What I've Wanted

Is this. This is my most favourite (and most finished) part of the whole project so far.  This is in the non-TV end of our giant living room.  It's a place were we can set up a game of chess, read book (or magazine in my case) and have a cup of nice chai tea.  It's a place though, that I cringe if one of the kiddies start to play near because I'd REALLY like to keep these chairs looking crisp, white and new as long as possible.  I've already caught them being stood on and head stands happening.  Yes, I've many kids here during the day, but I have to put my foot down and keep this place for us grown ups.

I just adore these chairs.  I went to Home Outfitters to source out a completely different chair I spotted in their flyer.  Being a frugal gal I always look long and hard before I commit to something, UNLESS, it's on a huge deal such as these.  En-route to the chairs I went for was one of these set up in the clearance aisle.  Had to hunt down an employee to find out the price as the 30% off sign intrigued me.  She gave it a scan and it came up $146.99.  SOLD!  They started out at $299.99, down to $209.00 then the $146.99 then I signed up for a Bay card to receive another 15% off!  Now at first I declined said card as I know store credit cards have ridiculous interest rates that I have no interest in having, but sometimes the thought of saving even more can win.  OK, I did it, but paid it off within the week so not to get trapped.  $125 per chair is steal for something I was in love with.

Snapped a photo to send to hubby to make sure he didn't hate it.  His response "don't like the pattern, but look comfortable".  That's a yes in my opinion.

I'm not a complete meany, I saved the two giant boxes for them to make their two bedroom fort, complete with Christmas decorations.

Let's talk this fireplace too.  As I mentioned before, we opted not to go with another wood burning stove as it would ballpark at around $6000, no thanks.  After checking in with my previous employer who sold these (Large Wave by Blomus), as well as over the internet, I found that this model had been discontinued by Blomus, dashing all hope that I would own it.  I was just about to go with another make then remembered that used sites sometimes hold the key.  That's exactly what happened.  By pure luck, a local fireplace showroom was selling their never used floor model for a fraction of it's normal price.  As I recall, these retailed for $2400, I nabbed it for $500 without any haggling.  On top of that deal, the seller threw in 6, 4 litre jugs of the ethanol fuel that it runs on.  SCORE!

Anyhoo, on with dinner.  Soon to follow, dining room and dining room progress.



Well, it's finally happened, I hit the renovation wall.  Sick, that's what I am.  I haven't been sit around sick since last Dec.24 and I know what to blame...myself.  You can really get caught up in the process of finishing  your home especially with a deadline that was created.  Also, taking care of one's self doesn't feel like priority when you've got wee ones, day care ones and rooms to be loved.  We've about 18 coming for Christmas dinner, which we are hugely looking forward to, so wanted everything to be tickety boo.  I think we'll mostly make it (other than the exterior) and if we don't, well that's OK.  Not like we'll be judged and it's really only a self-inflicted deadline so the only ones we'll disappoint is ourselves, well mostly me, but whatever.

I sure hope to complete the downstairs bathroom this weekend.  I'm going to study up on what I can about DIY board and baton and give it a go.  I've never used a chop saw, or any other kind of saw for that matter, so I'm going to face my fear of losing a body part and just go for it, safely.  Watching these guys cut shingles while balancing on scaffolding makes me think it can't be that hard to try it on solid ground with a supportive husband showing me the ropes.  It's one of the rooms I was most excited about seeing complete, but so far it's been the most neglected which is a downer.

Well, off I go to my sofa perch for a little while longer.  I can only give this cold one more day so it best co-operate with my plans or else.


The End of the Beginning...

Well it's bitter sweet that tomorrow is likely the last we'll see of our fantastic contractor and his crew.  Sure something may come up in future that was missed and he, of course, said he'd be back whenever we need him, even for the small things we might usually do ourselves.  Tomorrow is finish up our list of odds and end day.

Every week day morning at 7:30 since about May 10th? we've seen their faces, almost always smiling. It's funny how you get to know these people without really knowing them at all, but you pick up on their character and what they might be like in their private lives.  Crews changed a bit since start date, people came and went, his family helping out as well, but everyone was equally as friendly and skilled in their arena's.  The sub-contractors such as electricians, concrete layers, plumbers - you get to know their faces.  Sure, some needed  more guidance than others, but Tony (contractor) always dealt with any issues promptly.  Sometimes dialling on his cell phone to solve it as I finished my sentence.

