Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Progress Report

Progress continues because of great tradespeople. Dad is barely able to keep ahead. Our drywaller Tracey has done an outstanding job getting the ceilings mudded, taped and sprayed. unfortunately Chris went to the Yukon Archives this morning and missed out on some great spray action photos. You'll see photos of the new ceilings attached. Dad patched the last hole in the kitchen floor and installed the kitchen fan. Sad news... the Sears 'shop vac' packed it in... drywall dust is hard on everything. Dad didn't use instructions and put the new one together... we'll see how that goes.

The first load of three of the custom cabinets from Marc at the Wood Shop is here. Paul Wadsworth our painter is coming tonight and tomorrow to be ready for Marc to install cabinets on Thursday.

Hopefully our tiler Frederic will begin soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Latest and Greatest

One thing about living in your driveway is that friends and neighbours seem to stop by more often. See our friend Megan cuddling by the fire with Isla... she even got a camera shot in of her Dad Eric.

You can see the toll the renos (and wifeand puppy!) are taking on Chris. Isla is now tilting the scales at 25lbs. That said, our electrician Shannon has gotten us power back and we have passed two inspections. Just final checking and installs to go...

The beam that divides the kitchen and living room area is now up with much effort from friends, family and tradespeople.

The second coat of drywall is on and the ceilings are taped, mudded and ready for spray. Drywall is expected to be done on Wednesday with the primer coat of paint and ceiling paint that day. Cabinet install begins (fingers crossed) on Thurs and Friday.

About Cleanup... Dad has done a stellar job this trip of embracing our need for a clean work site every day. I even caught him cleaning his room! Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spring in 7 days

Well, spring is almost over. Summer weather is here along with long grass, big bugs and blossoms on our flowers, shrubs and trees. Spring never lasts more than the blink of an eye here in the north with our long days. Last weekend we had a few days of torrential down pours. Within hours the trees had flushed out in new fresh spring greens.

In other Reno News

The dry waller Tracy came today. It is amazing how quickly it all starts to look like real progress. I love the layers that we've uncovered during this work. Under our cork floor was the mid-90's linoleum, under that the original 70's lino with the classic harvest gold colour theme. With all the black mold bleached into submission the whole upstairs of the house smells _way_ better.

You can see some of our snazzy light fixtures that we bought at a new local store called Bella Home Decor. The owner, also a Sarah, loves birds. The chandelier we have was over her cash register. I suspect she'll be missing it...

"R" rated renovations

I really think the photo says it all...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

2nd Electrical Inspection, black mold and stone

Another successful step - we passed our second electrical inspection. This one was for the 240 Amp services. Thanks go out to Matt Lafferty the electrical inspector and Shannon Moffat our electrician. There may be yet another inspection when Shannon hooks up the new electrical panel. Yet to see.

Frederick our tiler came and measured for the in floor heating that goes with the lovely stone floor we are getting.

Yesterday we visited Sid of Sid Rock fame for the third or fourth time. I hope I impressed on Syd that I'm a fussy customer and I'm trusting him. I did mention that if he gets a voice mail message saying only; "I fucking told you so!" he'd know it was me. I really love the stone we picked and can't wait to see it in my kitchen.

Again today we were really happy we'd decided to 'pimp out' the bathroom. That's because when Bruce ripped up the lino he discovered lots of evil black mold. Maybe that explains why Chris has had irregular and odd asthma attacks in the winter. The second issue was that the toilet ring had just worn out and was leaking. We figure the only thing that saved us from damage was the old lino and glue. Word to all you home owners - think about how old your toilet ring is. That may need replacing. Far better to replace it if you don't have to than deal with what happens if you don't!

Bruce worked all day on ripping out the old floors in the bathroom and kitchen and treating the mold with bleach. Hard work for a retired carpenter.

