Last Wednesday

Last Wednesday, Wayne and I stopped by to visit Kel and Patsy to see their new place for the first time. We were greeted by Patsy and managed to catch her hard at work removing wallpaper... Proof that progress on the blog doesn't just magically happen! :)

We were then treated with a grand tour of the new place including all the progress that had been made on the main floor and finished basement (or "Man Cave" as Patsy puts it). At this point I was volun-told by Wayne to remind Kel to install the floor-to-ceiling home theatre in the basement since he already had Patsy's approval. Here's a pic of Kel showing us around, pointing out the reinforcements made to a load-bearing pillar:

Oh and you might have noticed the cups in the guy's hands. To help Patsy and Kel relax after a long day at work & renovating the new place, we wanted to bring along a blender, a bag of ice, a bottle of rum, and some drink mix (Strawberry Daiquiri and Marguirita). Here's a pic of the mixing and drinking process which, as seems to be the norm when the group of us get together, started early and often:

... and here are the pics of us enjoying the drinks outside on the deck overlooking the nice tall trees. Unfortunately our pics of the trees did not turn out since it was starting to get dark...

When we decided to head back in, we found that because the door was accidentally left open, a few (rather large) mosquitos got into the house. This proceeded to us running around and hunting them down with rolled-up magazines. All in all a great night. Thanks for letting us visit guys, and giving us the grand tour! I hope we didn't cause too much disruption, and we can't wait to see more progress on your new home on the blog.

The wallpaper crew

As Kel mentioned in the previous post, he's managed to put up the rest of the pot lights in the ensuite and the walk-in closet. While he was doing that, I was chipping away at the endless layers of brick wallpaper. Erica had called me earlier on Sunday to say she and Flora were going to drop by after a late lunch since Flora hasn't been to our place before. They arrived at the house around 4:30 or so. After the quick tour, they offered their services (along with Mike), and quickly got to working on the wallpaper with me. Between the three of us, we were making quite a bit of progress! About an hour or so later, Vivian and Earl called and came by as well since we were all going to dinner afterwards. After their tour, they got to working on the wallpaper as well! :) It's quite amazing what the power of 6 can do! In no time, most of the wallpaper was gone, leaving behind only the patch at the top of the stairs where no one could reach. Thanks guys!

Look at the pink and green wall we've unveiled!

The lights in the closet and ensuite!

From wallpaper, to no wallpaper and potlight!

And look! Kel's removed the kitchen sink and all the old tiles as well! Here's a candid shot of him working hard, scrubbing the wooden planks!

Day 25 to Day 28

Been a busy weekend. With dad's help, we finally have all the new pot lights installed. Now every room in the house have a functional light fixture! While we worked on the lights, Patsy was busy removing the various layer of "brick" wallpaper around the foyer. She got some major help on Sunday, a few of her friends came over to visit and next thing you know, they were attacking the wallpaper like there's no tomorrow! But dinner time, over 80% of the wallpaper are now gone and all that's left if a pink wall and a green wall.

We will try and get some pictures posted soon!

Trip to Ikea

We went to IKEA last week to hit their Kitchen Sale. Kel had previously drawn out what we needed on their online planner so as to get a head start. We grabbed a bite to eat and got to the IKEA in Vaughan at about 7:30pm. For those who aren't familiar with their process, we had to put our names down on their list and wait for their sales representative. So there we were, sitting at one of their computers with our plan loaded on screen with random Backstreet Boys playing in the background, fine-tuning the details of our cabinets. (Seriously, who looks at the kick board at the bottom?! It never even occurred to me that we can get different colors, but I guess the "option" is always a plus.) Anyhow, the IKEA lady finally approached us at about five after eight. We told her our plan was ready and we needed her to go over it and print out a purchase order for us. She confirmed that we wanted to buy it today and then proceed to say it was too late and we should order it from Montreal. You can imagine the look on our faces!

