Sunday, 4 May 2014

Reno Update - Spring 2014


When I first started this project, someone warned me to finish one room first before moving on to the next or I might end up living in a bunch of half finished rooms. I had good intentions to do just that but life got in the way. Building this house has been like peeling an onion. The work gets done in concentric layers. We started with the vitals of life, got the basics in place and then went back and tackled the rest. Things get done in order of what do we feel like working on, what can we afford to work on or whatever I fixate on in the moment. Sometimes you can live with something for a very long time, then one day you walk in the room and suddenly the light fixture, or missing trim just won't cut it for another minute and that becomes the reno of the day!
Being a perfectionist makes this blogging thing hard for me. I would rather wait until the room is completely finished before showing you the results but at the rate we are going, you might not hear from me for a long time, so here is an update of the last seven months progress.
To remind you of what I started with for a living room /dining room, this was the space when I first got the house.

While the rest of the house was getting built, the living room/dining room got used as storage space for construction material, furniture and boxes of stuff that hadn't been unpacked yet. Now that we finally had power, I wanted to start using these rooms to live in. Here is the before that had to be cleaned up and rearranged to make that happen. 

The wall on  the right got closed in around the furnace to make a small utility room and the rest of it got removed to open the living  room right back to the white wall.

Now that a ton or two of material has been moved, we have started to arrange the furniture in approximations of functioning rooms.

The space is still very raw but we finally had somewhere to sit down and eat, so we set the table for a nice Thanksgiving dinner with the neighbors.

The wall in this picture is going to be removed but as it is a load bearing wall it needs to be replaced with something.

The "something" being this 16 foot long cedar beam that Dave is carving. It will be supported by two poles which are also being carved.

One of the carved poles soaking in the river.

Minou helping Dave work on the other pole. The poles are covered in all kinds of carved fish swimming through kelp. I can't wait until they are done and in place, they will be the showpiece of the living room!

We got an excellent deal on a pallet of cedar tongue and groove, so Dave and his friend Joey got started putting it on the ceiling, looks pretty good and smells even better!

Dave worked like a mad man and got the room done in just a few days, so much nicer than looking at plastic and insulation!

I got the dining room chandelier at a local auction. I love the glass covers but had the stain glass ones from my old boat and wanted to use them if possible. I ended up putting them on and like them but I may switch back one day to these ones.

One of these days, I am going to paint the chandelier base the same colour as the ceiling fan in the living room. Right now its just kind of faded/rusty looking.

So here is the dining room mostly finished. We still want to put some molding along the top of the walls and are looking for the perfect mirror to go over the buffet. The Asian alter got moved into this room from the kitchen. I feel like I should paint this room but haven't decided on a colour yet.

I have been collecting pink depression glass for a few years now and have most of a set of eight table setting with a variety of serving pieces. My pride and joy!

I found an awesome deal on large plants at Walmart, so got a bunch to fill the foyer in front of the stain glass doors. Its the only real light we get in the whole house, so it has become the "plant room". We will probably have to put a grow light over them in the winter to keep them healthy.

The large bone beside the couch is the base of a whale skull.

Dave finally took the stairs out of the craft room and installed them so they come down into the living room instead. This enabled him to close off his bedroom upstairs that used to be a loft over the craft room. This has given us much more room in both rooms and now we can close off the craft room from the cats if need be to protect projects we are working on. It also makes it a lot warmer in Dave's room as he doesn't have to heat them both now. Once that wall on the right comes down, we will be able to position the wood stove in that general area and get a pipe for it put in. This has to get done before next winter as I just paid an eight hundred dollar hydro bill and I don't plan to do that ever again!

The fan is one of the few things I bought new. I love that it looks like an old airplane propeller as we live right next to a float plane airport. The green rug in the living room was another auction bargain. I didn't even see it when I bid on it. I hadn't noticed the stack of carpets on the stage  before the auction started. It was underneath a few other carpets so they couldn't lift it to show it. All I knew about it was its size and that it was green. I won the bid and was so relieved when I finally saw it and it was beautiful and in excellent shape!

