Yesterday, the good people working on our house finished smashing all of the cement brick off. Seeing the brick gone makes me very happy. Pretending we have a cute little black house is a bonus.
Two cool things about this. One : the contractors we’re working with found a cement recycling place nearby so instead of trucking and landfilling these bricks, or of hiding them somewhere on the farm, the bricks are going to be ground up and turned into a road (hit the road, brick!). Two : tearing off the brick allowed us to discover that, at the south east corner of the house, termites had eaten their way to the gyprock. Eek. Also, there was exactly zero insulation in the walls. Which explains us being cold after burning, say, 16 cords of wood.
Which brings us to this ! The gift of warmth and lower hydro bills. (It felt like supreme adulting to write a cheque for thousands of dollars’ worth of insulation, let me tell you).
Other fun surprises: the pints of pistachio shells found all around the walls, the handfuls of straw and bird faeces along the roof overhang, and the missing wool insulation along the windows. The insects, mice and birds have been well fed and well housed in and by this home.
The plan now is to finish the outer insulation, seal it well, and get started on insulating the basement. This means pouring a new floor with tubing for eventual in-floor heating, insulating the walls, and drywalling (drywall is pretty fascinating). We’ve had to empty the basement of its contents to make this happen, which I’m framing as a good opportunity to get rid of our surplus stuffs.
We looked into renting one of those pods for storage (given that barn cats get into everything) but, given costs, we ended up deciding to put it all in our cattle trailer. If you had told me years ago that my boxes of childhood memorabilia would be stored in a cattle trailer, parked just outside my door, I’d’ve chuckled.