• Well I was right: the second coat of stucco was pretty messy as shown in these photos, but in all honesty, they did come back to put a third base coat down to make sure that they had it all covered properly before they sprayed it.

  • The stucco guys were here today to patch the area where the bricklayer filled in the windows. Tomorrow (I hope) they’ll be back to scratch coat the entire wall to even it out. Judging by the mess today just from the patch, the next coat will be messy…. Very messy.

  • After a great week of work last week (and frantic efforts to get us up and running for the long weekend) not too much happened this week. As it was a short week, the contractor was only here a few times to do some minor things. That’s usually the way it is when getting close to the finish: there are many small things to do and often they don’t make as big an impact as putting in the countertop.

  • I didn’t think anything was going to be happening at the house this week because we were waiting for the countertop to be installed. We were told that it would take 10 business days for the counter to be fabricated so understanding human nature I thought it would be fortunate if it did arrive on the 10th day. Well as good luck would have it I was wrong!

  • Last Friday the contractor put in a temporary sink just as we were leaving to go away for the weekend. Which was a great thing as we haven’t had water on the main floor for about 6 weeks. But as we were going out the door, I heard them say, “Wait its leaking!” This is not what you want to hear as you leave the house for two nights and you have newly installed hardwood floors. Hardwood and water; not a good mix.

  • After a few really long days, the installer got the boxes up and the soffit trim installed around the top. Today the electrician was here for about ¾ of the day to put in the rest of the dimmer switches and undercabinet pucks.

  • When you have some work done on your house, in my opinion you have to be an optimist. When things go wrong, you have to be able to see the big picture otherwise with the number of moving parts you’d pull your hair out with all the changes.

  • Its been a few days since we’ve had work on the house here. But it’s actually been a good break for us- a chance to catch our breath while we wait for the cabinets to arrive

  • I got a call from the flooring installer that they finished yesterday at about 3 PM, just like they promised. We used hickory, because it is arguably the hardest domestic wood (not tropical) and liked the product and the color looked good on the sample. Rich and dark, but a shade lighter than what was existing.

  • Even though the contractors were not here on the weekend, I was still here working to take advantage of the fact that the finished floor had yet to be installed. Just to back up a bit, last week the mason and the installer were here on Thursday ripping out the old window to make a new opening for the new one I just picked up on Wednesday morning from Brock. I felt good that the old one is not going to the landfill but the contractor is taking it away for a shed he is building. I am glad I was here to help with the questions as they sized the new opening and cut the brick. Man oh man

  • One of the key things in this reno that I've talked about before is moving (actually replacing) the existing window with a new one in a location that allows us to get the upper cabinets right to the south wall.

  • I thought it would only be a day or so and I could keep posting on a day by day basis to update the progress of the reno, but so far no luck… it seems to be really taking up a lot of my time to keep the trades going and get things sorted out.

  • I was pulling up some baseboard today in preparation for the new floor installation and tucked behind the baseboard near the front door was a Financial Post newspaper page from January 9, 1990. It was a Tuesday and some of the headlines include: "French advertiser Eurocom seeks international market;" "Japanese bring life to deteriorating British tire factory;" "Economist Wendy Dobson has international outlook." And my favorite: "Videonet arrives" - a story about how this Canadian offshoot of the American company Videonet will spend $2M in 1990 to introduce a range of services including banking, information, education and entertainment services using Bell Canada's Alex network. Interesting to see how this proprietary network never really got off the ground and was absolutely

  • I met the contractor this week and we discussed not only the construction work that has to get done, but also ways to cut back to reduce the cost of the boxes and doors. He had a few suggestions which were interesting and make some sense. Now he just has to go back, sharpen his pencil and see if we can get down to a figure that fits our budget. As far as the flooring goes, we are going to take up the old (original!) hardwood in the main floor as it was crudely patched during another owners bad 70s reno. I was out last week to a hardwood retailer to look at a selection of solid hardwood products and

  • Yes, we got the news… The preliminary pricing came in higher than we were forecasting so now we have to look into what we can do to shave down some costs… I was expecting this as in my experience, the costs rarely come in at what you’ve budgeted; must be a universal law or something. I am meeting with the contractor tomorrow to find out about his part of the work and figure out areas for savings, so hopefully we can maintain the basic layout and concept. Stay tuned for more!

  • Late last week we had a meeting with our designer on the kitchen reno and formalized the plan. She brought in a Richlieu catalog with all sorts of organization devices so we could go through it and pick the things that we thought would be useful. Its pretty seductive to look at all the “labour-saving” products, but as we are sure to find out, they really can inflate the price of the job! After the meeting we ran out to get a sense of what fixtures would be (sink, faucet). I had no idea that these things were pricier than rhinestones at an Elvis convention. (And just as flashy too!) We took a look at some tiles for the backsplash