We did fairly well on budget.  Really only going over with windows because we chose different styles than projected.  The kicker was the rot.  You can't plan a number for rot.  We knew going in that we needed a buffer on top of our estimate.  That buffer never fully needed to be used, but with almost $7000 in repair to the rotten posts and crumbling foundation, our trip to Disney will be on hold for a wee bit.  Catch our breaths!  It's OK, "they" say to allow 10% for the unforeseen and we were well under that so we won't complain.

The only payment we felt was unnecessary, or at least, outrageously expensive, was the hazmat test.  $1000 for a test to tell us we have lead in the original house paint.  Our house is 100 years old, there'll be lead.  Yes, it's safety first in case of asbestos or what have you, but as it was pointed out to us, if that's the case they would just shut down the job site and deal with it.  Instead, to obtain permits, we needed this ridiculous test that maybe took up 4hrs in labour to accomplish.  Just my opinion, you may have a different one.

Anyway, tomorrow it's come to completion, oh, and then the inspection for occupancy then we can relax and enjoy the work we've done ourselves and done by others.  We're happy, very happy.

So from here on out it'll be posts on decorating, diy, gardening and whatever else is floating around in my mind that applies to this project.  Can't wait.  Just finished freshening up the dining room paint so I'll shut this down and go put the furniture in it's forever home (yeah right, I re-arrange every 6 months!).  Not before I Pledge the piano though, it's very thirsty and sad.

Been a good experience and I'm glad we asked our neighbour way back in December '11 how much theirs cost.  Being a nosey neighbour has reaped the rewards!



A Bag of Joy

 What's in the package you ask?

Dining room drapes (left), living room cushions (top right), living room chess playing chairs (bottom) and perhaps kitchen curtains (chevron).  All need to be sewn, of course, da-link.
Thanks Tonic Living :)

Now I'm very inspired to get going on the dining room, so tomorrow I shall begin!


Halo Room

Well other than a few door knobs, this room is done.  Sure, it'd be great to have this all staged perfectly for blog purposes, but let's face it, this room is for a 4 and 8 year old.  This is as magazine ready as it's going to get.  Sure, matching duvets and California shutters would be nice, but we're not going to dish out a heap of money for something that might not get the care it deserves.  They're not animals, but picking up after themselves is still a lesson being learnt.  Being the long, dark nights, blinds are not quite necessary just yet so I'm keeping my eye out for a really good solution for window coverings.  I do have some drapes left over from the old house that aren't being used but they won't go that well.  Blinds of some sort or romans would be the best idea so I'll work on it.

Some creative differences had to be resolved between my 8 yr old and myself about how the Master Chief decals could be jazzed up a bit for an over all gray room (done with General Paint's 'Canada Goose' walls with 'Arctic Circle' trim).  I thought a yellow strip zipping around the room would look smashing, but he had other ideas of a bullet of some sort instead.  After taping off what I thought he wanted I was soon corrected and that I just didn't hear him right.  Tape be gone and redone as per his instructions.  He's very happy with it and it's his space so I'll keep my raised eyebrows and crooked grin quiet.

Here it is...

 This is someone's cruel joke to make the rest of us put it together.  The teenager who sold it to me at 'Seeing is Believing' told me to come back if I needed help as she can do it in 5 minutes!

 15 minutes in...find I need a beer to make this happen.  
Granville Island Winter Ale = mmmmm

 Nope, that's not right, I went to bed only to face it again in the morning.  Voila, done in 5 minutes!

Not before we had a Mr. Bean in the turkey moment.
Please turn a blind eye to our messy garage living situ, it wasn't pretty near the end there.

 Master Chief needed some zippy ground lines.  Didn't want them to be opaque and fight with the image so it's just a wisp of colour.

 Laser, bullet, whatever you want to call them - yellow lines being taped off.  

 Hey, hey, now that I like.  I found Master Chief via a find on Ebay.  Came from the UK where a friend happened to be visiting so she picked them up for me saving on the shipping.  Since I ordered two they gave me these custom 5' images for 19 pounds each.  Not too shabby.  Wee regular ones wouldn't have looked right. 

