Sunday, September 23, 2012

In one little week....

A week has passed and so much has changed in our little house! I'm not even sure where to begin. I'm currently sitting on the couch in our apartment, drinking hot chocolate and watching Over the Rainbow, and trying really, really hard to remember everything that's happened over the past few days. My shoulders are sore, my forearms are sore, my legs are sore, and my clothes are completely covered in wood splinters, sawdust and caulking goo.

After school on Tuesday I picked up TJ and we went to take a little tour of the house. It rained pretty much every day this week so the house was packed with carpenters, plumbers, seam fillers and floor sanders all working away.

Left: view from the back corner. Right: view from the corner where the corner cabinet used to be!

The kitchen had been completely gyprocked and the seam filling was starting. What a huge change from the previous weekend when it had knocked out plaster! We also finalized our kitchen design and put in the order for our cabinets, so we're starting to get really excited about this space. I can't wait to see it with the cupboards in!

There was a big surprise waiting for us in the living room:

Our wall of wonder

Our wall was gone! When we were taking off the wallpaper in this room, we noticed a section above the fireplace that bulged out quite far. I thought maybe it was just because of the flue behind, there didn't seem to be too many cracks around it or any sign of a leak. Anyway, our seam filler decided it would just look a whole lot better to tear out the plaster and put up gyprock. You can see the section I'm talking about in the picture above where the boards are ripped up a little bit. I was really surprised to see the plaster knocked off but really happy that at least it was cleaned up before we got there. I'm so sick of plaster dust!!! Remember our shiny living room floor? This is what plaster dust does:

Dusty, dusty floor....

Oh well. We've decided to sand it down and refinish it anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter now!

Speaking of floors, our floor sander also surprised us and showed up to get to work. We had been planning on painting the floor boards upstairs, but after taking a trip to Annie's Table Culinary Studio and generously being allowed to enter into her private home as well, we decided we'd sand them down and stain them. Here's what it looks like after the first run (click to see larger photos):

Left: a closeup of the floor boards sanded down. Right top to bottom: the middle sized bedroom, the hallway, the small bedroom and the master bedroom, all sanded!

I'm definitely in love with the floors! They're going to look amazing when they're all finished. Shane's crew also patched a few holes:

You can't even tell that there used to holes here!

Our upstairs bathroom has also been gyprocked and the seam filling has started. We put the bathtub in place and the pipes have been hooked up. It's really not a bad little bathroom! It seemed like it was going to be really small at first, but moving the wall back to fit the tub has made a big difference. Before, the wall was right before the slanted ceiling and that ceiling was in the other bedroom.

Left: the left side of the bathroom where the vanity and toilet will go. Right top: the view into the bathroom from the door. Right bottom: the bathtub!

We're planning on putting white subway tile around the tub, and then a little vanity with a belly sink will go in beside the toilet. 

There wasn't a whole lot for us to do over the week, aside from running around looking for floor tile for the bathroom. All of our work took place on the weekend.

The first thing we did was destroy all of Shane's hard work. His guys had been in to lay down a sub floor in the kitchen, and they also took up the floor in the dining room to check what was underneath. It was the same deal as in the kitchen - hardwood around the outside, but softwood in the middle. This time though, the softwood was cut in the same size as the hardwood. They had to make a decision whether or not to cover it up with a subfloor and I was in school and unavailable, so they decided to go with the subfloor. Luckily they only screwed and glued down one section, so we were able to check it out ourselves on Friday night. It didn't look too bad, so we decided we'd take it up and see what it would look like with the floor sanded and stained.

Left: dining room floor with subfloor screwed and glued down. Top right to bottom: dad lifting the subfloor, a giant pile of giant staples, and the floor when all was said and done.

TJ may have regretted it once the subfloor was up and saw the 300 3 inch staples that he had to pull out of the floor. It took about four hours, but he got it done. If worst comes to worst and the floor stains in two shades that look completely horrible, then our plan is to put a rug over the whole thing until it can be fixed - genius, right?

