Here we go again…still

January, the month of No Spending; Getting Organized; and new Resolutions!  Yup, pretty much none of which we are doing.  We are in the throes of renovation again.


This time we are tackling the kitchen.  Here is what it looked like before.

The Ultimate Realtor Type Picture

Slightly More Cluttered but the same

The Eating Nook? before we ripped out the shelf and eating bar.

Back door Entry

A pantry, kind of sort of

Let the ripping and tearing begin!


It starts!

Bop’s hard at work

Maybe an Island?

Three Layers of History

Stay tuned for more wreckage.

The Patio Spot

With all the renos happening inside and out, we are having to be inventive in some of our plans.  Re-using, Re-purposing becomes very real in how you can have something without have to fork over more money.  Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a landscapers come in and plan my yard and put down a new patio.  HowevOriginal Patioer, the reality is, there is more sweat equity available than dollars.

New Driveway
When we purchased this home there was a patio at the end of the car port.  There was a fence like structure dividing the carport and the patio on one side, another fence and an overgrown tree on the other.  Side to side was the wall of the house and a fence with the grape vines.  All in all it was a bit like a stockade.  There were pros and cons to keeping this patio.  One major consideration was that is it was already there and another it was close to the kitchen for BBQs. [Read more…]

Renovations – Will this ever end?

How many of you have said, “Will this ever end?” when it comes to renovations?  I feel like we have started so many different projects and they are all half done.

Remember the basement bathroom?  All except thFuture Patioe electricity and the door done, fairly important parts of the job.  We wait on our electrician, who is very busy now that Spring has arrived in the Valley.  The door needs to be put on by my own handyman, who is in the middle of roofing the new garage.  While he was waiting for the garage to get to that point, he was digging up the side yard to put in a patio.  I don’t even want to talk about the painting, both inside and outside, that I have to finish now that the new windows are in.
However, Spring is here!  Who wants to work inside?  There will be time in abundance when the heat rolls up over 35 degrees, or hotter.  So I sit in my chair pretending the patio is in and plan my herb garden.

Taping and Mudding Drywall

Taping and Mudding Drywall or How a Mother became a Mudder!  With the basement bathroom well on it’s way to being finished, it was my turn to be the troll in the basement today.   [Read more…]

Plumber is coming!

This is good news!  We are to the final stages of getting that basement bathroom installed.  My sweet handyman is putting the final touch on so the plumber can come an install the shower, vanity, and toilet tomorrow.  It is so exciting.  Of course, now we need the electrician in to get lights in there 😀

[Read more…]

Basement Storage

Part of the renovations we began in the basement were because of water damage.  Somewhere, some time in the recent history of this house there had been a flood.  Not a flood like we had in Alberta in 2013, but still there was issues that need to be addressed.  Most of these were hidden gems.  Like this one.  water damage

[Read more…]

Renos – Tearing Down to Building Up

One of the exciting things about renovations is when you finally finish with the tearing down and start on the building up.

That is where we are in the basement.  Remember back to this?  We had a sewer back up and in the cleaning up discovered that there was more to clean than we had bargained for.  Isn’t that often the way of renovations?

The bathroom as it was before, had a raised floor and water (and let’s not even think what else) had gone underneath.   Another item found in discovery was the sump pump hose had been pulled out and was draining out onto the cement and surrounding walls.  There was enough water to rot one of the bottom plates of the bathroom wall.  This is not good!

Wait, there was more.  Next door to the bathroom was an insulated room that I think was meant to be a cold storage.  In fact, I even put some fresh picked apricots in there to ripen but when I looked three days later they were completely rotten and soaked through.  That was a mess let me tell you.  So the cold room actually turned out to be more of a sauna. Learning curves.  basement bath1

Once the entire area had been torn down and sanitized my Handy Man painted the floor and the walls.  The walls he painted with a WaterTiteLX.  It is a mould and mildew-proof waterproofing paint, claiming to resist 20 PSI of water pressure.  Now, that may not have been particularly necessary, but we decided that one more precaution was worth it.  Besides, it brightened up the walls.  The floor was painted with regular cement paint.

DIY is all very well and good, but some things we just felt we had to call in the professionals.  A plumber will be arriving to put in the shower, sink and toilet.  He was already by to move the hot water tank and re position the hose from the sump pump.  In doing this, left us with a better opening for a new wall.  It is all very exciting to see it coming together.

The old “not so cold” room is going to be a bedroom.   It will be getting a new window so we can have a safe egress for anyone sleeping downstairs.

DIY – Chalk Paint Curtains

Chalk Paint came into my radar before we moved last year.  Probably just about this time of year too.  I need to update my kitchen cupboards and decided it was my best bet.

They turned out fantastic and I was so pleased with the results I decided to do my coffee table as well.  It was looking pretty good, then my son used it for a platform to move things in the storage shed when we were packing up.  Now it has great big footprints!  Boys.  I do plan to redo it.

The next project was window treatment for my studio in the new home. [Read more…]

Continuing Renos

It seems like we are counting our renovations by months. July was the sewer pipe replacement; August and September were walls; October and November were floors, then there were things like the fireplace and a window or two that just fit in where they could.

Don’t ever think you will hurry renos.  They move at their own speed, especially when the hired help are over 60!  I think that the fun of doing renovations is taking your time and doing a “job well done”.  It is exciting to see rooms come together.  Then the house really becomes your home.

A few pictures of the flooring process will give you some idea of where we came from.  studio beforeThis was the Blue Room.  It, along with the Pink Room, had glued down carpet.  Very old glued down carpet.  The picture shows what is left on the floor after the carpet is removed.  We took an ice scraper to it and scrapped most of it off.  studioSame room, but I had taken paint primer and rolled the floor.  It kept the dust from the carpet residue from flying all over.  This prepped the floor for the laminate.  It was clean and smooth.  Floor in SpareHere is the start of the Pink Room.  With a roll of foam placed down, starting in the left corner, the laminate goes down.  There are many great sites for dyi laminate flooring.  They give tips for door ways, YouTubes for difficult spots, and of course, trial and error.

prep work 2 prep work starting dining floorThe living area took much more prep work.  Floors had to be leveled and squeak proofed.  In the end we are glad we did all the preps because the floor looks fantastic.

dining floor

This is not quite an “after” picture as the trim is not on.  Did I mention that we decided not to replace the old trim?  Gluttons for punishment!

Have you installed your own flooring?  How did it turn out?

DIY Paint Tray Liner

Garbage bag tray Garbage bag tray1 Mst B2Washing out a paint tray is a royal pain.  Too late smart, I thought of this little DIY.

Taking a large garbage bag, I put the tray inside.  Turn it over and tape it down so it doesn’t move.  Make sure to leave room on the top side for the paint.

It worked very well.  The one caution I would add, is do not leave your paint in the tray to use later.  With plastic, as with tin foil, you will get acrylic paint peeling off the tray and adhering to the roller.  You may get bits on the walls.

Use it quickly and put only as much as you need into the tray.  It works very well.

Clean up was easier too.  Just pull off the tape and fold the bag over itself.  Discard.

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