The section under the stairs has finally been taken care of, what was previously there was pretty much the most unsafe thing we’ve found in our house (so far). The wall that formed the closet space under the stairs was built from about 6 2×4’s with minimal bracing, what we didn’t know until we investigated further is that this wall supported the entire set of stairs, plus the landings for the 2nd and 3rd apartments!! We couldn’t believe it, essentially the upstairs platform was precariously balanced on the wall, and tacked into the inside hallway wall, and exterior wall.
To beef it up, we put in some new stringers in both walls, attached with about 10-12 5″ long 1/4″ thick lag screws, we then used 2 double 2×8 beams and a double 2×6 beam as the new floor joists for the landing up top, and hung those from joint hangers on the stringers. The result is way more space below for my computer area, and a more open hallway.
Below are some before photos, during photos, after photos, and a little sketch on one of the photos showing our plans for the space in here. We’re planning to build a small computer nook for myself, a closet space (without a door), some shelves, and a little cubby with a trap door/cat door to put the smelly litter boxes in. I’m still contemplating whether I should eventually attempt to build a small motion sensor activated fan and exhaust from that little cubby to the outside of the house.. maybe next year if we’re looking for something to work on!
It’s been a while since an update, we’ve moved out of our condo off Walkley, into a temporary luxury suite at the Garsons residence, and have been busy working away on the new place. Last Thursday my dad and Jean rented a drywall jack, and did the ceilings in the kitchen and living room, the following day Ilona and I successfully finished the beam and column between the kitchen and living room. Saturday Tyler came over and we framed the 2 support columns for the beam and drywalled them as well. Today we got the good news that our drywall finisher Derek will be done by Thursday and we should be able to paint the kitchen and living room, and start installing the cabinets!
Ilona also picked out a checkered black and white marmoleum click-tile for the kitchen floors that we might be installing soon, after some research we decided to go with marmoleum because of it’s durability and eco-friendliness, she found it at Dynasty Flooring in Ottawa. Here are some photos from the living room and kitchen with finished walls and ceilings:
Ilona and I decided to find our kitchen faucet online, since we didn’t like anything under $700 at the local stores. It’s pretty incredible that you can purchase a faucet for over $1,000, actually it’s more ridiculous than incredible. We went on EBay and found this gem for $160 shipping included.
On Saturday Ilona also headed to Rona with my mom to pick out some tiles for the bathroom and a small vanity (to save space). Ilona ended up picking out some white subway tiles for the bathroom and shower walls, a large dark grey square tile for the floors, and small square grey tiles for the bottom of the shower. She also purchased these really small cool glass tiles to use as borders.
Since our bathroom is so small, Ilona found this vanity which is less deep than your average one, which should allow us to have a normal sized door on the washroom, and have a bit more wiggle room. It will be another couple of weeks to see photos of the ceramics tho, so check back.
Well there’s not a lot to show this week, but there has definitely been a lot of work accomplished this past week. On Wednesday Danny came over and we got all of the pot light boxes installed in the kitchen. On Saturday my uncle roger came over and we got started on the bathroom, and continued to work Sunday on it. Tyler also came over on Saturday and we built some shelving units in the basement as well as the column that will separate the living room and kitchen. Our plumbing is now set up, and going to work for moving the bathroom around as planned, Ilona picked out our selection of tiles for the ceramic shower, floors and walls in the bathroom, the colours are great. Our friends Bob and Michelle came over as well as Rob today and we managed to get the kitchen wired properly, the ceiling insulated, more tar stripped off the wood floors, and a lot of the paint stripped off the window in our living room. Last weekend Rob and I also wired the living room for the home theatre, and finished insulating the ceilings for fire and sound. Things are definitely taking a little bit longer than we expected, we have to move out of our current condo on Wednesday and will be shacking up with my parents for a couple of weeks. It’s hard to believe we thought we’d be moving in this week a month ago. One thing we’ve learned is everything takes twice as long as you would think it does, and every project you start in an old home inevitably starts another project that you hadn’t anticipated on doing. We’re glad we’re doing things properly, and the extra couple weeks of waiting should pay off.
