Monday, May 17, 2021

Oh Busy Day...

 We got a project going. 

When we purchased this over 100yr.-old house back in 2009, we thought of it as a summer residence only. Well, we were snowbirds and never thought that we would stay here during winter.

Well, as we now know. that wasn't really in the cards. We have been staying north since the winter 2014. And during those winters we learned that old houses without insulation in the walls can be..well, a bit drafty, to say the least. We always had enough firewood to heat the house, but you know when the fire dies out and you don't want to incur massive electricity bills for using that badly engineered furnace, the place gets cold pretty quick. The Norwester is a bad enemy out here and the house is in his way - in a way of speaking.

So, enough said, we decided this year would be the year when "project insulation " would be launched. But we had made us one promise: No construction mess inside the house! The living area has still old-time plaster on the inside of the walls so we really didn't need all that mess to come loose. So the job would have to be done from the outside.

Above: The boards under the shingles

                   Above: Almost ready for insulation

Getting covered with OSB Sheats

Like most eastcoast houses, ours too has white-cedar shingles, nailed on to massive 1-inch thick spruce boards. And all that, including the big boards, had to come off. The most handy tools of the day is a crowbar and a hammer with which I have to pry off both the shingles and the boards. Being more than a hundred years old, the boards are nailed with giant square, hand-made nails and all of them are rusted, meaning very hard to remove. With other words it's a back-breaking work I have started. Most days I keep at it for about 5-6hrs only. And I am doing it in sections. After that I am feeling like I am 85years old. The 4-inch wall is being brought up to 6-inch standard, by nailing 2x3s crosswise horizontally to the studs. The extra thickness should warrant a much better insulation against the cold. At least it did when we renovated an upstairs bedroom the previous winter. Difference was, that the work was done from the inside then.

Bonus of this project: We are getting heaps of kindling into our wood shed. Matter of fact we are almost out of space. It's gonna last for years, especially if we can start going south again this winter. But we can talk about that when the time has come and the border will be open again.

Meanwhile, we have both gotten our first Covid shots and are due for the 2. shot soon. 

Tourism is still a ways off and if any we will only see folks from our own province, as it is impossible to travel here from other parts of Canada, not to mention the U.S.

Bea is still cultivating her garden and has recently started selling tomato and bell-pepper plants. Her customers keep coming back year after year. Our greenhouse has become the most important part of her operation as it really makes a huge difference in protecting plants from cold temps at night.


  1. A hundred year old home can tend to keep you busy as I recall our former PEI home. Hope we can get the border opened up soon.No reason we can't just check at the border whether folks have been vaccinated.Does Dixie help with the rennovations?

    1. UI am sure that Dixie is keeping a watchful eye on the progress of our project. And we just heard that Canada has started with internal deliberations on how, and in what way to re-open the border to the US. Apparently they also have started to talk to the US government officials about this. So at this point, I would say there is a light in the tunnel.

  2. Looks like a lot of work! Will keep you busy for quite a while. Check in with your company that supplies you with hydro power and the NB gov to see if there are rebates payable to you for conserving hydro power. I know there were several such plans in BC last year.

    Take care and stay safe,

    Dave and Irene Argo

    1. Hello Irene, nice to hear from you again. Well those rebates (if any) amount to small amounts at best. And the government requires a contractor to do the work. I would still be thousands in the red if I even would find a contractor in this place. My best bet is doing things myself and be sure it's gonna be done right. Stay safe!

  3. Talk about a massive project. My body aches just reading about it. Sure am hoping the border can be opened and Canadians can come south again.

    1. Every morning I wake up a little stiff in my legs and my back screams when getting out of bed. I have one more section to do and then I start on the shingles, which will be easy peasy, compared to the work right now.


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