This is part four in a multi-part series by Miranda Fabricius about her latest renovation project, Crest View House, in Belleville’s East Hill neighbourhood. Check out part one here, part two here and part three here. Follow along with Miranda on Instagram for the latest updates!
Our renovation of Crest View in the Old East Hill continues. My favourite development since my last BoQ blog entry is the newly refinished original hardwood floors.
The craftsmanship and hours that went into these floors when they were installed some 130 years ago is something rarely seen beneath our feet these days: a marvelous design of red oak, white oak, cherry and maple laid in an intricate pattern with a detailed border.
The wood is surface-nailed and laid in 1-1/2 inch-wide stripes. These floors run throughout the three principal rooms on the main floor and have been lovingly restored by M&W, a local contractor known for their flooring expertise and respect for old world artistry.
Seeing these stunning floors restored, and having them finished and ready to be appreciated for the years to come has been the touch of motivation we needed to get us through this last lockdown during this renovation (or shutdown? Emergency break? Circuit breaker? Stay-at-home order? Who can remember?).
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE(S)
We continue to see delays, rising material prices and many shortages. The big difference this time is that we are used to it. We know to adjust our expectations and be flexible. We needed to take time away from the project to homeschool our three children. That means we are back to working during the early mornings, late nights and every weekend. Luckily, we ordered our finishing materials well in advance, so we are ready for the final stage of the renovation.
Any feature, fixture or fitting we add to this historic home, we first ensure matches and complements the original features. The new fireplace is modelled after a fireplace from a home built in the same era – the 1890s.
As you may know by now, this is not your typical “house flip,” a term I’ve sometimes cringed at. We aren’t looking to slap anything together and flip it into someone’s lap. This is a large renovation where we have made huge investments in the less glamourous aspects of a project like this.
We completely upgraded the plumbing and electrical, gutted/built four bathrooms,
We have started to install the new baseboards and casing where needed, and we’ve fully replaced the trim in the attic and basement. We are piecing in trim where we have made changes to layout, or where trim, added in past years, doesn’t quite match. All of the new trim that we are using has been milled to match the original to ensure a consistent flow throughout the house.
The kitchen countertops were installed this week and I savoured seeing the new, classic nickel kitchen faucet we selected set in against the clean lines of a pristine stone counter, all amidst the ornate original detail of this home’s main rooms. I love seeing this all come together.
As we install the finishes over the next few weeks, we are also preparing to say goodbye to Crest View. It has been an amazing experience and we have loved being able to bring life back into this beautiful century home.