Closet – February 27 2017

I’m surprised at how fast the closet is coming together. Maybe it’s because it’s smaller than the bedroom. We got a lot done in the past few days.

On Thursday I did the first coat of paint on the ceiling and Tom cut everything in so I could do the walls.

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Tom did the second coats of paint on Friday.

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Saturday morning I went to the gym and Tom said he was going to start putting the floor down. When I came home he was pretty much done the whole floor! I wasn’t even at the gym that long, I taught kids class and coed class, so maybe two and a half hours. I was pretty impressed at how quick he’d been. He said he learned a lot from doing the bedroom so it took him less time.

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Taking a break to pet L’Oph and gaze out the window…

Ophelia seems to enjoy the new floor haha she won’t have room to stretch out like that once we put in the shelves and vanity!

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We think she’s part shark.

Once Tom finished the last few pieces of the floor he went to work on the transition pieces between the bedroom and the closet. He laid the floor on a diagonal in both rooms so instead of trying to get them meet where the door is he put down two horizontal pieces. I was only slightly stressed about how close his face is to that saw blade!

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I’ve been looking forward to the closet being done because it means we can get our clothes out of the bedroom, which makes the bedroom bigger and less cluttered. We’re not leaving it like this, Tom is going to build shelving that goes all the way to the ceiling, but for now it’s the dresser and hanger thing and a tiny thing of drawers.

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The dresser is Dad’s dresser. It’s been through a lot! I’m pretty sure it’s the dresser that he had when there was the fire in his apartment, he told me it got all burnt up and he had to re-finish it. Then it had to survive Mom’s house, and I wasn’t always so careful with it. It used to be covered in stickers and stuff. A few years ago Tom and I replaced the knobs because the original ones weren’t doing so well, and one of them was missing. We’ll keep it and put it in the extra bedroom we want to make downstairs.

I thought this would be as far as we got for a while but yesterday Tom needed something from Rona. While he was getting his bolts or whatever I went exploring and saw a frying pan that was the exact same green as all of our appliances. I brought it back to Tom to show him and we decided not to get it, but I took a picture of it anyway so we can get it later (maybe during the kitchen renovation haha)

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All of our Kitchenaid appliances are this same Candy Apple Green ❤

So we were walking to put it back and saw that cabinets were on sale and ended up leaving with three cabinets to make my vanity.

Originally we were going to do an L shape but it just wasn’t possible so we ended up using two cabinets. Tom cut a piece of plywood and put the mirror up so I could get an idea of what it looks like. I can use it for now until we finish it. I grabbed all my stuff and put it away in the cupboards and some on top. I’m so excited about the vanity, I can’t wait until it’s totally done.

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The mirror and stool are temporary.

Tom also put up our little chandelier. Sometimes when he goes into buildings for work there will be stuff he can take. One day he came home with this chandelier and said he got it because he knows green is my favourite colour 🙂

We’ve been using it as the living room light but decided it’s the sort of pretend fancy thing that should go in the closet.

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We’re going to return the third cabinet we don’t need and then start looking at something to be the counter of the vanity. And then the only really big thing left to do is build all the shelves. I’m not sure how long that will take. Hopefully not long!

Well, I had this post all ready to go and then Tom said we should go out and try to figure out the counter top for the vanity. So rather than make another post I’ll include it here.

We had to return the third cabinet that we bought and the returns were taking too long so as usual we started being silly:

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Apparently having a new vanity did nothing for my hair!

Finally we got it returned and could go look at stuff. Tom said his friend suggested using tile as the counter, instead of actual counter top. So we went and looked at tile. I made Tom help me carry a few of the tiles we were looking at over to the cabinets so we (I) could see how they looked. He laughed at me and said I’m funny but I have a hard time visualizing!

Tom has to cut the piece on the end that’s hanging over.

