Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just like the Shoemaker...

Except the Shoemaker's elves snuck in during the night and worked while he slept.

My elves snuck in and painted primer/sealer on our upstairs rooms during the day while Kim & I were at work. Better light for painting then.

We were surprised and absolutely thrilled. Those elves worked all week, doing what would have taken us a few weekends at least.

One of them even tackled the almost impossible task of getting two teenage boys out of bed before noon during spring break, then took them to the new house and gave them painting lessons. Cole & Shea can now say they not only picked out the colours, but also painted their own bedrooms.
Here's Shea's...
...and Cole's.

Those two busy elves certainly deserve a nice long holiday in a warm climate.

Have a great month in California Mom & Dad (aka Grandma & Poppa).
Love you and thanks for all your help.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Primer, Paint & Indoor Plumbing

We're coming into the final stretch now. According to the bank's appraisor we have 75% of a house. I have a feeling that that last 25% is going to be a killer. (When Kim was tearing his hair out over everything on his plate and glaring at me calmly flipping through design mags I kept telling him "don't worry, my turn will come" - well, it's here) We're trying to save money wherever we can and one of those places is the walls & ceiling: priming & painting to be specific.

The drywallers were supposed to be finished by Thursday, giving us lots of time to prime & paint the rooms where cabinets were being installed the following Monday. Naturally, there was still one guy there Saturday, finishing up.

After a long, frustrating and ultimately un-productive attempt to rent a paint sprayer, (including an encounter with a confused & surely Home Depot employee who really shouldn't ever be allowed out of the tool crib to talk to customers) we bought a small sprayer and the whole family got to work Saturday, cleaning up and covering windows in preparation for the big primer spray event.

When my Dad stopped by to say hi I asked him if it was possible to temporarily install one of our toilets as the builder of the house next door said they no longer needed the porta-potty we'd been sharing. (Guess it wasn't doing much for their curb appeal, right in front of their front door) The next thing I knew he'd sent Kim off in search of toilet-installing supplies and shortly after we had working indoor plumbing. No privacy, no sink for hand-washing but much better than running outside in the rain or dark to use a plastic out-house. One step closer to civilization.
(I do have a picture of it but, uhm, it's being used - you really don't want to see that)

Dad stuck around and my Mom soon joined him so we had a full painting crew. Cole assembled the sprayer and I read the instructions (how would males function without a female around to read the instructions), then the rest of them got it loaded up and ready to paint. Before Kim or I could try it out Shea had taken command of the sprayer and, with Poppa giving directions and doing the back-rolling, the two of them had soon finished a large room. Nothing like a new gadget to get the guys doing some work.

We always seem to be barely one step ahead, realizing at the last minute that 'this' needs to be finished before the next scheduled thing can happen. We decided it would be best to finish all three coats of paint before the cabinets were installed so we had to make a quick decision on the white for downstairs. I had been to Benjamin Moore with my window frame, cabinet door and chunk of granite for help choosing an appropriate off-white so had already narrowed it down to two (Cloud White or Cloud Nine), so it was just a matter of painting two sample swatches to make the big decision. Kim & my Mom were our jury and they both agreed Cloud Nine was best. I pointed out - just to make sure Kim was fine with it - that Cloud Nine has a fair bit of green in it. We had a little bit of panic when we'd cut in around the ceilings and it looked like a stripe of light lime green against the primer. Fortunately once the whole area was done it looked like white again.
The rest of that weekend was spent frantically painting.

Amazing how much brighter everything was when it was primed.

Shoe as paint-tray.

Late Saturday night, after we'd started packing up I noticed a place on the vaulted ceiling where I'd missed cutting in. Too tired to haul over the tall ladder or refill a small can, I grabbed the full paint tray and climbed onto a stepstool. I was teetering on the edge, stre-e-e-e-tching to reach the farthest spot when Kim started yelling. "What are you doing?" I peered up at the wall, trying to to figure out what I'd done wrong. Did I use the wrong colour? - Not possible, we only have one open. Wrong wall? No, both of these walls are going to be this colour.

