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29 Jan 2010

Wow! Does the Front bedroom ever look swanky!

Woohoo, Turquoise Mist! The front bedroom looks real fine! You can't even see where all the holes were! Nice. All thanks to Dave!

Momo was a HUGE help today, we did a ton of packing - I was totally off with my previous 92% business.

My Dad was also a trooper - 103 boxes were moved in the minivan. LOTS of work.

I look forward to actually moving tomorrow. Now everything is packed, so we don't have much left her to live on!

Will try to post pics tomorrow....


Help is on the way

So I did not finish packing last night. I am not a night person.
I did have a good sleep though, and got up quite early, and now I'm a lean-mean-packing machine, I should have it wiped out soon.

[As aside - How will I know its morning when its still dark outside and I don't have the gentle rumble of the subway to let me know its ok to get up?? New house is too far from subway to feel its minor earthquake every 3 minutes. Hrmm. I suppose I'll hear buses. Great.]

Yesterday at the ranch, Dave primed painted the front bedroom. Oooh. Ahh. Adrian patched the dining room (parts of? There were a lotta holes in the dining room! I'm not sure how much got done last night, I was at the old house), and put the 2nd last coats of mud in the kitchen/living room. Oh, except that one spot in the living room, it needs like 3 more coats. :(

Also, I prepped the kitchen, it just needs one more layer of mud, and then its ready for painting today. Am sore today, from all the sanding - that darn green trim wasn't taking to primer very well, so I roughed up all the trim in the kitchen.

Dad and Mo Mo arrive in ~3 hours! w00t!

28 Jan 2010


I didn't get all the packing done last night. :( But I do think I'm like 92% there.

We already had birthday noodles this morning for Adrian, and now we're heading over to the house to SAND sand sand. Wet sand??? Dunno....

We didn't even have coffee yet this morning...everything is so packed.....oh dear.

27 Jan 2010

Packing. Not renovating, PACKING!

Today/last night/tonight is all about the packing!

Turns out Adrian doesn't agree that I have a hidden drywall spackling talent, so I've been relegated to unskilled labour.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the kitchen ceiling is now patched, and I believe its getting mud-ed today. The third (and in some places second, boo) coat of mud has been applied this morning, and this evening, hopefully the next coat can go on where needed.

Adrian will be working on the dining room holes this afternoon.

Oh, newsflash - there is a wee bit of mould in the middle bedroom. Well, isn't that a nice birthday surprise for Adrian! So the middle bedroom is officially on the wait list, we have to poke some more holes in its wall, and see if there is a leak, or if the wall is wet on the other side. Cross your fingers its just a surface problem. (Although that doesn't make a ton of sense, the house is pretty warm and dry?). We had planned on ripping out those walls and insulating eventually anyway, this just forces our hand to do it earlier.

Painting scheduled to begin tomorrow. So I suppose that means tonight is for sanding. Yes, tonight is for sanding, where possible. But not for me - packing is for me. I am off tomorrow, so I can be at the house doing what needs to be done - I would REALLY like to get packing done today.

My Dad is coming (yay!) Friday, so if everything is in boxes by then, it will magically move itself to the new house, we don't have to worry about it.

We've come to 14 trips to a homestore today: we ran out of plaster. And I didn't tell you about the time Adrian went to buy more drywall.

24 Jan 2010

This post is bought to you by the number 12

and the letter "M" for "mud".

I believe I'm at 12 trips to a home store now. Bought a ginormous can of paint for the trim, and many more cans of primer. And a drywall knife! W00t!

Its all coming along. Most of the front bedroom has its first coat of mud, and most of the living room has its first coat of mud - except where Ad is going to pull out the 1/4" drywall and replace with 3/8", due to our excessively thick ceiling in that area.

We've draped the kitchen, and Ad will start on the patch for the kitchen ceiling tomorrow night. And I better get myself in gear and finish the ceiling in the front bedroom in the mean time - and since mudding and taping the patch is faster than the cutting and screwing of the patch, I should have time tomorrow night.

