Dream Garage Re-build

Last year we started on one of the biggest projects over at the Forever Home. I named it the "The Dream Garage". Branko has worked all of his life really hard to save his money in hopes that one day he would have the garage of his dreams to ensure his classic cars were safely stored.

Picture from last year. Dream Garage 

When that day came last year I was over joyed for him. You see Branko is a child of war. His family ran from war torn former Yugoslavia when he was 11 years old. I can not even imagine what those days were like but I truly believe those moments in his life and the upbringing by his parents shaped him into the hard working man he is known to be. 

The Dream Garage was in full swing starting in late August planned to be finished by early November. We worked hard, we paid a couple of guys to help and in a little over a months time the garage was up. We were only missing the plywood on the roof when this happened. You can read the story in that link and imagine how I felt, like my heart was ripped out of me. Not for my pain but his. It was something he had worked so damn hard to have and then it was destroyed in minutes. 

Picture from last year. Dream Garage

The time is now that we re-build this beautiful structure!! It was mangled and I really believed it was going to be much more difficult. But with some help of amazing friends we started on the re-build over the weekend. The plan was to work Sat and Sun but because of the rain forecast we only worked on Saturday. 

Here is a small progress picture that I will share. Make sure you keep checking back in the coming weeks as more updates will be happening! 

Next weekend we continue on the garage all weekend then we have two weeks of working on the Forever Home. Long weekend will be dedicated to the Dream Garage again then 15 days to move in date! 

OH HEY - One last little look......(Branko worked all day Sunday on Forever Home Electrical)

The panel has been officially moved and 2 circuits have been set up, we will set up an appointment for safety on Monday and hopefully have power next Wed!!! 

As of tomorrow we are 30 days from move in date to the Forever Home!!!! Stay tuned as the blog will be busy in the next couple of weeks with many updates! 

Today I Take One Step Slower

My new mantra: "Today I take one step slower"

This is real life - no filters, cropping, not even a sweep of the floor 

 My stress levels went through the roof the other day thinking about the days left we have to move into the Forever Home. We are down to 38 days as I write this post. 

We went from hoping we could have all of the drywall done to let's just get electrical working in the important rooms and plumbing into the main bathroom and kitchen. 

I realize that I cannot stress any more because I need to be grateful for what is in store for us. We have our health, our happiness and after Aug 15th we will be one home owners. That in itself is enough to be thankful and count our blessings every day. 



The art of trespassing

Trespass  - is an area of tort law broadly divided into three groups: trespass to the person, trespass to chattels and trespass to land.

As you know (or might not know) we bought a new home with 50 acres of land. We have 2 streets that we can use to access the land.

One street is the main street with a driveway that curves up a hill to the house. We also created a smaller driveway going towards the bush where in which we thought we were going to use for the dream garage. 

If you look to the far right you can see a driveway going towards the opposite way. 

The second street is a smaller dead end street, but you can access our walking trails if you continue to the end of that street. 

Our first trespasser was our "friendly" old neighbor. Who told us that for the last 10 years she had been hiking on our property. She shared with us how she liked to cut down small trees and that she had yearly hiking parties with her lady friends from the city. We kindly told her she had to stop because we own the land now and don't want anybody to get hurt back there - she stormed off and never talked to us again. 

Our second trespasser were dirt bikers. Last year we caught them as they thought that our front lawn would be fun to ride on. We chased them down in our car, caught up to them as they were on the side of the road about 8 km away trying to load up their bikes. We took their licence plates and kindly advised them they better not ever think of coming back. 

Our third trespasser was a couple. We work at the Forever Home all day and then go to the old house to take breaks(they are about 1.5 km away from each other). Saturday night around 8 pm (still broad daylight) we drove back to the Forever Home to make sure we put all the tools away and locked everything up. You can imagine our shocked faces when we pulled up and started driving towards the house to see something happening in the other driveway. What is that!!!!! Oh yes that is some guys bare ass hanging out for every passer by on the street to see and the girl on the trunk of the car (as I am writing this I can just imagine if people driving by thought it was US the new owners of the house under construction!!) I'm not sure what was going through that girls mind when we stopped the car and got out because she held her legs up for a good 5secs after. They jumped into their own car not without hearing me yell get there licence plate I'm calling the police. 

