Sunday, January 29, 2012

Drywall Dust Is Not My Friend

I am beginning to have a hate/hate relationship with drywall dust.

When I walked into my house on Thursday night my heart immediately sank and my blood pressure instantly went through the roof.  The reason?  I had swept and damp mopped the entire top floor that very morning and 9 hours later it was totally covered in another fine layer of grey dust.  Again.  And not only the floor was covered.  There was dust on counter tops, tables, appliances, dishes, books, window sills.  You name it, it was covered.

Drywall dust trying to hide under furniture.

Like the dry waller said to me yesterday, "You'll be sweeping this stuff up for months."  Oh, goody.

And can someone please remind me why we spent $140.00 to have our couch and chair professionally cleaned in the middle of the renovation?  Why did we not wait until the end to have that done?

I must admit that after 10 weeks of living in a construction zone, my enthusiasm for this project is beginning to wane just a wee bit.  I would love to snap my fingers and have it all done.  DONE, I SAY!  I would like nothing more than to wake up tomorrow morning and find doors on my hallway closets, drapes and blinds on my windows, a fire in my fireplace, books in my bookshelf, railings on my stairs, tile on the landings, carpet on the TV room floor, and no dust anywhere.  Please, no more dust.

Junk in the trunk.

Ray and his brother have now finished painting the top floor.  And it looks beautiful.  They are such precision painters.  Joe has publicly admitted that having professionals do that job was the right thing to do.  (Having the house painted by professionals was my idea.  Just sayin'.)  The boys are now tackling the TV room downstairs and it is starting to look great.

This is why you hire professionals.  Remember my motto:  DON'T DO IT YOURSELF!
(Gawd, I can hardly wait until that hideously ugly light is replaced by our gorgeous fixture from Murano, Italy.)

The downstairs work area.

I will leave you with these three little words.  I HATE DUST.  That is all I have to say for now.

Good night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Things To Do

I like lists.

Not that I make many in my day-to-day life, but I sure do need them once in a while to keep me on track.  Especially now that I'm 53 and my memory does not serve me as well as it once did.  And I have to admit I really enjoy striking things off a list.  It gives me such a sense of accomplishment!

Joe and I have just finished compiling a list of 'things to do' for our house.  Even though an ENORMOUS amount of work has gone on in our house since November 17th, there are still lots of things left on the 'to do' list.

Many people have told us they want to come over to see our renovation.  I tell them they will be most welcome when all is said and done.  If you are one of those people, please be prepared to wait.  And wait.  And then maybe wait some more.

In no particular order, here is the 'To Do' list:

  • Finish painting the walls and trim in the kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway and stairwell
  • Newel posts, railings, spindles and hardwood for stairs
  • Slate on 2 interior landings
  • Install doors on hallway closets
  • Drapes in living room
  • Re-face slate on fireplace 
  • Gas insert for fireplace
  • Get the damaged refrigerator either replaced or repaired (what the hell is the hold-up?)
  • Install light fixture in entryway
  • Buy side tables for living room
  • Buy table lamps for side tables in living room
  • Buy area rug for living room
  • Enlarge travel photos, frame them and hang them all over the joint
  • Receive Joe's espresso machine from Italy
  • Paint the walls and trim
  • Install built-in bookshelf
  • Lay carpet
  • Install free-standing gas fireplace
  • Blinds for window

Many of the above items are in the works.

The painters are here every day, Marcel and his crew are pretty much here every day, the gas guys have been by, our tiler is coming on Friday, and Vickie has just left our house after showing us drapery samples.

Ray (on the right) with his brother Michael.  They are fantastic painters.  Hire them.
Please call Ray at:
Howe Sound Painting

Cleanin' up after a day of painting.

Hallway closets waiting for doors.  And there's Daisy, alive and scared.

Rusty from R&S Heating recently installed the intake and exhaust ducts for the 2 gas fireplaces.

Vickie Nickel
Glacier Interiors
C-1005 Industrial Way
Squamish, B.C.
Vickie has been invaluable with her expert advice regarding draperies, carpeting, wall colours, and furniture placement.  (Eat your heart out, Lawrence!)

Rome wasn't built in a day.  Neither was the Sotham renovation.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

This and That

Things in 'Renovation World' have slowed down.  But that's not to say nothing is going on in the house.  Things are happening in baby steps, people.  Baby steps.

For example:

We were consulting our 'kitchen godmother' (aka Colleen) about where we should put a bookshelf to house Joe's large cookbook collection.  Colleen suggested we install some invisible bookshelves on the wall.  "Invisible bookshelves?  What are those?" we wondered.  She patiently explained to us designer newbies what invisible bookshelves were.  And about how books were stacked on them horizontally.  She told us Umbra made them.

I quickly went on-line to find out which stores in Vancouver sold Umbra products.  I found lots of places.  But we weren't exactly excited to drive down to the city yet again for another spending spree.  So we put the bookshelf idea on hold.

A couple of days later, Joe and I were in downtown Squamish (yes, we have a downtown!) and decided to pop into 'The Hive'; a home decor and gift shop owned by one of my students' parents.

Well, guess what?  There they were.  Umbra invisible bookshelves.  Four of them.  And they were 40% off to boot!

Buy local!

Handyman Joe puts up the first of four invisible bookshelf brackets.

Cookbooks at the ready!

Another example of progress:

The evolution of our stairs (so far)....

The top of the stairs and railings as they were in November.

Stairs and spindles with open view to the basement.

No top railing.

No hallway railing.

No stairs or railings.

New stairs, no spindles.

Framed in.

Walled in.

Yet another example of progress:

Basement wall is framed in and the exposed foundation is insulated.

Entire basement wall is insulated.

Drywall is on!

The ceiling is on!  Pot lights are in!  
Mudding and taping the drywall.

Ceiling and wall are taped and mudded.

The stairs to the basement are filled in and drywalled.  We are planning to tuck our computer in this little corner.  Our electrician installed lights and electrical sockets under the stairs for us.

And that, my friends, is what has been going on around here.  Oh, and freezing rain.

My contorted hazelnut tree encased in ice.

And now for something completely different....

My daughter the flag hag.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gettin' There.

The TV room renovation is going quickly.  Very quickly.

One wall was framed in yesterday.  Up until now, the foundation was exposed in our basement.  Apparently this is not up to code by today's standards.  But it was back in 1981.  Good Lord, no wonder it always felt cold in that room!

One wall is framed in.

Poor Derek had the onerous task of removing the 'harvest gold' tile from the wall and the floor.  And once that was done, he had to rip up the horrible multi-coloured indoor/outdoor carpet.  And once that was done he had to scrape off the 30 year old compressed rubbery underlay from the concrete slab.  Good times!

Off come the wall tiles.

Smashing off the floor tile.

Scraping off the underlay.

Fun times!

The TV room is now devoid of any carpet, tiles or pellet stove.

Our club chairs arrived today from Restoration Hardware.  We were given the sage advice (thanks, Shelley!) to either buy one large chair or two small ones.  The chairs are small.  They 'go' with our art deco furniture and will increase our seating capacity in the living room.  

But I don't know if I would ever buy furniture on-line again.  Things look a lot differently in a catalogue than they do in real life.  That being said, I do like the club chairs.  They look a little on the small side to my eye, but I'll get used to them.  I hope.

 The delivery guys thought I was nuts when I asked if they would pose in the chairs for a photo.  But not that nuts.  They willingly complied.

Our new club chairs.

Our over-sized clock arrived from Restoration Hardware today as well.  We like it.  It has an industrial edge and it goes well with everything.  It is now hanging over our buffet and we can see the time from the kitchen, dining room and living room.

Big and beautiful.

We're getting there.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Phase 2 Is Now In Full Swing

Saturday was spent dealing with the curtain drama.  We decided to abort mission and are now in the process of finding someone to make us some custom-made drapes.  Since we removed the vertical blinds prematurely, we needed something to cover our 10' living room window.  Enter stage left: A green bedsheet that doesn't even begin to cover the window!  We are such a class act.

And for those of you who follow this blog, I know you want to ask, "DOES YOUR HUSBAND ALWAYS WEAR THAT CANADA JACKET WHILE IN HIS UNDERWEAR?"  The short answer?  "Yes, he does my friends.  Yes, he does."

Me:  "Hey, Jethro."
Joe:  "Whaddya want, Ellie-May?"
Me:  "I think we oughtta git us some new curtains, Jethro."
Joe:  "I think so too, Ellie-May."
Me:  "Think Granny could rustle us up some draperies, Jethro?"
Joe:  "I hope so, Ellie-May.  I sure's heck hope so."

Sunday was spent clearing the basement TV room of any and all furniture.  That took us a good part of the day.  We put everything (except the television and computer) into Will's old bedroom.  That is a LOT of furniture in one small space.  A lot of furniture.  Not only furniture, but about 10,000 books as well.  Wellllll....maybe not 10,000.  But lots.

The TV now resides upstairs in our living room.  In our 25 years of marriage, we have never had a television in our sitting room.  I must say having a TV so readily available for viewing is highly seductive.  Our usual morning routine involves quietly reading the newspaper while we drink our coffee.  The TV does not even come on in our household until well after dinner.  Until today.  After Joe left for work this morning, I sat and watched an episode of 'Oprah's Master Class' about Jane Fonda.  I have never done that in my life!

The television lives upstairs.  For now.

Phase 2 of the renovation started in earnest today.

Here's what has happened in the last 36 hours:

Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon.

Monday afternoon.

Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon.

Monday afternoon.

Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon.

Monday afternoon.



Our cat Daisy is still shell-shocked from the renovation.  Even when the house is devoid of tradesmen and is quiet on the weekends, she still hides as much as she can.

"I'll just sit here under this upturned box, thanks."


We are still waiting to hear from the insurance company whether the new fridge that the movers dropped will be replaced or repaired.  The insurance company may change its mind when they find out that a LID FELL OFF OF A PAN AND IMPALED ITSELF AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FRIDGE!!!!

"Why us, Lord?  Why us?"

Fridge: 1   Us: 0

So there you have it, folks.  Just another day at the Sothams.  Enjoy your Monday evening.  I think I'll go and watch some television.  From the comfort of my living room.