Renovation · What's on Tap

House Update and What’s on Tap 2015 to 2016 Edition: Catching Up!

In early 2015 I shared our plans for what we wanted to accomplish that year. The list wasn’t too long…it also wasn’t too short. You know, somewhere happily in between.

Overall it was a pretty good year for house projects but, as always, not everything was finished 😦 Some of the items on the list were little things that started to help us feel like some projects we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

What did we accomplish? Well, we hung art, mounted our TV to live amongst the art on the living room gallery wall, installed under cabinet lighting in the kitchen, had 3 not so healthy/happy trees removed from the backyard, installed a fence across the back of the yard that actually keeps our dog in, and added some toe-kicks, valances and trim to our kitchen cabinets (yes, the ones we installed 2 years before!). Oh, and we re-painted the bathroom in anticipation of tile being installed on the walls. Which means we only half painted the bathroom because why waste paint on wall area that will be covered? Right?

What we didn’t do  was install trim in the LR and DR, have tile surround installed in the bathroom, finish the drywall and flooring in the basement entrance area, build a headboard, build a storage bend in the front porch or install a rain barrel.

With the exception of the rain barrel everything on the Did Not Do list was actually intentional. Have you figure out that that means we intentionally left our bathroom half painted? Yup…all in the name of progress. And the rain barrel? We just never got around to it.

Plans Change

Our list wasn’t too long for 2015 because I was finishing my graduate work. That actually did get finished with me spending the summer writing my thesis. While also working full-time. Let’s just say I wouldn’t necessarily want to do that again but it certainly kept me focused!

So anyway – I didn’t want to have any big huge projects happening because I was going to be busy with work and school, and I was using our dining room and back deck as my work space and didn’t want there to be ‘house’ work creeping in. Or noise happening while I was trying to actually concentrate. Let’s just say the afternoon Adam was installing the undercabinet trim/valances in the kitchen and decided that hand sawing the lengths on a wheeled stainless steel cart that holds glass bowls and things while I wrote chapter 2 of my thesis in the adjacent room was not a good moment. And no, the answer to “some of us are trying to write a thesis in here – could you do that somewhere else, like the basement work table?” is not, “but you put finish valances on the list!”. The answer, in fact, is “of course”. With a smile. Anyway…..

Everything seemed like a reasonable way of approaching 2015 house project-wise. But you know when you’re doing something kinda big – like finishing grad work? And you start to wonder about the future? And talk about the house even more than usual because you’re trying really hard to procrastinate from your actual work? Yeah – at times like that look out…because big things are on the horizon.

Early-ish in 2015 we started talking about the house with an eye to the long-term. We always imagined making the house a little bit bigger and with a fairly deep yard for a downtown house location we knew we could sacrifice some grass for house. But in our imagination, this renovation would happen some time in the future. And by future I mean the imagined future. Not the real one. Or at least not the real one for a decade or so. For a number of reasons to numerous to list and frankly some I can’t even remember, we realized that the near real future is when we should make the house bigger.

Okay – one reason stands out. Other than making our house more functional for us, we realized we were starting to tackle projects that would be undone or damaged by a renovation. So we asked ourselves, “if a reno happened in the next 5 years would we be upset at the time and money spent on something being undone?” Big time yes. Especially for AB. We didn’t start by thinking about a reno really being in 5 years, but it was the line of thinking that made us realize that if we wanted floors and trim and function everywhere in the house, we either needed to renovate or move. The next step was easy:

Halt all house work!

We didn’t want to continue with the list (like trim and tile install) if there was a possibility it may be undone in this now decided to be near future renovation. Which still doesn’t explain why we didn’t get a rainbarrel purchased in 2015 because a renovation would not seriously impact our need to collect rainwater for the garden. Let’s just call it laziness. We did buy one in 2016 and it’s amazing and I can’t believe it took us 6 years of home ownership to do it.

Our Bathroom is Only Half Painted

The halt on housework means our bathroom is still only half painted. It was a little annoying at the beginning, but now we’re so used to it that I’m surprised other people notice and ask why our bathroom is half painted. Isn’t everyone’s?

And we were already used to not having real floors upstairs but walking on original subfloors. And that entrance to the basement that has exposed studs and plaster is really a part of the experience of going down to our rubble walled basement. So what’s another couple of years of waiting for things to be finished? It’s nothing, right?

So, we started the plans for getting a renovation done, and here we are in early 2017 and that process is still moving forward.

What Happened to 2016?

I don’t know. But we did buy a rain barrel…that counts for something, right?

Honestly, while house work was minimal and family time was more abundant, we did get started with interviewing design/build firms, contractors, architects, etc. And made a choice about who and what and when. We also travelled a lot (France, Hawaii, Antigua, Winnipeg). It’s all very exciting….and worth it’s own post or two. So stay tuned….


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