Am SO tired now.

23 Jan 2010

Workin' in a coal mine, going down down down, workin' in a coal mine....

We are in for a heap o' trouble! We work all day, and only the front bedroom is patched. And by "patched", I mean little squares of drywall are screwed in - none of that other jazz is done yet. And the ceiling, it is still a big hole.

This is what the hole from yesterday looks like now, and this is what the wall-vent looks like now! I have to say, very swanky, it was looking pretty sketchy originally.

Poor Dave has realized we're unlikely to be done before we move in, and again has offered his services, to help paint later in the week. Thanks Dave!

Today I tried to kill myself with fumes from epoxy, so we could lay down one more coat. Not that it needed it, we just did it to be through (I really did have to run outside at one point [or more] and gulp some fresh air). I draw your attention to the shiny reflection of the flash off the floor in front of the dryer - OH YEAH!

I also spent an hour or so getting the little bits of backing off the ceiling of the middle bedroom, where those plastic glow-in-the-dark stars were. A tip - DON'T EVER EVER PUT THOSE DAMN THINGS UP. Its seriously annoying to get off the backing without ripping the drywall paper. I also had my share of mineral spirit fumes from this encounter. And there were OODLES of them. Which I can see doing, since that room was so dark, with only a wee little knob-and-tube light scone on one wall. But now we have a nice overhead (to code) light fixture, we no longer need stars to light the darkness. I'm actually not done it all yet, I was re-prioritized. I suppose I'll finish it tomorrow.

22 Jan 2010

Holy Holy Holy

If anything, our house is holy. Hahha, ok, I mean holey.

Yikes, there are soooo many holes. And I anticipate they're going to take some time to fix - they have to be sawed out to rectangles, drywall has to be cut to the exact shape, then tape the edges, then plaster, then plaster again, then sand, then prime. Then paint and paint.

Seen here, is one of the holes in the front bedroom (before being cut out to be a nice rectangular hole). Adrian actually patched it tonight, making it the first patched hole (sorry, no photo). How long did it take? Why, only 2 hours. Wait, that is only the drywall, and does not included the etc etc etc to do after that.

Oy vey.

Whew! How can this all be done by the time we move in?!? I think we're going to be out of luck, in that regard. We'll be living in chaos for a while.

Future plan: we're going to leave the future master bedroom totally alone, and I think in the next month (or, let's be more serious, the month after that) Adrian is going to completely re-drywall it. At least this allows us to put some insulation in, not a bad thing!

20 Jan 2010

The "Dave Room"

Well, its been a tough slog (mostly for Dave), but our basement is near complete, and I thought it would be fun to do the reveal now, since I haven't posted any pics lately.

Our basement started out sort of spooky and dirty, and full of efflorescence. It was the sort of the place maybe one would use for a torture scene in a movie, but not the sort of place you'd want to hang out and fold laundry in. Dave made it a personal project for himself, and scraped down all the walls, and then began to put highly fume-y epoxy on the walls

But NOW, its shiny and LOVELY!

OOOOOOooh. AAAAAaaah. (The crowd goes WILD!). Its all nice and clean now, and it will be easy to give a quick mop or wipe down to should it need it. Also, this epoxy should keep out any moisture from getting through the concrete and into our lovely basement. Well, that coupled with some eaves trough work to be down in the spring. (I am moderately obsessed with leaking basements, and quite expect our to leak if we don't follow our plans. We plan to build shelves to put storage on, so if it leaks, at least things are off the floor.)

Favourite Quote:
"Dave, what would you think if we painted the basement stairs red?"
"You can't do that Corrie! It will look like a whore house in here!"

Electrical Update:
Adrian went to the home store last night to buy supplies to start repairing the multitude of holes there are due to the electrical work, total number of trips to 11. There are sooo many holes in my beautiful living room walls...and all the other walls....oh dear....I think this patch work is going to be more trouble than we anticipated!

