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Corwin's house renovation adventure

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I have a roof now! We still have to put tiles on it on Monday, and finish the edges, gutters, etc but the bulk of the work is done. We also broke a whole lot more stuff with my brother to prepare for isolation/renovation of the walls and beams in the bedrooms (carving out some of the old dirt to make space to refill with plaster and such).


My brother left today, and we can't work on the house as it's a public holiday here, so I'll enjoy a long weekend to rest a bit from the work. Feels good to have made decent progress on the house in such a short time though, my brother was here only 2 weeks and we've removed the roof, changed all the horizontal beams under it, built a new one, opened a few walls, removed all the remaining wood panels in the house, and evacuated 6 waste containers of around 5+ tons each.


There will be some weeks before I get the windows to go in the attic, so after we're done covering the roof with the tiles and such, I'll focus on isolating it and the walls in the bedrooms for a bit. I can keep the scaffoldings for another 4 weeks if I want to so that's nice, I'll have time to do the shutters and install them.










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The exterior of the roof is almost done, only have to finish the wall opposite the one visible in the pics at the back of the roof with the wood cover and the big window/door. Most houses in the area have that sort of wooden panels on the ends, they look bright right now but within 2 or 3 years they will look like old wood thanks to the rain. The house could sure use a bit of facade work but that'll have to wait.


We also broke the wall open into the bathroom to change the vertical beam that was all moldy from a water infiltration in that corner and found another beam under it that should be changed but it's no big deal since it has been cut in the past and is only about 2m long. We'll use the opportunity to open a new door in that corner so that you don't have to enter the room next to the bathroom to get into the bathroom itself, which means that room can become a proper bedroom now, not just a playground for kids or something.


I'll soon run out of money though so after finishing the roof, isolating it, and preparing the walls on the 1st floor for their renovation, I'll focus on the living room (I already bought all I need for that a few months ago) and kitchen for a while.



















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Been a while since I updated, I took a short holiday and left my family back in France with my parents so I can focus on the renovations. My brother will drop by again to help out too next week.


I'm currently busy isolating the roof for the winter, I'm about halfway done. Those wood planks are a bitch to set up on your own though, I had to come up with tricks to hold them up while I align then etc. The good thing is that it's no problem if I breath the dust from the isolation material and I don't have to wear a suit or something like with some other materials like glass wool and stuff, makes it a bit simpler to handle.


The electrical installation is now also completely redone in the whole house, although it's still missing 3 plugs and some of the switches are still cables dangling from a beam (because I have to fill up some of the walls). We also moved the electrical panel into a "fake" wall so we could open up a door to the bathroom from the corridor (so we free up one room which can become a bedroom).


I also decided to break the ceiling of the living room to reveal all the beams and gain some height + give it some style. After exposing part of it, it's become clear that I have to break it all and leave just the beams and refill with isolation and plaster plates. Will do next week as we prepare to redo the floor of the bedrooms straight too.


I'm also expecting an estimation for redoing the small bit of roof that's over the extension of the living room (the flat one in the first picture) so it matches the tiles from the top roof. Dunno if I'll have the dough though. I'd like to do it now since otherwise I would have to open up the living room again and once it's done I really don't want to have to touch it for a few years.


I'm hoping we can move back in the house early next year, maybe mid-february, when the bedrooms and attic are done and I mainly just have finitions and the entrance + living room to finish.













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Cheers guys, my brother is leaving back again tomorrow but we made good progress so far: the house is very nearly isolated completely, the attic will soon be ready for the finishing pass (plaster, paint, floor boards, etc.) and I've got the hang of working with dirt plaster and dirt bricks to rebuild the broken walls. It's pretty cool since there's no chemicals in those, just dirt and straw, so you don't have to wear gloves and worry about breathing the dust etc. which is a nice change.











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Damn dude you're crazy, if it was me I would call an excavator and start from scratch. When I see those old walls it freaks me out :oops: , anyway, good job, I know how hard it is to renovate something and to keep it up until the end !

Edited by RaVaGe

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I've only got next week to finish some stuff before I go back to France for Xmas and to bring back my family, so I expect things will be slower when I'm back next year (since having to juggle family responsibilities and renovations) but I'm pretty happy with what I achieved just this week, hopefully I can do a lot next week too.


I carved up the ceiling in the entrance and started in the living room to expose the beams, I chiseled the walls' clay to prepare it for the repair clay layer I'll put on top, built a doorframe for the bathroom, removed the door between the living room and the corridor, exposed 2 brick walls which I intend to polish and keep visible in the corridor and staircase, revealed the bottom of the second flight of stairs which I intend to polish to reveal the wood it's made of, enlarged the entrance to the kitchen from the corridor and added some beams to create a doorway and support the beam above, removed the old floor tiles in the corridor and refilled the holes where the concrete caved in, destroyed the brick wall between the living room and the kitchen to merge the two rooms and added two beams to hold the structure together, and repaired some of the walls with clay (around windows to prevent cold air from entering.) I managed to fill a container of waste in 3 days so I couldn't clear out the living room from all the bricks, I'll get a new one next week.


Tomorrow I empty the middle floor so that next week we can (with the carpenter's help for the start) set the floors straight. After that, it should mostly be repairs and doing the visible layers (floor boards, wall plaster, etc.), save for the roof of the living room which I intend to rebuild if I have the moneys, so I still hope we can move back in around February. Most of the work that's left is things I know how to do already, so it's less and less stressful to work on the house, there's still a lot of work but much less uncertainty and I actually understand how most of the house is built now so not scared to make stuff collapse... I'm also glad I saved some of the beams from the old roof that were almost untouched by insects, as I put most of them to use already. I plan to keep the last 3-4 ones to make custom furniture like massive benches etc.















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Been a while since the last update, progress was slow for a while because the wife and kids were sick, and I've been doing mostly small tasks here and there (electricity & plugs, polishing beams, etc.) which don't really show on pictures.


Anyway, here are the latest changes:


Moved the pipes of the heater into the wall in the hallway



Straightened the floors on the 2nd floor (you can see the slope in the picture, those boards we added are straight) and put isolation under them (for noise and mice)











Wasn't happy with having a beam in the center of the transition between kitchen and living room so I reworked that bit. Also decided to go back on the finished stuff in the kitchen to reveal the beams in the ceiling there too, since the ceiling wasn't flat it showed compared to the hanged cupboards. Had to redo all the electric cables in that area since I changed their paths, so now I think I get the gist of it (was scared to touch electric stuff too much in the past for fear of screwing up, but it's actually quite straightforward). The two clear vertical beams are actually super old but I cut about 15cm on all sides which was eaten by worms to keep only the core that was untouched .




Built the low wall in the bedroom, which is a trick to straighten the wall so we can put furniture against it without having to make the whole thing straight (lots of isolation/clay needed and lots of space lost if I did)



Edited by Corwin

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Haven't been here checking for a while but damn is this the best WIP thread or not! Can't imagine how much work and thought you're putting into this! :D 

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