Drywall Party #2 & Drywall taping Dilemma part 2

It happened! It finally happened!!! It really is unreal how much a home can change once you put up drywall.

Branko had another drywall party weekend, two of his friends (who he is paying) came up for two days while I vacated the house again. They managed to finish almost ALL of the remaining drywall in the house other then above the dining area and kitchen. During the week Branko hustled and finished all of the remaining drywall that needed to be done because we had found tapers to come and finish the work. See this post (more on this fail later after the pictures).

Now for some pictures of the rooms. You can see the changes from my Drywall Party #1 post to now.

Kitchen - one of the best decisions we feel we made was to add a door to the back yard where we will build a large deck. The second change we made was adding the small wall to the ceiling to hide the view of the fridge from the living room.

Master bedroom - this room is very large but I couldn't be more happy with the size. It will be a true retreat bedroom with an area for two sitting chairs and a small table.

Bedroom one - this room is slightly larger then the second bedroom. Both rooms have three windows for great natural light.

Bedroom two - This room will have natural light all during the day. The one window is lower then the two side windows so that the front of the house windows would all align.

Hall way - The first door is the master bedroom and then the hall way leads to the linen closet, two bedrooms, and second full bathroom for guests and the two rooms.

 

Our attempt to hire tapers to finish the house ended up being a fail. In the end they felt the job was much more then expected and wanted to be paid more then we could afford to pay. They did do a small amount of work for two days but because of the miss-communication they refused to take the money we offered them for two days of work. I truly think they thought we would just agree to the higher price and pay them but it was something we were not ready to commit to pay.  Branko will now finish the taping and sanding himself with some help from my dad and his friends that he has been paying to help out with heavy lifting work. But 75% of the work will be done on his own.

Because we have a baby due to arrive any day now we have had to change our game plan on getting the drywall done. Since August we have been living in a 400 sq ft area of the house that we turned into our room, along with TV, couch, and clothes. We've decided to set up the crib in here as well which still leaves us with plenty of living space (really surprising how much you can fit in 400 sq ft.) until we can have all of the drywall completed. During the time sanding will be done I will pack up the baby and head to my parents house.  It is not the most ideal situation but the baby will be warm and safe. Also, he will probably never remember this part of his life so I am OK with this. We should be able to move into our master bedroom and use our other rooms in about a month and half.

 

As always come and follow along on Instagram! I post many up to date changes involving the #foreverhome construction process!

 

 

 

Drywall Taper Dilemma

The title of this post is pretty clear, will I even have pictures to share probably not but I feel like sharing our dilemma so we can look back one day and laugh - or not.

You see back in February. yes wayyyyyyyyyyyyy back then. We called a guy for pricing and asked if he would be available the last week of April. We specifically advised April 27th - 30th. As any contractor who probably had no work over the winter he said YES! Yes, I am available. GREAT! Branko called him again late March and said I will be ready for you still, are you still available. YES! That was his answer. We advised him everything about the house.

April 25th the dude comes to our house to see what the work will be like and the conversation goes like this:

Contractor: OH man those ceilings, they are so high!

Branko: Yes, I told you that.

Contractor: OK, I will write up a quote for you and get back to you.

Branko: YA, but will you be able to start work on Monday?

Contractor: WHAT?? No, I only work on weekends.

At this point I am pretty sure Branko was not impressed. He told him to send him the quote and asked what weekend he can start. The contractor told Branko he needs SIX WEEKENDS to finish the job.

WHO IN THERE RIGHT MIND HAS SIX WEEKENDS TO SIT AROUND AND WAIT.

You can't do any other work until drywall is done. PLUS we have a baby coming!!! MAY 13th!

WTF!

By some grace of god our neighbour stopped by asking Branko if he had a certain tool he needed to fix his car and they got to talking. The neighbour gave Branko a phone number to a guy he used a couple of years ago.

We called the guy that night and thankfully he didn't have any work lined up for the next two weeks. Probably because he just got back from Vietnam.

AND there you have it, this new guy will start on Sat. May2nd but he advised us he might need at least 10 days. That gives us 3 days before baby's due date.

YES, I am hoping baby stays in for a couple days longer. Five days maybe??? Baby if you are listening I need five extra days to clean and put together a crib OK!

YOU GOT THAT!

I'm now talking to my baby over the blog which means I've probably lost my mind.

I will you leave you with one picture because sunsets at the #foreverhome are glorious and I love this quote.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and these hashtags #foreverhome #foreverhomebabyprep #countryliving #webuild

Drywall Party #1

The forever home is quickly taking shape! Two weekends ago Branko had a "drywall party" while I spent the weekend at my parents place. To be honest, it was hard being away and knowing so many changes were happening so quickly! I kept harassing Branko for pictures but he really wanted me to be surprised.

When I arrived home Sunday night the guys were all gone and all that was left were some really pretty white walls! We've been staring at insulation for so long you forget how pretty white space can be.

