Tag Archives: demolition

Beauty and decay

I was cruising the intermawebs today and found  the most beautifully shot interiors.  While we usually save that sort of link re-post for the RS facebook page the subject matter took me back to one of our trips and branched out in a way that couldn’t be properly explored in a one-liner.  Hope you think so too!

Dale and I had travelled to Cuba and were taken not so much by the tourist littered beaches and ho hum resorts, but rather the beauty of Havana and it’s people. Education is prized in a way were rarely see here, and there is a quiet grace to both the spaces and the teamwork involved to achieve the goals of the country as a whole. Do yourself a favour, skip the all inclusive and plan for a good 4 days (at least) in this unexpected city exploring.

havana trip

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progress is stinky business

We spent last night engulfed in a halo of floor adhesive fumes…not the best for a good nights sleep, but a small price to pay for the amazing progress on the third floor.

The drywall is completed. Paint has gone up. And now we are onto the baseboard trim and redoing the stairs.
It looks like hell right now, but have faith, it’s coming together.

3rd floor reno stairs Continue reading

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hiding in the attic

I’ve been in a bit of a fibre frenzy lately, and Dale has been nice enough to grant me a hiatus from the hard slog of renovations…but that doesn’t mean things aren’t getting done round the city house.

Just about a year ago I went off to London with the girls for a pre-wedding broo-ha-ha.

When I got back home this was lurking in the attic!

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nothin like a head cold in july

It wasn’t intentional, but last week I brought home a lovely treat for Dale and I.  As the head cold settled in our renovations plateaued.  Between the head crushing pain of a full blown sinus infection and the restricted breathing inside our ventilator masks our back stairwell project ended up taking a little longer than expected.

The old crumbly plaster had to be removed with new drywall board put up.  Very tight space, Very steep stairwell, and many many many complicated cuts to be made.

back stairwell

backstairwell

back stairwell

Dale did a great job staying focused despite all the fogginess in our heads.  Ummm I should add the poor man was also working with one broken big toe (and 2 sprained little buddies) carrying drywall sheets up and down the stairs and ladder like a champ.

He also kept his head held high as we went about our home depot shopping with one steel toe boot and one mooseskin moccasin on, rockin that dusty homeless look like a champ.
work dale

I love that man o mine.

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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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the haunted attic…

My brother-in-law is a Hvac genius and our ‘Go To’ guy for furnaces. We are often each others guinea pigs, but sometimes Desmond gets the short end of the stick.

The Berryman House was a nightmare with only a 3 foot crawl space and trapdoor in the floor to cram the furnace through, ug.

The Ridley House had a 7 foot ceiling, but by the time we got around to installing the furnace and on demand water tank every bit of room down there was crammed to the rafters with the contents of Dale’s former office space, double ug.
I was sooo happy to show off the HUGE and empty 8.5 foot basement at Rubidge and let him do his magic in a great space.  The old beast of  a boiler was taken out and we decided to finish off the rest of the installation the following day.  We headed off to the luxury of the Quality Inn (and running water) while Des decided to rough it out on the foldout bed and get a super early start.
front yard from porch.  It's since been landscaped
No one had spent the night yet so we didn’t realize the craziness going on up in the attic.  Poor Des had a sleepless night of noisy twisting metal, thumps from upstairs, crashes and bangs.

Haunted?   Sounded like it….haunted by the ghosts of cruddy owners from the past more like it.  ha.

Basically the old roof had holes everywhere, and once the new roof went on the wretched pigeons, who were determined to keep living up there, started pushing at the gaps in the cruddy metal fascia and soffits forcing their way into the third floor space and making a horrible noise all night long.  Who knew?

Now the new soffits and fascia are on, those determined buggers are still circling round the roofline, but there’s no getting in…move it along bub, there’s no room at the inn.
attic

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This is actually an improvement

To clean a mess you’ve got to make a mess…or so I am always telling Dale.  Well he’s one upped me on this one.

Basically I was banished from the bathroom until the dust settled, and then the grand unveiling of the grand un-doing began.

not only was that wretched outdated vanity gone
bathroom

but so was all the cracked plaster, broken tiles and nasty flooring.

bathroom

Best of all, the dirty ugly green tub and it’s mildewed liner was gone, and Dale also found the time to put in a fresh new toilet!
bathroom
This all doesn’t look like progress but trust me when I tell you it is.  Now the walls are pulled down to the lath we can get to work putting it all back together.  Often it’s easier and cheaper to start from scratch if you don’t have much faith in the previous owners handiwork.  Taking walls out gives you a chance to see what has actually gone on before you got there and also allows for pretty easy customization so you can move forward with exactly what you want instead of limiting your choices to working around junk and trying to make everything fit.

In this case we were able to remove some pipes that weren’t in the greatest spots, install electrical outlets, shore up the sub-floor and make sure everything was level and even before we put down the new flooring.
bathroom

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