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There’s a closer look at the counter. It’s sort of the same as our “Kitten White” walls. But it’s more like a white kitten that got a little bit muddy and then you washed him but he’s still sort of beige…

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After we (I) decided on the counter I liked I also let Tom know that I’d been thinking about it and had an idea for new hardware for the cabinet drawers. He laughed at that too 😛
The old one on the left (not even 24 hours “old” haha) will go in the bathroom. I still really like it, but I like my new handle on the right better for the closet!

So now I think we’re actually done for today and I’m not going to make this post any longer than it already is!

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February 20 2017

We’ve been working but I’ve been bad about doing updates!

After the floor was level we put up insulation (or as I call it, “puffy glass”). I actually got this step started! I measured and cut and put insulation in and got a lot done and then Tom finished up.

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This room is supposed to be a second bedroom so it’s bigger than we need for the closet. Tom built a wall to make the closet smaller, and then when we go on to the bathroom we’ll tear down the wall that’s there now and have a bigger bathroom.

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Tom did all the electrical but it’s boring so I don’t take pictures of it haha then we were all set for drywall. First we did the ceiling which was really hard. Drywall is HEAVY! So the two of us have to lift it up then one of us holds it in place while the other one gets enough screws in to keep it there. I hold and Tom puts screws in because he’s faster at it.

Once enough screws are in to keep it from falling I help put in the rest!

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Tom put up most of the drywall himself. I only helped when it came time to close off the new wall he’d built and he needed to get stuff out of the crawl space created by the new closet wall and the bathroom wall. Tom pretended he was going to trap me in there but Garth wouldn’t let that happen!

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When we did the bedroom Tom’s friend came and did the mudding and taping for the drywall but this time Tom did it himself. Sanding makes so much dust, it gets everywhere!

After everything was sanded we were ready to paint! Tom put two coats of primer up and that’s where we are now 🙂

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Jan 6-8 2017

We got to a point where I can’t really help too much so Tom had to do most of the work.

Next step after where we left off is to rip up the underfloor. It’s dangerous because there isn’t anything underneath, you don’t want to fall through to the basement! Tom did this part by himself.

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Once he got all the floor ripped up he had to level the floor. The whole house is not level for some reason, so when we renovate we can’t just pick a floor we like and put it in. We have to go through this process every time. First Tom gets a laser level thing and sit it in the corner and it shoots all around the room so you can see where your floor needs to be. Then he has to measure and cut boards and attach them to the boards under the floor that are already there at the right height so that it makes it level. It’s time-consuming and seems dangerous to me!

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When we did the bedroom it took a long time so I was thinking we’d be at this stage for a while but Tom worked hard and had it all done by the end of the weekend! It was really impressive. On Friday night he had just finished ripping the floor up and by Sunday night he had the new sub-floor down!

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Garth likes to think he’s helping 🙂

There wasn’t much I could do except help Tom shop for supplies, and get him tools and boards and stuff when he needed it. I’ll be more useful with the next part!

January 2 2017

It’s been a long time since we did any work on renovations. We’ve been distracted by other things. So we decided to take advantage of our day off and get some more done on the closet.

We had moved all the renovation stuff into the closet to create more space during the holidays, which means we had to move it all back out in order to keep working.

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Once that was done we finished ripping everything off the last wall.

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Next we tackled the floor. We originally planned to keep the floor because it’s from the original house, which is neat, but it turns out we’re not going to. The entire house is uneven so every room needs to leveled, which means ripping the floor up. Plus, the floor isn’t in great condition and doesn’t really match what we’re going for, so long story short we’re getting rid of it.

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It didn’t take too long to rip it up once we got going. I used the hammer and tiny pry-bar to lift pieces at the end and then Tom got in with the long pry-bar to lift the rest.

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Under the one inch slats we found some sort of weird patterned tar paper had been nailed down.

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It wasn’t hard to get up, Tom just found a corner and lifted and it came up through the nails in big pieces, and that’s when we made our most interesting discovery yet! The floor had been covered underneath with newspaper. They were all newspapers from 1943 and 1944, so a lot of it is stuff about the war! We thought it was really interesting so we did the extra work of ripping up ALL the nails in order to try and save as much of the newspaper as we could.