Between 4 guys and 2 days of working they managed to put up 120 sheets of drywall! The job certainly isn't done and he is having them over again during the last weekend of April. Branko had already scheduled tapers to come from April 27th - April 30th to complete the job! This is very exciting considering "foreverhomebaby" is due to arrive May 13th!

****Important note - these guys failed on us. They told Branko they can now only work weekends which doesn't work for our situation. We are now resorting to Plan "B" to be ready for a baby living under this roof*** More on that another day when I won't feel like I will be crying writing up that entire post.

The pictures are not so glamorous yet but still oh so very pretty to look at! In my eyes anyways!

Living room windows, some drywall needs to be cut out still. The fireplace is directly across from the windows.

Master bedroom - the room faces the back yard which will be great for privacy.

Master bedroom - back wall across from the windows.

Master bathroom - a soaker tub will sit under the window and to the left will be a standing shower. Across from the window is the vanity with the toilet to the left of the vanity across from the shower.

Master Bathroom

Hall way - we ensured the hall way is 4ft so it didn't look too narrow. This leads to the linen closest, bathroom, and 2 bedrooms.

Bedroom 1 - each bedroom has 3 windows.  This room has one facing the backyard and two facing the side yard.

Bedroom 2 - One window faces the front yard and 2 windows facing the side yard.

The second dry wall party happened over the weekend. Looking forward to snapping some pictures of all of the work that was done and sharing our progress!

 

Stay Tuned and watch for these hashtags on my Instagram feed! #foreverhome #countryliving #webuild #foreverhomebabyprep  #may13th #itsaboy

 

We Passed!!!!!!

A quick update on the Forever Home!!!

Today we had the inspection done on all of our electrical/framing and WE PASSED! I really had no doubt that we wouldn't but you still wonder if they are going to make you re-do anything which would have delayed us some more! I cannot handle anymore delays - we have baby coming remember!!!

Branko and his father did all of the electrical work in the house. I may have helped pull a few wires but bending over and being pregnant was no easy task! I really miss being able to help out more but this darn belly keeps getting in my way!

The electrical was all pulled through the basement and then into the floor joist to the panel.

This means more updates coming to the blog as we get started on the drywall! The walls itself will be pretty simple but the ceilings are going to be zero fun. I'm sure much swearing will happen.

No joke, our kitchen wall.

I'll be sure to follow up with a new post soon and better pictures of our kitchen wall. As you can see in the above picture the wall is 15ft high and we will be having zero cabinets. There will be a nice range hood to the left of the window and 2 lights right above the window but that is about it.

Have any ideas??????? Please feel free to share below and in my next post I plan on sharing what our thoughts our & how we plan to approach the wall.

 

With that being said I will leave you with this pretty view.....when driving home from town I have two options. Take the paved road home or take the side dirt road. On nice days I always take the side roads and that's my advice to all you country living people.

The side roads let your mind be free.


living through a renovation and exciting news

 

I've determined that if and when I survive the winter of 2014/2015 in a home with barely any heat I am a super woman. It was cold over the weekend, the evenings are dipping into the -20s some nights and running to the bathroom is an adventure.

When we started the renovations on the home we gutted everything. This included the old heating system. We plan on installing Geo-thermal in the early spring so our plan was to tough out the winter heating the main part of the house with a wood fireplace and an industrial heater.

We are using our new entrance area as a living area. We have fully insulated the room and installed a door to the room.  The space is 450 sq. ft. We have our bed, tv, coffee table for eating, all of our clothes, batteries for the tools, and coffee machine in this room. The coffee machine is in here because the water was freezing in the tank and basically broke my Tassimo! YAY for an upgrade to the Nespresso Virtuoline. Our heat source in the sleeping room is 1 oil heater & 2 baseboard heaters. One heater is left on during the day so when we come home the room is warm.

The bathroom has one baseboard heater that is left running at all times. When we shower or take "longer bathroom breaks" we have a small industrial heater that runs on a 20amp that we turn on. It actually works really well and sometimes the bathroom can become so hot it can feel like sauna.

The main living area which is the kitchen, living room, and dining room is being heated by the wood fire place. Truthfully we only use this space when preparing food. So far we have managed to keep this area above 10 degrees on the weekends. During the week if its a sunny day that area will stay at a balmy 4 degrees.


Our pipes have froze maybe a total of 6 times. Not bad considering the circumstances.

Many people have been asking or commenting on our situation with the most common statements being:

  -  How do you do it?

  - I could NEVER live like that!!!

  - Don't you just wish it was over!

  - You are crazy!

  - You live way toooooooooooooooooo far!!!!!!!!!!!!

You get the drift.....most days I don't get the comments. I certainly don't go over to other people's houses and say "Look! I can see your neighbors making out! OR "WOW, can your backyard be any smaller?" I would never say these things because at the end of the day you probably love your home and I respect that. You bought it for a reason.  Any time I walk into somebodies new home I always find something nice and respectful to say about it.

