We're putting the push on to finish plastering the kitchen so that the cabinet maker can begin his work. As we finish the kitchen, we'll need to dig a hole for a five-inch plastic pipe to run through the wall as a channel for the range hood, and another for a smaller pipe to house the outdoor water tap. Two more pipes will need to be channeled through the utility room wall for the dryer vent and bathroom fan vent before we can complete that area. We'll use plastic piping directly against the straw to house the metal pipes in case they sweat.
Good news on the plumbing/heating front: We have heat (!) now that our radiant in-floor thermal system is running and we now have the civilized pleasure of a functioning water closet (the nicest term I could think of). The radiant heat feels luxurious and makes working around the house very comfortable.
The bad news of the week is that we have hard water, so we'll need to find a way to remove the "hardness." From what I'm reading on the CMHC website, water softeners put high levels of sodium in the water which is not great for humans (can you say, heart attack please?), and rather terrible for our water table/surrounding soil. Does anyone know if reverse osmosis can work just as well? I've heard of people using reverse osmosis in tandem with a water softener to remove the salt after it has softened the water, but that means big bucks and a lot of space taken up in our utility room that we simply cannot afford. CMHC indicates that it can remove minerals, thereby softening water, but doesn't give a definitive view on using reverse osmosis in place of a water softener. I'd prefer this route...
The other debate of the week is whether or not we should finish the wood (sanding and applications of water based protection) on our stairs and loft floor *before* we plaster upstairs or *after*...?