Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A long and messy post...

I think now is a good time to show some progress photo of our house. 

The first step to rebuild our fireplace is demolition. We had two build-in cabinets on either side of the house, those were taken down and a carpenter is rebuilding a new one in his workshop. After crown moulding and baseboards were removed, and walls and flooring covered up, the workers then proceed to take down all the bricks in the fireplace.

There were a lot of bricks. They were cleaned up and stored in our backyard. We are not reusing the old bricks again even though I debated about whether or not to put them back. Perhaps one day I will use them in the garden.

Fireplaces in older houses tend to have poor foundation, to add better support, the engineer ordered to dig a two feet deep hole in the ground. Framing was then added, and we waited for city inspection after that.

I'm learning that for a housing construction like this, your city inspector can be your best friend. You never know what the contractor are doing or whether they followed the engineer's plan correctly. We learned that keeping up communication with city inspector is very important.

After a slow week waiting for inspection to happen and a crazy week rescuing chihuahuas, the masonry company came in and filled the dug out space with cement and rebar. This is why we decided to stay with cinder blocks. The rebar can easily go through the middle of the cinder blocks.

The brick layer took his time and carefully rebuilt the fireplace. Making sure everything is perfectly leveled.

This is the finished product. Looks huge! It looked very duty in the picture because the next step of demolition was already taking place.

When we started the demolition, part of roof along had to be taken down. When the fireplace was completed, the roof had to be further removed before framers came in and do their job.

This was the pile of roof that was removed to prepare for the framers' work after fireplace was completed. We had nice cedar wood on top of the house, soon as I discover that, I asked the contractor to replace with the same type of wood. On top of the cedar was five or six layers of old roofing. The previous owners never removed old roofing!

Here is a picture of the big gaping hole on our roof, temporarily covered up!

The framers started working yesterday.

A view of the back of fireplace. This was our closet, as you can see.

A closet up view of the new added frame. You can see our second floor from here, I'm enjoying the "openness" of the room. 

A view of downstairs from second floor. 

In sum, we are making progress. Rebuilding or reconstruction is a painful process as I've come to learn.  We are getting a few other things done around the house as well, but I'm saving that for another post! All in all this has been a busy and stressful time. I'm keeping fingers crossed that when we are done things will look a whole lot better.  

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