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GirdWood Redevelopment

It feels good to have stage one complete.

October 2018 - The back porch was installed and our "Occupancy Permit" obtained. We can now officially move in.

Seamless eavetroughing is installed on the house and shop. This completes the exterior weatherproofing.

September 2018 - In June this year a snapping turtle, with a shell length of 12.5 inches, laid her eggs on the property. On September 5th we saw some baby turtles as they emerged from the ground and headed for the water.

August 2018 - As the hot weather persisted, The main house siding was completed. Special scaffolding was made to do the shingles at the front of the house. The siding was started on the shop. The back of the house used standard scaffolding. The fascia was completed while the scaffolding was in place along with the custom gingerbread trim. Susan planted her first foundation tree, and apple tree. It is protected by orange fencing.

July 2018 - The siding is progressing. I have made it around all windows, pipes and wires exiting the house. The fascia has been installed on the lower portion of the house. The rest will be done as I progress up sides. The fire pit has been used several times for some relaxation in the evenings.

June 2018 - The panelling for the porch was installed. Some trim is still needed but that can be done during rainy weather. Susan picked up her new puppy "Buttons" as she contemplates her garden plans. The exterior siding final arrived and we installed the starter strip, the corners and the first floor window trim.

We are awaiting the arrival of the siding to complete the exterior.

May 2018 - The interior is nearing completion. The back entrance floors has been completed. We have started arranging furniture. The exterior porch door was installed so the porch area could be arranged now that the elements and wildlife are held at bay. We are now enjoying the porch as the weather improves.

April 2018 - The kitchen installation has been completed and Susan unpacked the boxes of kitchen supplies. Susan also is painting the installed interior doors while David worked on completing the baseboard trim.

March 2018 - Some of the interior doors were installed and their trim completed.

February 2018 - The window jam extensions were installed and sealed with foam insulation. Then the trim was installed. The kitchen was ordered. In the mean time we selected the interior doors and their associated trim. David has been customizing a kitchen hutch that Susan will paint to match her kitchen. Despite the freezing rain, the winter has been peaceful and quiet at Otty Lake.

We completed the installation of the stair railing and the hardwood flooring on the main and upper levels. With the floor down, we are free of construction dust and we have started unpacking boxes. We are enjoying the peacefulness of the winter landscape as we plan the selection and installation of a kitchen.

Susan completed painting the tub surround and a vanity that we made from an old dresser.

December 2017 - Once the hardwood floor was completed on the main floor and the stair were installed we organized the tiles for under the wood stove. Susan arranged the stones and then we cemented them in place. The wood stove was then installed and we had our first fire.

November 2017 - The utility area came out looking great thanks to the skilled effort of the plumbing and heating contractors. The completed stairs arrived. Railings are expected in several weeks. We have installed some electrical fixtures and have completed our final electrical inspection. We have installed some of the hardwood flooring and the edging for the wood stove platform. The base for the wood stove base has been set. It need to cure for 24 hours.

With the outside under control we have started to make the interior space functional as we enjoy the sunny days.

October 2017 - We took a break from construction and spent Thanksgiving in Maine with Julie & family.

Finally we get to the cleanup. The last pile of rock was sorted to give us some flat rocks and the rest left the property to be fill for someone else. The selected rocks were arranged as stepping stones for the front and back doors. Then fresh gravel was placed over the driveway and parking areas. On their way off the property they dressed the Settlers Lane access road that all the big trucks had abused over the summer. We can now contemplate landscaping options.

We were able to reuse the TV tower to support our new internet connection. I then insulated the shop and started to organize my tools. The window installers arrived to do a final tuneup of all the windows, doors and locks. It was a busy day for their team of 4. The porch window/screens system (Weather Master by SunSpace) arrived and we were able to install them on the weekend. The weather has been great for this work. The new windows added to our usable indoor space with this 3 season porch. With that done, I installed the subfloor.

September 2017 - We have moved in. We have heat and running water. We have retired the portable toilet in favour of indoor plumbing. On August 31st, the movers came and removed everything from 144 Anna Avenue and had it unloaded at 139 Settlers Lane by 4:00pm the same day. As you can see by the pictures, there is still work to do but it is good to be all in once place. We are waiting for the stairs to be installed before we can put the hardwood floor down.

We will be disconnected from the internet for several days during the transition but will be back sometime after September 5th when our new connection is expected to be established.

The walls and ceilings were primed and painted. The tile was installed and we started activating electrical circuits. A new fridge and stove will be delivered shortly. The toilets, shower and bath will be installed. The final water and heating connections will be made. Susan has been busy in Ottawa packing and labeling boxes. This was all in preparation for moving day - August 31st.

