A Little More History

I recently talked to the owner of this house for the period 1987 to 1992. He works in my building. He kindly spent time going over some of the changes and renovations he and his wife made when they lived there. He also told me that although they really liked the house and the neighbourhood, they moved once they had their first child because there wasn’t going to be enough room for his growing family. That’s understandable, as that’s how I’m feeling too.
​He said they bought the house for $87,000 and then spent a fair bit of cash renovating, because it was not in good shape when they got it. They laid the drywall over the lath and plaster, put in a new furnace, central vac, and underground sprinklers,  put walnut floor in the living and dining rooms, built the pond, put in the fence, and  a new garage door.
They made the kitchen bump out from a porch that was there –  just knocked out the wall between the two spaces. It had patio sliding doors to the deck.
The Juliette balcony was present, but they replaced the door to it- using a door from the house across the street. This is the same door with the oval window that is there now.
There was no paved driveway when they lived here, so it must have been the next owner who put that in, as well as the sunshine ceiling in the kitchen. He noted he knows he wouldn’t have put in a sunshine ceiling because he hates those.
​And quite delightfully, it was his wife who chose the exterior paint colours that are still in use today and which draw so much attention to this house. Very nice colour scheme, albeit one I would not have chosen.
​I had many more questions I would have liked to have asked and I did ask for photos if he had any, but he’s moved on from this house and doesn’t have the same interest in it that I do. But, a nice bit of history he provided.

Wow – Original Flooring

I’ve got shiveries – there’s wood flooring in my kitchen! Well, under two subfloors and generations of linoleum. But I’ve just uncovered a couple of inches of what looks like intact, healthy fir flooring!! Yay me!

Closeup of original fir under 3 sub floors and 5 layers of linoleum.







I’m a little unsure how to move forward right now. I was only taking a look-see for interest sake, because getting excited about any true character of this house is good for me, but also because eventually the builders are going to build a doorway into the addition at this spot and I want them to do it at the level of the original floor, ’cause that’s where the kitchen is headed some time down the line. I was only enlightened yesterday that there are likely two sub-floors laid upon the original wood floor when I took out the deck-porch yesterday. I looked closely at the floor near the front door and noticed what looked like two subfloors and two sets of linoleum sandwiched between.
​Anyway, I think I’ve now confirmed that there is wood flooring in the kitchen and hallway, and likely under the walnut in the living room/dining room that was laid in the 1990’s sometime. I’m baffled why homeowners would cover wood flooring with plywood or particle board and then lay vinyl. I’m a little worried that it was for a good reason, that is, the wood floor got damaged beyond repair in the middle or something like that. That’s the worse case scenario. But given that I saw yesterday that some homeowner built an ugly deck-porch overtop a perfectly healthy, proportioned, and appropriate concrete step, it could be that similar silly thinking went into covering nice and healthy wood flooring – to modernize or some crazy thing.
​Anyway, not sure what next steps are, being aware of asbestos etc. I’m going to research what true linoleum looks like and then decide. If the first layer on the wood is true linoleum (it has an textile weave in it, much different from vinyl), then I can cut through both subfloors and all their vinyl or asbestos flooring and get right to the linoleum, and hopefully prevent giving myself or my family lung cancer.
Wow, what an exciting day! I wish I had a week off to pull the entire kitchen floor out!

Update: I did some basic internet research and found this website:
It says that true linoleum is jute backed and does not contain asbestos. I’m pretty sure I’m dealing with a jute backing, so I’m going to proceed as if it’s got no asbestos. As long as I cut through all the previous layers and subfloors I should be good to go.

Update: I will need a whole week off work to get this floor off! So far I’ve got about 6 feet x 2 feet uncovered and it’s taken about 5 hours of work. And it’s hard work.


One slice of original linoleum








Another slice of original linoleum
After many hours of work