Saturday, September 17, 2011

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

It turns out that having a baby cuts into blogging time!  Although we haven’t managed to update the blog in the past six months, we have managed to work on a few projects around the house. 

When we last left off, our subfloor was complete and we were anxiously awaiting the installation of our carpet and built-ins.  After the subfloor was laid, Dave painted the walls and finished the trim work.  Lowes installed our new carpet and our basement was finally ready for use!


We found a couch from Ikea that would fit down our tiny stairwell (a common problem in many of the old houses in Toronto!)  We also installed the custom built-in cabinets we had ordered from the same person who designed our kitchen.  At this point, our basement was pretty much complete, aside from a few minor things that we decided to leave until the fall while we focussed on building a deck in the backyard. 

IMG_2094 (2)

All throughout our renovation, we always considered ourselves lucky that we never had any major setbacks.  Well, it seems that our luck had finally run out…

Shortly after we finished the basement, here is how it looked:

IMG_2132 (2)

Yep, that’s right.  Our beautiful, newly finished basement was all torn apart.

One morning, Dave flushed the basement toilet and it didn’t sound right.  He looked in the floor drain and noticed the water level was on the brink of flooding.  Luckily he caught it in time and we immediately stopped using water and called a plumber.  The plumber checked our drain pipes with a camera and discovered that an old clay pipe had shifted, causing a blockage. 

This is when we were really kicking ourselves.  Two years ago when we started our renovation, we replaced all the plumbing in our house, except for about 25 feet of old clay pipe under the basement floor.  At the time, it was a decision we made to save some money.  Obviously, we regret that decision now!

We could have fixed shifted pipe by just digging up a small section of the floor, however, we didn’t want to end up in this situation again down the road.

And so, the built-ins were removed, the carpet peeled back, the subfloor ripped out and the floor dug up.  The pipes were replaced, giving our house 100% new plumbing.  

IMG_2147 (2)

Now, we’re in the “rebuilding” phase.  The subfloor is back down and the carpet installers will be here next week to re-install the carpet.  Hopefully we can show a picture of completed room soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Basement Floors

Before the arrival of baby Logan, we got started on finishing the basement.  The first step was to deal with the floors.

In the laundry/utility room, we decided to paint the concrete floor to clean it up.  We used a concrete primer and paint to finish the floor.  This will brighten up the room and make it easier to clean.

Here’s the transformation:


In the rest of the basement (the area that will become our family room) we plan to install carpet.  To prepare for the carpet, we needed to install subfloor.  Dave did some research and found a new product that has a half-inch profile which will save headroom. 

The product is called Tyroc.  The base of the subfloor panels are rubber, made from recycled tires.  The surface is magnesium oxide which is resistant to moisture and decay. 


Although it was hard to find in Toronto, it was worth searching for.  It was relatively easy to install and, so far, we’re happy with it.  Here are the before and after shots:


We’ve chosen our carpet from Lowes and will have it installed once the painting and trim is done.  Progress is much slower now that we have a baby who we’d rather spend our time with.  However, Dave is starting to find some time to work down there, so hopefully Logan’s play room will be ready soon!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Basement Interrupted

Finishing our basement has been an ongoing project over the past couple of months.  However, our work was interrupted on January 31 by the birth of our son, Logan! 


We’ve been busy getting settled and enjoying our time with our new little man, but will be getting back to work soon.  Hopefully we’ll have some basement progress to share with you in the coming days.


Friday, January 21, 2011

The Nursery

As we mentioned back in November, we’ll be welcoming our baby boy in the next few weeks.  To prepare for his arrival, we’ve been busy working on a few key projects.

Of course, the most important project (or at least the first priority) was finishing the nursery.

Nursery 4

We decided to use the smallest of the three bedrooms for the nursery.  It’s a pretty small space, but we’ve managed to make it work.

We painted the walls a pale aqua (Benjamin Moore’s Icing on the Cake).  The curtains and crib bedding are Sweet Kyla.  The crib and dresser are by DaVinci, ordered from CSN Baby.  Our Dutailier glider was passed on to us by our generous neighbours who no longer needed it… what a treat!

Our goal with the nursery was to create a room with some fun colours, without using a really boyish theme.  We’re really happy with how it looks so far and hopefully our little guy will like it too!

Nursery 5The only thing left to do is get some artwork for the walls.  We think we’d like to incorporate his name into the art, so we’ll wait until he arrives to choose something.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Checking in on the To-Do List

It’s been one year since we moved into our house, so we thought it might be a good time to check in on the status of our projects.  After moving in and getting settled, we put together our to-do list – a list of the projects we hoped to tackle (or at least begin to tackle) in 2010.

Let’s see how we’ve done:

Green – Project is underway but there are a few obstacles.
Red – Project is not a priority and we decided to put it on hold.
Black – Project is completed.

