Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Washer and Dryer

Today we ordered our new washer and dryer from the Maytag Store . Our basement stairwell is super-narrow, so we need to get them delivered before the walls go back up. Once they're in, they likely aren't coming back out, so hopefully these will last us a very long time!

We decided to go for the high-efficiency front load washer and dryer combo. We will be able to claim a rebate through the City of Toronto's residential washer program.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kitchen Design

We went to Ikea this weekend to talk to a kitchen planner. (Some advice: DO NOT try to talk to a kitchen planner on a rainy Saturday afternoon. We waited for hours!) We had already spent a lot of time using their 3D planner program to lay out what we wanted, but we had a few questions.

Our basic plan for the kitchen is this:
  • Place fridge and stove/microwave along the outside wall, with the majority of the cabinet space.

  • Add an island (approximately 6' long and 3'wide) under the new beam, between the kitchen window and the dining room door.

  • Place the sink and dishwasher in the island.

  • Add a small cabinet with glass doors above the island, on the back wall.

  • Add a tall, built-in pantry to the space across from the fridge.

There are still a few things to figure out before we make the final decision about going the Ikea route. If you have any ideas/suggestions, we'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Closet Space

One would think that moving from a condo to a house would give us more storage space. However, that doesn't seem to be the case! The bedroom closets were especially small, causing Jen some serious stress. While it was clear that there would not be room for the walk-in closet we were used to, we had to do something to make some more storage space.

In the master bedroom, we were able to expand the closet a bit by taking some space from the closet in the second bedroom. By opening up the wall, we were able to make the door a bit wider as well. The only question remaining: where is Dave going to put his clothes???

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Basement Bathroom Plumbing

We plan to add a second bathroom in the basement. It will be located where the original laundry room was - right behind the stairs. Here are some shots of the plumbing work that's been done so far. The basement framing will start this week.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Handyman Superstar Challenge

We've both always enjoyed watching the real estate, renovation and DIY shows on HGTV. So, we were especially excited to learn that one of Dave's firefighting colleagues, Jason Best, would be a contestant on Handyman Superstar Challenge. So far, Jason is doing great. Check it out if you get a chance!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A History Lesson

Our demolition revealed yet another interesting thing hidden behind the walls. Where the bricks were parged behind the kitchen cabinets, someone drew the symbol of the hammer and sickle into the concrete.

We know that the hammer and sickle appeared on the flag of the former Soviet Union and is known as a symbol of communism. According to Wikipedia "the two tools are symbols of the industrial proletariat the peasantry; placing them together symbolizes the unity between industrial and agricultural workers."

Knowing that our house was built in 1941, we did a bit of research and learned about a World War II battle called Operation Barbarossa:

Germany adhered to their non-aggression pact with Russia for the first two years of WWII. Once the Nazis withdrew from the Battle of Britain, however, their attention turned to the East. At 04:00 hours, on June 22nd 1941, Adolf Hitler launched the greatest land-air attack in the history of war – Operation Barbarossa. The assault comprised of 3 million troops, 3,500 tanks, and 1,800 aircraft...

...This gruelling war of attrition ground on until July 1943, when Germany was finally beaten. Ambitious from the start, Operation Barbarossa’s failure marked a downturn for the Nazi’s fortunes. But Russia’s victory came at a massive price. Up to 28 million Russians perished during WWII - most of them during this brutal chapter.

What's the story behind this symbol in our house? Who knows? But, it's interesting to learn something new!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Things really started progressing this week. It's great to finally see new things added to our house instead of just old things being taken away!

The most recent progress includes:

  • removal of the old dining room window, replacing it with a sliding door

  • bricking up of the side kitchen window to create more space for upper cabinets

  • new basement windows, including a frosted window in the new bathroom

  • a new frosted window at the top of the stairs (in the second floor hallway)

  • bricking up of the old milkbox/mailbox

  • repointing/touching up of the crumbled brick on the front porch


Kitchen window

Sliding door

We used Online Windows for our windows and door. Red Robin Home Solutions did the brick work.

With the windows done, Dave was able to complete most of the framing on the main floor.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gas Meter

Enbridge came to install our new gas meter, which meant our poor front lawn had to be dug up again. But, they installed it nice and low. So, with some more landscaping, hopefully it won't be too much of an eyesore.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Mailbox

Today we took on a pretty simple task - installing a new mailbox. The mason is coming next week to cut out the opening for our new sliding door in the back and to brick up our side kitchen window. He'll also be bricking up the old mailbox.



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