Bathroom Progress (Correcting a Mistake)

Sometimes we take a step forward only to move right back and that is the theme of this post.  It's been a while since I showed you any bathroom reno updates and part of the reason for this is that we had to take some giant steps back.

Corey had finished "sistering" the floor joists in order to reinforce them to hold the weight of our heavy iron tub.  Keep in mind that, unlike the urban tale of the library that is sinking because it was built without the weight of the books in mind, we are considering the weight of water and people in addition to our tub.

Our plumbing fixtures (not easy to find for a traditional clawfoot) arrived in the mail.  It was very exciting to see them.  We had deliberately chosen modern chrome fixtures designed with a bit of a nod to the era of the tub.

And then Corey began to cut and lay the subfloor.  Our engineer and seasoned renovator friends (ahem, Reid and Sascha) will probably notice the mistake in the photos below but I'll tell the rest of you after the photos in case you want to try to look for it.

The Mistake

I should mention that sometimes when renovating, you discover that you made an error or inadvertently cut a corner.  Sometimes you don't realize this until you're several steps past the place where it would have been an easy fix.  This happened to us the other day, when Corey was conducting extra research on ways to ensure floor rigidity and he discovered two things:

1. The grain of the plywood should run perpendicular to the floor joists.

2. Any seams between boards should be over a joist, if possible (especially where you expect lots of weight.)

Shoot!  Corey realized that he didn't do either.  Luckily, he caught it before we tiled, but it does mean that he had to remove the subfloor and replace it with new plywood.  At least it gave him one last opportunity to double check all the joists that he sistered.

Normally, we wouldn't be quite so concerned and we both think the floor is pretty stable... Just perhaps not quite stable enough to support a 300 pound tub... filled with water... and one or two adults... balanced on tiny feet.  See what I mean?  You can never be too careful!

Poor Corey was a little blue when he realized he had given himself more work, but I'm so proud of him for taking the time to research and fix a mistake.  He's the reason our tub won't fall through the dining room ceiling!  Friends- give him a pat on the back for it, if you see him!

And the opportunity to take a second look gave Corey an idea to offer even more strength.  He ended up building a platform, which also serves to allow us to hide some of the pesky plumbing and move the toilet against the wall.  As it happens, I also think this is a great way to draw attention to the feet on our pretty new/old tub.

So Corey prepared a new subfloor to be placed the proper way this time.

We relied on our neighbour to help Corey to move the tub in to measure for the plumbing...

Which is where I'll end this post.  We are actually pretty close to finishing but I'll post some of the steps Corey's taken in their own posts so that you can follow our progress all at once without dying of boredom.  ;)

I can't wait to show you guys some of the next highlights.  And just remember when you think that everyone's lives on social media seem so perfect and glamorous, that Corey and I are still at this point showering in the family room and running to the basement to use the washroom.  If our bathroom isn't finished soon, I'm buying a chamber pot!  Not kidding, I think I saw some at the Aberfoyle Antique Market last year.
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Celebrating One Year in Our New/Old House

It's our House-iversary!  We thought we'd celebrate with a look back...

A client recently commented to me that she suspected hell would likely include some sort of packing or moving component.  I laughed because I knew exactly how she felt: Nobody hates packing as much as I do and I always cry on moving day.

It's funny because I walk clients through the process all the time, but when it's time for me to move (as I did one year ago today) I feel as though the task is too massive to take on.  Luckily, Corey took charge and did most of our packing and my mom spent days helping as well.  I think my biggest moving blunders are always forgetting just how long it takes to pack the few "last-minute" items and forgetting that my new home will need to be cleaned and will probably smell like other people.

Isn't it funny how you grow accustomed to the way your own house smells?  I remember when we moved here, it took days for me to finally get the other family's smell out of the house so that it could finally feel like OUR home!  Some people need to unpack their own stuff, but for me it's all about smell.  What makes you feel like you're new digs are home?

I thought it would be fun to recap some of the early days in our new/old house...  By the way, you guys are going to think we're crazy when you hear about how quickly we got started on the renos.

