Lakeshore Cottage

A reno blog for a cottage just outside of Toronto
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3 day weekend update

Monday, December 19th, 2011

This weekend was pretty productive, although the theme for this kind of work seems to be that everything takes longer than you expect. We both took Friday off and headed up to the cottage with the dog early afternoon. We began by clearing out the old laminate/particle board flooring that we left scattered throughout the house which improved the overall smell of the place. We were able to finish off most of the drywalling in the green room save for one corner and a partial wall… we ran out of ceiling drywall in the corner. It’s looking a helluva lot better down there now.

We did do a run to HD for more drywall and parked it in the room for later – it’s annoying to have to go to HD during the middle of the day because it kills at least an hour from working time. The closest HD is located very conveniently at the exit I take off the 401E on the way to the cottage so usually I am able to plan out what I need to buy/bring with me to do whatever and am able to pick it up on the way in for the day.

I feel like we did more work on Friday than just drywalling but I’m feeling pretty tired right now and can’t remember everything. We didn’t stay too crazy late and headed to our hotel to shower up and check in (second weekend we’ve done this, it’s a “fun” and cheap getaway when the price of gas is painful with my truck) and then went off to the main drag in Port Hope for what ended up being a really awesome and drawn-out dinner at a local restaurant.

Saturday was an early start due to the continental breakfast ending at 10am and we started off with a trip to HD for a toilet, tar paper and some other things I can’t remember now. Or maybe the toilet was Friday. Not sure. It didn’t get installed though and is sitting in the kitchen currently. Under the laminate flooring that we took up last week was plastic/foam underlayment that we finally took up Saturday, because we had intended to put the tar paper overtop it, hoping it was in decent enough condition. Turned out that the initial wood subfloor/paneling that had been laid down was saturated with dog urine in some areas so badly that the wood was still wet and rotted. I tore up one piece before it sunk in that the entire floor needed to come up. Painful work that lasted a long part of the day. Hundreds of nails.

Molly put plastic wrap on some of the windows and then helped with the nails. We did a HD trip for some new wood and then headed back to the city at a decent hour to make another round of Christmas parties.

I headed up alone late Sunday and worked on putting the floor back together. I didn’t get to the tar paper because by the time I was done, it was too dark to figure out if the floor was still moving in some areas and possibly needed more screws. It helps to watch someone walk around on top of it to see where there is still movement.

I was too sore at this point to put together the cabinet we bought for my tools and just cleaned up generally before heading out. Also, Rosie (the dog) was miserable until I figured out too late that I needed to sacrifice one of the heaters and point it directly at her to keep her (and me) happy:

I’m really happy that the height of the new floor basically matches the height of the existing hardwood. It’s a totally different colour but I don’t care since I am going to be sanding it all anyway. At this point, we’ve torn out and replaced so much of the house that the only thing left that has any chance of holding the urine smell is the existing hardwood. As much as I didn’t want to have to do it, tearing out that subfloor (and seeing the clean stuff under it) was the right decision.

Things I learned/shit to remember for the future:

1. I need to buy a second battery for my cordless drill. It died halfway through my floor screwing and using my corded one is painful after a while because it’s much heavier/larger than the cordless.

2. A 2×4 is helpful when drawing straight lines across large pieces of plywood

3. Make sure whatever you’re using to hold up your plywood is far enough away from your saw when you’re cutting it, or you’ll hack into your (in my case) plastic totes

4. The jigsaw is not as clean but so much easier to handle alone than a circular saw

5. Drilling holes in each corner when you are cutting out shapes like floor registers/vents is so much easier to deal with than just drilling one initial starter hole

6. When putting down your subfloor, stagger the seams so it’s stronger. Plan out where the full panels can go too… if you’re going to have a lot of foot traffic in one area, don’t end a panel in the middle of that space.

I’m not sure when I’ll be back at the cottage (sometime after the 27th) but my to do list includes:

– Any leftover floor screws for spots with movement
– Tar paper overtop the subfloor
– Shingles to make the floor flat to even out valleys
– Heading into the crawlspace under the house to vacuum between the floor joists (so many dead spiders, it’s disgusting) and then…
– Putting Roxul R-22 between all the floor joists and then XPS rigid foam under that if I need the extra R-value for the eco audit grants
– Figure out how I can start planning the hearth I need to build for under the pellet stove (am I laying the hardwood floor under it, or just building it ontop of the subfloor?) and then…
– Build the hearth, so I can move the stove in place to get it working to heat the place. I’m thinking a 2×4 frame with a plywood and cement board top, with leftover tile on top of that.

Exhausted but happy. Overall it was a productive and awesome weekend, for so many reasons that don’t just pertain to cottage work. Life is good! Happy holidays to any readers.


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