 

That’s where we stopped yesterday. Next we’ll either put up the insulation on the outer wall before ripping the floor up, or we’ll start ripping the rest of the floor up and leveling it and then we can do the insulation after we put the new sub-floor down. It will be up to Tom!

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Nov 8, 2016

I’m covered in dust, which can only mean one thing: bustin’ up lath and plaster!

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Supplies:

  • Pry-bar/hammer
  • Heavy duty garbage bags
  • Polytarp-super
  • Duct tape
  • Staple gun
  • Step ladder
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Gloves (I use them, Tom is brave enough to be bare handed!)
  • Masks (it’s really dusty!)
  • Work boots (we wear our work boots any time we’re working, I’ve already been saved by mine twice!)

Taking down lath and plaster isn’t very exciting. We use a pry-bar or hammer to get a hole in the wall and then pry each slat off. The slats burn really well so we keep them all for the fire pit. Plaster and insulation go in the big white garbage bags. Twigs and leaves go in the garbage too. I’m not really sure why they’re in the wall…I’m always worried we’re going to find animals, or even worse, spiders! Tom always deals with cobwebby parts for me 🙂

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Dust gets EVERYWHERE; in our hair, on my glasses, up our nose and in our throats (even with masks) and it floats through to the rest of the house like crazy. We try to clean as we go, but the dust just stays.

We used the staple gun to hang polytarp, in what will likely be a futile attempt to keep too much dust from getting everywhere. We taped the bottom of the polytarp to the floor to really try and seal it off. Now we can work on the rest of the room!

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Master Bedroom Recap

So much work went into the bedroom, but I’m going to try and do a quick recap, and only go into a bit of detail about interesting stuff, like the fireplace!

Here’s the quick list of work we did:

  • Clean all the junk out of the basement
  • Put everything from the second bedroom into the basement
  • Move everything from our bedroom into the second bedroom
  • Rip up the carpet in our bedroom
  • Tear down the wall of the shared closet between the two bedrooms (as well as all the closet shelves)
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  • Tear the lath and plaster down
  • Tear the floor up
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  • Level the floor
  • Put sub-floor down
  • Put insulation up
  • Hang drywall

Once we were done all that Tom went to work on building pocket doors. The house is so small we don’t want to waste space with traditional doors. There are two doors in the bedroom, the one that leads to the living room, and the one that will lead to our walk-in closet (currently a second bedroom).

For the doors to the living room we got a bi-folding door so that we could create French style pocket doors. I forget exactly what we used, a combination of pocket door kits and some of Tom’s inventing to get the whole thing together.

The door to what will eventually be the closet is a traditional pocket door.

After the doors were done (as done as they could be at the time) Tom went to work on the fireplace.

First he had to build something to sit it in. He left space for the venting and underneath he left space for a shelf. Then he installed the fireplace. After that we put drywall up, and then the stone!

  • Paint
  • Floor
  • Put up all the trim (baseboards, doors, window)
  • Do the electrical
  • Move back in!

Typed out like that makes it seem like it took no time at all, but it was almost seven months from start to finish! We weren’t working on it all the time. There would be weeks at a time when we didn’t touch it. Living in the second bedroom made it less urgent to get everything done all at once.

We still have stuff to do. The trim needs to be painted. We need a headboard, side tables, lamps, etc. but we can sleep in front of the fire and that’s exciting!

Now we’re moving on to the walk-in closet. Hopefully it doesn’t take as long!

 

November 6, 2016

Now that we’ve finished the bedroom (in the sense that we can live in it, there’s still work to be done) I had the idea to start keeping track of the renovations!

I have all the pictures from the bedroom stuff, so I’ll try to backtrack a bit and see if I can remember exactly what went into it, but I’ll likely just be posting the new stuff!

The closet is our next major project, this week we’ll start ripping everything apart!

This is my first post and I’m not exactly sure what to write. Obviously it’s a blog, so other people can read it, but I mostly just wanted a spot to keep track of our DIYs.

“Hello” to you if you’re reading, hopefully you find something you enjoy!