Moving Day

We moved on a Thursday and I remember being worried sick about people from our crazy condo interfering with our move.  I don't think I have ever felt as crazy as I did towards the end of our time in that condo and by then, Corey and I were being pretty tight-lipped with most of our neighbours because we worried about interference.  Of course, moving day was a perfect opportunity for all of our nosiest neighbours to gather and watch our move.  Many even took the opportunity to question our movers about some of the items we were moving... "What's in that box?"  "Where are you moving them to?" Suffice it to say, I was piping mad!

When we arrived at the house, the seller still wasn't finished moving out.  He had left furniture with neighbours as well as in the back yard "to pick up later"... I wasn't thrilled about this but Corey and I had already decided to be patient with him.

The move went fairly smoothly since most items were moved directly to the basement so that we could do the floors right away.  Our sleeping quarters for the first week or so were also in the basement.  We put our mattress on the floor next to a suspicious mattress left by the sellers, which Corey eventually had to saw in half in order to remove.  I was terrified that it might have bed bugs, but we haven't had any issues... probably because of the MASSIVE predatory spiders who lived down there at the time.  They still haunt my dreams.

The biggest hiccup on moving day happened while I was upstairs taking a breather (probably banished by Corey since I was stressing everyone out) and heard him calmly say to one of our movers "You NEED to get this inside.  It's literally the only item she cares about."  I knew right away that he was referring to our harvest dining table, which I love.  I discovered later that it was stuck in the front door and Corey had to remove the door frame and storm door in order to get it inside.

The First Few Days

After a busy Thursday and a rather uncomfortable sleep, we were ready to start the real work.  Initially, my mom and my friend Bonnie came over to help clean while Corey and my brother picked up our clawfoot tub and our buffet from some Craigslist sellers who had been holding them for us.  Already missing Barkley to the point of tears, I worked on ripping up the nasty stair carpeting and making stair runners so that he could join us a little sooner.

We also began meeting with HVAC companies to see about the duct work.  The company with the best quote told us they only had an opening a week away, otherwise we'd be waiting much longer, and paying more during peak season.  They insisted that we have the basement somewhat cleared out first so we knew we'd have to arrange for a company to do the floors immediately.

The entire process felt like a balancing act but we were lucky to find Mr. Sandless, who could squeeze us in on Monday.  Of course, the caveat was that the floors had to be prepped and ready for them to start... which meant a couple of sleepless nights for us!

The Floors

Corey and I couldn't believe the layers and layers of flooring that had accumulated over the years.  What we thought was just laminate over the original hardwood was actually laminate over layers upon layers of every material imaginable from double subfloors, tile, parquet, to plaster and metal lathe.  Everything was nailed down and the work was backbreaking.  I remember we were still pulling up nails on Monday morning at 3:30 am when we were expecting Mr. Sandless at 8!

Luckily, Mr. Sandless began on the main floor, giving us an extra day or so to prep upstairs.  Corey was working night shifts at the time and I remember deciding at 10:30 one night (after he'd left for work) to stay up all night pulling up carpet tacks to surprise him.

It was LITERALLY a ton of work (and I was glad to have booked a few days off work) but my least favourite part was still dropping off all the flooring debris at the local dump.  When they weighed our load, it came to over 1,000 kilograms!

All's well that ends well though, and we were thrilled with our floors once they were sanded and stained!

The Ducts

Once the floors were done, we were able to move enough furniture upstairs, that our HVAC company could install ducts for central air.  This work took about five days and I found it difficult working from home (after FINALLY moving upstairs) with so much disruption.

People are often afraid of the work and expense required to do this, but it actually wasn't bad.  We agreed to drywall over the ducts ourselves (there are only exposed ducts in two rooms) to save money and to allow for creative solutions and I believe we paid about $12,000 in total.  We're still planning to build a window seat to hide the duct in the second bedroom.

