Reno 411

Oct. 6th, 2008 10:59 am
c9: (House on Fire)
I'm taking today and tomorrow off* from work so that we can get our new front and side doors installed, wooo!  The guys haven't shown up yet to do that but they should be here any minute. In the meantime, the repair crew is here working on the leak in our roof and making the bathroom all lovely again!

We had the bathroom redone in January, you may recall. During the summer rain storms we noticed a couple unusual events -- water dripping from the new ceiling vent, and damage to the drywall of the ceiling due to water. After chasing the construction company for a month (during their busiest period) they finally managed to arrange repairs today (yay!).

Punchline: turns out it's not their fault. The leak is on our plumbing stack which was installed during the childhood of Stephen Harper's parents (approximately). They fixed it anyway, plus finished some caulking they didn't do in January, and sounds like the company won't charge me for the work even though I offered. Yay!

The cats are trapped in the basement room with all this door-opening and banging though, and are unimpressed. I shall visit them regularly, he said gallantly.

* "off-asterisk" is just like off except that I'm still doing work sometimes. It's not really the most fun I've ever had.

c9: (House on Fire)
Finally! The bathroom is complete. I am pleased. Now we just need all new towels and facecloths so it looks a little more swanky. 'Cause obviously, everyone is judging us.

I give you... a bathroom!

(before purchase, February 2007)
(bathroom today)
(two weeks ago)(today)
c9: (House on Fire)
The recent infestation of Magic Kitchen Pixies in Kitchener, while commonly thought to be resolved, has now spread to Toronto. They appear to be multi-purpose pixies, actually.


After: (different angle)

...OK, so maybe not After so much as In Progress.  The exposed plaster sheetrock has company logos copyrighted 1934 on it. So our house may be as much as 74 years old. Crazy!
c9: (House on Fire)
Apparently, smoke detectors have a radioactive substance in them. I probably learned that many years ago and filed it under "this will not impact my life".  ...until now!

Over 25 years ago, smoke detectors in Canada (and most of the world) began using Am-241 (Americium-241). When they were first introduced, Canadian consumers were instructed to return them to the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada (AECB) in Ottawa, rather than put them in the household trash, because of the radioactive Am-241.  This requirement was removed shortly afterward, because the radioactivity is actually less than the regular background radiation we're all exposed to.

I bring this up because I just replaced  a smoke detector in our house that solemnly instructed me to return it to the AECB in Ottawa. It still worked mind you, because it's given us nuisance alarms during cooking several times.

That is all. Please comment with your own punch line.
c9: (Default)
I am watching the awesomest version of Holmes on Homes ever.

Wendy Mesley is doing a report with Mike Holmes' help. It's basically "here are a some people who got screwed by a bad contractor", the standard Holmes on Homes setup. Then they do it five more times. Then they refer to a dozen other cases.

The best part? Unlike on Holmes on Homes, they name names! Bad contractors in Toronto are getting their asses handed to them and their faces on national TV. Nice.
c9: (Eris & Dysnomia)
  • I will be in Calgary from tomorrow until late Thursday night. Woo!
  • The weather there is all negative. Literally.
  • Renovating and painting and replacing and all that jazz is nice in theory, but in practice there's a limit to how much we can stand to do. We appear to have hit it for today. Shame that there's all sorts of crap around still to be dealt with.
  • I'm happy to tell you that the kitchen cabinets and floors now coexist peacefully. The tiles are higher than the original vinyl, so the toekicks had to be sanded or sawed down, variously.
  • Purchased transition strips, but now we need a way to attach them to the floor. One is supposed to purchase a special strip that the tiles are laid on top of, so the transition strip is held in place. We didn't do that. so the little plastic guide that grips the wooden strip needs to somehow be held down. Plastic against concrete is not an easy combination. Super-glue maybe?
  • I don't have a screenshot because it wouldn't do it justice, but can I just say that the Galactica hot-dropping into the atmosphere in the last episode was the most indescribably awesome sci-fi moment I've seen in years?Now I'm going to actually watch my first on-television episode of BSG ever. Whee!
c9: (Towel)
Done. Finally. Special thanks to [ profile] benjidacruick and Ashif for the help!

...if you dare... )
c9: (Running)
For those of you who responded to my recent survey, you may be interested in the results. A realtor visited last night and we discusses the carpet, blinds, and various other odds 'n sods.

How to cover up the missing tiles? Put a cabinet there.

How to cover the gap between carpet and tile? Put a transition piece there.

Do we need new carpet ($3500) ? Nope, it's in OK shape, especially since a buyer might tear it out instantly anyway. The kitchen and bathroom are the things that deserve the attention.

Best news of the evening: the place on the 11th floor that sold went for 27.6% more than we paid for our place. Woohoo!

I had a new survey question in mind last night, but after tossing and turning and getting only 4 hours of sleep -- retiling and grouting the same damn spot in my dreams over and over -- the question has fled my mind. Oh well.
c9: (Banging my Head)
[Poll #850991]

Edit: I should note that identical tiles are not realistic, since I've checked Home Depot and Rona and not found them yet. :(
c9: (Rawr!)
Oh. My. GOD. I am so sick of condo renovations. I swear to everliving fuck we're going to just rent for the rest of our lives.


