Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22: Onwards and upwards

So, over the past ten days since my last post, work has been continuing. The balconies are now built (front and back), and the early days interior electrical, heating and plumbing work is happening.

It's still (hush) on schedule. It's also still seeming very large or tall or something. It's actually not large. It's only about 200 square feet bigger than the old one, and we attached the garage.

It's certainly wider and higher. I think the old house was lower and seemed quiet small from the front, this one is all up front.

I can't get used to the idea that we're going to live there, and fairly soon, too. It still feels like it's happening to someone else. Strange.

Something called gypcrete is going in tomorrow. (Update: It's in now ...) See picture.

It's some kind of goo that was poured over the heating tubes for the floors. We are putting in heated floors instead of a furnace. This was an idea our friend and HVAC guy extraordinaire, John Vanderheyden, told us about years ago. He really felt it was the most efficient way to heat homes, especially in a cold place like Canada. When we went to build, we found out the price had come down enough that it was something we could do. We had heated bathrooms floors in the original Morris house, and it was lovely. I can't imagine it everywhere, but I think it will be great.

It's really getting down to the details now. It's time for selecting, choosing and final decisions on this, that and the other thing. I spent hours at Direct Buy last night (not a fun place - even for a shopper like me) researching appliances, tile, fixtures, furniture, counters, flooring, blinds, outdoor pavers ....

Had to have a few glasses of wine when I got home to recover.

Have you shopped there, followers? It's so ....analog. It's crowded, too, and those catalogues, the small print, the plastic wrapped pages. I felt I needed hand sanitizer. They have these actual paper forms you fill out with pens! I don't trust it. And they don't take credit cards!

I ordered a washer and dryer last night. Check it out:

We chose it because it was blue and I like the square doors. I think it steams things, too. It was a great price, on sale.

Other updates:

We picked our appliances. We're going with GE Monogram line - it's high end looking, without the ridiculousness of the totally high end prices. Check out our stove. It's a six burner. SIX! What are we ever going to do with six burners? The husband wants it, thinks it's great for his famous "heart attack in a pan" egg fry breakfasts.

We have a concrete basement floor now, it was poured last Friday. You can walk around down there without precarious balancing over shifting stones and mud. It is lovely and smooth, makes you want to do a little tap dance (OK, so maybe I did .... )

Let me explain our plans for the basement - we designed it with an in-law suite in mind. Both the husband and I have healthy, independent parents who right now would never dream of living anywhere other than their own homes. But, we've always believed in the concept of multi-generational living, and have noodled over having them live in close proximity, in some way (they are pretty cool as far as parents go - and yes, they all read this).

So, because we didn't really need the basement space, we turned it into a two bedroom "suite" - complete with bathroom, fireplace and open concept kitchen. It's got large windows and 9 ft ceilings, so it doesn't really feel too basement-y. It's not big, but feels spacious because it's quite open.

(Note: I am not really a "basement" person. Warren is. He has always dreamed of his own "man room" preferably with no windows, one of those ugly Lazy Boy chairs, a TV and a well-stocked beer fridge. Like that is ever happening .....)

Anyway, our parents helped us the design the space - we asked them for the elements they would want for something like this. We even put in some foundation work to support an elevator installation someday. Both moms have arthritis and would need one to get down there. I have a very large closet off the mudroom for now.

We included a small terrace off a french door (which both moms said would be nice) and a fireplace (which they thought would make it feel warmer and less basement-y. Walking around there it now, it certainly doesn't feel too basement-y.

They are likely years away from needing to be this close to us, but in the meantime, we can use the space for a student, a nanny, or even some renters. (Applications must be made in writing ...)

We continue finalizing our kitchen design and bathroom plans. Tanner Vine, our very own designer guy, has come up with very cool ideas around these areas. He is busy drawing our plans - and I can't wait to see these spaces become reality. Tanner has been fantastic. If you are looking for a great kitchen designer, I recommend him and his firm:

This week, the husband and I will be picking exterior cladding, our fireplace, final plumbing choices, and sorting out the stairs. Still waiting for summer weather to arrive, so this will be a little easier since we won't be sitting on the beach! The husband is on vacation and running "daddy day care" for the next two weeks, do it ourselves renovations on the cottage also continue (hey, another blog??) so it's a really busy time. I am still commuting, but we hang out at the site every day or so somehow. I can't imagine what we'll do with ourselves once it's all done ..... I guess we'll be doing a lot of cooking on that six burner, right Husband??

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