Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crown Molding

This past week Dave, along with our amazing friend Rob, installed the crown molding on the main floor.

It is amazing what a deadline and a little motivation will do ;o)


Considering we started the kitchen renovation in the summer of 2008 - five years ago! - it is quite rewarding to finally see the last piece of the vision fall into place.

Our Ikea cabinets suddenly look a lot like custom built cabinets.

Just a sneak peak for now...

The whole house is getting painted this week and then I can finally start sharing 'After' photos.

Yes, after five long years of renovating, we are *this* close to being done!


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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Front Entrance: Take Two

When we first planned the front entry, we had the romantic notion that a bench with two large drawers would be sufficient storage in our tiny entry way.

We were organized people, we could keep our shoes tidy, right? Wrong.

Over the past year, we quickly realized that two drawers would not make up for the lack of closet space in our front entry and thus have procrastinated on finishing the bench.

So shortly after we found out that there would be a new member joining our family, this happened:

Yes, Dave broke down and tore out the bench he had so lovingly built from scratch.

We headed to Ikea to gather inspiration for a new solution for the front entry. One that offered a lot more storage.

We had planned to build something new from scratch but we were surprised when we found several pieces at Ikea that would work with the dimensions of our room and would allow us to finish them to look 'built in'.
Godmorgon Sink Cabinet

Hemnes Sink Cabinet

Tarva 6 Drawer Dresser

But when we saw the Hemnes 8 Drawer Dresser, we instantly new our storage problems were solved.
Hemnes 8 Drawer Dresser

It was almost the exact dimensions we required to fit under the window - a little too tall but nothing sawing off the legs couldn't fix - and it offered 8 drawers of storage! Eight! That was two drawers each, one for the dogs and still one to spare!

At $299, the price was a little high for something we would be taking the saw to so we checked kijiji and found one listed for $100. The top was scratched - not that it mattered since we knew we had to build a custom top to fit our space - so Dave was able to talk them down to $80. Sold! We could not have bought the lumber to build our own for that price!

So now we this:

We both love how perfectly it fits the room. It actually looks more suited to the room than the bench. Especially once we switch out the cheap Ikea knobs with the luxurious bin pulls we bought from Restoration Hardware.

Dakota Cup Pull

And the best part - it offers three times as much storage!

Now all it needs is a little paint.


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Monday, August 12, 2013

The List

So now that we have a deadline (only 154 days to go!), we have once again turned our full attention to completing the few outstanding projects around the house. Over the past couple months we have already managed to check a few items off the list but of course we have also managed to add a few items to the list.
"To Do"
Install bathroom door
Install trim around vent pipe in bathroom
Paint interior doors
Paint inner front door
Install closet doors, everywhere
Install door hardware, everywhere
Install powder room window and hardware
Install stair railing
Touch up stair railing
Complete drywall in linen closet
Install linen closet shelves
Build Install office shelves
Paint Build office desk
Build spare bedroom desk
Paint front entrance
Complete front entrance bench
Tear out front entrance bench
Complete front entrance cabinet
Get front door and dining room windows repaired
Install crown moulding on main floor
Install baseboard on main floor
Paint main floor walls and trim
Complete fireplace mantel
Install gas insert in fireplace
Paint windows
Touch-up paint, everywhere
Remove and replace siding, on the entire house
Replace eavestroughs
Rebuild front steps
Complete furnace inspection
Build concrete patio and sidewalk
Complete french drains for the eavestroughs
Fix downspout
Complete raised flower beds in the front yard
Fix raised flower bed in back yard
Complete irrigation system
Build bike shed
Complete electrical inspection again
Fill nail holes in hardwood floors
Complete trim on exterior of house
Complete brick on front steps
Complete concrete edges on front steps
Install mail box
Install juliette balcony railing
Replace all the plugs with tamper proof plugs
Install return air vents
Install hooks in the main entrance
Install bathroom fixtures in powder room
Install blinds in spare bedroom
Install dining room light fixture
Complete shingles on roof
Fix shower curtain rod in bathroom
Build compost bins
Seal wood deck
Seal concrete deck and sidewalks
We should have some progress to share shortly!


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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Our Next Project

We are very excited to be setting out on our next big project: we are adding on to our house by two feet!

Estimated completion: January 2014


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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sea Kayaking Part I, Belize

The boat from Glover's Atoll dropped us off at Thatch Caye on the Coco Plum Range where our sea kayak and gear was waiting for the next week of kayaking and camping.

We sorted our belongings and set up camp. The campground on Thatch Caye was set in a grove of young palm trees at the northern tip of the island with two pretty beaches. The campground  is operated by the friendly people of Thatch Caye Resort which occupies the southern end of the island but is far enough removed from the main resort that the majority of the time we had the area completely to our selves. There was three hammocks, a laundry line, beach chairs, a picnic table and outhouse at the campground plus access to the bar, restaurant and showers at the main resort. Camping cost $15 US per night - pretty reasonable for our own private beach!

To test out our new boat, we set out across the channel to Man of War Caye. The Caye is a bird sanctuary for the frigates and boobies. The island was barely 10 m long and 5 m wide but was covered in hundreds of birds. Needless to say the island stank!

Returning to our camp, Dave decided to test out his fishing gear with no success. By time we got organized and made dinner, we were completely exhausted and more or less headed straight to bed.

The next morning we packed up camp and the boat for our first day of paddling. We set out south past the Coco Plum Range and Ragged Caye.

Halfway between Ragged Caye and Hangman Caye, we discovered a reef with a ship wreck on it.

After about 8 nautical miles, we reached Billy Hawk Caye. We were welcomed by the friendly Belizean family that owned the island and were able to sell us cold cokes and beer to go with our lunch.

Dave decided he wanted to continue onward, so after lunch we packed up the boat and headed towards Bread and Butter Caye. However once we arrived we found out that they were currently not allowing camping on the island so we spent an hour snorkeling in the reefs surrounding the island before heading back to Billy Hawk Caye.

Back at Billy Hawk Caye, we set up camp. Once again we were the only people camping. The campground had hammocks, laundry lines, picnic tables, volleyball court, outhouses and a shower, a beach on a beautiful little lagoon and two docks. There was also a covered kitchen and dinning area and some small cabins on the far side of the island. Camping cost $10 BZE ($5 US), beer was $5 BZE ($2.50) and coke was $3 BZE ($1.50 US).

After setting up camp we treated ourselves to showers, nachos and rum and cokes while we enjoyed the sunset. It was much deserved after a long day of paddling! Almost 9.6 nautical miles!


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