"What do you mean order from Montreal?! There's a warehouse downstairs!"

"Yes, but it's too late today. You don't want to rush this. You should get it from Montreal. We can place the order for you and it'll ship over in 2-3 weeks."

"Why Montreal?! We don't want to wait 2-3 weeks! It's 8 right now, don't you close at 9?!"

"Yes, but you really don't want to rush this. After we print it, you still have to go downstairs and get everything and go to the cashier and then go to the delivery department. Or you can come back tomorrow and we can do it then."

"What?! Come back here tomorrow and wait in line again?! We were just here waiting for 45 minutes!" (Of course that's an exaggeration, but close enough.)

At this point, she looks over to the girl with the clipboard to confirm that we've been here for that long. The girl nods, smart to not get involved, and walks off. I swear we were there arguing with her for like a good 5-10 minutes before she finally decides to look at our plan. After she confirms the drawings and answers our questions, she tells us there's an issue with the printer and the only way was to write things out manually (while looking at her watch). You can imagine the look on Kel's face by then. I swear he had smoke coming out of his ears. As miffed as I was, I had to pull him for a walk to look at the counter tops.

In the end, she did write out down the parts numbers from our plan to paper, and then enter it back into another computer to print the parts list and so forth. By the time she was done it was close to 9 and we just took the papers and left. I've got to say it was the worse experience at IKEA ever, and we are going to hit the IKEA at North York this week to see about buying those parts. If I find her name anywhere on those papers, I might just file an angry grievance to their customer department.

Below is a 3-D rendering of what our kitchen will look like alongside the existing picture just for perspective.

Busy day yesterday

A few of my coworkers came by to get a tour of the house yesterday after work. They were quite surprised at how big the basement was after all the walls were removed. Of course, the deck in the backyard with all the trees was another major attraction! After they were gone, I went home to change and met Kel back at the house. Kel continued his work on the electrical as I worked on taking off the brick patterned wallpaper. Guess what I found? The previous owners had actually put up 3 layers of wallpaper!

Later that night, our friends Wayne and Andrea came by. They wanted to see the house they've been reading about and get a tour. Most importantly, they brought over a blender, ice and drink mix and started preparing drinks for us from the deck! I've invited our visitors to be our guest blogger on their visit. Please stand by...

Day 18 to Day 24

Been a while since I updated the blog on our progress. The reason is we haven’t done anything dramatic lately, dad and I have been doing electrical work and there’s not a lot to show. We replaced all the wiring so all the receptacles has a grounding and we installed a couple sets of new light switches. We started to install the pot lights on the ensuite but I am unsure how it will turn out. After the first one is up, the light seems too big for the space. Anyhow, I am going over tonight and the goal tonight will be to have all the receptacles in the master bedroom and walk-in closet hooked up.

Our Fake Brick Wall

The first thing you see upon entering our house is a big wall that stretches both levels. The previous owners had tiled this wall with a white brick pattern. This had caught my eye as great potential the first time we saw the house. After Kel removed part of the white brick tiles, it revealed wallpaper underneath. Now, seeing wallpaper in this house is no surprise, what's funny is that it's brick patterned wallpaper! I guess the white brick tiles were an upgrade!

For those without Google accounts, etc

I thought the previous setting on this blog allows everyone to make comments. However, I was recently informed that this was not the case. I've gone and fixed those settings and personally tested it to make sure it works. To clarify, you'll have to go to the "Comment as:" dropdown and select "Name/URL" and fill in your name, or use "Anonymous". (We prefer Name/URL so we'll at least know who you are, but that's up to you.)

Comment away! :)

Before and Current

I haven't had a lot of time to put a post together yet, but I promise I'll do a proper post soon. For now, I figured "a picture paints a thousand words". So I've compiled some before versus current status pictures to give a better view into how much work's been done. Enjoy!

