Category Archives: Renovation

How to Demolish a Staircase without Dying

When we first looked at this house two years ago, Patricia immediately saw how much floor area was devoted to a tight little staircase that twisted its way from the second floor down to a postage-stamp size landing and porch … Continue reading

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People Like Us

Kathy Dobson, the author of With a Closed Fist: Growing Up in Canada’s Toughest Neighbourhood warned me. Sort of. She circumspectly asked how Point St. Charles residents were reacting to me, what with me being a newcomer and all. “Warmly,” I … Continue reading

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Sex, Shelter, Art, Intoxication, and Death

It’s hard to imagine a 120-year-old house that isn’t hoarding a few secrets and surprises behind its walls, under its floors, and above its ceilings. Secretiveness and guilt make people hide things but there’s also the simple fact of loss. A ring slips … Continue reading

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“T”

When you apply for a renovation permit from l’arrondissement du Sud-Ouest, or the Southwest Borough of Montreal, the document you eventually receive and  must  then post in your window displays a big, green “T.” If you’re thinking in English, no handy signification … Continue reading

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What the Search Engine Said

The ISP hosting The New Point dutifully provides monthly statistics about visitors to the blog, including the exact search terms that brought them here. After having been sought for more than a year, I think it’s time to open up … Continue reading

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Santa Stymied

Taking the chimney down wasn’t really on my Christmas to-do list. Patricia’s logic was unassailable, though. If the chimney were taken down on the first and second floors, what was left of it in the basement could save us money. … Continue reading

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Thirty Feet of Brick

However far you must go for bricks, Whatever they cost a—piece or a pound, Buy me enough for a full-length chimney, And build the chimney clear from the ground. Robert Frost, “The Kitchen Chimney” The masons who worked for the builder … Continue reading

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Hitting the Wall

Marathon runners and endurance athletes who reach what feels like an absolute physical limit have to force themselves to continue until the limit disappears. Psychology overcomes physiology, and their steps become light again. Do-it-yourself renovation doesn’t work like that. Here, … Continue reading

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Judgment Day

In a December post, I wrote about the experience of being a defendant in a court case, and about the way the aggressive procedures of legal contest can grind away your self-confidence in their search for a bad guy. Now, after … Continue reading

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Fiat Lux, Already

Or fiat blog, might be a better way to begin, considering how long I’ve let The New Point languish. The inconsistency is not good manners, so allow me, in the next week or two, to make up for it. It’s … Continue reading

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