This story gets better......

We locked up and left to go home...ummmmmmmmmmmm the idiots parked in the  next neighbors drive way to get dressed. We blocked them in and Branko got out to have a conversation with them. It ended up being they were friends with the first home owner on the street and was having a party. Guess they felt the need to get away for a couple of minutes. We know that home owner fairly well so we went over the next day and had a little chat with him. 

You know how the saying goes: "Third times a charm" 


Do you have a story to tell me of your own art of trespassing adventure??? How do you deal with trespassers? We have yet to lay any charges but let it be known that we won't hesitate if we catch somebody again. 


Forever Home Update - 60 days

We have 60 days left before we have to move to the Forever Home. 

Over the weekend we started the build of the new front deck...(more on that on another post but here is a quick look) 

Things we changed - widened it by 3 ft on each side, lengthened it by 2 ft, and added 4 pillars that will be clad in stone. 

In reality we probably should be a lot more worried but for some reason we have this slow pace to our work days. 

Things we need to do:

  1. Complete the fascia and eaves troughs
  2. Finish protective wrap on the outside 
  3. Insulate the floor in the additions
  4. Screw down the joists in both additions
  5. Install the stairs in the new location
  6. Move the electrical panel
  7. Re-wire the old part of the house and start wiring for new additions
  8. Finish plumbing in old part of house and start plumbing in additions
  9. Foam in all the windows and doors
  10. Dry wall entire house
  11. Tape, Mud, and sand (the only thing we are paying for) 
  12. Move all of our stuff to the new house 

I think I missed a lot of steps but I would rather not have a complete breakdown as I write this.

I accept free help. 




How to keep a construction site clean and safe.

How well do you deal with a messy home under construction??

I can deal with dishes in the sink and dust on the baseboards but loads and loads of garbage surrounding my house gives me some kind of crazy person anxiety. I will start pacing in circles around the junk and rambling ideas off to Branko about how we need to clean this up ASAP. 

His response is usually "ummmmmmmmmmm D you realize we don't have electricity or plumbing or walls for that matter right and we need to move in 73 days" 


Well guess what the mess was getting to him too! So over the course of the last 2 weeks we have collected a large part of the garbage. 

Before - The large arrows showing the mass collections of metal, wood, and shingles. At one point it almost reached the balcony. 

Before - The front view. The arrow shows where all of that garbage was sitting. 

After - All of that garbage was sitting in front of those french doors on the lower level. 

My advise when you are under renovation is to keep everything in separate piles. We knew all of the wood was going to be burned so we tried to keep it relatively close to the area where we burn. The metal and shingles were being taken to the dump. You receive money back for metal based on the weight and since we had so much we kept that separate as well. We ended up paying $150 for garbage and received $90 back for metal. I know most people get a bin but because the dump is fairly close and we have a trailer it was more logical to take the garbage ourselves. 

Before - Back of the house. Shingles thrown from the roof scattered everywhere, insulation left over from the roof ceiling, and the metal tv tower. 

After - We used the wheel barrel to collect the shingles and bring them down to the main pile. The tower was chopped up and added to the metal pile. 

The only things that are left back here is moving that stone which will be done with a machine. We cut down a few small bushes that were in our way. Landscaping will not be completed until next year. But we will rake up any excess garbage that is on the ground. 

Even though it is not perfect it allows to freely walk around without tripping over anything. The back yard took us 30 minutes to clean up. 

Some other tips would be to keep many heavy duty construction garbage bags handy. You can purchase a large box at Home Depot. I also used Branko's metal tool and walked around and collected an entire Home Depot bucket of nails. The contraption has a long handle so you don't have to brake your break doing this. 

