Thursday, December 18, 2008

Update and Layout of 1st floor

Since our last post, we now have a vacant house! The sellers spent most of Sunday with a large crew and many trucks emptying out the main house. They came back and picked up the last of their things on Monday morning.

On Monday, we had an energy audit done. We have a lot of updates planned and wanted the energy audit to be performed as early as possible so that we can apply for grants for our upgrades. Since we're getting a new boiler installed (possibly as early as next week), we needed the energy audit so that we can apply for the $1200 grant from the federal and provincial governments for a high efficiency boiler. The audit didn't reveal any surprises. The blower test couldn't get a proper reading, likely due to the volume of the house and the fact that there are a lot of broken windows. Insulation in the walls is R16-R18, which is great news, and we have room for improvement with insulation in the attic and knee wall spaces. We await the final report from the audit.

On Tuesday, the plumbers arrived and got right to work on removing the galvanized steel water supply piping. They quickly revealed various issues with the plumbing that needed to be resolved, so we've given them the go-ahead to replace/update plumbing. They came back on Wednesday and are done everything except the 2nd floor washroom upgrades to the waste/vent pipes and a bit more galvanized piping removal. They won't be back until Monday now as we have to finish gutting the washroom so they can access all the pipes.

I still haven't taken a lot of photos, but one thing we wanted to post was the layout of the main floor. This is as it was on the day of closing. Here it is:

To explain the above layout, we should mention that the house was at one time owned by one of the local universities (before they were even a university). They ran their original college out of a large building across the street and when their attendence exceeded available space, they purchased several homes in the area and converted them to school buildings. This is why the layout shows the three large additions at the back of the property. The largest of them is the old 2-storey coach house that is likely original to the house. The other two are actually a single structure divided into two classrooms constructed as a single-storey concrete building with flat roof. We haven't decided what to do with them yet, but the water going to those buildings is turned off and the furnace is soon to be turned off.
Potential ideas for those outbuildings are to remove the large coach house (which is in disrepair anyways) and turn that area back into yard space, then convert the other building into a garage (on the right hand side) and other space (family room, workshop, etc...?) on the left-side. The fact that plumbing and heating exists in that space is a bonus, as long as we leave the connections in place until we decide what to do with them. Whatever we do, it will take some thinking, because as soon as we remove them, we can't rebuild other structures (such as a garage) in the same place since the buildings are right on the lot lines and we'd have to apply for variances.
I'll post some pictures of the empty house shortly.

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