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.