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Monthly Archives: September 2011

results are in! the energy audit, insulation, and some random updates

Ok, first off, can I just say how excruciatingly difficult it’s been to renovate without beer this summer?  Nightmare.  Just had to get that in there.

But moving on…or backwards I guess…the place still looks like a complete crap explosion so I’m not sharing any photos yet – well I might if I’m feeling especially sadistic – so for now I’m just going to catch up on what happened before we moved in.

You might remember my floor ‘experiments’ with white paint:

Well, basically I just ignored everyone’s advice and simply did another coat.  It turned out fine in the end, just a bit demoralizing when everyone stepped on it in their dirty work boots.

And that’s the carpet Sam bought at auction that he believes ‘fits’ the room.  Any excuse for a new rug…

But that room – which was the office and is now the ‘office/nursery’ (babies are small right, surely they don’t need a whole room?), is basically finished, which is why it’s now filled with everything we don’t yet have storage for.  (I posted a pic of that here, and it’s too depressing to repeat)

Our bedroom, however, is not finished.

Just to remind ourselves, here’s what the bedroom looked like when our tenant moved out:

We had to take down the plaster on the end wall as it was basically falling off anyway.

The rest of the plaster in the room was pretty grim too, but after dealing with it downstairs I was pretty confident that I could patch it to an acceptable level.  It’s called ‘character’ – just in case anyone was wondering…  And I’ll take some photos once I get off my lazy preggo ass and get round to it.  Yep, now I’m starting to show (had my first stranger ask when I was due – a bold move on his part to be sure), I’m using pregnancy as an excuse for Everything.  It’s awesome.

Obviously in an ideal world (which I sometimes fantasize involves buying a new house – I mean New), the plaster would be taken down and replaced with drywall and the walls would be insulated.

Oh!  Which reminds me – I never shared the results of our our energy audit!  You might remember we had the big fan thingy here so they could see how energy efficient, or not, our house is.

So, results are in, and out of a possible maximum score of 100 we scored…

drum roll please…

14.

Yes, 14.  14!  Out of 100.  We may as well be living in a tent.

I think the scoring system goes something like this:

100 – You are a perfect person living in a perfect house (I hate you and want to move in)
60-100 – You are a normal person living in a normal house.  Good for you.
40-60 – You have insulation – congrats!
under 30 – Drafty shack.
under 20 – Bus.
14 – Tent.
under 14 – You live outside.  Let’s hang out.  We’ll build fires.

So we got our skates on (and our line of credit) and got ourselves some blown-in insulation.  I really should have photographed the process as it was pretty epic, as were the fabulous grandpa-like guys in charge of it all (I got in trouble for flirting with them from Sam – I couldn’t help it!).  But I didn’t.  I generally suck at this ‘let’s photograph this for the blog’ thing – in case you haven’t noticed.  Again, let’s blame pregnancy.  I also regularly lose either the camera or the memory card, or the cable.  Sometimes all three.

So now the walls are actually insulated!  Very exciting.  But the bedroom wall still looks like this:

(Note carefully cropped photo so you don’t see the world of disaster I’m standing in to take the photo – the stereo speakers are still in here for goodness sake.)

And yes – that’s just wooden lathe behind the headboard.  The thin fabric-y cover was put there by the blown in insulation guys when the insulation they blew in started blowing right into the room.  Whoops – I may have forgotten to tell them we had a wall missing.

I guess we’ll probably have to do something about it by winter.

ready to move? hell no. but let’s do it anyway.

So let’s rewind a little bit and update on what happened (or didn’t) over the past few weeks.

The biggest debacle turned out to be the bathroom (no, it’s still not finished).

As we ran out of money to pay a handyman friend, we had no choice but to finish it ourselves and embarked on a romantic day of grouting.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of shit (I’m told the technical term is ‘adhesive’ or ‘mortar’) to scrape off first.

Two hours later (yes 2 – less said about this the better), we were finally ready to grout.

Now, I have since learned that grouting while pregnant is possibly one of the worst things you can do.  The instructions said to keep away from children, but that didn’t compute in my brain into keeping it away from unborn children.  Yikes.  I didn’t even wear a mask as it doesn’t smell toxic, or like anything really.  My friend told me her grout said it was only harmful to unborn children in California, so I’m hoping that means a fetus in Nova Scotia will be ok…

So yes, in a nutshell, the bathroom renovation has turned into a gong show with all sorts of frustrating, fetus-harming, and upsetting repercussions.  And we had no choice but to move in without it finished.

Luckily Sam was able to get the toilet in just before the big move,

with only one minor flooding crisis.  Impressive.  So we had a toilet, but no working sink or shower.  Which also meant that we weren’t able to re-tile or put new floor in the downstairs bathroom as we were still showering down there until the day before our tenants moved in.

But such is the fun of renovating.  Or so I’m told.

With only one weekend remaining before our tenants were moving in and Sam working almost every single day and night (someone has to pay for mom and baby’s growing addiction to KFC chicken burgers), we had one free Saturday to move so we put the call out to all our amazing friends.

Were we ready?  Hell no.  Were we even remotely packed and organized?  Don’t be ridiculous.

Our idea was that a handful of friends would sporadically show up, help move the large items of furniture, and then we would, somewhat leisurely, bring up the rest in a civilized manner over the course of the week.  Our friends, on the other hand, had very different ideas.  Arriving in droves starting at 9am they were like a military operation on steroids.  Random containers were used to ferry everything from books to that embarrassing crap you find lurking in drawers but can’t throw out, emptied upstairs and then filled again.

Unbelievable, wonderful, total chaos.  Everything got moved.  EVERYTHING.

And so – boom, we were moved.  We had no shower, no stove, no bathroom sink, no door on the bathroom, and no idea where any of our belongings had ended up.  But it was done.

Never underestimate the power of a keg of beer.

end of an era, but ready for tenants…finally!

A HUGE sigh of relief as downstairs is finally ready for our new tenants.  And not a moment too soon – they arrive in about 2 hours.

So strange to see it empty of all our stuff.  It’s like going back to the beginning before we moved in and pretending it always looked this way.

We finally did all the little things we’d been meaning to do for ages: re-caulk the tub, paint the baseboards, put the heating covers back on the heaters (I know, ridiculous).

But it’s the end of an era…

This was just heartbreaking to erase.  Sigh.

Meanwhile, however, our ‘new’ place upstairs looks like an episode of hoarders:

Don’t even ask how we’re able to manage actually living here.  I’m not sure myself.

Updates (embarrassing as they are) to follow shortly.  You probably won’t be surprised to learn that in the cyclone that seems to have erupted, I temporarily ‘lost’ the camera.  I took photos with my phone for a bit, but now that cable seems to have been swallowed – somewhere.

Anyway – oh crap, tenants are here – early!

Onwards…

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