More Electrical

Without power at home, posting is hard. Hopefully power will be back soon! Days and days of backbone electrical work. The coffee at the local beanery is awfully pretty. It could be hard to go back to my old espresso maker at home once the power is back...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The renovations look to be on track for an end of June move back in. Looking at the pictures you might not get all the progress. Lots of it is 'behind the scenes'. Wiring, insulation that kinda stuff. The plumbing rough in is done. The tub is installed and supported by warming hard spray foam insulation. Our friend Eric came by on Monday to work with Bruce and Chris on the dry wall. Bruce and Chris spent a couple days with Eric working on Eric's "honey do" list. Progress was made all over the place.

Tomorrow the power goes out for a few days, or as long as it takes to get the new panel installed.

Garden Weeds DEFEATED!

I let one of our gardens go unweeded all summer last year. Here's the before and after 16 hours of weeding.

Isla and the Croozer

Isla was introduced very successfully to her Croozer. We got it a few years ago for our old dog so Chris could bike to work with Walker. Now it will be Isla's home away from home when we do bike trips.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spray Foam Disapointment

No photos today because the expected didn't happen. The spray foam guys (Airtight Solutions) were supposed to come. Sadly nothing. They apparently had a malfunction.

Two days later they did show and our house is much warmer. A couple of miscues though... they sprayed the new fridge and forgot to mask the ceiling (which we were planning to keep). Ryan from Airtight solutions has stood up and taken responsibility for his guys mistakes. We are getting a new ceiling in the bath and kitchen now... more drywall... sigh.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Today's work was plumbing. A brief set back with one aspect has lead to a subtle re-design. We wanted a rain showerhead, a handset for washing out the tub and an regular faucet for the water to pour out into the tub. This requires a three way diverter valve. Apparently such a thing is not available. Not possible. Ain't gonna happen. We're getting two two way diverter valves instead.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Electrical Inspection

Today we passed the electrical rough in. The work is proceeding at an astounding pase.

Cabinets and woodworking

Our cabinet maker dropped by to discuss a problem that has come up with the wood for our cabinets. A month or more ago he picked up from Dimmok Timber the Yukon poplar we wanted to use for our cabinets. Something that made us happy about custom cabinetry was that we could use local supplies as well as local builders. Anway, the wood was shit. It was firewood, not worth the price paid (far too high for the amount of waste). Happily Marc (the cabinet maker) was able today to speak with the owner of the mill and get better wood. This is very good because he had already started to build the sides of the cabinets. Isla found the whole thing quite exhausting.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Of Plumbing, Fixtures and Plumbers

Happily we've been courting our plumber for a few years now. Little did we realize when he adopted a dog that we fostered how important this relationship would become. Don has been great. He's come by the house numerous times to discuss our eccentric plumbing needs. Without him we'd have had to go with a boring normal conventional approach. Instead we are able to innovate and get exactly what we want. There was an unfortuanate hiccup with Fred's Plumbing and Heating - they didn't order what we asked them to order. Don is fixing it - he'll go to his supplier so we can keep the project going. His business is called Tak Tar by the way - call him if you need plumbing work, he's great.

You may not notice from the photos, but the tub is extra deep. Frankly I am more than 11 inches deep and I like to be covered by the water when I am bathing. Otherwise I'd take a shower. Anyway, the first tub we almost bought was only 12 inches accross the bottom. Who do you know who has an 11 inch ass? Our tub is 17 inches to the bottom of the drain and at least 20 inches accross the bottom. Yay!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Electrical Backbone

The super dramatic work is done for the moment. Now it is the subtle, but important stuff. Like wiring. I do hope to get a photo of our excellent electrician Shannon Moffatt. He walked me through the kitchen area and confirmed the locations of all the plug boxes and light switches. Did you know that electrical wiring is $2/foot?! Happily Shannon is a thrifty electrican and is effectively re-using some of the old and excellent wiring to save us some money. $700 for electrical supplies alone today. And did I mention we don't have enough power coming into the house? This explains why we couldn't have the toaster and the coffee maker on at the same time. At this point we don't know how much it will cost to bring the larger conduit from the power pole. Wish us luck.