Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back to Basics

Here are a couple of shots of the initial reno demolition (attic loft). It has been a finished room for some period of time (since the 20s, we imagine) but the space has heretofore been limited by dormers and low ceilings.

That's lathe stuck to the studs, which you cannot yet see. We think it's about 100 years old. The old carpet is still on the floor - a totally different colour than it used to be! I suspect that the floor is hardwood. We'll know soon enough. Scott and I are arguing about finishing. I am inclined to spend the time and money to restore the original wood (presuming it's salvageable). Scott wants to put in pre-finished hardwood on top of the existing floor (with padding in between to protect the original floor and provide sound insulation). This will cost less and will not damage any original flooring which can be restored at another time.

That's cellulose insulation - effectively, newspaper?! It was all the rage in the 1920s but we think they pumped it in (it's known as blown insulation) in the 1980s. (Speculation, of course.) See how the sill plate has been cut into? I wonder why.

10 comments:

  1. Looks like the fun has begun! We have similar lathe and blown insulation photos from our 2005 reno. So glad those days are behind us.

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    1. I'm sure you are! Can't wait till I can be on your side of the fence.

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  2. We renovated our attic a couple of years ago. The floor was unfinished, uncovered wood, basically black with age (the house dates from 1942). We considered what Scott wants to do but didn't want to lose any height; also I'd heard this can lead to structural problems due to water/dampness getting trapped. At any rate, we finished the old wood and you wouldn't believe how good it looks. It's now golden brown and the patina at the edges gives it bit of a a rustic look.

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    1. We're actually reconsidering. The floors are plank wood (1 ft wide) and we're going to see if we can restore them. We're not worried about damp. It's not an issue in the house (though thanks so much for providing your perspective!). The fact is that reclaiming wood is empowering and beautiful. So I'm all game.

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  3. Is it wrong that I'm totally envious that your reno is under way. I'm itching to rip out our loft conversion and make it beautiful. It's going to have to wait a while yet, so I shall enjoy watching yours come together. Hope it goes well.

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    1. It takes years to plan and start - don't rush! It's not the best time with really young kids anyway. Too disruptive.

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  4. K, you'll likely appreciate the PBS show, "This Old House" which documents the renovation, expansion and restoration of 100+ year old houses. A perennial favourite of mine, it regulaly deals with the "keep it vs. replace it" debate facing at us at the moment. Highly recommended.

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  5. This is exactly what we want to be doing to our house. We're just trying to work out how to live in it and do this at the same time without going crazy. I agree with the above, "The Old House" is very inspirational for old home renovations. I wish I could have those guys come out and help us!

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    1. I know. They make it look SO doable.

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