While the drywall was being installed and painted, the tile work was started. Some filler cement was added to the floor before applying the underlay on which the finish tile was laid.

With the drywall delivered it was installed and the joints taped. Then the first primer coat was applied. There were two primer coats and two finish coats of ceiling and wall paint before it is all completed.

August 2017 - A number of events are happening together. Propane tanks are delivered, radiant floor and air exchange ductwork is installed. The roof venting baffles are installed. The water supply and filtration system initial setup starts. Electrical wiring is completed ready for the electrical inspection. Once passed, the second layer of insulation was placed in the walls. The ceiling are also insulated and the vapour barrier installed ready for the insulation inspection. Meanwhile the old picnic table is removed to enable the installation of the soffits. The drywall arrives and the water supply pump is installed in the lake.

The first layer of insulation was placed in the walls and the air flow baffles were placed against the roof. The second interior wall was construction ready for electrical wires and more insulation. Then it was time to bury the electrical cables, phone cable and water supply conduits from the shop to the house and from the house to the water. To end the week we got delivery of the roof insulation ready for installation.

The septic was completed. The Chimney was installed and the subfloor installed.

As the roofers were finishing, a storm was coming in so the roof and windows were tested 4 hours after they were installed. We now have a dry place to work.

July 2017 - We had a break in the weather and we were able to complete the framing of the end walls and complete the window openings in preparation for the framing inspection. With some good fortune the good weather the site was overrun with by septic installers, the roofing crew and the window and door installers all on the same day. It made for a noisy but productive two days.

The rain has not helped causing work delays and lots of mud. On the bright side we got power connected June 30th. We can say goodbye to the generator noise.

The rafters arrived and we proceeded with the creation of a roof. The ridge beam was first followed by rafters. Then came the roof sheeting and the celebration of finishing the main roof. We then completed the front and back roofs before starting on the end walls upstairs. During the process I started the house wrap of the exterior walls.

With the foundation complete we could backfill the footings and start the landscaping.

We then put the floor joists on the walls and added the 2nd floor decking. With the floor completed we added the supports for the front porch. We are now ready for the roof rafters.

With some sunny weather, the framing was started. We completed the perimeter walls and interior supporting walls.

June 2017 - With all the inspections passed the floor was poured.

The excavation area was filled with aggregate to 10 inches from the top. The plumbing pipes were placed in the gravel and then 6 inches of rigid insulation was added and the joints taped. The radiant floor heating pipes were then stapled to the insulation prior to pouring the floor.

The canoes wait patiently while construction is underway. A new power pole is installed and the apple tree is in bloom.

May 2017 - With all the rain this spring, we needed to pump out the excavation to prepare for the new footings. It took 4 day of work to prepare the footings for inspection before the placement of 18 meters of concrete before they started with the cement blocks and the addition of gravel fill. I added the conduits for the Radon and electrical services that would be in the cement floor.

May 2017 - We used the breaks in the weather to complete the water proofing (blue skin) on the foundation. Then we completion a deck and roof for the canoe storage area on the back of the shop. This now completes the framing of the shop.

The excavation for the new house foundation is started.

A contribution to the fish habitat and shoreline improvement is addressed while the equipment and space is available.

The heavy equipment takes on the task of removing the cottage.

The heavy equipment waits its turn.

A demolition party was held to salvage all useful material from the property prior to giving access to the heavy equipment. A gathering of 30 friends, family and neighbours made for an entertaining day of fun and transformation of the structure. All the copper and aluminum was salvaged for the Ottawa Police Chorus.

We then received delivery of the framing materials and assembled the walls. We applied the house wrap of the main level and added rafters. The roof capped off this part of the project.

We put the floor on the shop with the insulation safely stored inside the lower level.

Open water is coming as the ice disappears.

April 2017 - With the snow gone, we are able to continue with the shop construction. First we collected rigid insulation for the house cement slab and deliver it to the site. The problem was that there was lots of rain at that time and the soft ground got the truck stuck. With the truck gone I was able to clean up the ground before it dried.

The cottage rested for a while under its winter blanket of snow and ice.

We milled the Pine tree for a future project.

February 2017 - We removed a Pine tree.


The snow came and we retreated to Ottawa for the winter.

We excavated for the footings of the new shop and installed the new shop foundation.

October 2016 - We obtained approval of our Minor Variance and in November we obtained a building permit.

November 2016 - We demolished the old garage.

Here are a few images of the cottage and surroundings when we started.

June 2016 - We purchased 139 Settlers Lane. Susan and I spent the summer at the property, cleaning and contemplating what we could do to make it home. We met with township staff, the local heath unit, the Otty Lake Association, many local contacts and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. All these contacts helped with the development of a site plan.


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