The Yard

And then there was the yard.  Not only was a ton of furniture left, but there was also broken glass everywhere as well as those hideous trees in the middle and even a tree in the back which had actually grown around a child's camping chair.  Normally we wouldn't have cared about tackling any of this right away, but we were desperate to show Barkley his new house (and for it to be safe for him) so we had a clean-up day.

Looking Back

I can't believe how challenging those first few weeks in the house were.  I suppose we were high on adrenaline and just excited to be out of the condo but still...  How did we do it?  Do you ever look back on challenging or tiresome times in your life and wonder how you ever managed?  I sort of feel that way about our time in the condo and I seem to forget that even after we moved into the house, it wasn't all flowers and cupcakes right away.

I think these memories will get me through my last few days of our bathroom reno... which you'll be seeing a lot of this week.  I may hate peeing in the basement, but it's still better than sleeping in the basement!
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Links I Love

Happy Passover and Easter for those who celebrate!  I recall last year at this time we were in the condo preparing for our move and we decided to make a silly ridiculous Easter Egg Hunt for Barkley.  

Now that we're having more nice days than cold, we've been enjoying long walks (dragging our lazy dog behind us) along the neighbourhood trails.  Everyone seems to be out and about lately and life seems happy as warm weather approaches.

By the way, here's what Barkley would like to be doing instead of joining us for walks:

These past couple of weeks have flown by in a frenzy of work, renos and wedding preparations.  I will have updates on our washroom progress soon and I'm hoping to have lots of wedding news to share in the coming months.

We've been in our new/old house for nearly a year and yet we're pretty sure the next year will be even more productive and eventful!  So I'm sorry for neglecting this blog but I can promise some exciting posts and updates to our new/old house in the months to come.  Our heads are just buzzing with ideas for this summer!

What are you doing over the long weekend?  Don't long weekends make you feel spectacular and relaxed?  I tend to have trouble relaxing but I have been feeling indulgent this weekend and even rented a couple of horror movies to watch without any guilt that I should be working.  ;)

Again, these weeks have slipped away from me and I just had to publish some of the links I've been hoarding for you guys!  More to follow... promise!

This sad story serves as a good reminder that we don't really know what's happening in the lives of others.  I think this also applies to idealized versions of lives that we see on Facebook.

How many of these do you already do?

Should we all start celebrating some of these unconventional occasions?  I think some of these are more important than birthdays and anniversaries.

These hashtags for thirty-somethings made me laugh! #PaperworkOnAFridayNight

Dogs + Magic = Amazeballs!

Did anyone else bawl their eyes out while watching this April Fools "Prank"?

This April Fools prank made me laugh.

I want this mirror fence.

Who else lives in an old house?  Ours was built in 1926.  Check out these 27 things that only "old house" people will understand.

10 ways to show love to someone with depression.

Don't you just love Toronto in the Spring?

This block puzzle would be a fun gift to DIY (or buy) for a child.

Oh no, it's almost bee season!  Here is a list of the worst places to get stung.  Hint: nostril-lip-penis... Ouch!
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I Haven't Disappeared

Hi guys!  This has been a crazy week at work... You know, that job that pays for our house and DIY projects so I can blog about them on Sundays...  I am sorry for being such a lame-o the past couple of weeks and there may still be one week left of very sparse posts before I get my regular routine back.

How do you unwind from work?  I like to blog and work on crafty projects.  In fact, a few weeks filled with long work hours have left me wanting nothing more than to make jewelry or paint or reupholster a chair...

Here's what I have in mind for some upcoming projects (top photo:)

1.  Some friends and clients of mine recently gave me a cool retro chair that I can't wait to reupholster in a modern fabric.

2.  I have a stash of funky stone beads in quartz, malachite, lapis and many other semi-precious stones that I'm dying to play with on a lazy afternoon.  I'll look for some good tutorials to share.

3.  I bought some vintage plates at Value Village to make some fun cake stands for our wedding cupcakes... It's cheaper than renting serving ware and people can take them home!

4.  We really need to get cracking on our wedding invitations!  I've played around with photoshop a little since my last post but I haven't had time for much more.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend!  It's supposed to be sunny and warm in Toronto tomorrow!

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