Paint, paint, paint

We're doing so much painting!

 You know, after all the scrape, scrape, scraping. We're using General Paint primarily for our paint and paint supplies, with a few specialty items from Benjamin Moore from time to time. We decided to go with a blue/grey theme in our bathroom and the main part of the house is a pretty pale yellow colour called aeroroot. The blue we chose is called paleness.

So far, we've spent just under $700 on primer, drywall sealer, paint, brushes, rollers etc. So much paint.

This has been for our kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway, master bedroom, Little Man's bedroom and we have not yet done our guest bedroom.  So their may be another $50 or so depending on how far the last bits go.


Cabinets are in

 Thanks to everyone who weight in on my cabinet handles request for help a few weeks back.  We decided to go with the handle pictured here.  WE LOVE IT!  It looks so good!  It's sold, you can get your whole hand around it, and it's 8 inches long - so it doesn't fade away on our tall cabinets.

The handles totaled just over $215 - I had planned on about $300, so was pleased that they came in under.

Here's a shot of the cabinets going in!

We're so pleased with how everything is coming together.

The cabinets, pantry and handles total came to just over $7,100.

We did decide to go with IKEA for the bathroom - things didn't need to fit quite so perfectly in that space...but that's a post for another day.



Duraceramic - Tile not Tile

Duraceramic is a vinyl tile product that is super durable, and looks like tile when it's finished.  It's not as cold, or hard as a a traditional tile either.

We are super happy with how this turned out.  It looks great, feels great, and not a single scratch from dog paws!

Here's a shot of the floors installed...well mostly it's a picture of Little Man putting crumpled up packing newspaper in the cupboard, but you can see, it looks good!


Shower Tile

Love, love this tile!

We were inspired by some pinterest boards that had the tile running vertically instead of horizontally.  We knew we wanted a shampoo cubby, but my cousin who works at the local flooring shop upsold us on the double box.  He said that one is good for one person, two is better for two people. The cost difference was about $50, so completely worth it.

Tiling the shower cost $2,200.  Shower inserts that we looked at seemed to run about $1,000 or so locally, so while it was quite a bit of an upgrade, we thought that for only bathroom on the main floor - the master bath, the guest bath, and the kids bathroom...we wanted it to really shine.  This is both for us, because we enjoy it, and for resale ability.



Sweet Heat

We debated quite a bit about in-floor heating.  Well, it was more of an internal debate.  Jordan really wanted it, and I had to decide if I did before deciding if it was a debate.  Adding in floor heat, added about $1,000 to the flooring bill.  That's for both the installers, and the electrician to hook everything up.

It comes with a programmable thermostat so we can decided and manage when to heat and when to not so we're not paying to heat a floor that no one is benefiting from.


Wallpaper, it hides many a sin.

If you're ever doing renovations, please, please do not put wall paper on unprimed drywall.  It's just not kind, and primer is cheap. This wallpaper is everywhere in this house.  EVERYWHERE.  We knew it when we bought it, but didn't really think about the work involved in getting rid of it.  To top it off, the paper is filled with little wood chips AND has been painted.  We've gone through three wallpaper scorers, have used heat guns, steamers and paint scrapers to get this crap gone.

The best method we have found, when dealing with the un-primed walls underneath, is to separate the wallpaper and peel off the top layer first.  Then, saturate the wall with water/vinegar in a sprayer, then scrape of gently with a wide paint scraper.

The wall scorer works very well when their is paint or primer underneath - otherwise, it doesn't do enough to saturate the glue holding the paper down onto the wall.


My Money, My Choices - Level 5, 6, & 7 Done

In January of this year, I mentioned that we needed to get our wills and powers of attorney etc. updated now that we were moving to BC.  We also needed to name a guardian for Little Man.  We finally took care of the updating, and were able to move along in the My Money, My Choices program.

I know that Gail has retired from blogging, but the My Money, My Choices site is still a super helpful one full of lots of resources.  I'm still making my way through bit by bit.

Level six is all about insurance - life and personal disability.which I've written about at length.  Next is level seven which is a goal setting exercise.  We regular;y set and reach goals so we're moving on to level eight,


More Drywall

Oh Drywall!

So!  You know that we had a drywaller come in and do the walls that were rebuilt in the bathroom and master bedroom.  The shots in this post are in my dining room and living room.  You can see under the large window, in our peeling wallpaper efforts (which is bloody everywhere in this house), that we destroyed the drywall itself.  Our drywaller, when doing a walk through to quote the job, suggested a method for covering up the remaining wallpaper with a drywall compound.  It was a hard decision, but we decided to go for it in the living room.  It cost about $2/square foot and about two weeks.  Their was a  lot of layering and sanding.  This shot shows the wallpaper peaking out from between the two switches, by the time it was done - you couldn't tell wallpaper was ever there.We decided, for the hallway and bedrooms we would continue to scrape wallpaper and see what was underneath.The total drywall bill was $1.875.


Sexy Kitchen Sink and Sexy Savings

That's right.

I said it.

My kitchen sink is sexy.

This is a 9 inch deep, cast iron, 130 pound beauty!

I bought it online from Lowes for $344.  A bit of a splurge however; we felt like this was a really excellent statement piece for the space.

It get's better though.  Jordan and I were back at Lowes in the big city looking for kitchen faucets (that's a whole other dramatic story), when I saw that the same sink I had bought two months before, was now priced at $269.  That's a crazy $75 cheaper...so naturally I had to stand in line to speak to customer service to see about getting that money back.

It turned out that their normally policy was within 30 days - but after speaking with the department manage, the customer service manager, and the only sales supervisor, we got it approved!  Woohoo!  Everyone wanted to help, they just had to figure out how to do it.  They wound up 'returning't he original sale and then re-selling it to me at the new price.

But get this!  When they rang it it, it come up on the till at the originally $344.

It turns out that the sink was priced incorrectly in the store, so they honored it for me, and then promptly removed the tag in the store.  I was pretty pumped to save the money - and we were able to put it towards the faucet we were buying.


Drip, Drip, Drip

We're on to plumbing!  The list was long, but there were not nearly the surprises that we had with the electrical.  With plumbing we needed to move the sink drains/water lines in the kitchen, add in for a dishwasher and a refrigerator.  In the bathroom we moved the sink - added lines/drains for a second sink, moved the toilet and moved the shower plumbing and switched it to plumbing for a bathtub.

Phew!  See?  Long list.

Jordan and I had to find the city shutoff within the house when we removed the old kitchen sink, and we were left with a drip, drip, drip that was filling our giant red bucket once a day.  It took a week or so after that before the plumber made it in and was able to address the problem, but the good news in all of that was that we learned where the shut off was, what to do if it rusts/breaks and the phone number of a good plumber.  It didn't, break, but we were told to be prepared for it.

Here's a couple of shots of the bathroom.  Our pretty new plumbing, and our tub!  So lovely!


Kitchen Cabinet (Doors)

One of the ways that we are saving money in our renovations is tackling painting all of our kitchen cabinet doors.  We did look at buying stock cabinets from IKEA and a few other big box stores, but we found the cost difference between that and a custom fit solution to be pretty negligible - within about $500.  We got several quotes and decided to go with a local cabinet maker who agreed to cut our doors out of MDF and we would paint them.

I did a lot of research on paint, MDF, and cabinet doors.  They are a high use, often get banged up location so it's important that the paint is made of tough stuff.  MDF is also super absorbent so it's important to use an excellent primer.  I looked at General Paint and Benjamin Moore among other products and decided on the Benjamin Moore Advance line. This product is made specifically for cabinets - it goes on smoothly, is easy to clean up and still has low VOCs.  I didn't track my time well (or my moms, or Jordans) on this project - but it took us a couple of weeks or so, in the evenings and mornings.  The one drawback about this paint is that it has about a 16 hour dry time - we did two coats of primer and two coats of paint on both the fronts and backs - so many, many hours.

I will say that if you tackle something like this yourself BE CAREFUL OF DRIPS.

Sanding takes the most amount of time, and you're most likely to get them when you do the edges and the paint drips and settles on the underside.  After a bit of trial and error we settled on painting the fronts/sides at the same time so any drips would be on the back of the doors, instead of the fronts.

This is my mom sanding like a boss.

What Did it Cost?

Including sanding, primer, paint and brushes.  Painting cost us $303.  We saved around $1,000 by doing this ourselves, and saved more than that by going with MDF over a solid wood door.


Electrical Smetrical

Have you ever lived somewhere that didn't have an exterior plug outlet?  I haven't.  Neither had Jordan.  Neither of us thought to look for one when we bought the house.  So of course, there wasn't one.

Of course, our lawn mower is electric.


So another add on...you know, in addition to pulling out the random outlet in the dining room floor, was to put an outlet on the exterior of the house.

For now, we just did the one in the back yard.  It would be good to have one on the front too - but there wasn't an easy access point because of the level of finishing downstairs.  I don't have a breakdown of what each element cost but I do have the electric bill that I'll share with you guys soon.


Structure & Drywall

Perhaps the biggest structural change that we made was to the wall in between the bathroom and master bedroom.  There was this little one foot by one foot cubby in the master bedroom.  

We took that space for the bathroom and had the wall rebuilt.  This gave us the space we needed to re-arrange things enough to fit a five foot bathtub in the bathroom - otherwise we would have been stuck with just a single shower.

We don't lose anything of consequence in the bedroom but this makes a big difference for the bathroom.  It's the only one on the main floor - so it was worth it to us to put some money here.

The structure work we paid for instead of doing it ourselves.  The other piece of work here was venting the bathroom to outside instead of the attic.  The way it was venting was a pretty big mold risk.  There was electrical work here to move the fixtures and plumbing work to do the same.

After that work, there was dry walling to be done.  Here's a shot of that after it was finished.


Sub Floor Woes

Pretty, pretty sub-floor.

Not only did we find a lot of random holes in the original sub-floor, we also found an electrical outlet that had been covered up by old flooring.  Whenever you undertake renovations of this size, you're always expecting some unexpected finds...but the outlet...that was weird.  We actually found others under wall paper and hidden in other strange places too.

This is a good couple of shots of the subfloor going in.  We thought it might be something we could do, but after talking to our general contractor (who happens to also be my uncle), he advised us that his team should do it.  We didn't have to take out the old subfloor, but they had to tie in the new one really well.


August Spend Report

This one is a bit of a doozy!  I paid most of the bills for the house this month, we had deposits in June and then a reprieve in July - but this is the big hit.

Gas and eating out were higher then normal because we had a couple of trips to the city to shop for things for the house - lighting, clothing wardrobes = that sort of thing.

Alcohol was a bit higher too - I attribute this to home renovation beer.

Entertainment is more than I would like to spend on lottery tickets and slurpees, but it's one of Jordan's few indulgences these days (okay, except for renovation beer).  That also includes our Shomi and Netflix subscriptions.

Home Maintenance is our renovation expenses this month.

Legal is the updating of our wills etc. for BC.

Baby is a few gifts for Little Man's upcoming birthday as well as a few other odds and ends.

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