Friday, December 11, 2009

interesting site

found this site on the web which lays out the costs to build a house. think we could share with him some cost savings ideas... but interesting anyway

plumbing rough in has been ok'd

So I glue this weekend, and we have a hvac and electrician coming in this weekend too.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


we are having the plumbing (which I ran myself) inspected. Inspector came in today, recommended some changes, so I do that and we'll be good (hopefully). Next we have an HVAC guy lined up, who will run the ducts for us hopefully this weekend. We have an electrician lined up as well, ready when the first two tasks are complete.

Once those are done, Tan and I can insulate and move in (minimally).

keep you posted.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pictures of the Progress thus far

Here is some of what we have been up to....looking like a house!

On top of this, we have been talking to electricians, HVAC peeps, and plumbers galore. Hoping to get started on this exciting stuff this week. The basement is looking fresher too, the celing has been reinforced. All the windows are in and sealed up too....good stuff!
We have moved from Georgetown and have settled into our friends house....thanks Max & Jess, Lisa & Rick!!

More updates to come!


Who is living in the POD?

Okay, Friday I decide I really need to get serious about getting the house in Georgetown packed up, because we need to be out for Sunday (yesterday). I go to the POD in the driveway (portable storage trailer thingy)and open it up to fill with all of our belongings and I think, out the corner of my eye I see something move. I quickly convince myself that is not true and proceed to bring out box after box of stuff (mostly stuff we dont use really) and then I see of the previously packed cardboard boxes is chewed to shit! I look around, this is not an isolated incident....several of our boxes have huge gaping holes and the trailer is littered with cardboard shavings! Now, this is not the little job of a mere mouse (which I would hate, but could possibly manage to deal with) but the work of a much bigger animal.....well, not really big, like maybe a squirrel or something. I look around a bit, the dog is going kinda wild, sniffing all around the trailer, but I cant see anything....except a wall of chewed up stuff! Anyways, I bring out 3 or 4 more loads of stuff before my anxiety is too much to handle, and I become resolve to packing in the house and loading up the kitchen, ready for Ben to take out to the inhabited POD! In the meantime, I left the POD door open in hopes that the gigantic beast would leave to get something more nutritious to eat then cardboard! I Love Moving!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

As Promised!

Here is a little peek of what is happening at the house!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It has been a while!!

Hello again! It has taken me so long to post not only because we have been super busy with the house, but because in anticipation of moving, our Internet was shut off! On top of that, something is wrong with our camera so until that gets fixed there will be no pictures.....drag I know! Try to visualize......the addition is on, the roof is done, the side porch has a new roof too, the kitchen window is in (the biggie), the office is completely demo'd, there are two windows in upstairs, and the addition is wrapped up like a present on the outside to keep it warm for the winter. There is a support beam in the living room which holds the ceiling nice and straight, the window in the living room and kitchen are boarded over and we have filled 12 dumpsters to date!
There is only a bit left to do before the fun stuff starts. This weekend with the help of some family we are hoping to get the entire house framed out on the inside, new walls and all, the rest of the windows in, and the living room floor leveled. This may seem lofty but I think it can get done. Now, when that is finished, we can get on the electrical, plumbing and HVAC!!! This is exciting because then insulation and drywall......before too long I will be picking out paint colours!
One super glitch along the way....the bank. When we worked through the first $20,000 and were ready with receipts to collect the next $20,000 it took them 3 weeks to get it for us. Work had to almost stop because we needed supplies. Anyways, lesson learned....don't wait until you are out of money to go get more!
Our current landlords have found someone to rent our place for November 28th, so they have asked us to get out for November 21st.....the race is on! Friends have offered to have us stay at their house until this house is ready, but we are really hoping to move from where we are now to the new not pass go, do not collect $200!! Only time will tell. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On the October Schedule

1. Finish the Roofs
2. Winter weather proof the outside wood
3. Put the Windows in, and foam barrier
4. Rough in the Plumbing for the new bathroom
5. Run the electrical and cabling
6. Run the HVAC
7. Insulate and Poly the walls
8. Resheet the old flooring

That should be the minimum at least that would allow us to move in, with just the essentials and is safe for Liv.

The next phase would be Nov/Dec and that would actually be finishing the house (drywall, siding, flooring, Kitchen/Bathroom, etc).

Roof on Addition Complete

Roof on the addition is complete, with big thanks to Rick for spending way too much time in the rain in the past week.

We now need to refinish the old roof, and rebuild the side porch and front porch roofs that leak. Will likely just resheet over top of existing stuff, sister up some new joists beside the old ones, and go from there.

Next we have to weather proof the outside. We have a lot of bare wood, and holes where windows used to be, that I need to get ready for the winter.

We're hoping to be able to move in on Halloween weekend. !

