Time for a new furnace? Ya think?

We called in our plumbing/heating/gas fitting self proclaimed god for our present renovation. Upon his expert inspection it came apparent that the furnace was original – 1941 vintage, and apparently back in those days the home owner could fit them. The furnace was probably running at 40% efficiency. Couple that with 3mm single pane windows and some poor insulation you’ve got yourself a hell of a hydro bill. We also brought in a ducting subcontractor and well to put it mildly he’s mystified. He’s going to have to spend some time figuring it all out, what is supply and what is cold air return by playing a radio at one end and hopefully hearing it at the other end. There could be a chance that in the present set up there isn’t enough cold air return points in the system. We’ll come back¬† to this post when we know more.

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She’s a big un eh?

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I want to make a really big ‘space’

Remember when we used to have ‘rooms – now we have ‘spaces’. I’m not really sure how this came about as the definition of a room has not changed and thus nor has its criteria but now its a ‘space’. In some respects now, the living ‘area’ (area Vs space – now I’m really confused) conjures an open space concept of which we are seeing more and more in our homes especially now the kitchen is the nerve centre of the home.

Now we’ve got that out of the way how can you achieve the open space. It just so happens that the house we are working on at the moment had an ‘open space’ concept modification done to it – and so the mayhem ensues!

Three years earlier the wall (containing a door) was taken out between the family room and the kitchen. Great idea but just not executed very well. Unfortunately this wall was load bearing and durectly beneath the bedroom wall aswell…..three years down the road and we have a ceiling that has a big belly and bedroom walls with cracks in. Despite all this we still didn’t have a complete opening as there remained a pillar in the middle of the opening with various plumbing within.

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Once we opened it up we could see that the upstairs toilet waste pipe and hot and cold water supply was inside. The only structural support were 2 – 2×4’s boxing in the pipes bracing the top plate – completely inadequate.

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Our plan? We’re going to put a beam in. Route the plumbing along it and down the wall that separates the family room from the hallway. We’re also going to put a new beam in above the opening to the living room (deeper in the picture). Rip out the ceiling and all the lath and plaster. The bathroom upstairs will have all new plumbing put in and we will repostion all the power points in the family room as well as rip out the laundry chute that takes up the corner of the family room.

I’ll keep you updated of our progress.

Removing a chimney

Our present project is a 1941 house. We’re doing various reno’s around the house. We decided to remove the central brick chimney stack which vents the equally as old furnace (that’ll be another story). By doing this we can then utilise the space where the chimney stack once was on three floors. This space will be added to the upstairs bathroom, the family room on the main floor and into the kitchen in the basement suite. True to our form of being recyclers the bricks are being saved for a potential patio (they’re a solid terracotta brick). If we don’t use them somebody will and of course we’ll be posting them on here. For the removal we brought in a subcontractor as he also had the roofing skills to seal up the hole up top. (with matching T lock shingles¬† – which are incidentally discontinued in small orders) We were going to run the new flu up the existing route (using a ‘b’ section – a double walled flu pipe). We then later decided that we would fit a high efficiency furnace (even higher than normal – which equates to 90%) which is then vented out the side wall thus allowing us to completely utilise the void left by the chimney. The removal took a day.

From the picture below you can see the exposed lath indicates how much we have regained in space in the family room and which also allows us to open up the doorway.

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Like wise below we can see the extra space we will take back in the upstairs bathroom and also a cupboard on the landing.

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…..and consequently in the basement (which is a tenanted suite) we can now take back the space next to the furnace where the chimney was.

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