Phewww... What a couple of month’s it’s been!
We’re sorry for disappearing on you all like that. We like to keep you posted on our adventures, but we really had to put our heads down and get the work done for a while there.
For those that don’t know, we purchased the LaHave River Campground sight unseen amidst the pandemic, moving across the country to do so. And we knew that there would be some surprises. But man, do they ever keep coming! This Fall we’ve tackled one of the biggies – rebuilding and winterizing our home on the property.
Many of you would know this as the little house behind the store. We lived our first year in this space, but were never truly able to unpack and get comfortable here. Beyond just the dysfunctional layout and lack of proper finishings, we became increasingly aware that the house was not structurally sound, and nowhere near insulated and ready for Nova Scotia winters.
Kalen started planning for the renovations while the campground was running, as we knew we’d have a short window before snow started flying after the campground’s close. We were moved out and in full demolition mode by September’s end. At this time we were especially thankful for the help of experienced tradespeople within the park. Many days they were there helping Kalen to figure out what we were up against and to lead us on the right path forward.
For those that are curious, our work began with the foundation. The base of the house was rotten, sitting in dirt, and sinking. When we got to digging, we soon realized we’d have to rebuild the foundation without moving it. With the help of those compassionate campers, Kalen was able to jack it up, put down new cinder blocks, pads and stone down, level the house, and rebuild the sills.
Historically, this building was a shop of the original owner. We believed that the framework of the house was still structurally sound and worth saving (as was the steel roof), and thankfully this was the case! We ripped out the floor of the house though so that we could have access to fix the foundation, as well as to insulate and seal the floor.
Having lived in the house as is last year, we saw (and felt!) how it was not properly winterized. There was not proper vapour barrier and insulation throughout, and with holes everywhere, the house just leaked. The advantage to having the house completely taken apart was that we could truly fix the problem, and not just patch it.
We are pleased to share that we now have a home that is completely vapour barriered, with the floors, walls, and ceiling insulated. We’ve moved and installed windows and doors as needed, and Jamie Lee has been so happy to have a new drywall project at hand! Our walls are now boarded, mudded, taped and painted, and we look forward to moving onto finishings this New Year!
It feels like a new chapter after truly being tested. We have worked day and night, just about every day. We used the public bathrooms of the campground; until the water froze. We cooked in the shelter; which despite being warm with a fire on in October, it is not in December (that’s the next big project!). We’ve lived out of suitcases in our unfinished school bus with our three pets; who truly have put up with us when we haven’t had much to give them.
All in all, we hope that we’ve earned our Nova Scotia stripes this year! We’re thrilled to be in our new home,
and are feeling excited to share progress pictures with you all in the coming weeks and months.
Happy New Year and stay warm everyone!
Kalen, Jamie Lee and Tundra