Tonight is for Adrian to start patching, me to stay at the old home to pack. Tomorrow I will go to the new home and begin the sanding of the patching.

19 Jan 2010

Chinese are hard workers

We didn't do much on the house today. I showed up around 7:30pm, Raymond Wong's crew was just leaving. Raymond Wong stayed until about 8:00 when Adrian got home, and they went over what had been done in detail.

Man, those guys sure did a lot in one day! There were numerous holes in the walls, and all the switches seemed to be off and hanging. Apparently Raymond said since they had squeezed our job in they might have to leave for a few days (a good chance for us to put one last coat of epoxy on the basement, eh?), so they would be working until 9pm to try and finish, since he knew we had to move in soon.

Those dudes are hard workers. I've said it before, I'll say it again - Chinese work hard for their money, man.

17 Jan 2010

Disaster Strikes!

We were SO excited to be finally putting the second coat of paint on the first wall we would be DONE with, have spackled, sanded, spot primed and put two coats of paint on....when disaster struck.

Adrian and I stepped back, admired our handywork - the upper shared wall was now a nice 'Gray Beard' colour. I went downstairs to spackle the wall joist I had previously destroyed, when I hear Adrian shout "Oh no!".

I ran upstairs, and to our dismay - bubbles had started appearing in the paint! The largest being about the size of a toonie, the littlest no bigger than a pin head - but there were loads of them. WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT?

Dave popped by just then, so at least we had a witness to our woe. We think that despite all the old paint cans in the house being Latex, maybe the Huangs hadn't painted over this wall ever (without Adrian's doogig, it is rather hard to reach), and so maybe there was oil paint underneath.


We we peeled up the paint where the bubble was, leaving a huge gaping paint-hole. Then came more sanding - very very hard sanding, I might add, because we kept it wet, so there wouldn't be dust everywhere, since we were priming the lower common wall at the same time. Yes, we decided to prime anywhere we weren't absolutely sure was Latex. Bah.

So we had to buy another gallon of primer. This brings us to our total # trips to 10. While we were at it, we also bought a new faucet for the tub, since the one in our upstairs bathroom didn't work at all.

Oh, and breaking news - my BEST HUSBAND IN THE UNIVERSE has seen the light, and we will be painting the plate rail in the dining room black. Oh yeah!

Electrical update - "Raymond Wong" will be starting tomorrow! Is it sketchy he can start so soon, or did he really move around other jobs to accommodate us? We shall see....

16 Jan 2010

Saturday Night Fever

Today, Saturday, more spackle-sand-prime-etc. for me! We actually managed to get one coat of paint (Gray Beard) on one of the walls of the upstairs hallway.

The basement still isn't dry yet, so we up'd the furnace 68'F, and let it alone. Tomorrow I am going to do laundry down there, come hell or high water, so it had better be dry!

Adrian made a clever doogig too stand on while painting the hallway - its the wall above the stairs, so as you can imagine, its hard to reach to do the taping and whatnot, without a million dollar ladder.

We actually took Saturday night off, and had dinner in our new local pub - the Old Nick. is rather pub-ish (as can be expected), but the beer is excellent, and the waiters are friendly.

Sorry for the lame post - this would all be better with pictures, but I gotta run! Painting calls.

15 Jan 2010

Once I starting SPACKLING, it's very hard to stop!

I could spackle forever, spackle until I drop!

I laid into another corner - Mr. Chisel got a wee bit carried away. I caulked it tonight, tomorrow will be spackling nightmarezone again. I continue to find places I could apply plaster to, continuing my neverending cycle of wipe-plaster-sand-wipe-prime-plaster-sand-....

So it turns out, mebbe Frank isn't our bff... we like the sound of this "Raymond Wong" character. Raymond Wong quoted to do the same work as Frank, but half the price. And me likes. Raymond Wong doesn't seem to sketchy (we are crossed sketchball "Patrick" off the list).