 J's is in 'current red'

 O's is in 'orange'

 This green light seriously messes with my eyesight.  If you look at it for any period of time then walk out into another room everything is then red.  We have other lamps in the room so they don't go squirelly reading their books.  Ack, it's hurting my eyes even now!
Pretty awesome though.  That's my idea for a 'laser line'.

 This is O's idea for the 'bullet line' after take 1.



As of right now AHR has had 5000 visitors!  When things have settled down around here I hope to revamp the site a bit to reflect the type of blog format I really like.  I am getting a little more comfortable with computers (those who know me may laugh at that) so I'll give it a try.

Thanks for reading, Halo post is coming soon.


Taking Inventory

It feels great to start thinking about art placement.  I hauled out a good number of what we have and placed them around the house where I think they might end up.  Upon doing this I realised many of the walls were pretty scuffed up since they were first painted. Out comes Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or an touch up session in the near future.   Managed to hang 3 so it's a start.

Time to hit Home Sense and broaden my style of picture frame since I seem to have umpteen Ikea styled ones.  Meh,  I'll get to it.

The Contractor trailer is now out of the drive and the number sign has been hung (crooked so that must be fixed) so we're at the finish line.  Still the remaining shingles to be hung and the drywall repair at the electrical panel.  Few bits here and there as well.  I'm anxious for the drywall part to be done then I can paint in the dining room and get 'er done.  Boy, I'm saying that A LOT lately.  There is, of course, 75% of the exterior still to paint, but it's too chilly and iffy rain wise right now to really get a jump on it.  Maybe we'll start at the front and work our way to the back so the neighbours can look at something purdy.

Dinner time then caulk some trim work...then fill nail holes...then sand said fill...then clean up the fill dust...then paint...then take a step back and enjoy some sweat equity (saw that written in a real estate write up once and I almost contacted the agent thinking he had meant to write 'sweet'.  Now I get it after years of home ownership and what comes with it and what you'll do to not hire someone to do it for you).

Checking it all out.  Missing some important ones there, but they're safer in their storage spot.


Finishings Started

Gee, not sure how long I can type for as my arm is tired from holding it up for so long tightening screws.  I plan on drop kicking half my shoe shelf for my closet into next week.  I haven't grown my 3rd arm yet to smack it into place while I hold it so tomorrow I'll get the guys to trim it down a half inch to make it fit.  Being 4" too short and afraid of going up taller ladders doesn't help.  Got the other half of the 'L' in so there's that small triumph.  I REALLY wanted to get those shoes up there today darnit.

I have a sinus ache so I think I'm getting a little crankier than I should be, but that's me.  Some upsides for the day are... banister and railings are in, trim work is getting finished off, siding is almost complete, tub is now in the yard and not the kitchen (and listed on a used site), kids are happy with their new Halo 4 game, I got a scrap shelving piece for one shoe shelf side (say that 10x's fast) for free, and I had a very peaceful moment at the beach with my Salted Caramel Mocha made with Soy from Starbucks all by myself.

Some down sides are that there are new guys in the crew who didn't know the paint scheme plan so installed some pre-painted trim in the wrong place, defeating the purpose of pre-painting them.  I'll have to just let it go as we have to get up there anyway and do touch up so it'll get done then.  Too chilly and wet (sunny today though) to worry about it now. Woke to no hot water as after the electrical run through on Monday the breaker never got turned on again for the tank so it cooled slowly until today when it was icy.  Hot water breaker wasn't marked so it wasn't obvious what the problem was.  The electricians showed up promptly to deal with it and installed a new kitchen heater.  I think that's all for my grumbling.

Here are some new photos!

This is what it was like Saturday...

 ...and by Sunday - not finished by any means.  I've some lovely curtain fabric on order and it will be painted a gray/green called 'Juan de Fuca'

 By end of today.

 ooh, looky, more to clean and paint.

 No risk of people falling off the second floor - oh what a worry it was.

 All for Master Chief will be revealed shortly.

 AHH!  Funny thing at the lumber yard today...I was loading my shelves into the trunk where we had stored (don't know why there) our hallowe'en realistic skeleton.  A man walking from his car to the store looked very concerned, perplexed and a little curious if I had a cadaver in my trunk.  I assured him it was just a hallowe'en decoration and he was glad thinking it was my husband.  It really is a real looking item.  

 Gaping hole gone.  Foundation fixed ($3400 later).

Just things put wherever for now, but that ethanol burning fireplace by Blomus and Ikea drapes really do look sharp.

 Sectional and TV shopping this weekend I hope.  The litter box will not be staying in the living room!

Why you hire people to do this.  Someone will have a few words patching that spot!

3/4" trim decided on to finish off the edges.  Nice, chunky pieces would not have worked.  This will be fine when the bull nose is added.  Caulking, staining and painting await.

Until a few days when I'm sure it'll all look different again!


Half Way Moved In

This has been the busiest last few weeks of my life, easily.

Well our update now is that we are sleeping in the house and, of last night, able to eat in the house.  I took back the kitchen although there is the claw foot tub still sitting in there...like the old days when folks would bath in their kitchens.  Should give it a try.  We hope to sell it this weekend although there is the thought in our heads for a 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' style tub sofa out of it.  We still need the garage for entertainment such as TV and a safe place for daycare kids to roam.

Our Contractor believes that next week will be complete everything week, but I'm not so sure about that.  The siding is 80% up, trim still needs to be done on the outside and in garage, remaining shingles need to go up and the stairs and banister need completion. Mind you they work quickly and efficiently so maybe he can pull it off.

As I said before, I don't want to give away too much about each room just yet so here are some photos from along the way these last two weeks.

 Hmmm, wonder what this is for and why is my son using it as his head?

 Contents of future closet and linens, man alive!

 My closet - now complete, all hung and awaiting trip to lumber yard to make a shoe shelf on top.  I'm thinking though shoe storage may still be a challenge.  This took me ALL of Wednesday to sort and stock.

My sister of the weekend crew did all our ironing!  Those are the living room drapes.

 MY craft room drapes and new dining chairs which were assembled by Lisa of the weekend crew.

 View from above - oh boy do we ever need a railing - freaky stuff.

 It looks SO nice in person - very grown up.

 I gave the kitchen a first floor clean last night - here you can see why we use this product, it cleans up beautifully - perfect for a house full of boys.  (sorry, fuzzy photo, this gal needs a new camera).

Dine and bathe anyone?  Normal me would never allow a tea towel to look so messy on it's rack.  


Soooo Close

Sometimes Facebook gets the updates first (and tend to be a little more personal) so stop on by and 'Like' A Home Revised on Facebook!  Also I plan on making 'pages' for this blog when it comes time for room decoration.  I think that will force me to complete each room before I move onto the next.  That's how projects don't finish as it's so easy to lose focus when your thoughts are on another project.

It's so close to move in time I can taste it.

I have neglected most other parts of my existence, including this blog, to finish up the interior painting to both last week ready for the plumbers and this week ready for the electrician.  We are good to go!  We've painted everything except the doors and trim, which are not installed yet, and have completed all flooring installation but the living room.

A sink!!!!  With running hot and cold water!!!! (that's not the final paint job, btw, details to follow)

We have a shower people!!!  I took the longest, hottest bath I could stand on Saturday and it was heavenly. I had no door, no heat and no light mind you, but that was fine I had a shower curtain to hold in the heat.  We've a washing machine, but we'll have to wait on the dryer for the electrician and new laundry hose.  I'll just hang things all inside the garage to dry for now, it'll do.

We've had two rather expensive hiccups.  One was the skirting all around the house being rotten and the other was the discovery of a 10 foot length of foundation that was in ruins under the front door.  That has been a gruelling task for the workmen - just a couple feet tall under there and surely didn't smell to nice with all the raccoon activity we've had.  With those two glitches we could've bought a rather nice used car and a trip to Disneyland!  That's a huge reason why you don't go into a project like this with your maxed out budget.  We would've had some serious tears if we had, right now it's just an irritation and perhaps a hold on the 70" TV and sectional.  Booooo.
 The skirting repair has been mended and belly banded, but there's still this wonky bit.

