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  • Writer's pictureMarc S. Tremblay

Construction update

It’s been more than two months since my last blog update, so this one is overdue.

Construction has continued at the Grove on Mayne Island, despite a few weather delays, but we’re moving forward, slowly but surely. Let me take you through all the new work that’s been done…

The Grove on Mayne Island

New metal roof

First, we replaced the roof with a metal roof. The old roof was a torched-on roof that was a year or two away from needing to be replaced. It also had integrated gutters within the fascia board. These types of gutters can easily get plugged with debris falling from the trees, so we decided to replace it now and change the gutter system to make it easier to collect rainwater.

Next, all the rough-in electrical and plumbing was completed. From an electrical point of view, the electrician connected all the wires and connections from the existing house to the new panel and 200 AMP service, so we now have power to the fridge, stove and all the lights in the bedrooms, kitchen and living room. The new lower level has also been wired, including an outside connection for a power generator (Mayne Island gets frequent power outages) and an EV car charger.

Moving on, all the water lines were installed, including the potable and the rain catchment water pipes. The plumber discovered a couple of issues when he ran a pressure test of the system: a small leak from the fridge’s water and ice dispenser system, and the existing toilet needed a new seal and flap.

Our water well produces one gallon per minute, which is not great, but it’s not terrible either. To alleviate the possibility of straining the well when we have a full house, we installed a holding tank to store water. As we draw water from the tank, the well pump kicks into action and replenishes the holding tank at a rate that the well can handle. The rainwater will be used to flush toilets and water the garden.

Holding tank for well water at the Grove on Mayne Island

At the same time, a curtain drain was created to channel the surface water that comes from uphill during the winter season and in heavy rains. The drain is connected to our perimeter drains and diverts water away from our front yard and house.

Insulation came next. We used Rockwool’s Safe’n’Sound insulation to insulate the ceiling and the walls between the 1-bedroom suite and the rest of the lower level. This product provides superior sound-proofing between the rooms. It also has better fire resistance than many other products.

Next up: drywall. The on-island contractor we retained uses an off-island crew to come hang the drywall. That way, it’s done quickly and efficiently. Now that the drywall is in place, he will tape, mud and sand the joints and screw holes by himself, which will take several weeks since the mud needs to dry between each application. He expects that process to be completed by the end of June.

A different crew framed the deck at about the same time. It’s a massive, measuring 60 feet long by 12 to 14 feet wide. It was engineered with oversized cement footings and beams to hold lots of friends and family, and a hot tub! It’s facing South-West, or down lot towards the ocean, so we’ll enjoy views of the yard, tall trees, peek-a-boo views of the ocean. It’ll be a fabulous place to be…

Finally, the crew started prepping the house for new siding. Like the roof, we weren’t planning on replacing the siding, but one side was damaged beyond repair during the house move. Instead of having a patchwork of siding (there's already a feature wall with painted cedar shakes around the front door), we decided to replace the old aluminium siding with an engineered wood solution.

That’s about 2 months’ worth of work!

Next up: finish drywall taping, mudding and sanding; applying a primer on all new drywalled surfaces; installing a vinyl membrane and railings on the deck; building the septic system and tying into it; completing the water catchment system; installing flooring and interior doors; finishing the electrical and plumbing work; landscaping and grading; painting and all the other finishing work.

People often ask, “when is it going to be finished?” That is a good question…

It’s nearly impossible to have a completion date because: 1. contractors are very busy, many of which are working on several jobs at a time, 2. some of the work is weather-dependent, and 3. everything seems to work on ‘Island Time’, which is just fine by me.

With that said, I’m hoping most of the work will be completed by July 19.

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