December 9, 2007: Happy Festivus! Our little family all bundled up with down & fleece. Notice the lack of any insulation on the wall... At that time, we didn't even have windows - only tar paper stapled up over the window openings. We actually had frost on our comforter some mornings that winter...
January 11, 2008: JD and Ben, two crack carpenters that were referred to me by my electrician Jens, trimming out the storefront.
January 16, 2008: Spray-On Foam & Coatings, Inc. crew applying the 20% vegetable oil based spray foam to all our perimeter walls, and on every ceiling lid, fully encapsulating the conditioned interior areas. Over the last two years since we've completed the initial Phase I renovation of our building, our electrical and gas utilities have averaged $119.00 per month for heat, A/C, gas dryer, gas tankless water heater, gas range!!! Crazy good performance from an 1891 Victorian with twelve foot ceilings!!!
January 26, 2008: My little monkey Heather up in the attic installing additional rock wool insulation bats over the spray foam to make the insulation code compliant per the City of Portland. the funny thing is, there is a substantial error in the engineering formula used to calculate R-values - the formula does not consider wind chill. Spray foam is virtually impermeable to wind, but traditional fiberglass or rock wool insulation bats allow a substantial amount of air to pass through. The R-Value formula assumes that there is no wind, like we all live in a laboratory, or, a bubble if you prefer. I tried explaining this to the inspector, do you think they listened? Maybe I should send them a performance report of the spray foam we installed and see what they have to say???
January 26, 2008: One of the new double paned clear fir single hung windows. I hunkered down and replaced all the old perimeter windows with these Lowen jobbers. If you look at the pictures of the building when we first bought it, you'll notice that the existing windows were shorter and wider than this dimension. During the demo phase, we discovered that the previous owners had replaced the original Victorian dimensioned windows (tall & skinny) with the shorter and squattier windows during WWII era (the installers had stuffed period newspapers for insulation below the windows). We saved one of the newspapers that was relatively complete, though very brittle. since we replaced all the windows to a different dimension, we had to patch the original exterior clear vertical grain old growth fir siding with as close of a match as we could find. An Obsessive compulsive carpenter could see the difference (Anthony), buy lay people just think it's pretty. Another funny thing is to go back and look at one of the front views of the building. You'll notice that the three front second floor windows were actually installed not square in relation to each other. Carpenter JD used the term "wonky" to describe how could any carpenter live with themselves after doing such a crappy job.
February 12, 2008: Sheetrock, FINALLY!!! Unfortunately, I ended up firing the first contractor, and had to hire a second contractor to come and finish up. AAAUUUGGGHHHHHHHHH!!! Flaky contractors suck!
March 25, 2008: JD & Ben installing the original newel posts and ballusters that were in a pile at the foot of the back stairs when we bought the place. Mike, the owner of Creative Woodworking, identified the type of wood used as chestnut! Dunno if that's accurate. JD found the matching railing at Old Portland Hardware. Mike says the railing is Oak - JD said the railing came from an old church. Pretty cool!
Onward & Upward...
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