So I believe tomorrow we'll call up Raymond Wong, and we'll engage him to be our new bff electrician.

Poor Dave had a wee bit of an adventure today. We had given him the key to the backdoor, and this afternoon when he was coming in, he dropped it underneath the back stairs. Poor Dave, he tried moving the stairs (they are concrete, but there are only 2), he went out and bought grabbers and magnets, all to no avail. Finally, he called Adrian, who came home and let him in. So, this forces us to do something we were planning on doing anyway, but probably would have put off indefinitely - new locks!

Yes, that's right HUANGS - you can't come in and steal our caulking gun anymore! The Huangs left us with only like 2 keys, me thinks they were holding back on us. So we have foiled their evil plan, and ahead of schedule. HAH!

14 Jan 2010

More o' the same

So tonight I wiped down the walls/ceiling in the living room with a wet rag, and then primed over the areas I had plastered.

In doing so, I noticed about 4000 more areas that could use ya......its rather disheartening. I think I will have to let some of them be. I did put another layer of plaster on some of the area where the wall/ceiling meet (where we ratcheted out a big mess), and I filled one nail hole that was missed....but I left all the other bumpies.

No progress pic today, I was in it, and ruined the stitching. Looks about the same, but there are more white splotches. Man. Those white splotches take time! I am sort of sore now, from all the ceiling work today.

The basement floor is about half done courtesy of Dave. We had to buy another can of epoxy (total # trips to home store = 8). See photo:

Does it not look beautiful?? Oh yeah!

Discoveries for today:
  1. There is a taxidermy shop a mere block from our house. Beat that for convenience! W00h00!

12 Jan 2010

Hobnobbing with TV Stars!

Oh yes, that's right, Frank [as seen on Holmes on Homes] is our new best friend. He came by tonight to quote us to fix our dodgy electrical.

He wants to rewire our whole house. Yikes. That's a lotta dough! But he also says if we fix the kitchen and bathroom, we're pretty much ok. So...probably we're gonna do that, for now. Will keep you posted.

Frank drives a Porche. And he seems like a nice guy - very chatty. And he's single, ladies!

To sum up:
  • Basement walls are now all epoxied - I spent a couple of hours+ slapping on as much as I could, because we had about 1/6th of a can extra. I am now surprisingly sore. Ooch.
  • Dave of course spent all day painting the basement. W00t!
  • Epoxy is smelly.
  • Running total of trips to a home store: 7
  • Oh, have I mentioned? If we ratchet up the hot water tank to MAX, it is acceptably hot.
  • I MISSED American Idol premiere. :( AND I can't find the download of it. That was my master plan, just download it. So sad.
  • We worked until almost 11pm again tonight, tomorrow is also our sleep in morning.
  • Richard came and saw the house! First friend to see it! Woohoo!
Tomorrow is our rest day. The day I was supposed to be catching up on my idolatrous television.

11 Jan 2010

I think I love Patch Cement

Perhaps I have mental problems, but I really enjoyed patching various holes in the basement with patch cement tonight!

The basement is all scraped down, in preparation for the big paint tomorrow. Dave is a madmen, there's no stopping him! We went and bought fancy epoxy for the basement walls/floor, no water or critters will ever find their way in when we're done, man. [Bringing total # trips to the home store to 6]. Eh....we might drop dead from the fumes....but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

OH, hilarious - stuck up between the joists and the wall at the edge of the basement ceiling were old underwear and shirts! I hope Dave or Adrian has a picture of this, it is super funny. Our house perhaps lodged some sort of perve, there was a least one pair of ladies underwear stuffed up there. Hahahha. I suppose that was what one did before spray-foam?

"Well, I don't need these underwear anymore."
"Here, let me plug a draft in the basement with them."
"Good thinking!"

I also did a wee bit more spackling in the living room, probably need to do a wee bit more after some dry time and some sanding.

