Tying up loose ends

March 23, 2009

We are officially getting down to the finishing of the renovations for now. We are just waiting on the floors to get done (April) and then we will put up the base boards and be finished with the front room, dining room, hallway and master bedroom. However; until the floors get done we are pretty much on hold for renovations – I have to put another coat of paint on the crown molding in the entrance and the bathroom trim and then remove the tape then I am finished for now.

We want to take a break from renovations but I don’t know if that will be possible. I have this issue with starting things – as soon as I start them I want to get them finished… A house is a big thing to start and to want to get finished quickly so I hope I can actually make myself hold off…I will send myself to the broke house if I don’t… its expensive to do renovations – especially if you start with nothing – By nothing i mean no tools or supplies.

I remembered my dad always had tools so when my parents were working on their home,  therefore it seemed a lot less expensive and I never took it into consideration. So, theres a tip for everyone – if you don’t currently own tools and want to do renovations – you have to buy them and they are usually expensive – if you do own a lot of tools – can I borrow them? (just kidding)

Anyway, It’s nice to take a look at the house and how far we have come since we bought it – it looks so different. I really regret not taking before pictures but it happens – I am not about to re-do all the things I undid for the sake of before pictures. I do have the initial pictures of the house with the old home owners furniture in it but its not the same.

Everyone keeps asking for pictures of the house – such as family and friends that live far away – but I just don’t feel like its done yet and I don’t want to post pictures when the house isn’t done. I still have pictures to put up (on my walls), walls to paint, wallpaper to tear (yes, more), carpet to pull, floors to replace and much, much more. I tell the picture requesters to come here and see it for themselves – this way I can explain what it looked like before and what it will look like when its done while they are looking at it, but they don’t understand.  Soon enough I will post the pictures on facebook and satisfy everyone – probably around the time I will decide to have the housewarming party… I just feel like its not ready yet.

Either way, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will my house – in good time it will get done and we will come out of it so much more experienced in home renovations and whatnot. For now we just are waiting for the floors and then brain storming until we are ready to move onto another room to renovate. I will keep everyone updated on the house warming party – around the time you see pictures go up on facebook, you will get the invitation. Have a great day and thanks again for reading…

“Spoken like a true homeowner”

March 22, 2009

Latley when I go anywhere I notice things about the place I am in that I never would have before. The things that I am noticing include the paint, the trim, the floors and all those other things that deal with decorating. Every time I mention that I like a color or trim – people look at me like I am crazy – they are probably thinking why would she be noticing something like that – I even comment on the type of trim or the quality of work or product they use – compliments only though – I would never insult someones craftsmanship – especially if they came to my house because I can’t even put up blinds when I have step by step instructions.

Either way, I think its good to be aware of my surroundings but I think I might be taking it to far… I really don’t need to tell the hair dresser that the trim in the salon is really nice and the colors really brighten up the room – its ridiculous.

After I get the funny look from the person – I explain that I had just bought a house and then I hear “Oh, Then everything you are saying is SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE HOMEOWNER” It’s getting annoying – Because I actually found someone helpful at Home Depot and mentioned it I am “speaking like a true homeowner” – thats not true – people that don’t own homes go to home depot too – and the service there sucks –  To find a helpful home depot employee is something to talk about…. Anyway I just wanted to get that off my chest… I think I am going to stop mentioning paints and such out loud to people – I can compliment them on something else or I can make small talk by asking about the weather. Either way, I am going to avoid hearing “ah, spoken like a true homeowner” by not mentioning anything to get people to say those words.

Painting doors and tearing carpet

March 18, 2009

Hello Readers,

Against my parents wishes (sorry mom and dad) we have taken down the old fashioned wood trim and put up new, modern, clean white trim…. by doing this we created more work for ourselves because we had to paint the old fashioned wood doors white – to match the trim. I started this project over the weekend but it has extended into my week because paint has to dry to put on new coats. I am hoping to get the doors done by tomorrow evening because I am expecting company this weekend and I wouldn’t want my company to have to shower with no door on the bathroom…

I know you are probably wondering why I didn’t go out an buy new doors-well readers I thought of it – and I went to look at prices. I looked at home depot during a door sale and did the math – at 70 dollars a door (without the door mount) – I need 4 doors, but I also would need to buy new mounts or it would defeat the purpose of not having to paint considering I would have to paint the mounts anyway… It would have cost me about 500 dollars with taxes and get this – I still would of had to paint the doors because they are actually off-white and don’t match the trim anyway…. So I have been painting doors – Now painting doors is not a simple process there are steps to doing it which are:

1. Remove door from mount

2. Sand the doors

3. tape the door knobs – or remove them and anything else attached to the door

4. Prime the doors

5. put 3 coats of paint on the doors

5. double check that you got the edges of the doors and remember they have two sides

6. Repeat steps 1-5 on the other sides of the doors

So as I was saying – painting doors seems easy enough to say but its a lot of time consuming, mind numbing work…. I wish I had more money and I would pay people to do these things for me – I am not even going to get into what a pain the door mounts are to paint – they need more coats, more patience and a paintbrush – its not fun.

Oh well these things need to get done and We are the ones who bought the house and decided we wanted to change it from old fashioned and full of wood and carpet to new and modern with hard wood floors and therefore we have to do the work…. This leads me to my next point

Before we bought the house – when we were viewing it – we peeked under the carpet to see wood flooring – that was a huge selling feature for us and we vowed to tear out that carpet and re-finish the floors – so we doing it…. We have torn out the carpet in the front room and the laminate in the dining room to reveal the wood floors underneath… But the floors need a little work their color – like the rest of the house is old fashioned so we looked around and had 6 quotes (yeah I am a stickler for the best deal) and finally found a company who will do it for a great price, they will be coming in mid April and we are very excited. The main point I want to make is tearing carpet out is actually quite fun – it gives you a sense of self satisfaction to completely destroy ugly carpet by ripping and pulling at it. BUT – Underneath carpet is carpet underlay and it is stapled to the ground – pulling the staples out of the ground is not as fun – but it needs to be done…..(that rhymes)

I have attached pictures of the disaster that is my front room with the doors on the floor – If you look underneath the doors you can see the floors  – they will be a lot lighter and less orange come April…. I hope you enjoy my doors, my floors and the mess (another rhyme – haha) – Also – if you can notice the colors on the walls I would love to hear what you guys think of them – I am not much of a decorator so I am very self consious about the colors I pick – I hope they are ok.

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Ode To Linda Camus!!!

March 10, 2009

I am writing this blog in appreciation to my Teacher, Linda Camus and to give anyone out there who buys anything some good information…

Now, I know you are all thinking that I am being a brown noser and whatnot, but I am not – just keep reading and you will understand. I want to thank Linda Camus for teaching me about the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards…Throughout this past week of renovations I have saved over 50 dollars at stores because of mis-marked prices.

For all of you who do not know – If a store has something mis-marked under 10 dollars – you get it for free, if they have something over 10 dollars mis-marked you get the mis-marked price – or 10% off…. Isn’t that amazing!!! There a lot more deals and such you can get – I have posted a link below if you want more information…I bet you are thinking that there must be a catch – well there really isn’t – you just have to wait a minute while store employees check to see if you are right and whatnot- but after that – you get the deal.

The first occasion this happened to me I saved 30 bucks. I was buying a compound miter saw from wal-mart, before I left to buy it I checked online for the prices in the area and saw it was at Wal-Mart for 79.99; however when I arrived at the wal-mart by my house it was priced, on sale, at 109.99 – I told the woman that they had advertised it for cheaper on their website – she called her manager to ask him to check and then I got it for 79.99….

The second time  was at Home Depot – we were looking at new lights for the hallways and I saw some nice ones on sale for 8.99 – If you have ever been to the light department at home depot they have the prices on the lights up top and by the boxes down below – I noticed that the below price was 9.99, but the above price was 8.99 – another mis-marked price!!!  When I went to buy these lights they came up at 9.99 and I informed the cashier that the lights were mis-priced  (and Under 10 dollars), she called the department to confirm and then I got two new lights for free!!! which would have cost me 20 bucks to buy!!!

So there you have it – THANK YOU LINDA CAMUS for teaching me about the Canadian Advertising code – It saved me 50 bucks this week!!!

If you would like more information about the Canadian Advertising code just follow the link below and it will take you to the main page! Enjoy

http://www.adstandards.com/en/standards/canCodeOfAdStandards.asp

Still Renovating

March 4, 2009

I am currently on my March break (yay) so I have decided to start renovating the front room. We bought a steamer and used it to get rid of the wallpaper (well worth it) The steamer worked great but it was still a pain.

