The Roof Part Deux

It was last June when I last talked about our roof, we wanted to have it replaced as soon as possible but we were unable to secure a roofer until this year. In our area you can apply for a Heritage House Grant, where you can submit a proposal to a heritage committee in regards to restoring your designated heritage home. If you are approved the district will grant you up to 30% of the final cost of the project. You have a year to complete the work and because we couldn't secure a roofer we were just under the wire with our grant from the District of Saanich House Grant's program, but the job has finally been completed.

Rob had begun preparation on the roof last year, we had been living with tarps on the roof and limited to no gutters. As soon as the weather started to improve we called to confirm the start date.

The house before the roof work started

Our house is three stories tall and it appeared to take a lot of effort to work on. Each day the guys from Four 12 Roofing would show up and climb the ladders to the top of the house, each trip carrying another load of supplies. They always appeared to be in great moods and we even received compliments from our neighbors in regards to how lovely the roofers were.

A work in progress

While we waited to have the roof done, Rob and I had time to talk about the roof and how we wanted to have the attic function in the future. We knew that if the roof was going to be coming off we had to take advantage of that time and make sure anything that needed to be done would be done during that short time period. We decided to cut in skylights in the roof as this would allow the space to have natural light as well as take advantage of the views from the third storey. This also had to be approved by The District of Saanich because as a registered Heritage House we can not alter the exterior of the home without the councils approval otherwise we risk losing our designation and access to the grant money that we need to help keep the house standing.

View from one of the skylights

We were able to get the addition of the skylights approved without much hassle as long as they were not visible from the front of the home and it did not alter the historical look of the home. We put in five skylights all together on the east and west of the house and we also replaced the hatch to the widows walk with a fully opening skylight.

The widow's walk and the new skylight hatch

Each skylight was cut in as the roofers worked on that section of the roof and each day when we would come home from work there would be a new beam of light shining in the attic. It was like the house was taking big cleansing breaths.

First hole in the roof for the skylights

When we first moved into the house and I saw the attic empty it was apparent to me that we needed to have a bathroom upstairs and that bathroom would have to include a bath.  This was only a dream until Rob came home from work a couple of months ago with a cast iron claw foot tub that was bound for the dump.

A surprise bathtub in my yard

When that first skylight was cut into the roof and we had a crane on site we had the claw foot tub lifted up into that skylight opening to bring the bath into the attic. The bathtub wont be installed for a while but it is pretty cool that the bathtub is sitting there in anticipation.

The bathtub being lifted to the roof

It is very satisfying to have the house worked on, to have the windows fixed, a door working, just knowing with each step we get closer to having a fixed house, the house of our dreams.

Part of the roof when shingles were removed

A lot of people look at the house and see all the work that has to be done and I see it as well but I try not to get bogged down in the detail instead I focus on the work that does get done and the roof, gutters and downspouts was a big job to be checked off the list.

Half old roof, half new roof

It makes it that much easier to see what the house will look like as a finished product, though now its hard not to focus on the fact that it is in a serious need of a paint job, but alas that is still a couple years off.

The gentlemen from Four 12 Roofing were friendly and hard working.. They cleaned up after themselves and they completed the job in a reasonable amount of time considering it is still raining here regularly. I would highly recommend them for any roofing work you might need.

Twin Oaks with a new roof, gutters and downspouts

The Den

In the winter we spend all of our time in the den. It has a door that closes and a lovely fireplace. It was the warmest room in the house, but that is not saying much!

The den after moving in

The den after moving in

In August Rob decided that it was time to fix the windows in the house and fit them for storm windows to better insulate the rooms. He worked on the interior and the exterior of the windows and once they were out of the room it was apparent we would have to do more then just the windows. Soon enough the wall paper was being removed and the room was ripped apart.

The Den at the beginning of the renovation with the windows removed

The Den at the beginning of the renovation with the windows removed

We weren't planning on renovating the room this early but once the windows had been restored it was obvious that we needed to take the plunge and renovate the room. There was water damage and cracks in the plaster that needed to be addressed but there still remained some beautiful details.

Detail of window hardware after the paint was removed

Detail of window hardware after the paint was removed

For me, the den is a room that I knew we would not be restoring to its original state. It gets beautiful afternoon light and the bay of windows allow amazing views that we wanted to highlight. 

The first layer of wallpaper off

The first layer of wallpaper off

After the first layer of wallpaper was removed it was apparent that we would need to scrape back further and I was so happy that we did.

First appearance of the original wallpaper.

First appearance of the original wallpaper.

The wallpaper under the light fixture

The wallpaper under the light fixture

Original Wallpaper in the Den

Original Wallpaper in the Den

Detail of the wallpaper

Detail of the wallpaper

Revealing the wallpaper was an amazing experience. One minute it was plaster, the next a beautiful design appeared and when you scraped too hard the design would disappear. There was no way to save the original paper but I made sure to take photos and have even kept some of the plaster we took out of the room for further investigation. 

The den once the plaster was removed.

The den once the plaster was removed.

It became apparent that the plaster would need to be removed and insulation added to any exterior wall to try to retain as much heat as possible. As quikly as the room was ripped apart it was being put back together. Before I knew it there was drywall up and the room was coming back together.

The den drywalled

The den drywalled

We decided to paint the room white as we were not ready to make a big design decision at this point. Rob is a finishing carpenter and it was amazing to watch him work. He turned our cold, old windows into a thing of beauty.

After all the trim was reinstalled and the finishing touches on the paint job were completed the room was a bright and airy space.

Mind the dust...

Mind the dust...

Soon after it was done we had a tour come through with the Saanich Archives.

The den with displays for the visitors

The den with displays for the visitors

All winter long the room was lovely to be in. It was warm, cozy and bright on the darkest days.

The den during the holidays

The den during the holidays

The den is now a space we love to spend time in, one day we might wallpaper it but for now i will enjoy the crisp canvas we have.