  1. Finish installing trim on the main floor.
  2. Finish caulking and painting all trim.
  3. Stack the washer and dryer.
  4. Hook up the phone connections.
  5. Finish all the data wiring (internet, cable, etc.)
  6. Apply for a permit for a front parking pad.
  7. Paint interior doors.
  8. Order glass for basement shower.
  9. Install kitchen backsplash.
  10. Deal with the garage.
  11. Build a fence in the backyard.
  12. Landscape the front garden.
  13. Build a deck.
  14. Refinish the front door.
  15. Install closet systems in the bedrooms.
  16. Purchase a dining room table and chairs.
  17. Figure out storage/display solution for living room.
  18. Hang artwork.
  19. Purchase a dining room chandelier.
  20. Finish cold storage room.

While we’ve managed to complete quite a few things, we’ve decided to leave some of the projects for next year.  Of course, along the way, we also ended up adding a bunch of new projects to the list (which we also managed to complete!):

  • Tear down and rebuild the front porch.
  • Purchase and install the air conditioner.
  • Waterproof the front of the house.
  • Replace the eavestroughs.
  • Install a carpet runner on the stairs.

As mentioned in a previous post, with a baby on the way, we’ve shifted gears and are working our way through a new, shorter list of projects.  After we finish those projects and get settled with our new family member, we plan to get back to work on the projects listed above!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stair Runner

No more slippery stairs!  We finally got around to purchasing a carpet runner for our stairs.

A few months ago, we showed you our refinished stairs.  While we loved the way they looked, we knew that adding a runner would help us avoid slipping and falling.


So, we went ahead an ordered some berber carpet from Lowes.  It took a couple of weeks after we placed the order for the carpet to be cut and bound, but last week it was ready to be installed. 


We’re really happy with how it turned out.  It looks great and it definitely provides some extra grip on our stairs, making them safer.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Putting on an Addition

After finishing most of our home renovations we thought it was time to put on an addition.  No, not an addition to our house… to our family.  We are expecting a baby boy in February!

Of course, with a baby on the way, our renovation priorities shifted and we’ve had to decide what projects need to be completed before he arrives.

Here is our current to-do list:

  • install a carpet runner on our stairs
  • paint and furnish the nursery
  • finish the main room in the basement, including:
          • ordering a built-in bookshelf/desk unit
          • paint
          • install subfloor, carpet and trim

With three months to go, we’ve got lots of work ahead of us.  Hopefully we’ll be ready in time to bring home our little man!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Completed Shed

We finished building our new backyard shed.  We primed the trim and installed the window and doors. 

Pictures 015 

Earlier this summer, before our interlock was laid, we ran wiring underground to the back corner of the yard so that we could have power in the shed.  Now it’s a perfect storage and work space!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Building the Backyard Shed

When we tore down our garage, we knew we’d need to get some sort of shed to store tools and garden accessories.  However, since building the fence was the first priority, we were stuck with an ugly storage container for the summer.


We found an 8x12’ pre-fab shed at Lowes that would work perfectly in the back corner of our yard.  Unfortunately, it came in a million pieces (you can see the pile of shed pieces hiding under the blue tarp in the photo above!)

After seeing how much water pools in our backyard during heavy summer rains, we decided to pour a concrete pad as a base for the shed.IMG_2993

Last weekend, we finally got started building it.  Dave built all the walls and then got some help from our neighbours to put it all together (thanks Jim and Jose!)

Finally, we put on the roof and added shingles.

Next, we’ll paint the trim and install the window and doors.  Then, we’ll build the shelving inside the shed.  Soon, we’ll be able to finally get rid of our storage container!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Porch Railing

When we last showed you our new front porch, all that was left to do was get a new railing.  After wandering through the neighbourhood and checking out the different styles of railings that people have, we decided to go with an aluminum railing.

While we had some issues with the quality of the installation, we were happy with the look of our new railing once things were corrected.


It’s definitely an improvement over the rusty old railing.  Here are the before and after:


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Backyard Fence

Our new backyard fence is complete!  The fence runs down one side of the backyard, where the garage used to be. 


As mentioned in a previous post, our official parking spot (which we will use as a patio) is located in our backyard.  Eventually, our deck will connect to the driveway end of the fence.  The patio is still a bit of a mess of supplies for future projects, including the shed that we plan to build in the back corner of the property.

 IMG_2975 IMG_2971

We built the fence out of cedar which was a mutual decision with our neighbour. At each step of assembly, to protect the wood, we finished it using Behr Cedar Natural Tone weatherproofing wood finish.  It was a very time consuming project, but we’re really happy with the result. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Interlock and Asphalt

As part of this summer’s exterior work, we decided to get our driveway repaved at the same time we were getting our interlock laid in the backyard.

When we made the decision to get rid of our garage in the backyard, we decided to turn that area into a patio.  By laying interlock, the area will still meet the City’s zoning requirements for a parking space behind the house, but we’ll use the space as a patio.  Eventually, we plan to build a deck that will step down onto the patio.


Once the fence posts were installed, the contractors came and laid the interlock.  And then we finally got the new asphalt on the rest of the driveway.  Things are starting to look really good out there!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin