The Attic Renovation: Lighting and Heating
We parted ways with the contractor in January of 2006, but the second floor was far from finished. Flooring, doors and trim still needed to be installed. More importantly, we needed new hot water radiators and the undersized pipes running upstairs had to be replaced. In fact, the entire hydronic heating system had to be overhauled, and it would be another year and a half before we could afford to have that work done. There was no sense in finishing the floor until the plumber did his work, since he would have to cut access holes in the floor to run pipes. In the meantime, I went ahead and installed the lights, plugs and switches, finishing off the electrical work.
In the summer of 2007, we finally had the plumbing done. Not only were all of the pipes replaced, but the entire system is now zoned. Each of the bedrooms upstairs is on a separate zone, which allows them to be heated independently. There are also separate zones for the addition, the main floor and the indirect hot water tank. Another zone was added in 2009 for the in-floor heating in the main floor bathroom, kitchen and hallway.
In the fall of 2007, I began patching some of the floor that had been cut away for access to the plumbing but soon all extra spending was dropped so we could concentrate on reducing our overall debt.
In the spring of 2008, my father passed away and all of my attention was focused on getting my childhood home ready for the market.
It is unfortunate that it took a death in the family and the resulting inheritance to give us the financial means to finally finish the second floor. We wanted to make sure things got done right, so we hired an architect to oversee an extensive renovation project that would deal the structural issues of our house from the ground up, while giving us a new bedroom, bathroom, laundry room and kitchen. Finishing the second floor in 2009 became a “while you’re at it” project.
As it turned out, the endless delays in finishing the second floor renovation worked in our favour. There were significant structural repairs that had to be made on the lower levels which resulted in substantial stress cracks in the drywall on the upper level. The floor in the guest room was also sagging quite a bit because a supporting wall had been removed below it on the main floor. Finishing the rest attic before the structural repairs were made would have been a waste of time, money and effort.
- Problems with the attic
- Installing collar ties
- Adding the dormer
- Removing the chimney
- Wiring for the future
- Lighting and heating
- The finished product