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.