Cottage Reno: Demolition Done (we think)

May 27th, 2009


We just spent the last two days at the cottage, hoping we’d be sanding and priming the floor but discovering that once you start demolishing, you seemingly never stop. You may recall John waving the white flag on the ceiling. We called in a pinch hitter, local contractor Steve Marsh, to help us out with taking down the rest of the ceiling and to put up some fresh drywall in the living room (this time with vapor barrier!). Steve has been amazing so far – a hard worker that always has a smile on his face. If we don’t make him hate us too much from this job, I would definitely call him back for more jobs down the road.

I rented a floor sander with optimism on Monday (about $45/day from Home Depot), and we got a bit done in the bedrooms, but overall it was definitely another two days of demolition. The ceiling took 1.5 days, the drywall removal, which was half done already, took a few hours, the ceiling in the bedroom took a good 45 minutes and the shower removal also took about half an hour. And then there is the debris removal. THE most tedious job, especially when the junk pile in your driveway is starting to resemble a wall. A very long and tall wall. It was mosly the styrofoam that came from the ceiling, 2 or 3 layers thick. We balked at the amount of waste this project is producing, and lamented at the fact that in the process of making something more green and healthy, you have to throw a lot of stuff out.


This is the ceiling, now that all the tiles have been removed. The cedar is not as gorgeous as the cedar in the guest cottage, but it’s much warmer and cottagey than the old white boards that were up there. Plus we discovered a lovely carpenters ant colony and more mousy hiding spaces. All in all a good decision (although when we woke up this morning we were frozen so there is something to be said about adding insulation…heh heh).


Steve putting up some fresh drywall. We hemmed and hawed over putting up drywall or leaving the wood exposed (very nice) but figured we didn’t want too much wind whistling through the space. Plus we need to break the wood ceiling and the floor up a bit.


John looking a little like (a male) Alice in Wonderland. The bedroom is really not THAT small. Oh and see that ugly electrical panel box in the background. That is going to be a weekend project, sometime down the road we’re going to box it in with wood slats, or something to that effect.


Partially sanded (the lighter portion). Weird, those dark marks in the shape of THE cross…just noticed that. If only it was the face of Mary, we could pay off the reno with that kind of money.


Another shot of the difference sanding makes – we thought it would go a lot quicker but the floor boards are not completely flat. We’d have to rent a more intense floor sander in order to get ALL the boards looking like this:


(I just realized the colouring is off on this photo – it should be more golden like the pic above). Those black marks are tar or something, from the tar paper that was under the linoleum. Anyway, we are definitely painting out the floors in the rest of the cottage white, but we’re debating whether to leave the natural look in the bedrooms. Your take???


Our new bedroom. I grew up in the bedroom next door to this one – one benefit was that it was in the corner, but the shower takes up a good chunk of the room. That room has always been my room – and will serve as a kids room waaaay down the road (though we are preparing early by outfitting it with two single beds, mostly because it provides us with a unique challenge). This room has always been a guest room but honestly I think it’s the biggest and easiest to work with room because it only has one window. After this photo was taken, John tore down the wall that is on the right side of the photo, because he realized that since we are doing a tongue and groove slat wall on the other side, and a tongue and groove wall inside the bedroom to serve as a giant headboard feature, why not save time, energy and money and just make one that can be seen on both sides. He’s such a smarty. More rubbish removal for me. And as for the ceiling, we were going to get a bunch of wood to make the roof, but we may just paint the chip board and call it a day.

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