What's on Tap

House Update and What’s on Tap 2015

Back in February 2013 I posted our ‘what’s on tap for 2013‘. A list of projects we hoped to accomplish that year.  Well, two years later I thought it might be worth an update. Ya think? So, what did we actually accomplish in 2013? What happened in 2014? Any plans for 2015? Stuff, more stuff and yes are the answers to those question.  Below are the details (and excuses).

In 2013 we planned to do the following:

Outdoor Projects:

  1. Paint front door
  2. Paint front porch exterior
  3. Replace garage roof
  4. Plant edible garden (at least same size as last year)
  5. Fix masonry where needed

Indoor Projects:

  1. Install flooring in LR, DR and Kitchen
  2. Gut Kitchen!!! And then put it all back together
  3. Headboard for our bed
  4. Paint stairs

So – where we’d get?  2013  was a partial success on the completion front.  I will pat myself (and my dear husband) on the back for the beautiful hickory floors we installed throughout our living room, dining room and kitchen. They are holding up wonderfully almost 2 years later. We also re-roofed our garage in May 2013 and for good measure re-roofed our friends garage in May 2014.  We feel like legit roofers now.

Hickory wood floors in the LR - almost done in this photo and now complete. March 2013
Hickory wood floors in the LR – almost done in this photo and now complete. March 2013

Back in 2013 we gutted the kitchen and put it (mostly) back together:)

Photo of two women wearing dust masks and using crowbars to remove a plaster wall.
kitchen demo – April 2013. My sister and I tearing down the plaster wall. Nasty stuff.
Completed kitchen tile.
Completed kitchen tile – March 2014. Same wall that demo is taking place on in photo above.Note the wires still hanging out to the right and above the window.  We’re getting there….

We did the work on the kitchen ourselves with the help of some family; my sister on demo, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (W&J) on drywall and my father-in-law and his wife on electrical and DR floor install. A special shout out to our friends and neighbours M&L for helping get demo started.  The one task we paid someone to do was the tile.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it beautiful with our wonky walls.  And I knew that the lines being all crooked would bother me -especially since you can that counter to ceiling wall of tile from the dining room table. Unfortunately, while we were ready for our tile in October 2013, our wonderful installer couldn’t get to us until March 2014.  It was worth the wait! I’ll do some posts all about our kitchen reno later this year…but for now you can see that it got better for sure.

What we didn’t get to in 2013 were projects like painting the outside of the porch. It was so hot and sticky the paint did a poor job of drying – and we were hot and sticky too and having a hard time drying.  So we paused on that. The reality is that once September hits in this household we are full tilt at work until Christmas so weekend projects like that may as well not exist. Thanks to my mother-in-law and her husband we tackled the painting of the porch in August 2014 and it looks great. In addition to painting the porch we had to rebuild the under porch covers on both sides to prevent the continuation of our porch being the neighbourhood cat and skunk condo.  The other thing we didn’t anticipate was having to put new glazer’s putty on many of the window panes.  It took weeks to fully cure….and that means we still need to paint the windows….

Before-ish - we've primed the top part already.  August 2014.
Before-ish – we’ve primed the top part already and painted a couple coats on the bottom so you can’t see the cream and mint green paint combo we had going on. And there may or may not be a golden retriever trying to get in the shot here. August 2014.
After - with only the windows left to paint. August 2014
After – with only the windows and threshold left to paint. August 2014.

And speaking of painting…in November 2013 I painted the exterior of the front door in beautiful MSL Barn Red. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I had purchased flat finish paint. Oops. Really, exterior doors should be semi-gloss at a minimum.  Since we were painting the door red and needed multiple coats to get the job done, I went ahead with 4 coats of the flat finish. It was November and getting cold so after those 4 coats we hung the door. In Summer 2014 I painted another 3 coats of semi-gloss and the door looks great! Now if only I could finish the inside of the door….

Two things that did not get done in 2013 or 2014 were building a headboard and painting our stairs. Our bed sits slightly inside a down slope of the ceiling/wall. That’s one of the many joys of a 1.5 story house.  Right now, we don’t have a headboard.  So yes, pillows do occasionally take a tumble right off the bed.  I’ve pinned lots of ideas for a headboard but so far nothing has stuck as something we want to move forward with.

The stairs were never painted because we were working on the kitchen for so long that painting something so key, such as the only stairs in our house, while all that dust was around didn’t seem like a great idea.  We’ve also started to think about some next steps for our house overall and decided to let the stairs be painted Benjamin Moore Beluga for a little while longer (I was wanting to go lighter).

Outside of the house we did have an edible garden in the summer of 2013, however it was smaller than previous years.  During the kitchen reno is was nice to have herbs, lettuces and some of our favourite veggies growing right outside the door. We did hire a mason to take care of some of the immediate concerns with our brickwork.  This included fixing a crack and taking the chimney off from the roof upwards.  We still have some masonry work that needs to be done but none of it is urgent. As a bonus, we put up some hardy-style board on the garage so it looks a bit nicer;)

In 2014 we did have some unexpected expenses – like taking down a tree that an ice storm took 60% down in December 2013. We painted our kitchen, purged a lot of items from our office and basement and installed a new back door. We also focused on some cottage projects like deck building!

The new west platform at the cottage.  Good work hubby!
The new west platform at the cottage. Good work hubby!

Other than that we did lots of yard work in anticipation of things to come…So that brings us to What’s on Tap for 2015!

Indoor Projects:

  1. Hang art/photos in the living room
  2. Mount TV onto wall to live amongst the art/photos
  3. Dining room window treatment – something needs to go there
  4. Install baseboards and door trim in Living Room and Dining Room
  5. Finish painting inside of front door (from 2013 list)
  6. Re-paint bathroom
  7. Have full room tile surround installed in the bathroom*
  8. Build a headboard (from 2013 list)
  9. Finish the final bits of the kitchen – valances, toe kicks, bulkhead and undercabinet lighting (from 2013 list)
  10. Drywall and flooring in the new basement entrance (created from our old pantry)

Outdoor Projects:

  1. Have 3 trees removed from backyard*
  2. Build (secure) fence across the back of the property*
  3. Move square foot garden to new location behind garage
  4. Build and install storage bench in front porch (I consider the porch outside even though it’s enclosed)
  5. Install rain barrels

* means we need help with these – so professionals will be involved.

My fingers are crossed that we can make these things happen!  We’re working on plans for a work weekend with W&J (yay them!). And because they are undergoing a HUGE reno on their place we are going to spend time at their place helping out where we can.

Whew – that’s one long post!  Thanks for sticking it out until the end.  I’m excited to keep you posted on where we land this year with our list.


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