Day 17

I've never gotten anything useful for free from any store before, but damn it feels good! I went to Canadian Tire after work yesterday to pick up some paint thinner to clean the tar/rubber stuff we used to waterproof the roof and came upon this pack of 120 screw bits for $9.99. Since we need some new ones anyway, I picked it up and went to pay. I used the self checkout line first and upon scanning it, it showed as “$34.99”. Thinking I got the wrong pack, I went back to the shelf to double check the price myself and asked a sales guy to check as well. I got the clarification that it was indeed $9.99 and that there was a mis-price. I then went to the cashier to pay for the paint thinner and walked out with 120 screw bits for free.

How did I manage that? There is something called “Scanning Code of Practice” that all major retailers are part of. Basically, if there is a price mismatch between the advertised price and the scanned price of a non-price ticketed item, the customer is entitled to receive the first item free, up to $10 maximum. Took me about 10 minutes to wait for the cashier to ask her manager and etc, but it was worth it!

After arriving at the house, I started to do some wiring. I got a new wire to the master bedroom and one to the multi-purpose room in the basement. I lost track of time while working and didn’t notice it was 10pm until Wallace called me. I think I should set an alarm so I know what time it is. It is garbage day today so I took 3 bags out to the curb and one to Patsy’s house. Now that the garbage bin is gone, I am starting to miss it.

Day 11 to Day 16

Sorry for the delay in updates! But we had a busy weekend as Patsy arrives back in Toronto Friday night for her co-worker’s wedding on Saturday. Because of that, we didn’t get to work on the house till Sunday. But with Patsy back, there’s an extra pair of hands around to work on the house!

While Dad and I worked on the leak caused by the deck roof, Mom taught Patsy how to remove wall paper. Took Dad and I about 6 hours to remove and repair the damage caused by the improper fitting between the house roof and the deck roof. If the person that did the original work did it right it would of only taken him another 20 mins and $40 worth of material. Took Ken and I another 2 hours today to put the deck roof back on today.

It took us a total of 8 hours to fix this mistake. I know for sure now the roof will not leak again.

Patsy took some photos around the house but she doesn’t have a card reader for it. Will try and upload those tomorrow!

Day 9 and 10

Did not do much yesterday. Decided to take some time off to relax so I went to my volleyball league game. Arrived at the house at 6 to meet a window rep from Brock Windows and the finalize the furnace and AC purchase.

Was going to head over to the house today to do some more electrical work. But the weather was good and I wanted to check my car out before I bring it into the garage for repair next week. I though the wheel bearing was dead but want to be sure that’s the case. So Ken helped me and after 10 mins, we found out it was the front brake that’s causing the problem. So 4 hours later, I have brand new front brakes and saved myself a few hundred bucks.

But I did take quite a bit pictures yesterday.

I will start with the basement:

Bottom pic - Future bedroom in the basement

Bottom picture - The main area in the basement, this used to be the entertainment room

Bottom pic - The furnace room:

Bottom pic - Basement washroom

Bottom Picture - Pot lights in the kitchen

Bottom picture - The bathroom upstairs

Day 9

Not much to update as I only at the house for about 2 hours. Did some more electrical work and then another window company (Pride) came for a quotation.

Ken came over after work and fixed the 3 way switch to the foyer light while I traced some old wirings in the basement.

They finally removed the garbage from the house! Now that the bin is gone, I sort of miss it cause I don’t know where to put the random pieces of old building material. I will need to get some garbage bags.

Day 7 and 8

Missed the update yesterday because I was busy doing research on furnace and AC because a guy is coming in for quotation today. I didn’t want to meet him and not have a clue what model he’s offering and etc. He seems to offer a pretty decent deal for a new furnace, AC and a air cleaner according to the info I am finding on redflagdeals. The only thing that bother me about him was he didn’t do any heat lost calculation on the house and just estimate the size of furnace and AC size. I want to get another quotation but this deal is tried to Home Depot and it has a no interest/no payment for 1 year. That deal ended yesterday but the guy is willing to back date the purchase order. What to do...

