First time home owner and renovator learns valuable lesson in home renovation: everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you expect. Follow our adventures as we gut, build, discover, despair and delight along the never dull road to renovation.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just Gutted

Our downspout freezes up every winter, so this fall we are looking to remedy that and have the fascia, gutters and downspouts all replaced. Wish us luck and send along any recommendations you have for good roofers who know their way around aluminum.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A New Frontier

Yay, I was able to log on again after a few year hiatus. Updates on our most latest project coming soon: landscaping!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Winter Woes

So, if you are a regular visitor, you know that since we moved in, we kind of lost our momentum with regard to the home renovation. That was because we thought we were finished -- we moved in -- done. (That feeling may have contributed to my more infrequent posting). Though we thought we were done...

Think again.

With this arctic blast of winter our washing machine pipes have frozen. First we thought we could heat the area around them - which worked the first time - but alas, this time, this strategy did not work.

In retrospect, we shouldn't have located the washer on an outside wall - especially this particular wall which is very exposed and cold - it almost never gets any direct sunlight due to its north east orientation.

So Jamie got out his old work clothes, a few tools, including the drywall saw and cut a hole in the drywall to expose the pipes. Ah, that smell of drywall dust really brought back some memories. Though it did kinda turn my stomach and make me throw up in my mouth a little. Not the kind of memories I was after you might say.

Anyway, I hear the washer doing its thing down there. That means the drywall surgery was successful and we will soon have clean clothes again.

Ah, the joys of home ownership.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Hi, Remember Me?

Geeze, time flies, it does.

I guess we've now been in our new old home for over two months. It's remarkable, because though much time has passed, not much as happened here. We haven't really done a thing to the house - and there's a lot left to do.

You probably came to see some pictures, so I won't disappoint. Here's a list of the stuff we've been working on.

  • Purchased three counter stools for the kitchen peninsula. Got them at Ridpaths after much searching around and debating. Surprisingly, they were the best price for the best quality we could afford. We were going to get stools with backs, but decided that we didn't really need them as we'd be using the kitchen counter/bar for breakfast and for in-kitchen entertaining and not for sit-down long meals.
  • Searching among the many Boxing Day sales for a couch. We've narrowed it down to a tailored, three-seater with down cushions and likely a microfibre upholstered fabric. We had our heart's set on a leather sofa, but the cost of a good quality leather sofa didn't seem worth it when we could just get a slip cover made for this one if we ever needed to. We're down to picking colours...any thoughts?
  • Unpacking still...boxes line our office walls, and there are boxes full of books in the garage - and winter has arrived so our cars are sitting outside in the snow and cold when they could be inside in the cold and dark silly...oh well...everyone tells me it takes months and sometimes years to unpack - frightening thought that one - I think we are both fed up with the clutter and will likely make this a priority in the next few weeks.
That's kinda about it. We've been working a lot and also planning to vacate in a sunny, warm climate on a last-minute special - stay tuned - could be Cuba, Costa Rica or Mexico or somewhere else - I'll let you know as soon as we book. Maybe while we're gone a house elf will come and unpack all of our boxes and redecorate our living room and bedroom....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Behold, this, our first real Christmas tree! He's from the Maritimes - Nova Scotia I believe. What do you feed Maritime Christmas trees to keep them feeling at home and alive? Rum? Scotch Whisky?

After a long and involved search for LED Christmas lights, we finally bought this tree at Rona and trimmed it last weekend. We're quite pleased with it. We named our tree Jonah, or maybe it was Jonas...I can't remember because this has been a busy week and I haven't spent much time with Jonah since we dressed him up and plugged him in.

He fills the house with a lovely pine aroma, which is supplemented a little by a lovely white candle that is also supposed to elicit the aroma of really works! I'm not sure why we got a male tree this year. We just did. He sits in the little alcove of the bay window and still gives us lots of room around him for the dining room table. It makes me feel that all the headaches, waiting and letdowns that occurred around the reveal and restoration of that bay window were all worth it.

Jonah is decorated with those old fashioned glass balls. I'm sure you can still get them, but ours were made in East Germany, which doesn't exist anymore. They were left in our basement when the former owner moved out. She left quite a few things behind...a leaky roof, lowered ceilings and lots of wood paneling, not to mention an electric knife and some old rusty tools, but these Christmas tree decorations actually came in handy. I'm not sure that we'll be keeping them all, but they should do for this first lean Christmas in our house.

Sadly, there are no presents under Jonah at the moment. We decided not to get each other presents this year. The house seemed to be a significant enough present in itself. I think enjoying time with friends and family will be the best present we could hope to have. And we look forward to visiting others and having visitors drop in...there's not much to see...we are still on the hunt for a sofa and actually need some interior decorator expertise, but we're happy to be in and enjoying our home.

We are slowly still moving in and unpacking. Yesterday Jamie put up the last of the bathroom fixtures - towel rail, ring and medicine cabinet etc. It looks great - we'll be putting the finishing touches on it over the holidays. I'll send an update on the mostly finished bathroom next. Very much enjoying the heated glass tile floor!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Renovater Fatigue

Seems that all of the high octane fuel we've been burning has left us in need of a tune up. We're kinda tired. We were tired before, but now that we've finally moved in and are actually living in our new home, we seem to have lost A LOT of steam.

Jamie says he feels like he did when he arrived home after finishing Christmas exams. Bone tired and on the verge of getting sick. We've all been there, and unfortunately, there's not much one can do to avoid actually succumbing to whatever opportunistic infection wins the battle with the immune system.

I'm tired - but am not getting sick. At least I don't feel anything coming on. But alas, I lack the skill to really forge ahead and continue to do the things that need doing: hanging hooks, towel racks, toilet paper holders etc. I guess I could try, but I'm sure I'd get it wrong, only creating more work for my poor, sick husband.

Oh well, there's lots of shopping to be done: stools, a sofa and window treatments are at the top of my list at the moment. So, I'll be spending the next few days making some Jewish penicillin (chicken soup) for my sick husband and sourcing some items that will continue to make our house more livable and cozy. It's not there yet. But it will be...stay tuned!

Monday, November 27, 2006

We're In! Kitchen Completed

It's true. Finally, after over a year, we have finally moved in and not surprisingly, a week after actually moving in, we are still unpacking boxes and getting organized, but we have moved in to our new home.

We rented a U-Haul truck and made a couple of trips, back and forth, between my Mom's place and our new place and got the bulk of our big items moved in one day. Some dings to the walls and floors will need to be patched up, but there were no major casualties on this moving day.

The room that I've had most involvement in getting to a full functional level would most definitely be the kitchen.

Here are some shots of it - notice there are no window coverings or stools at the island, but all the appliances work and we've had a few meals there already. Looking forward to hauling all my cookbooks out of storage and cracking them open to find some gastronomical inspiration.