10 Jan 2010

Day 2: It wasn't so bad

Today I spackled and spackled and spackled and sanded. The living room has no zone that is without little bumpies in the paint, I swear. Jeesh. And we busted out a rather large area where the wall meets the ceiling in one spot, it had been spackled (puttied? whatev) in a super messy way and painted over. We discovered the chisel does a good job of getting out old paint drips and bits. I am a chisel-master now.

The living room still looks the same, but with more white dots (where the spackle is, patiently waiting for paint). And I have started this process on the front bedroom, where the trim is not just green, its mint-green. Yum. AND, there are tons of places the mint green in on the wood floors. We may just leave that for now.

Dave and Adrian worked in the basement most of today. Its looking good. No pictures...I hope Dave has some, they are really going to town down there. Man, Dave put us to shame - we were tired and wanted to stop for dinner, we could barely pull him out of the basement!

Oh, breaking news - no lead paint in the basement! Whew! I was worried last night, so we did a lead paint test before they boys started work in the basement.

The electrician did come, but I was out buying cement, so I missed him. No real news, apparently he is going to send us a quote tomorrow or the next day. Tomorrow, Paul the electrician (Lucanor's electrician) is coming before we go to work, so I will be puttying before work for maybe an hour or so. Sheesh.

Number of times to a home supply store: 2 (total 5 trips this weekend). We have now been to all brands of store BUT Rona, including Home Hardware. In fact, today's "2" trips both are actually Home Depot/Home Hardware combo trips, so its almost like 4 trips!

9 Jan 2010

Day 1: No where else I'd rather be

So it has occurred to me this evening as I putty the random holes in the baseboard of my new living room, there is no where I'd rather be. With my honey in my new house starting our remodeling - hells yeah!

Although I bet in about a week its going to get old. Or maybe by tomorrow.

So it goes!

Here is our "before" shot of the living room:
Have I mentioned I hate green trim? Oh yes. And there are miles of it in this house. For now. Its all soon to be "Gypsum", baby!

See that door on the left? Gonzo. Adrian already took it down.

They left us some nice bamboo. I think that's because they are Chinese, and are being nice. Or they just forgot it. Meh.

We're painting trim first, since it has a low likelihood of having to be ripped out to replace our dodgy electrical. Speaking of which - first electrician we booked to quote us did not show up today. Well, he sounded sketch on the phone anyway, so we're not too broken up. Our next fellow is due tomorrow. He does not speak English, so we expect some deals, yo.

Here is our 'end of day 1' shot of the living room:

Not too much has changed. I've filled in most of the random holes in the trim with putty, leading to the discovery that my putty knife is HUGE, and way too big to do this kind of thing, leading to me using the 'winging it with my finger' method. Oh wait, am I supposed to tell people I am doing things like that?

We also cleaned out the kitchen/fridge/stove, its not like we were sitting around at any point in the day!

We had several more discoveries today:
  1. Our water pressure is ..... uh, terrible would describe it well. I prefer to think of it as 'retro'.
  2. Our hot water is ... very warm. In our current house its more 'burn your face off', so 'very warm' I find insufficient. I am campaigning to turn the water heater up the last notch tomorrow. Cross your fingers that is hot enough.
  3. Our fridge is big and lovely.
  4. Our stove seems very turbo-charged. Mmmm.
  5. Ceiling of the living room is yellow. Yikes. Barf. Hello, 'Gypsum', here we come! So there is more ceiling painting in our future than anticipated.
  6. They left the glow-in-the-dark stars on the [lavender] ceiling of our office. How thoughtful.

We also had some surprise paint changes. We changed 'Knight's Armour' to... oh heck, I forget. A different gray. And we decided to paint the kitchen afterall, so we decided on a colour in about five seconds for that....

Am very very tired now.

Tomorrow my Realtor comes over, and we start on the basement.

(Number of trips to home supply store today: 3)