It’s been a long week, we’ve filled up the entire dumpster with plaster, drywall and wood. I can’t believe before we started I didn’t think we’d even need a dumpster, really happy we ended up with one, thanks Ken and Marianne! We picked out some granite on Wednesday from Emerald Tiles on Sheffield road, lucky for us Andy Paul who helped Rob out with his kitchen, was nice enough to give us a great deal on some granite too. Next week we have some contractors coming in to remove the wall between the kitchen and living room, my dad and I re-routed the piping in the kitchen into a column that we’ll be building, Jean is almost finished building a closet into the master bedroom, and we discovered hardwood!! under 4 layers of tiles & plywood in the kitchen. I also laid some new patio stones in the front since the walkway had completely deteriorated to dirt, and Rob and I raised the side deck about 8 inches so it’s no longer drooping. Here’s a few photos from the day:
Ilona and I came up with a design for our kitchen, and my mom eagerly put it all into the ikea kitchen planner. I’ve tried the software out before and just find it too buggy to use, however she managed to get it all put in (minus our column). There are a few slight oddities (floating upper cabinets), no counter tops.. but overall it gives you an idea of what it will look like, and the materials necessary to purchase it. It’s looking like we’re going to be about $3000 for cabinets, Wednesday we’ll be going to look at granite counter tops to see if the cost will be worth it.
Demolitions started today, it was pretty fun, Marianne and Ken (Ilona’s parents) are sending us a bin to dump all our waste into tomorrow, which we’re really looking forward to, and very much appreciative about. My parents and Jean were over today helping with the floor plans some of the demolitions. We started out with taking apart the closet under the stairs, ripping out the cupboards in the kitchen, cutting into the wall seperating the kitchen and living room, and taking out the fireplace in the master bedroom. The fireplace in the master bedroom was actually a faux fire place, built entirely of real bricks, Jean took care of it nicely. It looks like we’re going to have a lot of work ahead of us, our plan has grown slightly in the fact that we’re going to re-do the washroom at the same time, turning it into a ceramic shower, toilet and sink/vanity. The tub that’s in there right now is so small it’s useless as a bathtub anyways, and with the limited space we have, we think it’s the best option. Here’s a few photos of the demolition from today.
Today before the demolitions started, I decided it would be a good idea to shoot some photos of all the rooms so we had something to look back on. Decided to go with the fisheye lense even though it’s quite distorted it gives you a good idea of exactly what each room looks like. The one nice thing are the really high ceilings, 9.5-10′ tall, the windows are also new (a couple of years old), and all the wiring has been updated.
Well today went really well, after nearly a month of stressing out about financing, insurance, who pays what, who’s parking in our spots so on and so on, we received the keys, and everything is sorted out. So we headed over after work and some terrible all you can eat sushi to assess the situation. I have to say it was slightly overwhelming at first, both Ilona and I almost felt like we were in over our heads, the place is really run down, and not quite as large as we had originally anticipated, not to mention the very gross bathroom. We plowed ahead and measured everything off, and started planning for some renovations for this month. It looks like we’re going to take down a closet under the stairs to build a computer nook for me, as well as the wall separating the kitchen and the living room. We’re hoping it will open up the space, give us a couple of barstools to sit at to eat, and accommodate our 2 in 1 washer dryer combo, a dishwasher and the other usual kitchen amenities. Below you can check out our sketches and measurements we did today, as well as some really quick design ideas. Hopefully by the end of the weekend we have something to work with. October should be a very busy month!
Ilona suggested and came up with a really clever idea for saving space in our new place, a combined washer/dryer unit, and to be honest I’d never even heard of one, let alone thought about one. Our initial thoughts involved a stackable washer/dryer in the corner of the kitchen in a closet. A traditional stacked unit would involve some new plumbing, a 220V panel, new venting to the exterior of the house, and a closet to contain the unit.
After a bit more investigation, we found out that some of the combo units like the LG WM3988HWA are the perfect size to fit inside a kitchen cabinet, require a regular 110V electrical connection, and use a drain instead of exhaust to expel the moisture. They’re a little bit pricey ($2400 home depot), however the cost savings of having an energy efficient unit, which requires no additional contractors to install would be fantastic. They also look pretty good, and hiding it in the kitchen under a cabinet is an added bonus.
I suppose this is a bit of an introduction post, for the past 3-4 weeks Ilona and I have been battling the banks, CMHC and the seller for this house. It’s been a non stop barrage of document signing and faxing, but as of the 22nd of July, we can officially say that we’ve purchased a new home. We had talked about purchasing a second property to live in, while converting our existing condo into an income property, however it was our agent Allan who convinced us to put all our eggs in one basket, and go for a duplex or triplex, which would be easier to manage since we would live on site.
We found this “gem” in downtown Ottawa, located on James street, just a couple of houses west of Bay Street. The location is amazing, the house is quite large and already split up into a triplex, but like any old house it needs some work. This blog will document both photographically and in text, the updates, renovations, and craziness that we’re sure to encounter while we go about fixing up the house. Our short term goal is to re-do the first floor apartment, which we will live in, while maintaining our 2 tenants on the upper 2 floors.
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Below are some photos of the exterior, the property as well as the apartments on floor 1 and 2, unfortunately we don’t have any photos of the 3rd floor apartment. Closing date isn’t until October 1st, so stay tuned for more posts.