Thursday, September 27, 2012

Primed and ready

You hear people say this a lot: A can of paint can make a world of difference. So how about 30 gallons of paint?

Right this very minute, Chris is in PEI and is painting the entire interior of the house. He flew down yesterday, has rented a paint sprayer, and he and his mom are there the whole day today. Hopefully they have enough paint (well, actually it's just primer at this point) and can get the whole damn thing done in a day.

I made him take the camera, so we'll see if he remembers to take some pictures.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Open for business in the bathroom

So just as we hoped, we managed to finally cobble together a working bathroom before we left the island. After a couple of days of tiling and grouting, the floor was in and the shower walls were finished. So we called a plumber and had them come and install the toilet, shower fixtures and vanity/sink. The day before we left to drive home, we went up to check it out. It was strange and wonderful to see clean, white, new everything in there. And clean, clear water in the toilet bowl (a surprisingly exciting development!) and coming out of the faucets.

There are still plenty of details to finish in here, like:

* Install baseboard trim
* Install a new window
* Install window trim
* Hang a shower curtain
* Hang a towel bar and some sort of storage on the wall
* Put a door on the room (there was a crappy old hollow-core door there originally, which is now gone; the space issues demand an outward-opening centre-split door)
* Install a baseboard heater (in the more distant future)

Anyway, here is the room's progress:

The tub, as found originally (note the bucket catching drips where the roof leaked)

The tub again

Self-explanatory, but not the gross moldy insulation that was falling through the ceiling


At the beginning of the demo process

The ceiling as we found it

The plumbing gets replaced

New subfloor and insulation, and the new tub in place

Floor awaiting grout

Tub and tiles in place, floor tile laid but not grouted

Ta da! A toilet and sink! And they work! Oh, and I primed the walls (this pic also shows why a shallow vanity was important)

Finished shower tiles and installed faucets (might have to do something about that rather sad showerhead in the future)

Look! Clean running water!

The cute vanity

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kid Concerns

One of the reasons we find it hard to get a lot of work done on the house when we're in PEI (aside from the fact that we're supposed to be on vacation) is the kids. The place is a real construction zone, and hardly a safe place for a 2-year-old, 5-year-old and 8-year-old to play. There's lots of space for them to run around outside, but not much to keep them busy for long. Thankfully, my ever-helpful mother-in-law Gloria has been taking care of them a lot.

Today was the first time they've been there for longer than just a few minutes. While I finished up the bathroom tile, they played outside. So Chris got sidetracked and I lost my tiling assistant. But for good reason, I suppose. He quickly cobbled together a makeshift treehouse for them out of scrap wood. Andrew spent a long time up there with a pencil, drawing who-knows-what (my guess? aliens!). Behold:

Pretty bare bones, but young kids are easy to please. Andrew and Cameron also spent some time exploring the house some more. I could hear them in the basement checking out what all was down there and making up all sorts of imaginary things.

My latest plan for kid fun at the house is something I found via Pinterest and can't stop thinking about. Here's the inspiration photo: 

via here
 All over PEI you see these abandoned boats, from big fishing boats to little dories, sitting behind barns or in the middle of someone's yard. Now it's just a matter of finding one (ideally for free) that I can park on our property and fill with sand. A large enough boat could even serve as a play structure for them. Just think of the pirate games they could act out. Ahoy!

Vanity Affair and Bathroom Progress

So, one year ago today I wrote this post. It's funny to look back at that, because we're not much further ahead now. It's also funny because I talked about my plans for the bathroom, and had purchased a vanity and faucet. I was in a rush to get to the Fun Part last year, and so I ran out and bought a bunch of stuff we weren't quite ready for. Now that we really are almost ready to install it all, I've gone and bought different stuff.

It turns out that the vanity I bought was too deep (I should know better than to not measure properly), so that if you were sitting on the toilet your knees would be pressing up against the vanity doors (hmm, maybe this would have forced certain members of our household to spend less time in there). The bathroom is much smaller than I had remembered. So, off to Home Depot I went yesterday to buy this same vanity my mother-in-law has in her tiny powder room. It's teeny-tiny (only about 10 inches deep), but modern, and has a bit of storage for toiletries or tissue. I like it because it's clean and simple.

So since I bought the new vanity, I also had to buy a new faucet to suit it. I'll never find the link amongst the 700+ faucets on the Home Depot site, but it's very similar to this one (also simple and modern):

I'm also no longer completely enamoured with the splashy floral shower curtain I talked about in last year's post. While I do still love it, the reviews on the Urban Outfitters website say that the colours bleed when it gets washed. So I'm looking at other options, and a wide horizontal stripe in a fresh colour is really appealing to me right now. But obviously a shower curtain is something that can easily be changed, so I'm not worried.

But the big news is that we're almost finished tiling the bathroom. My mother-in-law and a family friend spent two days tiling the tub and shower in May, and Chris and I finally tiled the floor today. We'll go back in another day or two to grout it, but here's a sneak peek of both:


As soon as the grout is in and dried, we hope to get the plumber back to install the toilet, sink/vanity and shower hardware. And then finally, finally, we will have a functional bathroom. Just in time to leave it sitting there for another year. *sigh* In the meantime, we need to dash out and get some primer and basic white paint and get that done in here before the toilet and vanity are installed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Drywall done. Now what?

I hope to get better at filling the long, forced lack of news about the PEI house with chat about projects around our "real" house and other design-y things that catch my interest. But let's catch up from the end of last summer and see where we left things at the house back in August, shall we?