Tired brain was still trying to sort out what the yelling was about when foot sent up a signal - "I'm getting a little damp down here". Uh-oh. A waterfall of paint was pouring out of the full tray, and cascading over my shoe into a growing puddle on the floor.
Didn't need the paint tray after that, there was enough paint on my shoe to finish the job.

Thanks to the help of Grandma and Poppa we finished the kitchen just as the delivery guys showed up with a truckload of cabinets on Monday morning......

which almost completely filled the living room.

And this? This was just plain weird.

Who forgot to tell the weatherman that this is Vancouver?! And it's March?!

We don't get SNOW here on March 9th! Crazy stuff.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I've received a couple of complaints that I'm taking too long between posts, especially with things finally looking interesting (too busy working at the the house to sit here blabbing about it) and a request to "forget the words, just post pictures of the kitchen, NOW"

So, here we are................

And that's all you're getting for now.

I know, what a tease.
But I need to get to bed, busy day of painting & tiling (and admiring my new kitchen) tomorrow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Paving stones & Pergo

Lots has happened in the past 2 weeks but it's hard to keep the blog up to date when your teenager is so good at procrastinating that he's been monopolizing the computer every evening doing last-minute homework. (is procrastination genetic?)

OK, where to start?
At the top.
Now that the drywall has been delivered in through there we were able to put the window in the right way (Did anyone notice that it was installed backwards all this time?) and get the grey-coat on the last bit of naked wall.

Then this cute little bobcat got to work smoothing out our front yard.....

...like this.

And now we have a driveway.

Does it look fantastic?
It better, it came with pretty fantastic price tag.
We just about had a heart attack when we saw the bill. It was so far out of line from what we were expecting that Kim phoned to complain and headed to the site to measure & double-check the square-footage. When the company's owner heard that he had his employees re-measure too. Then he called back with a revised total which worked out to 150 square feet less than they'd originally charged us for. Just an honest mistake? If so it was a pretty big one, equivalent to a room 10' x 15'. It sure pays to be diligent.

What I'm really happy about is that now I won't be sweeping up buckets & buckets of sand from inside the house every weekend.

The mudders have been busy, making stripety-type stripes all over the house.

They promised me they would be finished by Feb. 27th so I scheduled our kitchen delivery for the following Monday. Big surprise - on the 26th they told us they would need another full week.
So I had to delay the kitchen - again. I'm sure they think we're just pretending to be building a house, we've had to re-schedule so many times.
Turns out to have been a good thing because shortly after that I realized that we had a floor to install before all the cabinets can go in. I'd forgotten that we'd changed our mind about having concrete floor in that one room that didn't take kindly to being ground and polished (it looked like crap and I didn't want to take the extra time to start from scratch with the course grinder & have to go through all grits again).

The drywall delay left me one weekend to buy and install a floor so it was a good thing I noticed some fax-spam at the office last Friday. The 'King of Floors' was having a moving sale. I headed there first thing Saturday morning and scooped up a fabulous deal on some Pergo flooring. Kim was in Whistler having a well-deserved couple of days on the slopes so I was just a bit nervous making such an important decision without his input but it looked pretty good for fake wood and he sure couldn't argue with the price. By the time he got back Saturday night Cole & I had cleaned & scraped the 'mud' blobs off the floor, and started laying out the foam underlay.

Cole brought the boxes in, which is why they were stacked like a giant Jenga tower.

This is how far I got by bed-time Saturday night.

After a leisurely late start Sunday I managed to get it completely finished and Kim & I covered it up just in time for dinner at Grandma's house. Doesn't look too bad, if I do say so myself.

I have another 'relaxing' weekend planned: Have to buy handles for our kitchen cabinets, then we'll be covering our windows and cleaning walls so we can spray primer on them before the kitchen gets installed this Monday. No More Delays! I'm a little nervous about seeing the kitchen because I think I went way overboard with it. I'm afraid it'll be too big, with too many cabinets and that the island will be ridiculously huge. Wait a minute, does that sound crazy? Is there such thing as too many cupboards? too large an island?
Anyway, there'll be enough room for THREE kitchen helpers at dinner. It's time those boys (all 3) learned how to cook.