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Addition Almost Complete

The addition is almost complete. Framers started yesterday, and will be done early afternoon today.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Big Push

Rick has been over every night to help me this week and all day each Sat and Sun. We wouldn't be where we are today without his help (or anyone's for that matter), so we are both very thankful.

We've run lights every day this week, and thought we were ready to have the contractor in on Monday (21st) so we could potentially move in (essentials only) on the 1st of October. However, we had a set back in the kitchen and lost a day, and then spent about 14 hours there today (Saturday) getting it ready for the framing of the addition.

Tomorrow, if we don't have the remaining of the roof ripped off, the 2nd story 26'ft LVL beam securely footed down to the basement, and some old section around the kitchen torn down, all on Sunday, then the contractor won't be able to start framing, and we will have an even bigger set back not being able to move.

Rick and Lisa have offered their spare bedroom to us, which is very generous and means a lot to us, but we don't want to put anyone out, so we're hoping to have all of this done in time. No stress eh.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More from the home front


Thought I would follow up Ben's last post with some more pictures. The house is not really a house at all at the moment with no ceilings or roof, and to the untrained eye it might look as though not much is getting done......but this my friend is not the case! This has been a seriously serious work week at the house, getting the final things done in anticipation of the contractors showing up early Monday morning. Almost.....almost......almost all of the wreckage is out of the house, finally! We are going to need one more dumpster (making 7 in total) and that will be it for a while.

Just a quick run down of what has been done since the last update
1. The roof has been taken off with the help of my Dad, Max, and Max's step Dad Rick.
2. the remaining barn boards, and plaster and lath have been removed
3. The yard has been cleaned up of roof debris
4. The old tv antenna has been taken down
5. The hard wood floor has been torn up from the living room....which by the way revealed a beautiful, untouched, wide plank hard wood floor....hello!
6. Windows have been bought for most of the house...will explain in a minute
7. The chimney has been partially removed
8. The kitchen design has been agreed upon....god help me, finally!
9. The main floor studs have been reinforced with shiny new studs and plates
10. The floor on the main floor has been leveled from the basement.......almost, just another tweak or two

Wow, I am tired just writing that list, never mind doing all of that! We are on schedule so far so that is good!

Okay, the windows.....I am beyond excited! A couple weekends ago, on my way back from picking Liv up from my parents I hit a garage sale. I got 4 vinyl windows (the kind with the lines through them) approx 38x50, 1 HUGE window for the kitchen approx 38x115, a claw foot tub including all the hardware, the 1920's cast iron sink to match, and an antique spindle bed all for.............$600! What a deal! The kitchen window alone I am told would have run us close to $600. I was so pleased, and I get to have the claw foot tub I wanted for our new bathroom!

That's it for now......cross your fingers for dry weather for another week or so!

P.S. If anyone has any tips for getting the little nails out of the wood floor let me know. They have like little teeth on them, so they are tricky. Ben says it will take me forever and we should just put a floor over the top, but I am determined to try. Any tricks would certainly help me prove him wrong......ummmm I mean.......get the nails out of the floor so I can refinish it!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Room with a View

So, we're about a month into the renovation project and have the roof, ceiling and old joists off - and have a 400 square foot skylight in our kitchen/dining room. We're hussling with the help of some of our friends to get the framing and footing in place to support a second story, hopefully being framed out next week.

I've ordered 16' x 11 7/8" Wood Engineered I Joists, 5/8" tongue/groove ply for the floors, and we're going to hand craft the roof with joists, rafters, and collar ties.

Its nice to be finally finishing up the demolision stage and moving slowly towards rebuilding to the final layout.

This weekend's "dumb move, lesson learned" story, is don't use a hacksaw on a pipe that you are holding close to your shin. Once you're done cutting the pipe guess where the blade is going to end up cutting next?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Is it the weekend already!

We managed to get a lot done on our vacation last week. The house is almost torn down to the frame (practically). My Dad is coming again this weekend to help us, this time we are pulling off the roof! The permit should be in next week so the contractor can come and build our addition....yeah!! In the meantime, the roof, the ceilings on the main floor, and the remaining barn boards need to be ripped off to prepare. The studs need to be reinforced and we are hoping to get all of that done this long weekend. My Dad is taking Liv home with him Saturday after the day's work, so Ben and I can work non stop Sunday and Monday....thanks Nana and Papa!

The shed in the back yard is gone to make way for swing sets and sand boxes!!

Funny little story from last weekend.....Ben was upstairs taking down walls, and out pops a raccoon! It scared the crap out of the poor guy, and because it was hanging out on the wall right above the stairs he couldn't get down the stairs away from it!! He called me (I had just dropped Liv off at a birthday party) asking me to grab him a coffee and come help with the little critter...who wasn't really all that little really! By the time I got to him, Max was at the house too...needless to say we had a good laugh at his expense before helping rescue him. The raccoon really wanted to stay, so we had to call a humane animal removal company who came in (for $375) and took Ricky out to the back yard to live in our tree, then blocked off his entry point. We are happy to say, he hasn't come back!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What a week!

