Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Today was our first Halloween as homeowners!  Yesterday while walking the dog, we picked up a pumkin, carved it and toasted the seeds.  I let Chris do most of the carving.  I think he did a good job, although I am pretty sure when I wasn't looking he tried his luck with the jig saw. 
We had about 30-35 kids come by and they were all sweet as pie.  We had one little girl carrying two bags and asked whether she could have extra for her friend who was too sick to trick or treat. 

Winston was a great sport too --he pretty much only growled at the scariest looking kid. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Youngest Overnight House Guest

This weekend we had our first overnight baby house guest. Our friends Mike and Erika came from Ottawa and brought their 7 month old daughter, Addison.  It gave Chris and I an opportunity to see what it would be like to decorate a room with baby stuff.  Since the Master bedroom remains unfurnished (STILL!) it was the perfect room to set-up a makeshift nursery. We also proved that the house is very sound proof as it was possible to entertain 9 loud dinner guests while the baby slept soundly.

See you next year ...hopefully new and improved!

With so much work to do inside the house, it is difficult to find both the motivation and the finances to work on the outside. During the spring we pulled some weeds and removed some ferns/bushes and tried to grow some grass. 

Below is a picture of the backyard.  It is a decent size, especially for Toronto. We have grass for the dog, a slab of cement closer to the house for the bbq, and little gardens with flowers and trees. We also have a nice wood fence on the left hand side to create separation between us and the neighbors, a chain link fence at the back which slopes downward into a hill before meeting up with the next yard, and  another chain link fence on the right side which fortunately we share with really great neighbors.  It's been fun making use of the back yard for bbq's and the occasional party but now that the season is coming to a close, I can't help but dream about the work we could do back there.  I would love to finish the fence, add a deck, buy a new bbq, pull some more weeds and grow some more grass.  Hopefully this is a project I can blog about in the spring or even late summer but for now, I will just keep dreaming!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Once removed
New Plaster


I have been delaying this post because I think that baseboards are really boring.  That said, they were a lot of work and actually made a big difference in each of the rooms that we have completed.  Here is a simplified, step-by-step summary of the project (in my terms).

Step 1: Chris removed the old baseboards before we ripped up the floors.  It was a painful job because they were the old thick wooden baseboards and were nailed in very tight with really long nails.  He was also trying to be careful not to remove too much of the plaster from the walls and originally we thought we may want to reclaim them (in the end it was too difficult to save them). 

Step 2: The second and third picture depicts my responsibility in the baseboard project.  My job was to plaster and re-plaster all of the removed areas.  In some cases, I slabbed on so much plaster and it likely would have been easier to cut a piece of drywall instead. Once the plaster was dry I had to sand and re-sand the surface area to make them as flat as possible for step 4.

Step 3: Cutting the baseboards.  This was Chris' job and it was quite tedious. Because the walls are all different lengths, the boards will all need to be cut accordingly.  Also, the ends need to be cut on an angle in order for the corners to match up.  

Step 4: Applying the baseboards.  We went with the tall boards since we have nine foot ceilings and the old wood ones that we had just removed were also the tall ones. We used MDF (medium density fiberboard) rather that pine or other wood.  The main reason is beause it was more affordable. I think it looks clean and nice. The caption on the last picture says "complete" but I am pretty sure we are adding a strip of quarter rounds which I will post at a later date.
Step 5: Caulking the baseboards. In order to hide the gap between the wall and the baseboards, we used caulking.  Most home renovators would know about this magical white filler but it was news to me. Once the baseboards were caulked, they looked great and very professional.

Because the baseboard removal project was such a pain, we decide to remove only the quarter rounds on the second floor, in order to prep for the new floors.  That is, everywhere except for in the master bedroom. We will be putting new baseboards in the master bedroom soon (which still remains empty by the way).  The "before" picture is from the second floor with only the quarter round removed.