Old Stone House

An Angry Spirit Walks This House!

October 31, 2007

Filed under: Ugly Addition @ 5:08 pm

ghosthiddensmall.jpgLast night our neighbour knocked on the door to inform us that she thought she had seen someone in the house while we were out shopping. I politely thanked her for being so vigilant, but dismissed what she told me – racking it up to mild bought dementia. Later that night I took the dog for a walk and upon returning home, something caught my eye – the second story window looked as if a figure was looking out at me. I gave it little mind, took the dog inside and checked on the family (who were all now sleeping). I returned outside to see if I could find the newspaper, and when I looked back up at the window it was undeniable that there was clearly someone looking out at me. I stared at the window for a few moments in shock, wondering what I should do. Finally, I streaked into the house and dashed upstairs to my daughter’s room where the figure had been standing. Nothing…

Confused, I returned outside to have another look at the window – there stood the figure! I returned to my daughter’s room and again found her sleeping peacefully. At this point I decided that I needed to document what was becoming a rather unsettling moment, so I took our digital camera outside to shoot a few photos of the window. I was sure I could see the figure, but the preview screen on the camera only showed black images. Despite this, I did my best to take a few photos, deciding that I might be able to recover some information in Photoshop.

(more agony and joy…)

Board, Baton and Soffit

October 22, 2007

Filed under: Ugly Addition @ 4:52 pm

soffitthumb.jpgBetween this blog, my house, and work, my life centers on ‘updating’. Every time I finish updating the house, I try to update my blog. In truth, the updating of the house has stolen a bit of my vigor for updating the blog.

However, all is not lost! I managed to spend the better part of this week making slow but steady progress on the back of the house. I replaced all of the soffits around the bathroom, as well as bang out all the kinks in the gutters and down pipes. I finally found the hole that the squirrel had been using to live in the soffits, as well as his 35lb nest. Sadly, I also discovered that parts of the roof are ‘weak’, and some genius sealed up the air passage between the soffits and the roof rafters.

(more agony and joy…)

Blog Action Day: Localized Heating

October 15, 2007

Filed under: Day to Day,Energy Savings @ 2:10 pm

In support of blog action day, here is a small contribution.

The first winter we stayed in oldstonehouse we were quite surprised at how cold the house was, as well as how expensive it was to keep the house that ‘cold’. Our average heating bill cost about 700% more per month then our previous home – and this was to simply maintain a temperature of 18C/65F! Needless to say we were fairly determined to remedy the issue.

(more agony and joy…)

Worst Windows Ever

October 11, 2007

Filed under: Ugly Addition @ 2:19 pm

windowsmall.jpgIt was with immeasurable glee that I began removing the windows from the bathroom this past weekend. Ever since moving in 3+ years ago, I have found endless entertainment in imagining what was going through the previous renovator’s head when the decision was made to install two P.O.S. ancient basement-storm-windows in the bathroom. I’m humored as I imagine how any reputable contractor could convince themselves to tack-screw these glorified wafers of aquarium glass to the walls of any house without having either an immense hate for the owners, or a complete lack of sense. What stupefies me more is how the previous owners managed to live with these windows for 5+ years! The windows have a negative R value, leak endlessly, fall out when you attempt to open them, and once closed are as drafty as they are open!

(more agony and joy…)

Building A Brake

October 8, 2007

Filed under: Ugly Addition @ 10:25 am

brakesmall.jpgAccording to my father, sun rooms are notorious for leaking, and having only removed siding as the base of the windows I can already see that he’s probably right. There was a strange amount of silicone pumped into every nook and cranny around the edges of the siding – huge inch-wide gaps glued together with the stuff. The trouble is that the sunroom doesn’t have any overhangs around the large windows, so each of the exposed seams has to be water-tight to avoid problems. (I’m guessing by the gobs of silicone that I pulled out of the wall that there have been issues in the past…)

(more agony and joy…)

Our House Has An Ugly Secret

October 2, 2007

Filed under: Ugly Addition @ 5:11 pm

Actually our house has two secrets. The first secret is that our lovely Victorian façade is designed to conceal the atrocious higgly-piggly-cream-vinyl-clad addition at the rear of the house – an 80’s sunroom (complete with curves stained beams). The second secret – a secret that the house has kept from its owners for 3 years – is that the ‘addition’ is a wet, rotten, carpenter-ant-infested ruin.

(more agony and joy…)

Heritage Status Explained

October 1, 2007

Filed under: Day to Day @ 9:43 am

Having spent 9 months taking a much needed break from renovating, we have embarked on another frustrating repair – completely upgrading the exterior of the rear of the house. (More to come on this hell in the following months) In mentioning this to my neighbour, he asked if the heritage board was going to let us make the changes we wanted, and proceeded to demonise the heritage board, pointing out their faults etc. In response to this, I’m going to clarify just what having a historical designation means. (more agony and joy…)