Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 14…but not.

Y'all.  Y'ALL.  I have been sick.  I mean….thought I was going to die sick.  If you remember in my last couple of 31 days posts I mentioned that I'd been fighting a cold.  Well, that cold decided to return and wreak HAVOC I tell ya.  I ended up on 4 antibiotics and a crazy amount of bed rest.  All in all, it was about 3 weeks from start to finish of this cold turned sinus infection turned horrible migraines.  Did I also mention I'm pregnant?  

Oh man…I was so excited to be sticking to my guns with this 31 days thing.  I was actually doing it every single day, staying up late and writing and feeling like I was actually accomplishing something.  Ya know…for all my millions of followers.  

Actually, it was really just for me.  To set a goal and to achieve it.  Yes, I'm type A.  Yes I like making lists and scratching things off my list.  And this 31 days thing was huge on my list.

But getting sick caused me to do NOTHING.  Literally. My hubs ordered me to bed and took care of {mostly} everything.  But this last week as I've finally felt human again, I've had to catch up on everything else: massive piles of laundry, house cleaning, bills, etc.  The blog came in dead last on the priorities list.

All that to say, I am back!  And I will spend the next couple of days wrapping up the reno.  Stick around…it's gonna be good. See y'all tomorrow!  (and because I like to tempt you to come back…here's a sneak peek of our living room after the reno was complete….)


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 13

Confession:  I skipped a couple of days writing!  BUT…it was Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday, and I just couldn't stop everything to write.  And then yesterday my cold decided to come back with a vengeance.  So I am writing through a cloud of tylenol and diclectin.  Forgive me.

Today we are talking about appliances!  

Man-o-man.  WHY in the world are there so many choices when it comes to appliances?  I'm a woman and I like shopping as much as the next lady, but c'mon…sometimes we just need fewer choices to make the whole process easier.  

When we started shopping for appliances I was given the measurements of what sizes I needed from my father-in-law, who designed our kitchen.  The first place we hit up was Boss Wholesale Appliances.  They refurbish high-end appliances like Bosch and they work strictly with new appliances that have been dented/damaged during transport: dishwashers, fridges, etc.  

While we were hoping to get most of our appliances from Boss, we were only able to find a fridge that worked with our dimensions.  However, we saved a whole ton of money!  I wasn't overly specific on what kind of fridge I wanted, but we were doing SS and I knew that I loved the french-door style.  I also really, really did NOT want the water-dispenser on the outside.  (We've had the water dispenser feature before and my lovely children seemed to constantly get water on the floor).    We were quoted $2,299.99 for a brand new fridge at a "regular" store.  But at Boss we only paid $1150 for this stainless steel Samsung fridge:

We ordered pretty much everything else from Trail Appliances.  We needed a dishwasher, a gas range, and a microwave (WHY are microwaves SO expensive?!).  All in, we spent $3181 on those 3 appliances that were brand new.  The "splurge" was definitely the dishwasher.  It was only $750 but that was relatively expensive compared to the others I was looking at.  It has the hidden buttons so no kiddos can turn the cycle on or off.  And it also has the stainless steel tub on the inside.  But the MAIN THING is this: my dishwasher can hold THREE 9X13'S.  At the same time.  Did I mention I have 3 boys and a husband who are eating me out of house and home?  To be able to wash that many big things at the same time means 1 thing for me:  no standing at the sink and scrubbing dishes.  The splurge was worth it!!

I am not going to put pictures up of the appliances inside the house.  Yet.

Speaking of the house, let's get back to it, shall we?  

Come back tomorrow!! 

Hope you're feeling better than me!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 12

So I'm still sick, thanks for asking.  But I'm gonna be ok.  You know why?  Because my husband comes home tonight after being in Guatemala on a missions trip for 10 days. I'm so glad he was able to go and I'm so excited to hear all about what God is doing in the orphanage he worked at.  Selfishly, I am also glad to have my best friend back.  

On to the house!

There were certain things my husband left up to me to pick out.  Actually, pretty much everything.  But, because he's in the building industry, he knows way more than me. Which is super helpful!  We looked through a brochure on front doors (boy are they expensive!) and ended up deciding on one from good 'ol Home Depot.  Here's Ryan installing the front door.  I think this was at about 11pm one night after he'd worked all day on the house.

I liked that the front door sorta matched the style of the garage door. 

Helpful hint:  
Lowe's, Home Depot, Ikea, and Costco got a fair amount of money from us during our renovation.  Listen, this is not our forever house. This house was specifically a flip.  Well, a 2-5 year "flip."  And so we didn't want to spend a fortune on the best of everything.  If you're doing a renovation or a flip house, I would highly suggest getting it settled inside of you that you don't need the best. You just don't.  You won't make money when you spend $1,000 on a custom door rather than $300 on one from Home Depot. I'm just sayin'…

Ok, tomorrow I'll be talking appliances and I'll share where we "splurged" and where we saved (big time!).

