Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Main Floor Windows Installed

Just a few photos to share.

No work was done today, but the main floor windows were installed after I left yesterday. Oh, that and they boarded up the house... I'm locked out

At least our windows are safe, lol!

Let Me In!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Nicer View!

Taken Yesterday by Shafraaz, 2nd Floor
We arrived to the framers hard at work and I was grateful ;-)

The third floor was being laid and I noticed the windows had arrived! Yay! I believe they're all intact but I'll inspect them tomorrow when the framers aren't all busy nailing and throwing wood around.

Taken Yesterday by Shafraaz, 3rd Floor

Windows Arrived Today!!!!

Framers Hard At Work!!!!

Missing Patio Floor

From The Back Alley

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nice view.

Looking east at the dining room/kitchen. Stairs on the left.

Bathroom window.

Looking west at the dining/living room.

Big 5 ply wood beam over the bathroom!

Pretending to be on the roof deck.

This would be looking down at the kitchen.

This 16" wall cavity will be filled with insulation!

I dropped by the house today to see what progress was made yesterday.  Finally, some framing moving forward. I did some small acrobatics to get some of these pictures! Couldn't resist!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Bit of History

Duncan Donald Ferguson
Our little slice of paradise has only been owned by one other family, the Fergusons. In the early 1920s, Duncan Donald Ferguson bought and built a house on this plot of land. The original house was smaller than what we removed as an addition had been built on the back and a brick porch to the front.

As the story goes, Duncan built this house because he fell in love with Charlotte and wanted to marry her. And having his own land and house was essential to this plan.

Griff, with the aid of his goats and cart, used to go down the hill and collect coal. Hauling his load back up, he would proceed to sell his coal to the neighbours.

Charlotte Griffith Ferguson
Shafraaz picked us up a local history book from the Beverly Farmer's Market. I can not photograph it at the moment as it seems that I've temporarily misplaced it. However, it will show up, eventually. It's called Built on Coal, A History of Beverly, Edmonton's Working Class Town by Lawrence Herzog. All of our notes, gleamed from conversations with Fergusons and relatives are sandwiched between the pages of this book. So, may be we can elaborate later. For now, this is all I can remember!

A new tidbit I've picked up recently about the area: Emily Murphy was a Justice of the Peace in the Beverly town hall!

Griff with Goats and Cart

Original House

Duncan Ferguson on Front Porch with Friend

Saturday, November 20, 2010

So very cold. Progress at a stand still.

South facade! Windows arrive Nov. 29. Will we be ready?
All that wood waiting to be put to use!
This build sponsored by...
It's -17 C right now, with nights getting a bit colder.  Our framer couldn't do much work as his generator couldn't work in the -20 cold last week. So, work is at a standstill. *Sigh* Matt set up a propane heater in the basement, in an effort to keep the slab a little warmer than -20 and also to protect the water line.  I'm not sure it's doing much good.  I needed to change the tank this morning, as no heat was coming out of the thing.  We have a VERY long extention cord that extends all the way to our neighbours' outside plug in. It powers the blower on the heater.  I will have to pay great penance for using all that carbon-soaked fuel!  And I have to head out tonight to see if there needs to be another tank change.  Here is hoping that it warms up next week!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

All that waste makes me ill.

The wood pile to the right grows ever larger. The left over concrete in forms to the left.
I am really feeling ill about all the waste we are creating.  Despite my best efforts, it seems there is a monstrous pile of debris gathering on site.  I am somewhat overwhelmed.  I tried sorting the wood into like-length piles, and some were used.  But there is a huge pile of OSB and plywood in irregular shapes that no one has touched.  The pile keeps getting bigger. And the concrete that was extra from our pour just tears me up inside.  Even if we made a few pavers, there was not enough time or energy left to make more forms before the concrete set. God, how are we EVER going to get better at minimum waste? And to think we SHOULD be making carbon neutral/lifecycle zero-waste buildings already!

Any ideas on how to use the OSB and other treated or glue-laden wood?  The regular, untreated wood offcuts are something we can at least burn in the wood stove. Please help with ideas.

Also, if anyone can use OSB offcuts, let me know.  I'd love for them to find a good use/home.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Concrete Party

We have a concrete basement floor now! It's been a long day.  Matt and I arrived at 6:30am to finish laying out and tying rebar before our concrete showed up at 8am. And we just made it.

Yet again, we had to call for more concrete. But this time, we really needed it.  As I feared when I called in another order for concrete, we got too much in the extra delivery. This time, I took my friends advice and had some forms ready to make concrete pavers! But not enough to use up all of the concrete. Doh!We have learned that we really must order 20% more than the volume we expect we would need to pour the floor. Why isn't this a rule of thumb that I've heard of before? This was an expensive lesson to learn. I have to say, a lot of concrete work is thinking on the fly.  We had to jerry-rig a concrete shute that brought the stuff a little deeper into the basement. A I-joist and some scrap wood did the trick!

