Bare bones

Yay! Martin the carpenter and his helpers Jerry and Billy started today. They are originally from my hometown in Cape Breton and came recommended by two different sources. The Cape Bretoners are pretty thick on the ground up here, so I have been able to tap into the loose network of Caper tradespeople. So far so good.

The photos here show what greeted them this morning when they arrived. That is brick and more brick. Even the interior walls are brick. It’s all painted military-issue green and gold and in places it is peeling, cracked, spalling and full of efflorescence, or all of the above.

We tried sandblasting the paint off in the front bedroom, but had to quit when I realized the results were not worth the expense and effort. Besides, the place is too small with too few windows (seven total) to have that much exposed dark-ish brick. It would feel too much like a cave. So Plan B is to paint it all white, semi-gloss? matte? Hmm, dunno.  Except of course for the stuff in the front bedroom that was sandblasted. It looks awesome (thanks PJ!) and I could stand it if my bedroom felt like a little cave.

We, meaning me and friends, demolished only the interior drywall+strapping but didn’t touch the ceilings which is drywall+strapping over plaster+lath. That is a messy job at the best of times, but add in the fact that it is over head and the modest amount of fibreglass attic insulation will come down as well. Well, I just didn’t have it in me to tackle this, so I decided to leave it to the pros. Initially, I was undecided about removing the second floor ceiling, but realized it really isn’t that big, maybe 200 square feet, and likely is in bad shape due to some long-term leaks at the brick chimneys.  When Martin pointed out it would also  make the electrical rewiring go much more smoothly, I decided to ditch it. Who knows, maybe they have it down already? I think I will head over at lunch to say hi and check it out.

Front room beside the window. There is brick efflorescence on the exterior wall. Not out of the question I guess, after 100 years of service.

Curved brick detail at kitchen doorway. Notice the very faint stencil of a red rosette just above the green paint.

Old wallpaper applied directly to the brick.

Clean up in the back bedroom

Upper hallway. See? It is cavelike.

All that dust has a nice way of toning down the blood-red floor paint.

Kitchen gutted? Check!

The second scariest corner of the house. Check out that partially smashed slate mantle. I want to keep it, but how?

Mathilde and I survey the, uh, improvements.

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2 Responses to Bare bones

  1. William says:

    Wow, the upper hallway looks way better than before, and all you did was strip the paint off everything.

  2. Rose-Waterloo says:

    Raachellll!!! Wow just checked out all the blogs and pics. We have much in common…I love demolition! This is a great project! I can’t wait to see more.

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