slowly chipping away

What with the broken and sprained toes, extreme heat and summer flu Dale and I are not really at our renovation best, but the show must go on. We had planned on cleaning up our huge scrap pile in the back yard, broken cupboards, old plaster and lathe, nail filled boards, garbage bags full of crap, basically a total eyesore.

worst backyard ever

worst backyard ever

There was no way Dale was going to be able to manage that with a broken toe, and no way I was strong enough to lift that crud on my own. It didn’t look like cleaning the backyard was going to be possible…until we got the bright idea to hire a day laborer. God bless Kijiji!  It’s pretty easy to find someone who can come help out on short notice for all sorts of trades and jobs.

Dale put in a call the Wed before and Sat morning both the dumpster and our guy was there!  We supplied all the tools we thought he might need; crowbar, prybar, hammer, safety glasses and gloves and he brought the muscle.  Demolition and clean-up isn’t fun for anyone so the less  boredom and micro-managing the better!   I like to make sure there’s lots of water and cold drinks handy (no one wants to have to ask for a drink all the time), a radio to help pass the time, a place to wash up and  a good lunch.

While our handy helper was outside getting things cleaned up we decided to tackle some of the less grueling jobs while waiting for the plaster to dry.

The narrow stairwell to the third floor poses some challenges and we have to make furniture choices based on what can go up there.  With that in mind we had gone to IKEA earlier in the week and picked up a KIVIK sofa.

kivik sofa bed from IKEA

The back and arms are completely detachable so we can totally fit this up the tiny stairwell.  The bed is a queen size and super comfortable and there is storage in the arms for all the bedding!  Plus it’s slip-covered which is always good when you have animals.  Best of all, it was on sale!

If you know Dale and I you also know we love a bargoon.  Ikea has 3 great ways to save money, lemme share.

Method one, find the As-Is department.  Every store has an As- Is section where bump and dent materials can be found.  Stock moves fast, is replenished daily and is already assembled!    This sofa was a display item and we were able to get it for 60% off.  The store usually removes all slip covers so the sofa’s look pretty shabby and forlorn, but 90% of the time you will find the matching slipcovers neatly wrapped up with the curtains and bedding in the same As- Is department.  If you are patient and know what you are looking for chances are you will find it within a month by looking here.  I find things in the flat pack boxes offer the best savings, since they aren’t already assembled and no one really has the patience to figure out what those names mean it’s pretty likely that you can find the closet or shelf or bed of your dreams by being that patient one.

Method two, shop on Wednesdays!  Every Wed each Ikea will feature some items drastically marked down.  Each store features something different so check out the locations online under Wacky Wed.

Method three, there is another discounted section called “now or never”.  This is where discontinued products go for final clearance.  The Ikea near us has a tonne of these amazing oak cupboard doors right now for rock bottom prices.

ikea fagerland doors

If you’re not so keen on all that wood, these doors would also be great  for a painted kitchen look.

Ikea also sells stone countertops, sinks, faucets, appliances and range hoods in the as-is, and who’s kidding who, you know you are going to scratch or ding it anyhow during installation, ha.

tiny room

big sofa, tiny room

Here’s the sofa all put together again in the small front bedroom.  We picked up that amazing 30’s patchwork handmade quilt at the Lakefield outdoor market held ever Sunday Morning.  We’re finally going to be giving up sleeping on the air mattress and start calling this room home until we start to work on the attic loft.

While I was cursing IKEA assembling the sofa, our helper was making quick business of the backyard and finished in record time.  He had packed the dumpster remarkably well (you have to stack and pile things neatly rather than just whipping everything in willy nilly if you want to make the most of your space) and there was loads of extra room in there for the rubble we knew we were going to pull out of the rear stairwell.

Dale had been busy taking all of the interior doors off, removing the hardware and hinges and we just needed to get them all outside for painting in our clean and tidy backyard!  Goodbye nasty yellowed wood, hello crisp, clean and glossy white!

painting doors

8 freshly painted doors

We have a Wagner airless spray gun and while it uses a lot of paint, it does give amazing smooth coverage in just one coat.  We bought ours on clearance from Home Depot (make sure all the parts are in the box and the filters aren’t used and clogged though before you go home) and oddly enough saw another one at the Lakefield Outdoor Market  for $100 (pre haggle, no tax).  There are good deals to be found.  Our tarp came from Princess Auto, hands down the best place to buy deeply discounted hardware  items that you don’t necessarily need to last.

head painter

Head painter

How happy is Dale to have some space to work in the yard again? and even better to not have had to clean up all that trash and scrap himself? Almost as happy as I am to get out of the house, sit down and put my feet up!

take 5

site supervisor

oh we are quite the handsome twosome these days….

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