I had a fabulous crew: Philip, Tai, Tyler, Deanna, and of course, Matt, our foreman. Philip, again, saves the day by having a good, solid big wheel barrow.  Our "yardwork grade" wheel barrows didn't cut it this time.  And one of them is now very lame.

We were done by 1pm this time.  I spent another hour trying to get the pavers sorted out.  I'll let Serena post more about that. She came up with a good idea that I hope will work. And now, Matt and I are taking a breather before we have to finish trowelling into the night. This time, we have LIGHTS!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Basement Gettin' Ready for Concrete

More or less 4" of rigid insulation!
I have to thank Philip Mees for helping out today, so we are almost ready for concrete tomorrow morning at 8am.  8AM!  That is why I'm an architect- how can one really pour concrete that early and on Saturdays too!
Anyway, Philip was instrumental in helping level the basement sand and installing the terrafoam rigid insulation that is 6" in places and 2" in others, where it covers some plumbing.  I'm not sure I would recommend 4" shiplap Terrafoam, as the shiplap was barely a shiplap and it only did that on the long edges.  I think we should have used 2 layers of 2" rigid that were properly shiplapped.
Now I have to go back for some night time poly laying and rebar-tying. Fun never stops!  I hope my car headlights light up the basement!

And the framers were on site again, getting more of the exterior upper floor walls on.  The volume is really taking shape.  I have to say it appears larger than life.   

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Framers Are Back!

To be honest though, I thought there would be more work done. Still, work *is* being done!


We didn't get there there till after dark, so the photos with my old camera are not so great, but provide a glimpse into what got done today. The back staircase and wall are rising up, looking intimidating from the backyard.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The disappearing sand pile!

The intimidating sand pile. It' taller than me.
My helpers who are awesome with shovels & rakes.
What? You still want to bloom in November?
We had a bunch of sand delivered and conveniently dumped through the large basement window! It seemed like an intimidating amount of sand!  On Sunday, with the help of my super Dad and friends, Arden and Deanna, we were able to spread it throughout the basement floor and rake it flat in 2 hours. Yay!  So, now we are ready for putting down 4" of polystyrene insulation, then poly vapour barrier then reinforcing mesh and then hopefully pouring concrete on top.  Perhaps we'll do that next weekend.  Any concrete-placing volunteers?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And What Do We Do With These?!

Junk Or Art Installation?
Things are a bit slow going this week. In fact, not a thing has been done :(
We're waiting for the framers to finish their other project and return to ours. We are also waiting for basement sand and insulation, therefore, we will not be pouring the basement slab this weekend. C'est la vie!

This time we wonder what to do with these foot long yellow plastic leftovers. There are about 40 strips now, but there will inevitably be more. They are the screw gun "clips" or, at least, that's what Shafraaz tells me they are. I just see wasted poky plastic... hills of these must collect in our landfills.  But my creative banks seem exhausted today; I'm limited to joining everything together to make screens or plant trellises. Sigh.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Upper floor concrete poured, with apologies to our neighbours in Beverly Heights

A frosty start to the day.
Coffee & cake powered concrete crew.
it's a bird, a plane...No, a flying power trowel!
Mike & Alex troweling the shower. Hoping for a slope to drain.

My awesome concrete crew!

Power trowelin' started at 6pm. Finish: 10pm.
Saturday was another intense concrete pour, placement and finishing day.  Work started at 8am and I wasn't done until 11pm.  This time we had lots of help.  A big thank you to Robert, Mike Juchli, Alex & Rita, Nadir, Jud and Matt for helping out! The pumper truck arrived at 8:15am, the concrete truck at 8:30am and we were done placing the concrete by noon. There was a curing/drying break from 1pm to 6 pm, but I found lots of other things to do. Like cleaning up the interior and making sure our basement insulation is tight to the concrete wall.
Our concrete pump guy got nervous at the amount of concrete we had, so I ended up unnecessarily ordering another 2 cubic meters of the stuff.  Most of which is now part of the the basement floor fill. But at the time and in the thick of things, it was far better to be over supplied with concrete, than run out with very little floor left to do. Oh well. Lesson learned. Trust your calculations, rather than a nervous concrete guy.

And I apologize to our Beverly Heights neighbours who didn't send out anyone to complain, [or call the cops] as we power trowelled into the night right up until 10pm. The power trowel has a noisy, lawn-mover like engine on it, and being 1 storey above ground, I'm sure it radiated throughout the neighbourhood. Again, my apologies. I will try to be the best neighbour ever.

Matt and I then hand trowelled until 11pm. Well, Matt did most of it.  He made me clean the tools. My body isn't meant for doubling over to trowel, scrape and trowel some more. Must book massage therapy.

The look of the upper floor is 100x better than our main floor! [Does this mean we're getting better at it?]  We'll be pros by the time the basement is done!