How the damaged foundation was discovered...when we were deciding if the porch was rotting from underneath.  That turned out fine, but opened up a nasty can of mean ol' worms.  Hi Olivia!

A very small area for the workers.  Today the prepared hole will be poured.  He was able to cut down on our costs by putting our order in with another's foundation pour on the same day.  THANK YOU!
This was all inspected by an engineer so it'll be built to last.

My other annoyance was the shingle staining.  My first two bundles went swimmingly using the oil based product that I could just dip the shingles into a terrific speed then hang to dry. I quickly ran out of that stain so went back for more.  When I opened it up at home I thought "this looks weird" so I called them up to query why the base number was different.  Well to my dismay with the VOC regulations in Canada changed now only water based products are available.  I do not like this product!  It went on more like paint so dipping was a time consuming task as was using a brush.  Not only that, but the colour was more opaque.  The WORST part was when I finished up my hands felt like icicles so I decided to leave the last batch to dry flat where they were.  Bad idea.  It rained the next morning washing away the top layer, leaving behind a streaky, uneven mess.  I need to sort this out but it's too cold out now to fix it.  I'll have to wait for us to move out of the garage so I can use the space to start again or fix it, then it can dry with the heater and be protected from the elements.  It's getting chilly here in Western Canada, we get little snow, but make up for it with rain.
I feel defeated and sad about this.  Very sad.  

On the bright side, this does not need to be finished for us to move in so I'll run with that thought.  
It all looks really smashing inside and we know the outside has had all issues delt with and is now safe.  That's what matters.  Another 100 years are left in this baby.


We really are renovating still...

PROMISE!!!!  New post this weekend.  We've been so super busy that I've barely a moment to spare.


Termite Update

Phew, the pest control people said it's nothing to worry about and doesn't even suggest spraying.  Most of the wood had been replaced and was likely caused by a rose bush that gets watered in the spot they were found.  Not even a charge for the call to come out so that was a nice and rare surprise.

Old Island Pest Control was the name if you need a pest control company :)


1921 with Termites

Simple, to the point, termites :/' 

During the removal of the old house's shingles they found termites had done their thing in one section...so far.  The other part uncovered looks fine, but another part will need it's wood removed then the exterminators have suggested spraying the new to prevent any damage in future.  He'll come by tomorrow am to have a look.  Another expense, but hopefully with them just being the rot wood kind vs subterranean will be a manageable cost.  We'll see what the rest of the house reveals.  

Oh and a sheet of newsprint from 1921 was in the exterior wall.  Back then you could get coal for $11.80 per ton and a corset in medium bust style, well boned and neatly trimmed for 98 cents.  As well as a news story of a "Los Angeles policeman killed and another probably fatally wounded in a pistol duel with bandits..." A few other interesting stories and prices as well.  We'll put it the attic along with a paper from now.  Fun find.



Came through the front door to put down my day's purchases only to find the most awesome of sights, my living room!

It's so bright and spacious and we have sooo done the right thing in doing this renovation.  Seeing all the white drywall makes me also think white should be the wall colour in there.  Keep it bright (makes cutting in not so fussy too).

 See, there's the kitchen!

 View from the stairs.

Patio door is in, but alas there was a mishap installing the doorknob so a repair or replace is in order tomorrow.


Epic Painting

We ended last week with a dry walled upper floor and a delivery of the remaining Hardie Siding and trim pieces.  Our endlessly dry summer is to end Monday so we hope to have much of it painted this weekend.   Really, we only NEED to pre-paint what will be on the higher parts, but it sure would be nice to have it installed with only caulking needing to be painted at the end.  We'll see how we do.  

So next week is the taper coming to work upstairs while the others continue on down then after that it's over to us to paint inside.  Can't wait!  While the taper is working (and they're done the drywall) they'll start work on replacing the rotten wood bits around the old house. 

 Boys' closet
 Master - spot where the bed will go

Upstairs bath

 Master - TV wall
 Staircase.  We really think we should've installed a fireman's pole from the boys closet to below...DARN IT!

Last weekend's painting (those are stacks of Hardie on the left, not just a few.
Our next lot :/ Hardie on the left, trim work and belly bands on the right.