Do you have any tips to share below on keeping a construction zone clean and safe?? I would love to hear them! 

Forever Home Update - New Roof

The new roof has been finished for almost a month now but I had no drive to write about it. Not because I wasn't excited but because the only new pictures I could take of the front of the house to show the new roof line also included the current state of the "junk yard" that was building up. Every time I see a new blog post from somebody the pictures are always so perfect, the setting, the colours, the back drop....I kept on thinking who wants to look at my junk yard.  

Well guess what, this little blog of mine it's full of our memories of this building process the good and the bad. All the hard work the two of us are putting into the Forever Home. So please if you are looking for perfect pictures and dreamy scenery it will come one day just not yet......I hope you stick around for the journey. I hope it encourages and shows people that not everything is perfect behind the scenes of blogs. Accidents happen, things brake, and if you are anything like us everything changes at lightning speed. 

Here is a look of the old roof line with no additions, old windows/doors, and over grown gardening. 

Pretty crazy looking back at this, just 2 short years ago and 2 homes later this is how our Forever Home looks now...

The shingles on the old part of the house had to be replaced, once we started removing them we realized the plywood had to be replaced as well. 

The front facade of the house will be grey board and batten siding with stone features beside french doors, each corner of the house, and stone feature at the new entrance where the roof is over hanging. 

We have a done a ton more work since this photo was taken, next week I will show you the real fun stuff on the inside which is making this home feel so much more welcoming! 

Tell me...do you ever hesitate to write a blog post because you are waiting for that perfect picture??

Power Into Spring

I should be providing you a Forever Home update about the new roof but in order to do that I need to climb up onto the roof again.....so that update might be a while. 

Instead I wanted to fill you in on a great opportunity I had to attend Ryobi's first ever blogger event. I was pretty excited about this because we are surrounded by tools right now. Home building tools and spring gardening tools. With 2 homes under our plate, one of which is for sale with 2 1/2 acres and lots of yard maintenance, the second is 50 acres under a major home renovation and 3 acres of land that needs to be maintained. 

Upon arriving we had the chance to visit several different set ups of the Ryobi Tool collection. 

Ryobi Tool Collections

Ryobi Tool Collections

Ryobi Generator, light weight, pull handle on the bottom to make it versatile for moving around. 

Ryobi Generator, light weight, pull handle on the bottom to make it versatile for moving around. 

Ryobi also had a wide selection of trimmers, power washers, and a battery operated lawn mower! The trimmer was very light weight and definitely something I would consider purchasing.

Although the lawn mower might be a bit too small for our large lot it was so versatile I just wish we could have one! (side note we own TWO riding lawn mowers) 

The handle folds in to make the lawn mower easy to carry around and great for storing  (picture from Ryobi)

The handle folds in to make the lawn mower easy to carry around and great for storing  (picture from Ryobi)

Next up we had a chance to sit down and listen to Frank speak about his new book Power Plants. He was open to ANY gardening questions but was also very helpful in regards to how so many of Ryobi tools/gardening equipment could make our day to day gardening maintenance so much easier. 

Frankie Flowers! 

Frankie Flowers! 

Frank was very down to earth and you could tell he truly enjoyed both his day job of being the "weather guy" on Breakfest Television but also his true passion for gardening and wanting to really show people how gardening could be better for your health. 


The final part of the day was building our own planter box! Let me tell you that poor soul who had to work with our table had some great patience skills. Julie from SoberJulie rocked at her building skills but myself and Sabrina from PinkLittleNotebook needed some assistance at the end with some added tools. So many great laughs!! 

My Planter Box! 

My Planter Box! 

It turned out to be a really great day. I learned so much more about the Ryobi Collections. I defiantly have my eye on the nail gun. Considering we have 2000 square feet of baseboards to do, I am pretty sure it would come in handy. I also had a chance to finally meet Julie from SoberJulie, Chris from Just Beachy, and Kristen and her husband from StoreFrontLife plus running into a few other bloggers that I had already met before! 




disclaimer: this is not  a sponsored post.