In a nutshell, the drywalling is all done and the walls and ceilings await paint. Seems simple enough, right? We can do the painting ourselves! It's easy, and relatively cheap to paint a house. In reality, the thought of rolling on a coat of primer and likely two coats of paint in every single room is going to be a lot of work.

Also, and this is a big also, is that there's still no functional bathroom. So spending lots of time up at the house painting room after room is going to be pretty tricky without a toilet. Which brings us to Priority #1: Get the Bathroom Finished. There is some news to report in this area, but first I'll post a bunch of photos that my mother-in-law took of the finished drywall at the end of last summer. For your viewing pleasure:

Walking in the back door, looking at the open dining/kitchen area

Standing in the dining area, looking towards doors to basement and front hall

Mudroom/laundry (see appliance hookup to the right)

Kitchen nook that will make up the bulk of the prep area. (Don't mind the appliances floating in the middle of the space. They mostly worked when we had the inspection done three years ago, so we hope they'll still work when the time comes.)

Standing in the doorway to the front hall, looking back towards the dining area. Doorway to mudroom/laundry is on the right. I had the electrician put a junction box centred over where I think we'll want the dining table.

The living room, still full of piles of trim that we hope to salvage

Standing at the top of the stairs, looking down towards the front door

Looking into the master bedroom (with funny little nook to the right at the end)

Another view of the master bedroom
The boys' bedroom

The spare room

The "rainbow" room (named for the old rainbow wallpaper that used to grace its walls)

One side of the bathroom
The other side of the bathroom, with the toilet on the left and the sink connection on the right
Lots of encouraging progress, but still lots to do before the place is livable for a family with three kids. Like I said, the first priority this year will be to get the bathroom up and running. We also have a deal with the electrician that he'll come do all the connections now that the drywall is in place, and we'll pay him the second half of what we owe him for the entire rewiring job. Once the electricity is working and the bathroom is functional, we could theoretically stay in the house....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rooms taking shape

More riveting drywall-in-progress photos! Woo! It's been a few days since these photos were taken, and we're heading back up there tomorrow. I hope to find lots more work done.

The other day we dropped off the rest of the bathroom-building supplies (tile, grout, light fixture, etc.), and the plumber had finished getting all the pipes ready to start finishing the room. The new bigger stack was also in place, now properly vented up through the roof. Thrilling stuff, I tell ya.

The drywall was almost complete (installed, but not taped and mudded yet) upstairs, and they'd just started the first few sheets downstairs.

The front of the house shows the (ugly!) new hydro meter for the upgraded power supply. When we paint the exterior, hopefully we can paint the meter and pipe to blend in better.

Above is the gaping hole in the bathroom floor (hi there, down in the kitchen!) where the bathtub drain used to be, and will be again. They'll have to build the floor up significantly when they finish the bathroom.

One of the bedrooms, fully drywalled. We'll be sanding down those old plank floors. Tempted to paint them white, but we'll see.

Andrew and Cameron's future bedroom (in my head, anyway). I imagine a twin bed on either side of the window.

Very anxious to see what we'll find tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Getting to the fun part

So now that we're officially at The Drywall Stage, I'm finding it hard to contain my excitement. I keep getting ahead of myself and planning things that, realistically, are still a long way off. But still, it's fun.

Here's where we're at. The whole house is completely insulated, with plastic vapour barrier also in place. The entire thing is also rewired, just waiting for the drywall to be complete before being all connected. When we arrived this week, we went over for a visit and found two workers hanging drywall. One bedroom was finished, and the other three bedrooms were partially done. Here are a few photos of what we found on our first visit this week:

This bedroom (above, the one that used to have the rainbow wallpaper) is all drywalled, ready to be taped and mudded.

This picture (above) makes me laugh. I think I told Chris to pick up a tool and make it look like he was actually doing some of the work. This is in another one of the bedrooms.

Here's the living room (above), all insulated and awaiting drywall. Note the giant pile of salvaged trim, which we hope to reuse. If we can use it, it'll be quite the jigsaw puzzle trying to get it all back in place.

The boys in "their" shared bedroom, checking out the view.

And then there's the bathroom. It's still only insulated, but the plumber had been over to move some pipes around, and was due to return any day to get more done. Apparently the vent stack wasn't actually vented up through the roof, and was also only about three inches thick. To be up to code, it's supposed to be at least four inches and he was going to replace the whole thing (not cheap, I'm sure).

Since the bathroom is the first room we're officially finishing, I did get to go shopping for fixtures, tiles, toilet, sink, tub and faucets. At Kent in Summerside, I picked up a very basic white toilet and tub, and decided to go with a small vanity, rather than a pedestal sink, to try and squeeze a bit of storage into the room. It's extremely simple (read: cheap), plain white with an all-in-one white counter/sink combination. I'll probably swap out the basic chrome knobs for some colourful glass ones. I bought a basic faucet with white cross-style taps for a tiny hit of vintage. Here's what it looks like:

The floor will be white hexagonal tile, which we brought from a tile shop in Ottawa. The tub surround will be white subway tile, picked up just this morning from Home Depot in Charlottetown. All classic, simple, white. Nothing fancy. Since it risks being extremely boring, I have my eye on some really colourful shower curtains, like this one from Urban Outfitters for around $40:

When I showed this shower curtain to my mother-in-law, she thought it was pretty, but said " have three boys." I gave her a puzzled look. I thought she was worried about the white background getting dirty? No, she was concerned about it being very flowery and feminine. I laughed out loud. I think, as a mother to three boys, I've certainly earned the right to a few flowers in my life. I said as much, and she agreed.