As many of you know, I went back to work last June,
working as a general laborer for a friend, Mike. His business is “Mike’s Home
Improvements” and no it is not Mike Holmes from the TV show. Now we do just
about anything, from decks and fences to house renos. I have never worked in
this trade to make a living, but find as we go, I have done quite a few of
these jobs as a home owner; fences, decks, flooring, drywall, painting,
electrical and plumbing.
So, this post is about one of those jobs, a house
reno. The house is located in Neustadt, Ontario, birthplace of Canada’s 13th
Prime Minister, John George Diefenbaker. Owned by two gentlemen who flip
houses, D&S are father/ son-in-law to each other. The two-story house is
over 100 years old with brick exterior with balloon framing. When we started
working at the site September 8th, 2020, the inside of the house had
already been gutted of its lathe and plaster walls, insulation, carpeting,
plumbing and wiring.
We started by removing interior walls of a downstairs
bathroom and framing a new two-piece bathroom off a laundry room and building
out an interior wall in the kitchen to accommodate plumbing pipes for the
second floor, which our crew installed. We also removed and replaced 13 windows
and cut in a new back door that led out onto a new deck that we built. At this
point of construction, we left, and the electricians, heating mechanics and
drywallers came in to do their installations. Although we can do drywall, on a
job this size, it is faster to have a drywall installation company come in and
do it. Mike also hired a painter to come in and prime and paint all the
drywall. It took a month for all of this work to be completed, so we were off
doing other small jobs.
Upon our return, we started by leveling the old floors
and installed lament flooring through out the house, except for the
laundry/bathroom, front entrance and the upstairs bathroom. The
laundry/bathroom was done in vinyl tab stick tile, the upstairs bathroom was
done in ceramic tile and the front entrance was done in one piece vinyl
flooring. Somewhere in there, I painted all the casing and baseboard, so now it
is time to install all of it.
|All new insulation and drywall being delivered. Drywall for the second floor was lifted up and passed through a window.
The owners, D&S, purchased all the flooring,
lights, kitchen cupboards, bathroom vanities, mirrors, sinks, toilets and door
hardware, both exterior and interior. As all of this became available, we
installed it. The kitchen cupboards came from Ikea, nice product, but I do not like
the way they are installed, but we got them up. Everything else came from The
|Flooring being installed
One other inside reno was the stairs. The old railing
was removed and a new one installed, the stair treads were removed, the nose of
the tread cut off and then they were put back on to be capped with oak treads
and also oak risers. We wish that the owners would have had us rip out and
build a new set of stairs.
|Disaster, water leaking from pot lights, ceiling that was damaged and had to be replaced.
The first week of March 2021, was to be our last week,
that’s when we had a setback. Walking into the house Tuesday morning, we could
hear water running, oh oh, what did we leave on? Entering the kitchen, we found
water dripping from around the pot lights and water all over the kitchen/ dining
room lament flooring. Racing upstairs to the bathroom, to find the toilet full
of water and water backed up into the bath tub, we quickly ran to turn off the
main water valve into the house. For some reason, the drain pipe leading down
to the basement was plugged and it is still a mystery as to why the toilet was
running. Needless to say, we had a mess to clean up. Quickly getting the shop
vac out to suck up all the water off the floor first, then we had to cut the
drywall out of the ceiling that was saturated with water, an area 8 ft. x 8 ft.
and then unclog the drain. The next morning after letting the ceiling dry out,
we replaced the drywall, taped and mudded it. Then we had to rip up and replace
40 pieces of lament flooring.
In the end, after re-painting the ceiling, doing touch
ups, it took us another week to finish. This isn’t the first time that
Mike has done work for D&S, it was my first time, and they say that they
will have us back on their next project.
|Front and back exterior.
After being there for that length of time, it felt
strange to move onto a new project, although we were ready to. The house was on the market this week for $399,000.00 and
should sell easily. Will keep you updated.
Thanks for following along, your comments are always
welcome, read and answered. Until the next time take care and be safe.