A Dusting of White

NOTE: As of September 23, 2009, this post has been edited in
accordance with a court-mediated settlement. The names of the
contractor and his excavation subcontractor have been replaced with
pseudonyms.

We finished today lightly coated in white dust. Not because we were on a crazed drug binge, but because we were putting up the drywall in the front parlour.

In case we haven't mentioned it enough, drywalling sucks. And we haven't even gotten to the sanding phase.

We started off by applying silicone caulk between the siding boards -- this keeps water from being blown in in heavy weather. Then we put in these rafter channels (Durovent foam channels). They allow water that gets in (through the many leaks) to run down the inside of the siding and out through the crack at the bottom. Without these channels, water that gets in will soak the insulation and be held against the wood, rotting it.

Installing channels

Then we took down the incredibly shoddily installed piece of drywall on the ceiling. That was put in by our incompetent moron of a former foundation contractor, Contractor A (the one who showed up drunk on the job and had a particular talent for destroying parts of our house, for those not keeping track).

How incompetent? Well, look at how he dealt with the fact that the ceiling drywall didn't lie flat (because he was reusing 5/8" drywall from the wall instead of matching the 1/2" drywall on the rest of the ceiling). Yep. He just hacked a huge chunk out of our joists. What a slob Contractor A (he's also the guy who threw his trash in the yard, so it's not like we were not aware of this; we just wish we'd known before we hired him) is.

Hacked joist

After the rage I always feel when I have to clean up the messes left behind by Contractor A (who always looked half-lit, in my opinion, with his ruddy face and angry expression) subsided, I enjoyed this view up the chimney chase toward the roof. The wires are network cables dropped from the attic into our office space upstairs in the Front Bedroom.

View up the chimney

By this point the dogs kept getting underfoot, so we put up the baby gate to keep them out in the hall. And I dragged their bed over so they could lie in comfort and watch us. They rarely share the bed, except in cases like this where it's the only way to properly keep watch.

Dogs in the hall

Installing the insulation went pretty quickly. We tape the upper ends closed to keep the fiberglass dry, and we can be a bit anal about fitting it perfectly, but I think it pays off in beauty. Yes, the beauty is behind the wall, but I know it's there.

Insulation installed

We spent some time discussing how I would repair the hole Contractor A (that's the guy who sabotaged the job site by removing the tarps when he walked off the job after making soup out of the soil under our house) put in our ceiling with a broom handle (they were all class), then put up our first piece of drywall to patch the ceiling. It's a little over-attached.

Installing good drywall on the ceiling

Things moved quickly when we got to the rocking. We had one piece of drywall to put up in a hidden place, behind the archway into the bay window. I helped hold it in place while Noel screwed it in, which was not hard since it had a tendency to wedge itself into the spot.

Someday we want to get the archway trimmed out properly. The original corbels were missing when we bought the place, but they are still in place in the Front Bedroom, so maybe we can find replacements.

Drywalling the back of the bay window arch

And at long last, we have a good wall behind the former fireplace (which will one day be a fireplace again). We couldn't get 12' drywall this time, so we had to settle for 8', which doesn't work as nicely for efficient rocking in the vertical orientation as the 12' did. But it's workable and this will all eventually be hidden when we get around to installing a new gas fireplace and rebuild the original chimney breast.

Finished wall

Tomorrow we clear the stuff out of the room and I begin the tedious process of taping and mudding. My goal is to be done with the plastering this week so we can paint next weekend (since we need to finish this room before we go tearing down the ceilings and walls in the rest of the house).


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posted by ayse on 03/07/09

2 Comments

Those diagonal braces are like the ones I've found in my walls. One of the few nicely done things in the construction of the house. Using the former chimney as a network cable chase is familiar. I did that at Camron-Stanford House a while back.

I've got a drywall lift if you want to borrow it -- it's very handy for ceilings. I'll be using it in the next week, but it'll be available after that.

Oooh. We will definitely keep that in mind; we used a drywall lift for the ceilings in the two parlours and it was invaluable. I'm not sure when we'll next be doing a ceiling, but given that we've had serious talks about buying a lift of our own to save on rental fees, it's good to know somebody who has one.

And of course, we have a concrete mixer, which we have used enough to justify buying, but not so much that we can't lend it out for extended periods.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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