Completed projects:

roof, kitchen, master bedroom, main bathroom (sans shower tile), fireplace, hardwood flooring, windows, office, front entry, stairway

Ongoing projects:

shower surround, dapping/painting woodwork, ensuite vanity/lights/mirror, painting outdoor trim, finishing front entry tile work, interior door painting and hardware, decorating

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One year recap and some questions answered.

One year ago, I recieved a call from my neighbour Janette, asking me to come over so she could give me some wonderful news.

I still have the original bulletin from the Yarrow MB Church. The bulletin that opened the option wide open requesting nominations for an Extreme Home Makeover - Yarrow Edition. The very bulletin that Janette took the time to respond to on our behalf.

So much has transpired in the last year. The proof is in the pictures. Generous professionals and DIY's came forth to help us tear down walls, install windows, replace broken things, all in a grand effort to get this house functional AND beautiful.

Today, I'm proud to say, we've all achieved our goals.

The house continues to need abit of tweaking here and there. In some cases, we are waiting for trades to become available and in other areas I've delayed the progress for areas I'm responsible for. However, this is an easy wait. Most living areas are pristine and beautiful to live in.

The decorating has also begun! That is the icing on the cake. When you can really make your home uniquely yours with the finishing touches.

Abit of a recap... basically this house has had every square inch of it touched in some way. Some walls had been stripped to the studs in some areas. The floors were plywood. Alot of wiring was exposed. Massive chunks of drywall were cut away to allow for new updated wiring. A major wall was completely removed. Plumbing was dealt with. Windows were replaced. Old tiles were smashed in order to remove their existence for new ones. No stone was left unturned. This house took alot of hard work by some very good people.

Over the last year, I've been asked alot of questions about the project. Here are some of them.

*Were you living in the house while it was being renovated?
- Big yes! Depending where the current mess was, stuff was simply shoved from one room to another to allow work to continue. It was messy and confusing, especially when the kitchen came down, but we managed with flying colours! The trick is to just not take things too seriously. So what if your socks won't come clean ever again? Get new ones, ya know?

*There comes a time when you 'lose it' when things get really crazy. Did you reach that point?"
- Of course. I'm only human. However I can truly say, I didn't allow whatever that was to stick around for too long. I pushed through the tougher moments and took off camping here and there last summer when I needed a break. That worked out awesome!

*How did Cody cope?
- Cody is my hero. I distinctly remember one day while riff raff was floating through the air and we no longer could keep anything we wore clean, I asked Cody, "So, how do you feel about living in this messy house for right now?" His reply was, "I don't care Mom. I'm hungry. Can we eat soon?" Gotta love it!

I think he coped alot better than I did. One day I was on the grumpier side when Cody piped up, "Mom, I know you're just upset that everything is dirty." He amazed me. He didn't take my pouting personally. He's my rock star.

*Do you notice a big difference with new windows?
- I noticed RIGHT away that the house was quieter! And it's a pleasure to actually stand in front of a window when it's windy out. I avoided going near the windows before due to cold drafts. And the sun just doesn't glare in like it use to. Yes, they've made a massive difference in not only functionality, but beauty as well! I LOVE these windows!

*Are you getting curtains?
- LOL one day. I'm working on it! I actually have some new blinds I had fitted into some of the old windows and they just need to be recut to size. Now I just have to do it.

*Have you done your front entry tile yet?
- LOL can I skip this question? I'll be honest. I don't love to tile. I have to force myself to just do it, and then the groove kicks in after. Sometimes the groove doesn't kick in at all. Other times, I'm going full speed ahead but then I get sidetracked. Whatever. Pick an excuse and that's why. Honestly, I'm waiting for a rainy weekend with no kidlet to ask me to cook for him in order to continue on. Tiling requires numbers for me. And numbers require thinking. I need quiet to think THAT hard. :)

*Are you going to have tile in your shower surround?
- See the above excu... er, reasons. The tub is in full usage mode as is, which is somewhat unfortunate, because I'm not very inspired to just do it, ya know?

*Have you found lights for the kitchen yet?
- Sure, but they're outa my price range. So I'm looking for something unique and price efficient at the same time. I'll find it eventually. I actively look all the time.

*Do you like your wood floors?
- The hardwood flooring was from Costco and it is to DIE for! I love it! It cleans up very easily! You can indeed see some dust and wet dog foot prints at times, however the colour is medium so it's easier to keep clean than a very dark wood. I love it!!

*What about the dog?
- We do have a dog and I'm careful with not getting her too wound up so she doesn't scratch the floors. I clip her nails and then take sandpaper to them as much as I remember to. For the most part, she's a calm dog and doesn't razz too much. Some scratches do show but they aren't totally stare at them obvious.

*Is everything the way you thought it would be?
- Most things are BETTER! I do have a fairly good internal visual so I can see things quite accurately before they're done. Some cosmetic decorating things I may change in the future here and there, but for the most part, I'm loving how everything is coming together.

*What are your favorite things?
- I have many! But I'd have to say the layout of the kitchen turned out awesome. I LOVE the open floor plan and the three windows and double french doors. And a pleasant surprise was getting rid of the ugly massive vanity in the main bath and replacing it with a small pedestal. That right there was such an outstanding difference for such a small thing! The room feels twice the size now. Just say no to big honkin' vanities, folks! Oh, and my new office. I adore that pine ceiling and all those gorgeous white shiny mouldings and that ugly fire pit thing gone! And the way the wood floors turned out. Perfection! And I love that you can sit on both sides of the kitchen island. And the white mouldings galore. And the covered brick on the fireplace. And the new toilets that WORK. I don't know where to stop. I love it all.

*Are you nearly done with the house?
- I'd have to say the end is in sight. Now if I'd just keep it up... lots of dap and moulding painting, the staircase, tile work, drywall repair downstairs, repainting downstairs... minor stuff in all honesty compared to what has already been accomplished.

*How do you like your new gas top stove?
- melt... I adore that thing! It is fun to cook with an open flame. The cooking is fast and accurate, things tend to be moister. Love it all.

*Advice for any other renovators?
- Sure. Lots. How long do you have? I love telling people what to do. Ok.. seriously, the best advice I could offer up is, try to pack up as much as you can and move it OUT of the house into a storage of some sort. It was really tricky trying to work on the house when you had no where else to push stuff because every square inch was pretty much being worked on all at the same time. My friend Dan offered his trailer and I didn't take him up on the offer. Had I known then what I know now, I would have asked how soon could he tow it over here. And, purge purge purge. Get rid of stuff. I hit the poor local MCC more times than I care to admit.

Did I miss anything? Probably. So if you have anything you'd like to know or ask, feel free to comment here and I'll come back and answer. I won't comment on monetary things or about sponsors who wish to remain private, however I'll try and answer all I can.

Anyway, I want to thank so many of you that continue to follow the progress. We aren't done yet and I'll still be adding as we go along. I've also started up a new blog called Funky Junk Interiors where it pertains to all things decorating, so I'll continue to share the finishing touches in that area.

Coming soon too will be a list of all the sponsors that have generously donated for this project. They deserve some recognition big time!

Thanks again to all those involved in the project to date. Cody and I are thoroughly enjoying all the massive efforts made, and not a day goes by I don't look somewhere and remember a fond memory that has me cracking a smile once again. So many great memories are embedded in this home!

Our lives continue to grow and just improve with time! Makes you wonder what else is just around the corner...

Next up: sigh... that entry tile. Yeah yeah I know...