Hope you have a great day,

Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 11

Oh y'all.  I'm sick.  Like the throat burning, ears ringing, nose dripping kind of sick.  And I feel like doing just about anything but typing on my computer.  My bed is calling me.  BUT, I am gonna do my best to get my head out of this fog and at least throw some pictures up of our house after the siding and old windows were all taken off.  And as I mentioned, my throat really hurts, so I'm not gonna do much chatting, k?

All of the siding was taken down because…well, because it was gross.  And the windows were all single-pane windows, which means that they provided little-to-no insulation.  We then had to order new ones.

That's my bro-in-law, Jordan.  Hi Jordan! Thanks for giving up a Saturday to work on our house!

There are 3 of my kiddos doing who-knows-what with their cousin.  (Hey Noah! Don't fall out of that window!)

Here's the house after the new double-pane windows were put in and the black-paper stuff (again, that's the official name) was wrapped around the house. She's already looking like less of a dump isn't she?

You may have noticed our new front door…more on that tomorrow. 

Here's the house before, just so you can remember with me:

Ok, it's bed time for me.  (sniffle cough cough)


Friday, October 10, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 10

When you buy a house, you always have a list of requirements, right?  Things like: must have 3 or 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a nice sized yard, and a decent kitchen.  Our list was fairly broad, considering that we knew we were going to have buy a lemon and fix it up.  But one thing we knew we had to have: a garage.

If you look back at day 1, you'll notice that there's no garage.  There's a carport.  Have a look:

Ryan took a break from the inside to work on getting the garage all squared-away.  He framed it in first:

That's Ryan's employee, Will, working on our house. Hi Will!

Now it's all wrapped up in the black paper-stuff (that's the technical term for it.)  Actually, my husband is away on a missions trip in Guatemala right now so I can't ask him what the paper is actually called.  But it's necessary, that much I do know.  

After we had it framed in, we ordered a garage.  Which, by the way, was super hard to do!  I had no idea there were so many choices!  Did we want windows?  No windows?  How many windows?  An insulated door or a non-insulated door?  A wooden door or a fiber-glass door?  Ryan, the sweet guy that he is, left it up to me to choose.  So I did.  And, of course I picked the most expensive one: 

Ryan stepped in at this point and said, "ok.  you can choose one on THIS page of the brochure.  This is the cheap page."  Ya know how once you get an idea in your head any other thing looks mediocre?  Yeah.  That stinks.  And it took me a longer time than it should have to pick one out.  But, I have to say, I do like the one we ended up choosing.  Here she is:

I was able to keep the windows that I liked but we opted for a cheaper, fiber-glass option.  It's perfectly fine and achieves the look I wanted without the cost going through the roof.  It's also super quiet, which is handy for those napping kids.

Tomorrow we're gonna take a look at the house after the siding was all taken off! It made an immediate, awesome difference.

See y'all tomorrow!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 9

Today we're gonna talk about really feminine things.  Things that make every woman's heart beat faster and makes her smile get wider.  Yep, you guessed it:  roofing and framing.

Ok, so those aren't feminine things at all.  They're not even fun things.  But, in a renovation, they're necessary.  And I can't remember a time in my life when I was ever so excited to see a new roof on a house.  Until I saw it on our dump of a house.

So here's the thing about a roof: it's like your protection from the elements.   If you're renovating and you have a bad roof...what's the point of renovating the inside?  If it rains, it could potentially ruin all that beautiful hard work on the inside.  So, you gotta get that roof taken care of FIRST.  And we did!

Luckily, we picked a beautiful non-rainy Vancouver week  to have the roofers come and work on the house.  This is one of the few things we did hire out.  NO REGRETS there!

Ryan took off the fascia boards before the roofers came.  (No idea what I'm talking about?  That's ok...I had no idea what they were either.  Look at the base of the roof-line and you'll notice that on the left there's half of a white board missing. But above the ladder the white board is there.  See it?  That white board is the fascia board.)

Anyways!  Ryan took them down before the roofers came.

Here she is half-way through the new roof being put on:

And here is an after picture of the roof all done!  Also, I don't know if this is true everywhere or just in British Columbia, but the roofers also put on the gutters and drain pipes.  Which seemed odd to me, but it was perfect! Unfortunately, as you see in the picture below, they were initially installed in black.  We ordered white.  So they replaced them one day, no problem-o.

Besides roofing, framing is the other thing that makes a woman's heart go pitter-patter.  So you can see in the above picture that our carport is now enclosed in black paper.  That's because we turned it into a garage.  Bam! Framed it in. Oh yes we did!  It's super small, mind you, but we could theoretically fit my Ford Flex in there.  If I didn't care about my kids opening their doors and hitting walls.  Or if I didn't care that I might have to crawl in through the sunroof.  Call me picky, but I do care about those things.  So our garage is used for storage at the moment.  And it's lovely.

