Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Back to the Future

I know I'm into before-and-after posts these days, but I can't help it. Now that this phase is complete - the foundation is finished - we are planning the next phases of the restoration of the LBH.

I have included these photos in previous posts, but it is useful to look at them all at once. As a true Victorian home restoration project, why not use the only historical photograph we possess in our plans? Next summer, once we've applied the tar to the perimeter of the foundation, on the outside of the pony wall, we plan to paint the house. Also, we need a new landing or small deck with stairs to access the front door of the house… Here's what it looked like when we bought the house in the summer of 2012.

LBH, Summer 2012

Here is the LBH now, with a new foundation and minus a deck/front stairs.
LBH, November 2013

Lastly, here is our only historical photo of the house. It was probably taken around 1919, sometime after the house was moved from its original location in Discovery, 7 km away. We suspect that 1919 is a probable year for the relocation, since we found vintage newspapers underneath the linoleum flooring in the bedroom, dating from October 1919. We like the original entrance to the LBH (what was the original colour of the house anyways?). Our contractor thinks it will be possible to reproduce this small deck and stairs. What do you think?
LBH, circa 1919?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Foundation Before and After

I don't think I need to say too much here… For those readers of my blog who haven't seen the old pictures taken underneath the Little Blue House, here ya go! My husband took these photos before we started working on the house. Much of the foundation was rotten, and consisted of untreated lumber, rotten bits of wood, rocks, sawdust and broken glass.

Under the Kitchen, Oct 2012
Under the Parlour, Oct 2012
Broken Glass Under the Bedroom, Oct 2012
Under the Parlour & Bedroom, Nov 2013
Under the Kitchen, Nov 2013

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Foundation is Finished!

The vapour barrier has been installed, the insulation is in, and it's all sealed up! The foundation is finished - hooray!

This first phase of the restoration is complete, and we are overjoyed, as the temperatures are starting to plummet and snow is falling… We were lucky this fall, since it didn't snow much up here, and it has been unseasonably warm. :)

We're happy with the work that our contractor has done so far, and although we still have much to do, I feel a certain sense of relief at the moment. The work looks meticulous to me - friends and family who have seen it along the way commented that it's a good job. The crawl space is now a rodent and insect-proof, insulated, vapour-barriered layer underneath the Little Blue House. We must wait until spring when temperatures rise before we can apply the tar to the outside of the foundation/pony wall. Then the landscaping can take place, too, with gravel and all of the fill that sits piled up. The kids will be sad to see that dirt pile go.

After much groaning and sounds of complaint, the LBH seems to be settling onto her new feet. (Our contractor said that the sounds that they heard whilst jacking the house to a level position were remarkable.)

The next phase will be the restoration of the home's original bedroom. You can see it as the furthest left window in the picture below. As you may remember from previous posts, we gutted the room and the team used the room to excavate underneath the house from the inside. I see a lot of potential in that room, and I'll discuss it in future posts. I'm researching tin ceilings, wallpaper, fixtures, etc… We are trying to do it on a budget, if that is possible.

Our contractor will be working on getting the room to the electrical wiring stage in the coming weeks. Most of the other work won't occur until the spring.

For now, I think I will just heave a sigh of relief that this part is done.

New Foundation
Crawl Space, Looking Aft Towards Bedroom
Crawl Space, Looking Towards the Kitchen
Side View of Foundation

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Take That, Mice!

Check this out. Our contractor took some action shots of the foundation project at the LBH. He says that the foundation is now rodent-proof and insect-proof. That sounds good to me.

Autumn Shadows & LBH
Foundation Work, October 2013
Little Blue House, October 2013

Monday, 4 November 2013

Pony Wall Time

Here's a sneak peek at what's been happening at the Little Blue House lately. Our crew has been busy pouring cement and working on the new foundation for the house! This was the next step following the house being jacked to a level position, new beams being installed underneath, and temporary cribbing being placed under the beams.

Cement Base for Bay Window

The picture below shows the pony wall under construction. It will help to support the house along its perimeter, as well as prevent critters from getting into the LBH from underneath. The insulation and vapour barrier will go a long way towards making us more comfortable there, too.
Pony Wall Under Construction

The whole area underneath the house is dry, for the first time in over a hundred years! Check out these posts and beams. I'm thrilled with the work so far. 
New Posts and Beams Under the LBH

Sunday, 3 November 2013


Lots has been happening at the Little Blue House! Here's a teaser: