What a couple months! I had all sorts of aspirations of keeping you updated in real time as renos progressed but literally, this was my schedule –
- Go to work,
- Finish work,
- Drop Jordan at the new house
- Pick up Finn, fight rush hour traffic, drop her at my parents house
- Grab some dinner, head back to the new house
- Feed Jord and work till late.
- Come home, go to bed
Do it over the next day.
So basically, here’s what’s been cookin’. We got possession on the 31st of July. We moved all our stuff into the family room (literally the one room in the entire house that didn’t need a blow torch taken to it) and moved into a bedroom at my parents house while we do the bulk of the renos. August 1st we began ripping apart the basement suite..and for some bizarre reason, the wall paper in the upstairs entry. I don’t know why that was such a hot topic on Jordan’s to do list, but his mom and sister were both out visiting and they made major progress on that for us (Come to Victoria and visit the Bakers..it will be fun…I promise). Our plan was to get the suite done in a month, get it rented and then begin renos upstairs….Two months later here we are (surprise, surprise).
Anywho, out went the carpets, the baseboards and soon we discovered…a wall full of mold behind the bathroom shower. EEP. I quickly felt like a home reno show where you cut to commercials with dramatic music and footage of me crying saying I can’t take this anymore. We knew unexpected surprises go hand in hand with renovations but at first glance, I was kissing the new flooring and kitchen reno we had planned for upstairs good bye. Thankfully, we had a few contractor/construction friends come look and the consensus was basically, we could rip out the affected drywall (PRAISE THE LORD it hadn’t affected anything structurally), dry it out and get back on track.
Without bogging you down with a billion details. We have learned SO much. Combined, Jordan and I have some handy skills but I wouldn’t say either one of us has ever taken on anything “Home Improvement” wise besides painting. We’ve had so many friends jump in and lend us advice, tools, skills etc. It’s been incredible. We’ve learned so much. Everything from floor laying, to hanging cabinets, to door frame installation and even dry walling (And by we I mostly mean Jordan has learned and I’ve watched because I have an arm full of toddler).
But seriously. So. Many. New. Skills.
We are basically now finished the suite minus painting one set of closet doors and some paint touch ups but we are finally done! I thought I’d take a quick minute and share the changes we made downstairs. It’s fairly plain as we haven’t furnished it because it’s been rented out but it’s much improved from the tired, grungy state it was in before! This was super challenging for me because I had to keep in mind, this space needed to be neutral. We weren’t going to be living down there and I shouldn’t be infusing a lot of style into a space that someone may not like or appreciate. I also must apologize for the poor quality of my after photos. The before are the listing photos and the after are just taken on my phone…I really need to get myself a camera one of these days!!
We started day #1 in the main bedroom, where we ripped up the pee stained carpet and discovered the nasty mold in the back of the closet…I can’t say it realllllly started us off on a motivated foot.
So much better!!
The old bedrooms smelled like dog pee and had huge gouges in the walls. We weren’t aiming to make this the Taj Mahal, but we just wanted to the place to feel clean, modern and neutral.
This room was a head scratcher. It was so bad, they didn’t even include a picture of it in the listing and I actually forgot to take one before we started. It had this weird pointy wall that jutted out in front of the window blocking half the light coming in. Once we installed a smaller furnace on the other side, there was a lot more wiggle room to work with and after Jordan learned his way around drywalling, he decided to just go for it and make this room a little more functional.
The bathroom was probably the easiest fix…minus the leak in the tiles (which was a relatively easy and cheap fix). The tile and tub were pretty new (and a lot nicer than the one we have upstairs!). We just swapped out the sink fixture, spray painted the light to get rid of the water stains and replaced the mirror. It still kills me a bit that the sink, mirror and light fixtures are not symmetrical. We replaced the mirror with a small one which now puts the mirror and sink in alignment..but the light it’s still off centre…good thing I won’t have to stare at it or it would drive me nuts! I just like things in their proper place, ok? Oh and of course the floors, we did those too. The hilarious part of this room is that it looks like it was drywalled by a drunken sailor. It was the first room I started painting and I was like “Maybe I am a worse painter than I thought”. No…turns out it’s actually the walls! They’ve got wobbly lines, huge bumps and general wonkiness. Since it wasn’t a functional issue, we didn’t redo them..but man. They were ridiculous!
This ended up being the thing we ended up re-doing that we weren’t planning on. All we planned on doing was painting the cabinets and tearing out this terrible shelving thing they had poorly put together as an unstable excuse for a pantry. Once we started scrubbing them out we realized the cabinets were in pretty bad shape. Oh dang…guess that means we have to go to Ikea! We used the Ikea kitchen planner and wa-bam!! Took it over there and got the stuff. It was pretty user friendly. I was the one that did all the measurements and things, so I was pretty nervous considering we live on an island and it’s a bit of a trek to take everything back. But, thankfully, it all fit just right! Ikea staff were super knowledgeable and helpful and we’ve actually changed our mind and are now going to do Ikea upstairs we liked the process and final product so much!
This photo was at the mid point of the reno…we had the walls painted..but THOSE FLOORS. The death of me will be scraping flooring glue off for hours and hours and hours. Actually, I take that back. My near death experience was Jordan almost killing me after we had the kitchen almost finished and I was like “Can we please take out that florescent light? PUUHHHLEEEAASEEE?!?!” Which, he begrudgingly did, but then had to repaint the whole ceiling again. Oops. This fridge lived here for the majority of the renos. I like to think it was an artistic placement.
The Living Room
This room is probably the most anticlimactic. It just generally looks refreshed but it wasn’t horrible to begin with. It was just….yellow. We replaced the droopy boob light fixture with a more modern flush mount light I actually found on clearance at Lowes and of course paint, baseboards and flooring (more pee carpet!). The whole thing just flows cohesively now!
Downstairs was a great practice run for upstairs! I chose colours I liked and the colour we did in the bedrooms I loved so much I’m lightening it a bit and using it in the main areas upstairs.
All our paint was from Cloverdale Paints
Bedrooms – Silver – CA030
Main Areas – Ice Dream – 0032
Bathroom – Birch Bay – OW108
Special thanks to Bob (the construction guru), Rob the father in law, Jared the plumber (Phil Ballam Heating & Plumbing) , Ryan the electrician, Elliot the cabinet assembler/installer, Brian the countertop installer (Colonial Countertops), Jimmy, Kristina and Olaolu the floor scraper extrordinaires and Elizabeth the painter. Phil (Yager Construction) & Matty (Aryze Developments) for their general contractor insights. Paul the furnace/Hotwater tank installer (Right Man Plumbing & Gas) & Shakira the Ikea shuttle. Oh and Courtney the drink provider. Oh and of course Dominos for more pizza than I ever want to consume in my life every again. Thank you thank you thank you.
And just for kicks –
Here’s the reality of juggling a toddler, incoming appliances, and just the general chaos of a renovation.
Our child has been raised on Paw-Patrol and the Wiggles this month….hopefully she’s not a vegetable for life.