Don’t worry about the concrete floor.

Just a quick one here. We pulled up the floor tiles in the basement bathroom to discover that the toilet had been leaking and had rotted the plywood sub floor. This probably due to improper installation (a safe bet  considering other work that had been completed) and a toilet shouldn’t leak after 5 years. We pulled out the rotten floor to replace it and discovered that when the waste plumbing had been put in place they hadn’t bothered to concrete back in the floor.

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This does nothing to help and damp issues! A couple of bags of concrete and we were done.

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I want to make a really big ‘space’ part II

In part one I showed you some pics of the ‘space’ we were creating after a handy man had previously helped us take the wall out and leave minimal structural support. You can see in the pics below we have removed the 2-2×4’s that were the only support under the floor joists and also removed the upstairs toilets waste pipe. During the whole process we supported the joists in various places and relieved the pressure uniformly with a variety of 4×4 posts on 2×10’s and 2/8 tonne jacks. We then in one location put in a double 2×10 beam and in our problem spot put in a triple 2×12 beam. All seems to have gone pretty well so far and we were able to take alot of the belly in the joists out of the ceiling without incurring any damage to the walls up stairs.

The beam also has a dual function, one is obviously support, the other is to carry the new plumbing and ducting (the ducting previously terminated and thus rendering a bedroom without heat). The plumbing and ducting will run alongside the beam and then down the wall  – this is all then encased within the trim.

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As you can see from the above picture things have changed quite drastically – yes, the kitchen has gone. In part I the vertical plumbing and electrical was still in place. Now, obviously it has gone and our load bearing beam is in place. Within the plywood (which is giving our final dimensions) is the heating ducting and toilet waste pipe.

Looking in reverse in the picture below you can see another beam. This is a load bearing steel I beam. We also wanted to remove this so we have a continuous ceiling with no visual breaks. The only way to do this was to remove the beam (keeping everything supported of course) cut the joists so as to accomodate a laminate beam and give a flush ceiling. The final result is below.

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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?

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.