We decided to keep the subfloor in the kitchen...

Kitchen subfloor!

There had also been a sneak plumbing attack that caught us unaware. When we showed up on Friday evening, we couldn't help but notice that our downstairs bathroom fixtures were now on our back deck. The radiators from the kitchen and dining room had also been removed so the floors could go down. It wasn't until Saturday morning that we found out when the pipes were cut, all the water drained into the basement because the electric and water were both turned off (including the sump pump). If you click to enlarge the following photos, you can see dad standing in a puddle in the basement. The good news is that we now have an extractor fan in the downstairs bathroom.

Large photo: Bathroom with no fixtures. Top right to bottom: extractor fan in bathroom ceiling, kitchen without the radiator, dining room without the radiator, dad in puddle.

Once we (sort of) fixed the basement flood, we decided to get down to business and start the painting. This part was so exciting, I never thought we'd actually get to this point. However, first dad decided that there were no pictures of me on the blog, so we did a little photoshoot:

Top left: first, I clean. As usual. Top right: All the paint in the closet, reading for priming! Bottom left: the first pour. Bottom right: The first brushstroke! I actually put it in the wrong place, but we covered it up later.
Dad took over and did the rolling...and then the master bedroom was all primed!
We primed all three bedrooms on Saturday, then the hallway on Sunday. I also did a little freehand on the piece of plywood where our bathroom balcony door was cut out. Oh right....we cut out a door.

Looks good....we should keep it.

Shane taught me how to fill in all the cracks in the molding with caulking...thank goodness, because there's a lot of cracks. It took me the entire day today to fill in part of the master bedroom and the door. Maybe that's just because I do a really good job though...

We took a little break in our "breakroom"....which is actually just the sunroom where there's a bunch of furniture. The picture of my dad makes me laugh so hard...he looks like a little kid. We stuck TJ all the way down at the end of the room by himself. He looked sad.

Left: Dad...who really likes chicken. Top right: the breakroom! Bottom right: TJ all on his own.

Once the break was over, we decided to test a paint colour on the living room. TJ was not impressed at first. I'm maintaining hope that he'll come around. The paint looks pretty bright in the picture, but it darkened up a bit after a while.

Victoria and Grumplestiltskin paint the living room.

After this, we called it quits for the weekend. Tomorrow, the seam filler will continue, the electricians will hopefully install the new panel in the basement, I'll be picking up tile for the bathroom, and we should be receiving our first electric bill (the only time I'll ever be excited about this). The seam filling should be finished by the end of the week and I think the floor sander might be coming back on Wednesday to do another run. New windows should be coming in another week or so, and the kitchen is due to arrive in mid-October. We also have to choose countertops and hardware before the end of next week. Things are starting to pick up and it's actually starting to look like we have a house instead of a building long as you don't look too closely. And you also have to squint your eyes a bit. But a house nonetheless!

Thanks for following the blog, I've been getting lots of really nice (and funny) comments!


  1. hey creative girl! remember if the hard wood and soft wood stain "off coordinating colour" you can STENCIL a border pattern around the edge of the softwood with a gel stain and a stencil!

    look at the stair risers in this vid for what I am thinking of

    1. Funny you should say that, we were planning on doing some stencils in the upstairs when we were thinking of painting the floorboards. A stencil would look great with the sanded floors. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. This Hail Rain girl has some EXCELLENT ideas! I am thinking that blue swatch on the LR is a bit too dark? I really like the way the fireplace brick looks buttercream yellow in the photos but that might only be the poor lighting!

    1. It's a combination of the lighting and the actual paint...the color is the exact same color that's on all the walls and trim, and there are some areas on the fireplace that are stained from smoke I think, so it looks a little yellowy. We are planning on painting the fireplace the same color as the trim, an off-white color that's yet to be determined.