I bought this super comfy meditation chair.

The cats seemed to have claimed it for their own!

The wall at the bottom of the stairs got insulated after the first cold day, the wind was blowing through here like a freight train!

The attic space beside my bedroom got done as well. There is still a lot to do to get this house better equipped to handle winter. At some point all the windows have to be changed as they are all single pane. Most of the house has good insulation but a few walls have almost none. We raised the floors and insulated in the main part of the house, but the kitchen, front bedroom, craft room and pantry have not been done. You can sure tell the difference from the rooms with insulated floors and the ones without!

I really love stain glass and have been collecting it from the local auctions. This piece got put in the bathroom window,

The chandelier finally got hung over the tub. Its on a dimmer switch so makes for some lovely mood lighting when taking a bath.

Another stain glass treasure!

I have two of these lights in the downstairs bedroom but didn't like them as the bulb was too bright looking up from the bed.

I bought two of these to replace the ones above and like them much better.

The laundry room before Dave put in flooring that we got from a friends reno leftovers

....and the laundry room after. We still have a bit of electrical and plumbing to sort out on the wall before we cover it with a panel.

This was on my old boat, we mounted over the front door of the house so we have a way to make sure the house is staying level as I fill it with stuff.

I found these two chairs on craigslist for the front porch.

After two and a half years without power, all of our appliances were toast when we tried to plug them in again. At first I tried to stick with our recycling motto but kept getting other peoples crap that didn't work either and it was costing me a fortune to drag them all to the dump. I finally broke down, went into debt and got new appliances from Future Shop. Here is the new fridge with the freezer on the bottom ( which I love by the way!)

We lived for so long without a fridge that it stayed fairly empty for quite a while.

A new washer and dryer was added to the bill. I cant tell you how happy I am to not have to go to the Laundromat anymore!

We don't have cable and the system had changed to HDTV so this old TV couldn't pick up the free channels anymore I bought this one instead. I like the way it looks in the cabinet much better too!

This kitchen cupboard had the glass missing in the front door when I got it.

I found this etched glass door at the auction and got Dave to install it for me. I love it!

Once I moved the Asian altar into the dining room, I was able to put up the spoon racks and the cupboard. I am still looking for the right hinges to put the cupboard doors on with although really I will eventually look for an antique piece to put here. The spoon racks are another project I need to work on. I want to add wood to the back to make the boxes deeper and set them up to take long skinny spice jars.

The step cupboard got moved out from under the stairs and put by the kitchen door. The space under the stairs is getting turned into the recycling zone. I got tired of tripping over the blue boxes in the kitchen!

So Dave did all the above renos  by himself since we got power last October. He still managed to find some time to relax on the deck and sharpen his fishing skills which are pretty good now. Too bad he doesn't like to eat fish though :(



Well there is still a lot to do, but I would say we are 75 percent done now. If we keep going at this rate we should have most of it finished this year. I can't wait to kick back and bring out my inner Martha Stewart to play. Thanks Dave for all your hard work, I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished!

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  1. You finished 75% of the work at your house? The past 7 months must've been the busiest time of your year! Congratulations! It’s not an easy journey, but you pulled it off. And I hope the remaining jobs like plumbing and electrical will be finish soon, so you can start enjoying your newly-renovated home.

    Michael Hinsch @ Experts Plumbing

  2. Everything looks great. I wish we had a way to insulate our floor. Our walls and ceiling are done, but we lose a lot of heat (and gain a lot of cold) up through the floor from the water and air below the cabin. It was built with 3/4 inch plywood over pony walls. I guess at some time we could create a raised floor indoors, but I'm not sure how that would work with the sliding glass doors. Probably more work than it is worth. You have so much more space than we do to work with. That's so great to have all the new appliances. Enjoy your summer on the deck with those chairs. - Margy

  3. Hi Rhianna, what a lot of wonderful projects you have had on the go. Everything looks so good. I'm I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  4. Been thinking about you and wondering how summer on the river is going. We've had a great time up at the cabin. Wish this weather lasted longer than just summer. - Margy


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment, Rhianna

The Eclectic Ark