You may recall last year's ceiling scraping, cabinet replacement, and the 14 coats of paint at various times. We finally ran out of money and patience, and just ignored the floor for a year, hoping it would go away. No such luck. With the help of Matt, and especially Ben and Ashif, there are now tiles on most of the kitchen floor. I have just five pieces of tile left to fill various weird-shaped holes. Then I have to chip out the extra thinset mortar so there's room for grout. Then I have to grout. Then I have to seal the grout. With 24 hour gaps in there a couple times. Then we can reassemble the kitchen.

Master Bathroom:
Vinny has torn apart the bathroom cabinet, burned through two dremel (?) bits, and created a large pile of garbage in the hallway that we have to find a new home for. Soon the bathroom will be home to a new vanity, basin, mirror, paint on the walls, etc.

Rest of Condo:
We decided that we need to replace the carpeting. There are some stains courtesy of Lucky and Tym and a previous owner too, plus the carpet isn't in very good shape. Good god carpet is expensive. I just hope it bumps up our sale price.

Anyway, I'm so sick of this crap.


Oct. 10th, 2006 01:33 am
c9: (Running)
It feels like it's been a million seconds since I last updated my blog, but in fact it's only been 288660. Phew.

  • Friday: Vincent's interview in Toronto was delayed but very positive, and we suspect a job offer and a high-speed condo-polishing and sale is imminent. Anybody know how to do floor tiles? Do you want to come do some? We'll buy you pizza and beer. If you hurry, schnitzel (see next item).

  • Also Friday: Oktoberfest! This year we went to Transylvania Club, which has more mature crowd and is a bit more traditional than last year's "go get drunk in an arena" approach. Far more entertaining. I won a stuffed owl, ate Oktoberfest sausage and all the schnitzel I could eat ("two"), and we watched hot male German teenagers perform a traditional Oktoberfest dance with each other and -- I swear I'm not making this up -- pick each other up and spank each other.

  • Saturday: Port Credit! This year's Thanksgiving feast was held at a friend's place in Mississauga, in the company of many friends (new and old). Yummy! I didn't find the two-year-old reading The New Testament quite as jolting by the end of the evening either.

  • Sunday: Home Hardware! We purchased some ██████ and some ██████, and then blatantly abused our friendship with Matt to get the painting done. Or mostly done. We ran out of tape, time, patience, and sunlight, so it's all first-coat done.

  • Monday: Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, Rona, Zehr's, Chapters, Starbucks! Twice! Damn holiday. Since we are out of painter's tape, and we even used up the neighbours' tape, we got very little painting done today. But we have high hopes for tomorrow.

P.S. [ profile] leapfish says "Hi!"
c9: (Default)
Courtesy of SketchUp, here's my instead-of-working-and-stressing-further bathroom design:

The door into the bathroom is where the grey strip is on the floor. There's of course a wall beside it where no wall is shown, but a) it would be hard to see in the room in this diagram, and b) it was stupid hard to make a wall show up there.

SketchUp has some elements and tools that are so easy, and some that are frakkin'* frustrating. I need to do more of the tutorials.

* That was just for those of you that noticed.
c9: (Default)
Home ownership is fun!

No really. Except our shower is leaking. After every shower there's a puddle on the floor, and I thought it was just the substandard IKEA* shower curtain, but it turns out there's a real live leak. Somewhere in the wall between user input and water output. The drywall is spongy and wet, and the water's coming out a spot that is not designed to output water.

We had always planned to rip out the bathroom and make a better one. Looks like it's happening sooner than we thought. My parents did this walk-in shower thing at their place in Ottawa that we liked, so we're considering it for here. The diagram is not to scale or anything -- think regular tub length but double width.

Google SketchUp, by the way, is very cool. I made this in about three minutes:

I don't know who that woman is. Probably a local student. She came with the software. She will not be allowed to use the shower.

If you were buying a condo, would an unusual bathroom shower scare you off?

* Yes I just said that.
c9: (Default)
I got a Kill-A-Watt last week, and carefully measured all the plugged in devices we have to check for excess electriicity usage. I found basically none. Damn our efficient stuff!
tables of numbers are the BEST )
c9: (cam and vin)
...I think it's one of those things that just keeps going forever. Certainly feels like it.

We went from this:

to this:

For more pics, do the clicky-clicky thing )
c9: (cam and vin)
For those eagerly awaiting, nay, breathlessly anticipating an update on the status of our kitchen, here you go. Read more... )


Jun. 15th, 2005 10:13 pm
c9: (Default)
We are now not only the proud owners of a new fridge (and oven), but the fridge that was so poorly installed by Future Shop's goons is now LEVEL. Go me!

(I bought a level at Homo Depot tonight. It's bright orange and quite gaudy. It's quite unbecoming, and I love it.)

Addendum: Weird image from Future Shop when purchasing said new items of domestic godliness: LG has a fancy fridge that has water and ice dispensed from one of the doors, and a TV in the other door. So a bunch of customers, rather than shopping, were standing around, leaning on other products, watching the TV.

August 2015

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