Coleraine Eco-Cottage

For our first project, we are undertaking the transformation of a 1910 duplex into a 21st-century Eco-Cottage.

To say that the duplex was run-down would be an understatement.  Years of neglect had taken its toll.

The first few weeks of August consisted of stripping the interior right down to the core.  All that remained was four walls, the roof and the floor boards.  No plumbing, no electrical, no interior walls.

Then started the big dig.  The basement was unfinished with a concrete floor, but only five feet high.  Three feet down is a lot of digging, and now the basement is higher and better, ready to get a new concrete floor soon.

Next came the structural work.  In order to gain height and have larger open areas, new beams were laid into the main floor and the second floor.  At the same time both the floors were leveled out, ready for new flooring later in the process.  And two large openings were added for stairs to the basement and to the second floor.

Last week up went new walls.  The main floor got  new walls for the powder room and front hall closet – the rest of this floor is all open, an awesome space.  The upstairs got new divisions for three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

At the same time, work has progressed outside as well.  The two rear porches were taken down.  An old shed in the back yard was removed as well. The decayed bricks on the front and side of the house have all been removed, ready to get a brand new face in the next few weeks.  The removal of the bricks reveals the strength of the core of the house – huge rectangular tongue and groove timbers joined in the corners with dovetail joints – a beautiful example of Quebecois Framing.

Back Corner showing Dovetails Joints

All new windows are on their way – ready to make the place brighter and more airtight.  Then on with the plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning and more.

Rue Fortune Project

This project involves the design and construction of three Contemporary Condos on a vacant lot on Fortune Street in Point St. Charles.  The building will be built up against a three-storey triplex on one side and a single-storey garage on the other side.

Empty lot on Fortune Street. '69 Camaro not included.

Preliminary Plans from architect Eric Majer:

Lower Level:

Ground Floor:

Second Floor:

Third Floor:

Fourth Floor:


Charon Project

The project on Rue Charon involves the rehabilitation of a 1920′s three-storey duplex into three condos.  For many years this duplex had a convenience store / depanneur on the ground floor and a two-storey apartment above.  Some twenty years ago the store was closed and boarded up, leaving a not-too-attractive facade behind.

Rue Charon. The "Dep".

It will be an interesting process to restore the facade to its former glory.  Behind all that chipboard and neglect lurks an elegant building.  Stay tuned !

LED Lighting

I have been eagerly watching the development of LED lighting, as it has great potential, but also is very expensive.  But as volumes go up, prices will keep dropping.

At my city house, the outside lights are on a timer to turn on at dusk, off at sunset.  The house has 8 exterior lights – the front, side and back of the house.  Each has a 40 watt bulb, but are dimmed to about 75% – therefore 8 lights x 30 watts = 240 watts on 8 to 12 hours every single night of the year.  Drives me crazy to “waste” that much energy.

But this week at Reno-Depot I found a PAR 20 LED floodlight for $ 9.00.  Bought one to try out.  Light has that blue-ness to it, but works great.  And consume 2 watts !

So now 8 lights x 2 watts x 75% (from dimming) = 12 watts.  95% less energy !  Now I have to go out and buy seven more !

Bring on the LED’s !