The person that lived here before glued the edges of the wallpaper so after we removed it we had to use glue remover and get the glue off the walls, which is a very stinky and dangerous chemical, to say the least removing the glue was not fun. I hate to say this but I hope the people that sold us this place moved into a house that was loaded with wallpaper that they hated, and I hope the wallpaper is glued on with super glue,

The amount of work we are putting in to fix and repair the previous home owners mistakes makes me wish we never hired a home inspector. The reason I say this is because we are not only finding wallpaper glued onto walls, but we are finding mold and cracks that should have been seen by the home inspector. I am not impressed at all and I would suggest questioning the integrity of your home inspector when/if you buy a home.

Anyway, now that I got that off my chest I will move onto renovations…. we have had four quotes for the floors to be done and have finally found someone we liked that offered us a good price. The floors will be done at the end of March or beginning of April and we are very excited.

I will keep you posted on the renovations going on in the front room and I will put pictures up when it starts to get done. I would put them up now but the room is in shambles with no trim and half painted walls. We should be finished everything by April (including the floors) then the pictures will go up.

The “shoe room”

February 22, 2009

Hello everyone,

Sooo…. because we have recently moved in, we have not really “personalized” our house yet and since we have no kids (and don’t intend to have any soon-sorry mom and mother in law) we have named a room that we don’t really use at all THE SHOE ROOM… The shoe room use to be a little girls room – it is purple and pink and oh so pretty; the reason we have named it the shoe room is because it hosts a decent portion of my shoes inside its closet.

Now, I have a lot of shoes – I have over 60 pairs – probably 10 pairs that I have not worn at all and probably over 20 that I have only worn once. It is a bad addiction that I should seek help for – I have shoes that I bought new that barley fit me and hurt like crazy to wear and I keep them and wear them – its bad. I know its a problem and I am working on it. In fact I have not boughten a new pair of shoes in a long time and I do not intend to for awhile. Either way – my PAST shoe addiction has left me with many shoes and they are now sitting in 3 or 4 shoe racks in the closet of this room.

Since we have started working on the bedroom we have moved my dresser into the shoe room so I have been spending a lot of time in there (my clothes and stuff are in there). This is why I have decided to make it the topic of my blog this week. We really want to make use of this space are are unsure how to… We are thinking to eventually make it into a storage room – when we begin to collect things to store (other then shoes) but for now it just holds shoes. I don’t really have much more to say about the shoe room – Other then it also holds my purses. I decided to help myself detox from the shoe addiction I would pick up purse collecting – which I am getting off of too. (don’t judge me – we all have problems..haha).

If anyone has suggestions about what we can do with the shoe room I would love to hear them – I love suggestions, I am obviously not very creative ( I have a room dedicated to shoes for crying out loud) . I will be attaching pictures below of the shoe room (and the shoes – I am size 7 if you want to borrow some) this way you can help make suggestions a little easier of what else we can possibly do with this room. I hope you enjoy..If you look carefully you can see my cat in one of the pictures… 🙂001100410032

I have a love/hate relationship with advice

February 15, 2009

So, I recently had my mom and dad come visit for the weekend… My mom has been here before and we have heard all her advice on how to improve the kitchen and keep the house clean, she loves the kitchen she says its a good kitchen to make perogies in…I love my mom…she’s adorable. But, this was the first time my dad has come to see the house and Andrew and I were asking him questions about home improvement the entire time he was here. It was nice to have my dad here because he is the ultimate handy man, I swear he can do anything, its great.

We asked him about windows, floors, replacing everything, tearing out walls, plumbing, electrical stuff, painting, peeling wallpaper and much much more. The work we want to do in the near future is what we asked him most about, which is refinishing the floors. Andrew and I had intended to rent the giant floor sander and sand them ourselves and when we told this to my dad he almost fell over, he claimed that we can seriously do damage to the floors or possibly sand a hole in the floor if we try to do it ourselves.

He said he has done it before and it ended up costing him a fortune to rfix the one little mistake he made. He said “Nadia, If you hold that sander on the floor for as little as one millisecond longer then you have been holding it you will have an uneven floor – its just not worth it” Then he suggested we hire someone to do the sanding and said we should be fine staining and finishing it ourselves but he had to explain all of that to us as well.

After his visit he realized that we are hopeless and have absolutely no experience with any home repair so he promised to come and visit for two weeks in the summer to teach us about home repair, he also promised to help us build a cantilever roof and coach us through replacing the soffitt and fascia (I never knew what soffitt and fascia was or that it existed until I bought a house- if your wondering what it is, It is the stuff on the outside of your house by your eavestrophs I have no idea what it does or what it is there for, I am actually surprised it has a name).