The point here is that yes we are roughing it currently and yes it can be tough at times. We have saved tons of money doing this work on our own. It has been well worth the time BUT it's not just the money saved. It has been about the experience. It has showed us that we accommodate well, we can communicate our concerns, we can laugh about the worst situations. One night we cooked a dinner in our winter coats and toque's.(we have a picture for proof, but Branko would kill me if I shared it)

At the end of the day I would hope that anybody who comes across our story respects our choices as I would yours. I hope that by following my journey you may want to step out of your own comfort zone.


AND for the exciting news:

YES!!! I am finally ready to share that we will be welcoming a little bundle of joy in MAY!!! We are both excited and nervous of course. Branko already has dreams of building a Cadillac bed :)

 

It's safe to say we need to hustle but I am excited about what our future holds with this new addition to our family coming soon!

2015 Forever Home Update

Dearest Forever Home - we have big plans for you in 2015!

I've been slow with the Forever Home updates, this blog is all about our week to week process of building our dream home. We had big plans for the Christmas Holidays to work, work, work but then cold mornings settled in real quick and it made leaving our one warm cozy room that much more difficult. 

Since re-building our entire chimney (you can read that post here) we have finished building our interior walls, all of ducting has been installed and prepared for our geothermal install later this year, we've done numerous clean ups, the entire old home has been completely torn down ( in case you are new here, we built a new roof over our old roof).

We started the electrical work and are around 50% done. If you follow me on Instagram (which you can here!!) you would have noticed how excited I was to have lights in our kitchen area. We have been using one 1 lamp since August. Now I can turn on real lights in the kitchen via a real switch. We had originally hoped we would be further along and our electrical would be done before the extreme cold settled in but that didn't happen. We are having some issues now with keeping the house above zero temperatures. We decided to move ahead with ordering the insulation and start stuffing the ceiling. Once that is done our fireplace should be able to keep the kitchen, dining, & living room around to around 10 degrees.

Once Branko finishes the electrical and our inspections are passed we will feel at ease. All of the walls will be stuffed with insulation and then we can put up our drywall. We our aiming for mid Feb. to have drywall go up.

Enough of the boring talk! Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of how we have been living. You know keeping it real on this blog as I always do....

You may see a disaster, I see pretty pink insulation that is helping us keep warm.

Another angle of the our very open concept area. The ceilings are 15ft at the peaks and 9ft at the walls.

Lighting! You can't see much here but the lighting in that picture will be our kitchen area.

Sorry for my lack of amazing photos, I don't even think the most professional camera can make this living area look any different at this point. Once we get started on the fun stuff like drywall I will be sure to capture some better pictures at different angles.

A new chimney

First off, with Instagram making it so easy to post my picture updates I have become a horrible blogger. I write here so that every step we take in building the Forever Home is documented. Hopefully you have a chance to popover to my Instagram and follow along as well!

 

You may be wondering why in the world would we want to rebuild the entire chimney, well we had many good reasons....

  1. The old chimney was now lower then the roof, it had to be built up to reach the new roof.
  2. The old chimney we discovered was actually seeping, no beuno...very unsafe.
  3. The old chimney was double the size it had to be, therefore taking up extra room.
  4. The old chimney was not centered

The last reason was the most annoying one, when we initially thought we were keeping the old chimney we had a very difficult time trying to center the fireplace and getting the attachments in place. We also had to make the fireplace much wider then we would have preferred.

Your next question might be...did you pay somebody to rebuild it. Nope, nada, no way, not on Branko's time. He knew it wouldn't be easy but he also knew he could save over $3000 by doing this work himself. Thankfully my dad who has all the patience in the world offered to come for two days and help.

The first step was to completely dismantle the old chimney. The very top part and the very bottom were the most difficult. Branko used a special tool to help chip away the concrete that seals the cinder blocks together. It took us 4 nights with around 3 hours of work each night.

The second step we had to prepare the basement to ensure the area was clean. An old furnace and the old chimney were partly in the way. He also had to cut out some holes in the floor and roof.


The third step...rebuild!! They were able to finish half of the work in one day. The upper part of the chimney was much more difficult as they had to carry the cinder blocks up the ladder.

I hope one day our new fire place looks like this.....

We plan on using a similar stone like in this picture and bringing the stone all the way to the ceiling which is around 15ft. Picture was sourced here.

Currently we will be using this fireplace more then likely for the winter until we finish the interior of the house.

We found this fireplace on Kijiji last year for $200. It was really worn down and faded, so we bought fire safe spray paint and gave it a fresh coat.

For now, the house will stay in the crazy condition. The shingles on the roof should be done in 10 days. Next up we do the wiring in the ceiling and then finish the insulation. It's pretty cold in this area since it's not properly insulated so we are thankful that we are close to that stage.