We have gotten a lot done this week, and I am ready to go back to work!! I have a new found respect for construction people and general laborors.....I could never do what they do! There are very few parts of my body that are not hurting, but the job has been very rewarding so far. We only have a little left to do in order to prepare for the contractors to come and build our addition....shouldn't be a problem getting done in time, so we are taking a family day tomorrow before back to work Monday. I am looking forward to it, and so are my hands!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 that a word?

Okay, so I had intended on writing an entry each day of our super duper renovating 'vacation', but to be quite honest, I have been too tired and my hands hurt too much to type! Now, after 4 full days in, my hands have adjusted, and all is well again! Okay, here is the update. The entire house, upstairs and downstairs is almost completely a shell. There is still a little to do upstairs, then we are done with the tearing down business....thank goodness. We have decided on a contractor (Daniel) so we are just waiting for him to commit to his price and stuff in writing, then the permit to come in and we are off to the races with the addition. In the meantime we need to get the roof off the entire house. My Dad is coming tomorrow to help us with that (thanks Papa). P.S. don't tell Liv that her Papa is coming....I just dropped her off today to spend a couple days with Grama and Grampa, but if she knew Papa was coming and she wasn't here she would not be happy with us! But, we know that Papa wouldn't be much help if Liv were here!!! Anyways, it will be nice to see him, and get some help. Our friend Max has helped us with the demo for the past few days, and taken Liv out to the park to play (which is a great help). Her daughter Jess has also been awsome to help with Liv when we need her....Thanks Jess!!

Now, the glitch.....
as we tore down the ceiling in the living room we realized it has a tremendous bow to it that must be fixed. From what we can gather, that is a big process including walls and roof being off for a little are putting off moving into this dream until next month. This gives us some more time to get more done without having to live amongst the rubble. Not something we had planned for, but hey, Ben had a temper tantrum, threw the ladder, I held it in a bit and was in a bad mood for a few hours, but we are over it now! What can you do! Just keep on wreckin!!

Okay, so here is what I have learned in the past 4 days
1. The masks with the little filter contraption on the front are well worth their money in gold.
2. You can use the space between your breasts to hold a can of red bull if you need both your hands to climb up the stairs covered in debris.
3. If you look at yourself, and your partner after a day of working in dust, you get a fairly good idea of what they are going to look like when they are 100......then you can make decisions from there!
4. Giant Tiger has a vast array of clothing suited just for doing dirty renovation work.
5. Life is a little brighter when you wipe off your glasses
6. If you wake up and your hands are stuck in the position of holding a wrecking bar, it is going to be a difficult morning.
7. Eye glasses are not, and should not be used as, safety glasses.
8. Ceramic tiles are very tough, you can beat them with a hammer and they don't break. Now, drop a butter knife the right way and you ruin your floor....just sayin.
9. There is not vermiculite or asbestos in our attic, so instead of it costing $6000 to have it removed, we will get it out for the low low price of $2000!
10. Six nails in the bottom of your shoe is less than eight....what a great day!
11. Home improvement holds Liv's interest for about 5 minutes at a long as she doesn't get too dusty!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


As I mentioned, we are in the demo phase of our reno. Here are a couple pics of what we are looking at every night when we get off work! Pretty huh? Smashing actually (literally!) We start our vacation in two days, so we are hoping to do some serious work during that week....because we have to start living in this house next weekend!! The plan is to have all the main walls stripped, and new studs in between the original ones, the ceilings tore down on the main floor, the fence up, and the roof off the existing kitchen/dining room ready for the contractor to start building. Oh yeah, and one other little thing.....the permit! On top of that, all the supplies bought and delivered for the contractor. Now, as for the contractor.....Ben has been interviewing potential contractors all week (5 in total). One has given us a really good quote (yes we will get it in writing before doing anything) and he can start right away. He says it will only take them four days! That sounds great, but lets see if anyone can beat it!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What I learned today!

