Saturday, June 6, 2015

In the Home Stretch

I had fabulous weather for my two weeks' of vacation – one small patch of cloudiness on one day – otherwise, sunny and warm for my entire two weeks off.  This made my week at the cabin a glorious one, and made the renovation project a little easier on my contractors.

When I took possession of the house nearly 4 years ago, this is what the living room looked like:

The only pictures I have of it at that time were the ones taken by the real estate agents for advertising purposes… that’s why they are so teeny tiny.

Anyhow, then in October of 2011 I had an orgy of wallpaper removal and it ended up looking like this.

Next up was changing up the paint – HAD to get rid of that harvest gold – I went to white ceilings and pale creamy yellow on the walls – WAY brighter.

Then came the carpet removal. 

So until 3 weeks ago, it looked like this:

Wait... I should clarify that these last pictures were taken after all of the stuff had been moved out of the space!

The whole project was prompted by the need to replace the old windows (4 long panes, none of them open) with something that opens.  Sadly, previous changes to the house’s structure weakened the long wall to the point where it was bowing out because of the weight of the roof. I guess initially there was a supporting wall in the middle of the room – and in order to make it into a larger space, they just pulled out the wall – but didn’t make any remedial changes to the roof-line support – and long term this weakened the integrity of the wall. Scary stuff!

I had two choices – one was a Band-Aid solution where a small supporting wall would be put in place and the new window would just be put in. The long term solution was to gut the space and basically rebuild it from the walls out. I elected to go with the long term solution – I wanted to go back up to the original 10’ high ceilings anyhow, this just moved my timeline ahead – A LOT.

I left on Sunday of my first week of vacation and while I was gone, the team from Got Gutters? (who started on my house almost 2 years ago with the first set of windows to be replaced) totally gutted the space. 

There weren’t any really nasty surprises, but a couple of unanticipated things that they came across.  An old fixture and some  “dead line” knob and tube wiring still in place – not a total surprise to me as when the bathroom was being done they uncovered some there as well. The other interesting (and kind of gross) thing they came across was coal dust.  Lots and lots and lots of coal dust. They tell me it was everywhere and really nasty. 

Makes me REALLY grateful that I don’t heat with coal!

Space gutted, they built in the new wall, muscled it into place and then ripped off the old wall – this picture was sent to me by my contractor’s wife on the Wednesday:

A couple of days later, wall built, wiring in place, window installed, insulation and vapour barrier in place, the dry wall team got started.  When I came home on Monday they were here doing sanding and then another coat of mud was applied:

The whole week saw the completion of things.  Sanding done, the contractor team came back and put all of the siding back on outside.  While that was happening, the other members of the team primer coated and painted the walls and ceiling – and I went with the colours I had before – white on the ceiling and a pale cream on the walls.  The windows were trimmed out, and then baseboards installed.

Though there was still some minor work to be done, when Saturday morning rolled around, the carpet was ready to be installed. For this part of the project I enlisted the services of End of the Roll here in Courtenay. The living room was completely carpeted on Saturday.  While he was installing the carpet, Jasmine and I were out working on things in the back yard – the siding needed to be pulled back out of the shed (the rest of the pantry siding was planned for installation on Sunday) and the grass needed to be cut – which was quite a go as I hadn’t mowed in 2 weeks! Once the grass has been cut, clean laundry went up on the line.

After the carpet installer was done for the day, I started moving things back into the living room, and then on Sunday, with LOADS of help from my parents, we moved the rest of the furniture out of the bedrooms so that he could finish the carpet installation.

While he was working on the bedroom carpeting installation, Dad and I finished installing the siding on the new wall which encloses my new pantry. 

All in all this was a VERY busy and productive couple of weeks – a lot has been accomplished in the house – enough to make me want to NOT do anything else to the house for a while – something that both Jasmine and Missy will be VERY grateful for!  Though Missy seems to be just rolling with the changes, Jasmine has been very out of sorts this past couple of weeks. Poor thing will be glad to get back into a routine!

This past week I spent a little time every evening after work moving things around, putting things away and wiping coal and drywall dust off of things.  I have the furniture mostly in place, I now have most of my pictures and hangings back on the walls.  Yes, there is still stuff to put out and organize, but I'm thrilled with the final results!

With love across the waters…