Anyway thats the newest information on our home ownership, we haven’t done much more since the bedroom partly because its expensive and also because we are afraid. We have someone coming in and giving us a quote on what it will cost to sand all the floors – if it is reasonable those will be done soon too and I will put up pictures and information.

I have attached a picture of my parents so you can picture them telling me and Andrew about perogies, soffit and fascia. And also because they are adorable and I love them very much!! Doesn’t my dad look like the ultimate handy man and my mom the ultimate perogy maker? – I love it… n529410230_4885712_5344

I hate wallpaper

February 6, 2009

Hello Everyone,

I have a question my fellow readers (if there are any)… have you ever manually peeled wallpaper?

I am talking about the stay at home method, where you fist peel off the  “colored/vinyl” coat then soak the gluey coat and slowly painstakingly peel that coat off….

If you answer yes to this question then I am assuming you have never done it since… If you want to call me…and if you answered no to the question and are pondering what it would be like to try… call me we will set something up, I have a lot of wallpaper that needs peeling…

Anyways… onto my story… After unpacking most of our stuff and living here for awhile we started to get some ideas about the master bedroom and what we would like to do with it. We decided to start with that room because it was the most out dated room in the house and it had the least amount of wallpaper to peel… We considered it our “trial room” sort of like a test run on how well the two of us can peel wallpaper, paint, finish a floor and add trim… We figure if it works out that’s great and if it doesn’t there’s a door on that room and we can close it when company comes…

So far in the room we have got the walls done, we still want to re-do the hardwood floors and get a new bedroom set to match everything. But that will come in time, for now we are doing what is affordable….

The painting and trim went fairly well, we had to master the “measure twice cut once” rule but we only needed two extra pieces of trim and I would consider that pretty good… But the wallpaper peeling was terrible…..I mean at first we thought it would go so smoothly considering all the online instructions and the guy at home depot made it sound easy, but it was not easy. I seriously think something was wrong with my wallpaper, I think it was cursed….

It took us a total of 5 hours to completely peel the wallpaper, the first coat took 1.5 hours and the glue coat took 2 hours. Now I know you are thinking “Nadia, that is only 3.5 hours, not 5 hours, what did you spend 1.5 hours on?” Well everyone it turns out at some point the wallpaper in the bedroom was peeling so the handyman who lived here before decided to SUPERGLUE a portion of the wallpaper onto the wall…. we spent 1.5 hours trying to get that off the wall…. We eventually got as much as we can off and gave up on the rest… You can still see it on the wall behind the paint if you look closely, we were not impressed.

Also, the clean up from manually peeling wallpaper is a pain in the butt because there are so many little torn pieces of paper… It’s just not fun….

In the long run, I have learned a valuable lesson, next time I need to remove wallpaper (which will be soon considering my house is full of it) I am going to rent a steamer, the time, sweat, blood and tears I save is worth it; I would recommend you do the same.

I have attached some pictures below of what the wall looked like before and what it looks like now. I hope you like it!  Please note that the initial pictures have the old home owners furniture and the new ones have very little of anything as we are still working on the room. You just have to use your imagination. Also,  note the ceilings in both pictures – that took two coats of primer and two coats of ceiling paint to get rid of those weird marks…

Before – burgundy and not modern

Old room

After – neutral, wallpaper free and still not finished

New- Improved walls - room still not finished

New house! yay

February 3, 2009

Welcome everyone to my first blog! 

I have recently moved into my first house with my boyfriend. The move in date was Jan. 6th, 2009 and so far we have been there almost a month and are enjoying it very much.
I moved out of my parents house into an apartment when I was 17 years old and I have lived in an apartment up until recently when we moved. When I lived in apartments I felt like painting or doing any work in general was useless – I was only upping the value of someone else’s investment. So I did nothing. Now that I have a house by painting or renovating I am upping the value of MY investment so I have been trying to channel the right side of my brain to become a little more creative and to decorate and renovate my new house.
Unfortunately I have never been the creative type but I am working on it.
I am going to blog my progress on our new house and how we are making little improvements week by week. I hope you enjoy and I cannot wait to get into details.

 

Below Is a picture of My Boyfriend and I in front of our new home. This picture was taken by our incredible real estate agent (Kelly Richard) the day we finalized our purchase. 

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