Okay, so we spend a good part of today in demolition mode. Ben posted a picture of the wall torn apart, that is what we are doing....tearing the main floor, outside walls apart to the bones. We have to put 2x4's between the existing studs to support the new addition. Here is what that involves.....first you break through 14 layers of paint and wall paper to the plaster. You then break away the plaster bit by bit (breaking to take shards out of your eyes, hair, and bra) to reveal the lath (I think that is what it is called). This is a bunch of little strips of wood nailed to every stud the full length of the room. In between these carefully placed pieces of wood is more plaster. So, you have to pull each one off, with the plaster in between (again, breaking to remove plaster from body parts where plaster should not be). Once that is done you would think there would be light....nope, there is a kinda paper stuff nailed to 2" thick barn boards. The barn boards cover the entire length of the wall as well, creating in essence, another wall entirely. So, you carefully yank and pull on these enormous, heavy pieces of wood to finally get to the studs and the wall on the outside of the house! At this point we have all the plaster and lath removed (thank god) and we are working on the barn boards. The entire first floor is full of wood, plaster and newspapers (insulation in some places). I am going to call to have a waste bin dropped off tomorrow.

Here is what I learned today:

1. Even though you wear a mask, dirt still gets up your nose
2. Cleavage is a catch all when pulling plaster off walls
3. Just because the work gloves that are made for women are cute doesn't mean they are any damn good
4. Once you have blisters on every single finger, at every single joint, you should just keep going until the job is done. If you stop to wipe the sweat from dripping into your eye (again), you will not be able to make your hands wrap around that hammer again
5. It must have taken people 6 years to build a house 100 years ago, and plaster must have been cheap
6. With some good music, and a babysitter, you can get a lot done in a day with a hammer and a wrecking bar

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Too Much Crap in the Closet

We found this in our closet. And it works.

And the Reno's Start!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's raining contractors

Okay, so Ben has the plans ready to go to the township to apply for the building permit for the second floor addition....great! So now I am in charge of getting some contractors out to take a look and give us a quote. This is so much easier to do than you would think! I registered with (which took 5 minutes). What this site does is simple, genius really, contractors pay to have notices sent out to them when someone registers a "project" in their area....then....they call the people who need the job done! It is awsome, I had 10 contractors get in contact with me within 4 hrs of posting my "project". So now, I have to pick some and have them come out and look at the house, and our plans, and give us a free, no obligation quote! Now, I have to try and figure out how to get off the site so I don't have hundreds of contractors stalking me, wanting to give me a free, no obligation quote......
Oh yeah, almost forgot.....we have purchased the first of our project supplies. We went the other day and got all the materials and tools needed to build a fence around the entire perimeter of the property! It took FOREVER to load up all 175 boards, and 13 posts etc etc. What we did find out is that you just have to give the folks there at the Home Depot a ring a ding ding, and they will pick up all that crap for you, and deliver it to the door next day.......we are learning early....and I only lost a little skin off the top of one toe in the process.....not bad, not bad at all!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A little green (paint) goes a long way!

We spent most of today at the house, taking the packed boxes we have from our current place -- we are trying to get as much done in advance of actually moving in at the end of the month. I took a bunch of pictures inside and outside so everyone could see what we are up against here (maybe before offering to help!!) We are going to be living on the main floor only until the second floor is completely finished -- in an effort to keep the chaos away from where we are living and sleeping. The little room off the living room is going to be an office, but until we do the main floor renovations that space is going to be Liv's bedroom. We decided to paint that room to try and make it nice for her while we are living amongst the renos. So, off to the hardware store we go, so Liv can choose the colour she wants her new temp bedroom to be.....first she said Lavender would be good, nice for sleeping (her words -- so clever), then she thought a nice dark dark green might be good....she finally settled on a minty green colour! She helped and we got the room all painted up today! It was a fun project, and I think the space will do just fine for now.....she is quite pleased!
PS we choose a no VOC was reasonably priced, covered quite well, and omitted no odor! Nice (especially for a bedroom) I recommend it!

This is the living room and dining room space with the kitchen at the back. The stairs are on the right side there were the wall is torn apart! There is a massive hole in the floor between the hardwood and the carpet (which is disgusting by the way!) I am standing at the front door looking in when taking this picture.....can you imagine it??!

This is the staircase....will be nice....needs some love!

This is the tiny little upstairs....that is going to get bigger....the upstairs has been totally stripped ready to renovate, so that makes it a bit easier for us.

Side it!

Front it too!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here We Go!

Hello world! I have started this blog to capture the progress we make on our enormous home renovation project! We take possession of the house on Monday August 10th, at which time we hope to begin the demo! My husband Ben and I have spend months preparing for this day....pricing out flooring, bathroom fixtures and the rest. Actually, Ben has spent so much time at Home Depot that the staff are starting to recognize him! We are starting with a second floor addition which will add a bedroom and bigger bathroom upstairs (nice). We are waiting on the building permit so keep your fingers crossed! After the addition is up (with the help of a contractor) we are going to be putting on a new roof and siding. The goal is to have this, plus a privacy fence up around the property before the snow falls! I will attach some pictures soon of the "before"! We have a 6 month deadline for the entire project, so wish us some luck, and please leave comments on my posts if you have any handy reno advice....we are going to need all the help we can get!