Archive for February, 2010

In the bleak midwinter

February 26, 2010

After getting the two big surfaces of the roof shingled, the weather became more persistently winter-like in spite of the local reputation for being the “banana belt” of Ontario.  I worked at getting the plywood skirt on the heels of the trusses.  This has two functions,  1) to provide additional secure attachment (hurricane ties) of the trusses to the nailing plate which is bolted into the reinforced concrete bond beam at the top of the wall and 2) to reduce the wind infiltration over the top of the wall.  In the long term, a space must remain for air circulation in the attic up to the ridge vent on the peak of the roof, but I had enough scrap plywood from the roof deck process that I put temporary closures of the space between the top chords of the trusses held in place with a single short deck screw.

January 11, Plywood skirt on the truss heels south side of the house, air gap at top between top chords.

West face of house, plywood skirt plus temporary covers of the air gap.

North face of house, boundary between finished plywood skirt with temp panels, and fully open section.

February 6, first wall frame section for garage/ workshop bathroom in place and plumb. Next section being assembled.

The long section of garage/workshop wall with door opening a 6 inch plumbing wall ready to erect.

4 inch framing of bathroom walls in place.

The entire framed bathroom walls.

Edge of bathroom walls to left and rest of workshop/garage wall and door.

Bridging the trusses, so all firring strips for drywall go in the same direction.

In January I discovered that there was some cracking of the concrete slab floors in both garage and house. On the advice of my cement contractor I guessed it was due to freezing under the slab stressing the concrete by lifting on it. It was recommended that I use heaters to keep the floor from freezing deep, to prevent more cracking and I had purchased a multi-fuel (kerosene/diesel fuel) space heater from my neighbor Ron, down the street who is finishing a strawbale house, and was loaned another by my plumbing electrical contractor. Now whenever the temperature went substantially below freezing I run the heaters to keep the floor temp above zero. When we had our really cold spell, I had not finished closing in the top of the wall so the wind whistled through, and I added a second layer of poly film on my windows. That also helps to keep the interior warmer, even without insulation or real heating. The cement guys assessment is that the cracks will largely disappear when I stain and polish the floors.

I continue plugging along at the interior framing, now working on the walls in the main house.

February 10, Floor cracks.

Floor crack and kerosene/diesel fuel space heater.

February 19, North wall of master bedroom with entry door and door to walk-in closet framing complete.

Looking down the hall at bedroom walls and closet framing.

February 23, West wall of master bathroom with closet door of guest bedroom.

Framing for master bathroom walls complete.

Complete framing of Master bathroom walls, and machinery room wall.

February 25, Framing of half-bath and Washer-Dryer alcove complete.

February 26, Beginning to frame the kitchen wall dividing it from the entry hall.

Kitchen wall framing complete, with door to the entry hallway.

Looking up the hall from the front door, to the half-bath and entry door to the great-room on the left.

March 2, Entry closet framing finished.

Guest bedroom closet bulge into master bath, framing finished.

March 3, Pillar to ceiling for support of cabinet island and power and switch feeds.

Outer shell of the cabinet complex dividing kitchen from great room.

March 4, framing for cabinet structure complete, pantry/closet on nearest end.

Framing on the east kitchen wall, provision for plumbing, electrical, and vents.

On the weekend of March 7-8, the weather began to get very Springlike, and I began to prepare for roof work again. On Monday got to it seriously finishing the prep work screwing partial shingles to top the roof to where the roof vents were to be attached. Then finished the second layer of flashing on the solar chimney and installed the ridge vents on either side of it. Then went on to finish the final shingles of the west face of the house roof and installed the flashing at the junction to the wall of the gable.

The weather continued spectacular all week with temps 15-18C, and I went on to install the valley flashings on the breezeway and installing the shingles on the east face of the house roof. If the weather holds, will be able to finish all the steel shingles in a few more days.

March 11, solar chimney flashing, ridge vents, and west roof face and flashing complete.

View from the north showing ridge vents and flashing on solar chimney.

Valley flashing on garage end of breezeway in place.

Valley flashing on house end of breezeway and partial completion of east face shingles on house roof.

March 17, Shingles on east face of house roof complete and joined to valley flashing.

March 19, West face of garage, shingles complete flashing installed on gable.

Friday, March 19 was the end of the early Spring record high temps through the region. I completed the east face of the garage/workshop roof and called it a day. Saturday it was back down to near freezing with a brisk northerly breeze. Tried to get on the roof and continue, but I had gotten soft with a week of balmy weather and decided it wasn’t worth the pain. Supposed to be back to similar temps next week, so maybe finish the breezeway roof then.

March 26, South face of breezeway most shingles in place.

Drip edge and first two courses of shingles on north face of breezeway.

Another day and 3 more courses of shingles. Slow going blending to the flashing and ridge trim.

April 1, no fooling, all shingles on the breezeway and on the roof surfaces except for the top of the solar chimney. South face pointing at the garage.

South face of breezeway looking toward the house.

North face of breezeway looking complete.


Building Site Archaeology

February 11, 2010

The village of Newbury has been occupied by European settlers for approximately 200 years, and by at least transient encampments of native americans.  The area is currently home (within 20 km to “first nation” reserves and communities.  My building lot was occupied by settlers for much of that 200 years, and according to the local old-timers at one time had a veneer/basket factory with a steam engine to treat logs, and shave thin strips of wood for various uses.  The concrete base with large steel bolts emerging on which the steam engine was mounted is still present just behind my RV trailer.  The reason for all this activity was the railroad which runs through the village, and at one time there were all sorts of businesses, hotels, etc related to the support of the railroad activity.  According to the village history,  somewhere on the block in which my lot is placed on York Street the first school (now long gone) was constructed more than 150 years ago.

During the excavation for the footings of the house, a few real artifacts turned up, and I anticipate finding more when I spread the stockpile of topsoil on the south side of the house for landscaping.  Below are pictures of my prizes.

Queen Victoria silver nickel 1881

The "heads" side of the Victoria nickel, very small, smaller than a modern dime.

A nearly perfect crockery vinegar decanter, a medicine bottle, and a hand forged nail.