at your pics Rick.lol

Katherine said...

Now that is a project & a half. I love the exterior brick walls... I hope you post some follow up photos of the renovations. They're great photos Rick.

Julia said...

That first picture looks like a place where treasure is buried! I'm glad I wasn't suckered into helping with that work.

Rick said...

@Carolyn Ford - thank goodness most of my work on the project is done. Now we're leaving it up to younger (and more capable) people. Thanks for dropping by Carolyn!

Rick said...

@Biana - bedankt Biana. Ja - 't ging een beetje moeilijk, maar 't moest gebeuren. Het huis zal van binnen niet meer herkenbaar zijn - tenslotte dat is ook de bedoeling. Fijne donderdag!

Rick said...

@marty - merci beaucoup marty! My son is holding out fairly well; his wife ... hmmm.

Rick said...

@Photog Ave - thanks Avery; I made a few shots before we started, and I saw that ray and am glad I caught it - it was gone by the time we finished. He's certainly putting his own touch on it - he's a kitchen designer by trade. I'll post an update in a few weeks. Personally I think the exterior is a little boring because it has vinyl siding all over it - no idea what it originally looked like.

Rick said...

@Scott - yes, I'm glad too that someone else will be doing a lot more of the hard work. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Rick said...

@Kerri - hopefully all worth it; you should have seen the place while we were ripping out the interior!!

Rick said...

@CarreraCaballo - thanks Joseph. I've seen the drawings of the interior renovation plans - I think the result will be wonderful and will post a few photos when we get to that point. As for the exterior, unfortunately it's rather dull - vinyl siding - I'd have to make photos of someone else's house if you want to see brick and stones ;-)

Rick said...

@imac - LOL!!

I felt the same way after going on tour with you!! ;-)

Rick said...

@Katherine - thanks Katherine (glad to see you're back - hope all's well). Actually those brick walls are the original interior cellar walls. I'll be sure to do some follow-up photos. Hope you're enjoying your Thursday.

Rick said...

@Julia - ha ha, Mike was hoping to find a rare nickel there so he could pay for the renovations; no such luck!

Hey - now why didn't we think of asking you to come down to help with that!! ;-)

CarreraCaballo said...

Then I am left with no other Soltution than WAIT for the pics :-)

Greetz,

Joseph

Krista said...

Holy moly - this is quite the project! How interesting to fill the cellar with gravel. I hope everything works out alright for you guys!

Rick said...

@Krista - seems like it's going ok; I left for Florida once this day's work was done :) btw - once the gravel is spread it should only be 6" deep.