Tomorrow I'll do a full-write up on the garage and I'll snap a quick pic to show you what it currently looks like.  I'll even try not to straighten it up so you can see it "for real" and not photo-shopped.

Have a beautiful day and I'll see y'all tomorrow,


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 8

Yesterday we left off with the upstairs of our house pretty much torn apart.   Today we get to move downstairs to see what it looked like after the initial demo-process.

Do you see that toilet in the corner over there?  Spoiler alert: my oldest son's bed now sits in that exact spot.  I like to remind him from time to time that his room is actually a bathroom.  He doesn't think it's funny.  But hey, he's only 9.

Are you a visual learner?  I am.  So sometimes I need help along the way.  For those of you like me, here's a reminder of what that bathroom area looked like before:

Now moving onto the laundry room, which was actually to the right of that bathroom.  We found all sorts of goodies behind the dryer including, but not limited to, books, bugs, and dust:

Here's a picture before we took out the washer and dryer (which we sold, by the way!  For $600!).  It was the oddest little nook to shove a washer and dryer into:

This was the kitchen area:

Here's a before of the kitchen:

Honestly, the downstairs was such a mess, and the layout was so confusing, that it doesn't make much sense for me to do many before/afters.  So I'll just show you the torn apart pictures in order for you to get a feel of what we had to work with:

So there's the downstairs all torn apart and ready for something to get done!  

Come back tomorrow!  We're gonna talk framing and roofing. Girl-style. ;)


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 7

Today I am going to show lots of pictures without tons of explanation.  Hopefully the pictures can do the talking for me.   :)

But first I should be honest with you and tell you that these pictures were taken after about 3 days of working non-stop on the house.  Walls were removed, plumbing turned off, electrical wiring re-configured (so we could still have power without killing ourselves), and lots more you don't even want to know about (like getting those toilets out of the house and into the dumpster. GROSS). 

You may be wondering why, in the midst of the demo, are there still drapes on the walls?!  Well, that was my brilliant husband's idea.  He shut them every night so people couldn't see in and either get nosy or else try to steal power tools that were left on the job site.  And since we didn't care if they got dirty or not, I was fine with those cat-hair infested drapes to stay put.

This is what was once the master bedroom:

Old master and bathroom:

See those black spots on the floor?  That's no good. It's rotten floor and had to be torn out and replaced (eventually).

These are the other 2 bedrooms.  That bedroom on the left is the only room in the whole house that was left un-touched (except for paint color).  It's getting ready to go through another "mini-reno" process as we turn it into a nursery for baby #4!

Here's a random funny fact for ya:  as we took the walls down, we found out that they had been insulated with NEWSPAPER.  I mean, I am no construction guru (that's my husband), but even I was laughing at the discovery of newspaper in between all of the walls.  I wondered if those poor people froze during these Canadian winters!? Like I said, random.  But I thought maybe somebody would get a kick out of it.

Well that's about it for today!

Tomorrow we move downstairs so you can see what it looked like after Ryan and his guys got all of the walls removed.  Think....gross.

See y'all tomorrow!

Monday, October 6, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation: Day 6


Sorry, I didn't mean to yell.  I'm just so excited to finally begin showing the actual renovation process.

So here's how it happened:  on November 2nd we got possession of our dump house. We immediately went to town on the demo process.

(***First thing in a reno: you need a dumpster.  We got possession at 1:00 pm and had our dumpster delivered at 1:01 pm).

The first thing we did was rip up the carpets and the laminate flooring.  And yes, I did actually help with that.  I got to put on a mask (the previous owners had indoor cats and I'm allergic) and then pulled up most of the carpet and under-lay all by myself.  The guys had bigger and better things to do.  Like tear down walls and use power tools.  Every bit of the old house went into that dumpster.   And at the end of day 1 demo, here's what we ended up with:

[That stud in the white hat is my hubs.]

Just to remind you, here's what it looked like before from that same view:

So those walls are gone, the floors are gone and it's a full-on construction site!  

***Money-saving tip***
We opted to keep the old fridge and kept it plugged in for the guys.  They kept their water bottles and their lunches in there.  It turned out to be a smart idea because in the end, we probably saved a lot of money by Ryan bringing leftovers everyday rather than running out to grab a quick lunch.  We also saved the microwave for heating up food.  After the reno was done, we sold the microwave and moved the fridge into the garage where I now use it to keep all of my extras.  (Because when you have 3 growing boys, one fridge just doesn't seem to cut it.).

Sadly, I don't have more pictures of the end of our 1st day in the house.  I think I was too exhausted to think about anything but sleep.  But don't you worry!  Come back tomorrow for pictures of the rest of the upstairs.

Have a beautiful day,