During the last 2 days, dad and I spend the majority of our time running electrical wiring to the house. Glad to say there’s electricity to 80% of the house now! I am going to wire the master bedroom this week, probably won’t be hooking it into the panel box till later this week.

Also spend some time on the roof this weekend. There are some problems there that need to be address so it won’t leak into the house.

Problem 1 - the eavesdrop was clot bad. The leaves and etc has been in the eavesdrop so long that it has actually turned into dirt and there were actually tiny plants growing. Found some tiny maggots in there today too while I was cleaning it.

Problem 2 – the handy roof that`s over the deck. The people that did the house roof did not place a drip edge so the wood is exposed to the elements. Normally that won`t be a problem because the shingles are bend into the eavesdrop but on the deck roof, they just bend the shingles on top of the deck roof. They broke one of those pieces and that allowed water to run into the wood and rot pieces of it away. Which in turn cause a leak into the deck and attic when rains. Going to spend Sunday fixing that.

The damn garbage bin is still here, I called them for a pickup on Friday and it still here! Grr...going to have to call them again tomorrow if the damn bin is still there!

Back to normal day job tomorrow. So there will be less updates as I won`t be able to work on the house as often during the day.

Day 7

Had a couple of visitors at around lunch time today. Ken and Elaine swing by to grab some tools back, they saw the garbage bin outside and said they loaded their bin even higher than the one at my house. Taking that as a guideline, my dad and I did some more demo in the basement.

After that, we started to do some electrical work. We spend about 2 hours in the basement trying to figure out which breaker is for which room. It seems like the old owner ran the entire house's lights and receptacles on one breaker. Took us a while to untangle everything and sort things out in the basement. After we have that sorted out, I went up into the attic and installed 4 pot lights in the kitchen. I looks pretty nice and I hope it's bright enough.

Once again, I forgot the camera =| Will bring it tomorrow and take some photos of the new pot lights!

Day 6

Finally finished framing the master bedroom today. The only thing that is missing is the door but I plan to get one of those pre-hung ones so no rush there. Plus, it’s easier to move material in and out without a door. My Dad have leave early for dinner so I spend sometime after cleaning up around the house and then I went into the basement and figured out what to do with it.

One of the things I have to incorporate in the new basement is the drainage for the new ensuite. I was down there for about 20 mins imaging how it will look it. I got something figured out, hope Patsy will like it too.

Going to finally do the lighting tomorrow. I have a feeling I will be spending the majority of the day in the attic sweating my butt off.

I was having problem getting a good shot at the newly framed master bedroom and I thought of a great idea, take a walk through video! I have the video but is rotated 90 degree to the right. I didn’t know the records at a different angle..grr...will have to redo it an upload something tomorrow.

On a side note, the bunny ran out of food today so I swing by Price Chopper today to get her some veggie. Ended with getting her a romaine lettuce, 40 brussels sprout and a small bag of baby carrots. I figured I will rotate her veggie selection so she won’t get bored of just eating lettuce everyday…I wonder if she notice the change =D

Day 5

Almost forgot to post today. Started off late today (around 10ish) as we have been working pretty hardcore for the last 4 days so taking it a bit easy today. Dad finished off the remaining demo on the walkin closet while I worked on clearing out the wood panel in the basement. I spend some time playing Tetris in the garbage bin, I had to try and make more room to accommodate all the garbage the basement is generating. At the end of the day my Tetris didn’t work out as the bin is full and there are still junk in the basement. May have to rent another bin =|

Dad and I went to check out this tile store today after lunch as there was a special sale for Canada Day. There still no tile for the shower but after 30 mins, I can’t decide what colour to get. I am leaning toward a darker tile but that may clash with the other wall. Will have to wait for Patsy to come back and make a decision.

No pictures today as there is not much new. Hopefully there will be something tomorrow!