Thursday, July 14, 2011

Renovation tips: part 1

Tony and I have learned a lot along the way- some information we wish we knew when we first started renovating.
We'd like to share this information with all renovators out there. I must warn you that none of this is fun nor pretty. Sorry!


Tip 1: Get a dumpster for demolition
If you plan on doing significant renovations (removing walls, floors, cabinets, etc) you should definitely get a dumpster. For our first renovation project we underestimated how much trash we would make renovating a 6'x7' bathroom. Since then we've been renting dumpsters on a regular basis. There are various sizes of dumpsters and the price between the different sizes isn't very significant so it's better to get a little bigger rather than smaller. 
** You don't have to throw everything in the trash. Remember that one person's trash is another person's treasure. See if you can sell light fixtures, cabinets, appliances, etc. on sites like craigslist or kijiji. What I usually do is simply leave things on my lawn with a sign saying "Please take and enjoy!". They're usually gone within a few hours.
I rent my dumpsters from Conteneurs Rouville

Tip 2: Wear protective gear
When demoing and rebuilding it is crucial that you wear protective gear. This means steel-toe shoes or boots, dust masks (if your house has the possibility of asbestos in the walls or floors who should use a respirator instead of a mask), gloves, long sleeves and pants, not shorts.
A little story: when I was demoing my downstairs kitchen (my house was a two-kitchen home) I stepped on a huge old nail sticking out from a piece of wood. I was wearing runners and the nail went right into my foot. I then spent hours at the hospital, one week out of work and off my feet- not to mention the PAIN!!!!
The next day Tony bought me a pair of pink steel-toe shoes and a pink tool belt:)


Tip 3: Be gentle
Don't go crazy with a sledgehammer or a crowbar. When demoing be gentle and careful. Turn off the power and locate where you think water lines pass. Start by cutting out a piece of the wall and then work out from there so that you can see what's behind the walls.

Tip 4: Seal off the renovation zone
No matter what you do, every nook and crevice of your house will get dusty, very dusty! However, you do want to try to control this as much as humanly possible. If there is a door in the room close it and tape the edges. If there's no door, close off the renovation zone with plastic wrap (available at home improvement stores). I find the cleaning to be the most discouraging part of renovating.

Tip 5: Insulate exterior walls
We've learned to get into the habit of insulating any exterior walls that become exposed during renovations. We use polyurethane foam insulation because the R-value per inch is higher than fiberglass or rigid foam sheet insulation and it provides a complete thermal seal. It is a little more expensive but it's worth it.
If you plan to redo the brick on the exterior of your house then you can insulate the entire house from the exterior. This is a very expensive option so if the exterior of your home doesn't need to be redone, insulating from the inside is your best bet.


Why all this fuss with insulation? In Montreal, and I'm sure many other areas, many older homes (before the mid-1970s) are actually not insulated. By insulating you will greatly decrease your heating costs in the winter and your cooling costs in the summer. My personal experience is that the rooms I've had insulated with spray foam barely need to be heated in our horribly cold winter's.


Here are some suggested sites relating to polyurethane spray foam insulation
Spray Foam Insulation- The Intelligent Choice YouTube video showing the spray foam insulation process
Why is Polyurethane Foam so effective? Explains the benefits of spray foam
Spray foams insulation Wikipedia article explaining spray foam.


Insulating our main-floor bathroom
I been using Isolation Rolland Belise to spray foam my home.

Tip 6: Soundproofing
Another thing we've learned to include in our renovations is soundproofing. Above my main floor bathroom is my tenants bathroom which has their washer and dryer. Before soundproofing the room we used to hear the washing machine running and we also heard the vibrations of the machines.
To soundproof we used was Roxsul Safe and Sound which is also fire rated. This is installed between the joists so as to muffle sound. Also, we used resistant channels to hang the gyp rock. The reason being that a great deal of sound is actually impact (walking, dropping things, etc.). The impact sounds travel through the wood to the screws and past the gyp rock. With resistant channels the gyp is suspended and therefore the sound doesn't travel.
Soundproofing, especially in a revenue home such as ours, provides more comfort for both us and the tenants. They don't have to walk on eggshells and we don't have to hear them. We both win!


Here are some suggested sites relating to soundproofing with Roxul Safe and Sound and resilient channels
Cool Tools Looks at Roxul Youtube video looks at how effective it is for fire rating
Income Property- Fire and Soundproofing Youtube video briefly shows how to install Roxul
Roxul Installation instructions Roxul website instructions
How to install resilient channels Instructions for installing resilient channels


Roxul is available at most home improvement centers.
Resilient channels are available at Home Depot (haven't seen them at Rona or Reno)


*** The companies listed above are the one's that I've used and that I feel provided a great service. I am not receiving any compensation for this.

Smiles,
Nancy

1 comment:

  1. Look at you Bob Vila...lol
    Nail in your foot?!?!?!?! OUCH Ahh, the joys of being a homeowner :)

    Lena xoxo
    www.qualityrivetsblog.com

    ReplyDelete

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