Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

First off... A very happy New Year to everyone.  May you realize precious goals this year and find blessings as you work towards them.

So here we are, our first New Year in the house.  Yesterday evening, we had friends over to ring in the NewYear with us.  It's great to have a spacious home for hosting groups in, and we're taking advantage of that often. 

As a neighbor who did a self-build home about 10 years told us, "there was zero adjustment time".  From the first real meal and sleep here, it's felt like our space.  I think that's largely due to the many hours we'd already spent here.  At the same time, it's hard to believe it's already 3 1/2 months!

A lot has changed since we moved in.  Here are some then/ now pictures:

Kitchen: real countertop, and backsplash. New appliances.
In the kitchen, permanent countertop is here.  The backsplash is finally tiled (but still awaiting grout).  New appliances have arrived, and are in use.
A work station in the kitchen is functional.  The bookkeeper has to get back to work on what this project has cost.  No more excuses.

Powder Room:  the addition of some art & a small shelf.  Removal of industrial hand cleaner!

Loft:  custom entertainment center from reclaimed pine with thanks to Dennis's carpentry skills.

And a few pictures without progress comparisons.

 Master bedroom (photo taken in great haste, please pardon the clothes being selected for a weekend bag) & ensuite.

At midday.

A break with our tradition, we have a "live" Christmas tree.

Note that we have railing along the stairs now, much to the disappointment of certain younger, active family members, but to the greater safety of our youngest friends.

Here's hoping that when we file our T1's this year, the CRA finds in our favor and we can upgrade the loft furniture!
While we're upstairs, here's a quick peek into our teen's rooms and their bathroom.

Meanwhile, things are changing on the outside too.  The temporary stairs have been replaced with much sturdier ones with a bonus railing.

A very noticable change, Dennis spent several days unhooking utilities, removing skirting, separating the porch from the main dwelling and jacking up the house trailer in preparation for moving it off the yard.  To add to the challenge. it would need to be moved entirely in reverse!

There were some tense moments, and literal rough patches, but it went well. The trailer is parked on the pasture, waiting for us to secure a new owner for it.

I'm thinking that if we ever have to do this again, we'll just bring in a tough gal to shoulder the load & carry it away without worry or fuss.
Something we get questions about is the way the drywall is trimmed back from window and door openings.  Concise answer: economy.  We knew that off-the rack trim would be exceptionally pricey or look very fragile in this house, so this would be one place where we'd likely spend time to save money. Then we discovered the problem of the SIPs making a thicker exterior wall than construction standard, meaning there would have been a few thousand $$ cost to have the windows built with custom width frames so we could even consider aforementioned ready-made trim.  Stay posted to see how Dennis makes custom pine trim that keeps the cost down, and looks fabulous.

In parting, here are close-ups of my current 2 favorite pieces of artwork.  In case you misssed them, I hung both pieces before even the kitchen was properly unpacked.  Directly and indirectly, they are products of high school art classes, one celebrating the joy of art and the other the special friendship of siblings. Obviously, both make me smile.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


But not as in the day of the in change of location day!

That was yesterday.  I cooked supper in the new house last night, and we all woke up in the new house this morning.  Seems our friends are very excited.  Don't get me wrong, we're happy, we're thankful for all friends who had time on very short notice to lift and carry furniture, and for the friend who borrowed us some temporary countertop that he's not using just now.  Along with that, we feel a little relieved to be into the house in fall so we have time to do a few other very necessary things before winter. 

There are still lots of little evening projects and many of our conveniences have an inconvenient element today--and will continue to for a couple of weeks. We're going back hourly to the "old house" to collect more things that weren't in the first batch to migrate.  However, it's unanimous, we'd much rather be in the new house with some of our things than still in the old one with all our belongings. It's SO VERY good to have come to this stage in the journey.  Amazingly, the move was only 2 days off our ambitious, optomistic target date.  Lowering our standards of what consitutes "done" helped! :-)

Hope I can get some pics up soon for those who can't come to see it!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The pictures

Here's a quick look at the laminate,
ceramic tile,

and granite.

I'd like to say I finished tiling today, and I did reach a milestone.  I finished all the large tiles:  floors & bathroom wall.  In a week or more, I'll start agian with small tiles on the kitchen walls.  That has to wait until the cabinets and countertop are in.  Until then, there's grout to do, boxes to pack, tomatoes to can and more apples than I care to deal with (which really isn't that many...I'm just not feeling motivated, considering how much pie filling I still have from last year).
The cabinet installation seems to be coming along well.  Here's a couple pictures from the end of work today, a first peek at the kitchen.

The island install is done.  The rest of the cabinets are ready for all the pretty trims: light rails, crown mouldings, and toe kicks.  In the next few days we'll be shopping hard for the countertop, and scouting for just the right drawer pulls/ door handles.

We are having a lot of conversations about what needs to be done before we move.  Turns out the list of things that must happen after we move, but before freeze-up is the pushing factor now.  Dare I hope for moving within a week of the optomistic target date?!?