And here is the rest of the story......

*December 5th, 2023 Update* – This is going to be my most reflective update, as we have now lived in the “finished” home for a number of months and we are moving into our first winter in the renovated home I see mistakes. In my defence mistakes I couldn’t have known for sure, but in reality I should have assumed the worst. 

Mistake 1 – I should have gutted the entire main floor when it was empty. I have accepted the biggest overall mistake we made (I Made) was moving into the house and living through the renovations (yes Justin, I agree you were right). This is the one item I regret most.

Having just purchased the home my brain wouldn’t let me accept the fact that the best thing to do at the time would have been to suffer through a few months living in a hotel or AirBnB or whatever we did and got the renovations done on the main floor finished entirely. We gutted the upstairs washroom and kitchen and both were redone, as you can see by the pics in their respective sections. BUT and it’s a biggie, as the house could have been left empty we should have gutted the entire main floor. That would have allowed us to get rid of all the lathe and plaster and replace the 25+ year old insulation on the main floor. We never paid much attention to how cold the main floor was last winter as we knew the whole house was a mess, downstairs was bare walled and all the windows were leaking beyond belief. As we are now a couple months into the colder season it’s clear that while the upstairs kitchen and washroom are quite nice and snug the other three rooms are still rather cold and drafty, don’t get me wrong they are miles better than they were last year with new paint and tirm and windows and caulking etc, but still feels like the upstairs is only 75% complete. 

Mistake 2 – The basement, I actually love how the basement turned out. We are constantly complimented by people seeing it in person and from the pics, and I do appreciate all the kind words. But the truth is I did have the basement stripped back the concrete walls and really only did a good job on it, when I had the chance for a pretty small sum to do it top notch. While I did put up proper vapour barriers and pink insulation under the drywall, there was so much more I could have done to seal it entirely. Again this was not done due to my desire to get it done as fast as possible as we were living through it. I have had the air quality and tightness tested and I was told it was one of the largest improvement he had seen, I know it could have been better. Of course in fairness last year 2022 in November our utility bill was over 600 bucks, yeah… I know. This year it was just under 350. That is amazing when you consider we are now using the entire house and all the computers and gadgets and appliances and lights etc, that were not in use last year. So when I start getting too hard on myself for not doing the extras I could have done I have to look at those numbers and realize all things considered it turn out pretty darn well. 

We have now added (finally I hear the wife saying haha) a dining room table and chairs so we actually have somewhere to sit when eating, what a novel idea. I guess at the end of the day I am very happy with the overall state of the house and truth be told I could still rip those upstairs rooms apart one by one over the summer and correct that issue. No chance for the basement but as I said it’s pretty much at a 90+% level so that last little bit likely is not worth worrying about. 

I am looking forward to getting at the grounds this spring. We need a side/back deck so the huge yard is actually usable, unlike now. Plus get some sod down and I have a few other thing I’d like to do in the front yard. But overall I think now the main work has been completed from this point on it’s filling in the gaps of the little things that really make it feel more like home. 

Thanks for stopping by, as usual don’t hesitate to drop me a line or comment on any of the photos pages. 

Peace out, have a great Christmas everyone.

*August 1st, 2023 Update* – As I said previously I encourage you to continuing reading down the page if you want to know the entire story instead of just the latest update. I figured these updates made sense for those that have read the long-term stuff and wondered what the heck we’ve been doing.

August 1st is the end of the road for any actual house changes. The exterior is as finished as we going to do this year. The interior is as well. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of little touch ups to do and a few bigger projects that I just don’t have the energy or interest to do right now.

As we had to live out of boxes for the entire fall and winter and a good part of the spring and we still haven’t got around to getting living room or dining room furniture we are putting a wrap on things for now.

We will continue to work on the gardens hopeful to have something bloom next spring, we planted a lot of perennials and have crossed our fingers. We hope to have the three huge planter boxes ready for plants next spring. We have built gardens on either side of the front entrance but yet to secure them or fill them with proper soil again something we will do as the summer winds down to be ready for next spring.

Likely won’t be any more updates until the boy is back in school and we have some time to assess where things are what the plans are for the winter. We can see some stuff already we want to change or update but again that’s for fall and winter.

Thanks for joining us in this journey all your comments have been so nice and we appreciate the feedback. See you in the fall.

*May 1st, 2023 Update* – I encourage you to read the rest of the page below, but I figured it made the most sense to put updates up top so you can see the latest new and not scroll down the whole page if you’ve already gone through it previously. Pretty much the entire basement is now complete and we will be moving our stuff down there by the end of the month. There is not much to do on the upper floor other than some tidying up and paint so by June will be stopping interior renovations and focus on the exterior and property. As I did with the lower level master ensuite I will do a little full room video of each room as it’s completed. Thanks for stopping by, there will still be updates happening but we are getting near the end now…

“October 2022 – The Project Begins* 

I thought it made sense to go into a little more detail than I did on the main page about what we knew, what we expected and what we found when we purchased the house.

I also can’t stress enough and I will try to mention it on each page as well PLEASE Read the captions for the pics, just click any pic and it will open into a viewing window and you scroll back and forth, but the captions are the best way to get an idea of what is happening

We knew for at least the last ten years the house had been used as a rental. It was a basement apartment and the tenant down there had rented it for the last ten years and the upstairs tenant for the last six years, or it might the reverse I might be mixing them up. 

To say they didn’t make any upgrades or stuff like on the property or house is a fair statement as they were simply tenants and, in all honesty, both their units were very lived in and looked in the pics like they had really settled in and that they liked their units. As I learned moving forward the previous owner who was a real estate agent basically fixed things as he had to, there was no reason to sink money into his cash cow as long as it kept producing.

I never saw the house in person before purchasing it as my eldest son and his wife already live in MH so they did the walk through for me and took videos and took pics, so I did go in with my eyes more less open. But I was not able to guess some of the stuff I found after the purchase.

As it was a rental the yard work was, well nothing. The grass was cut but no gardens and the trees were not looked after. Again, if I was a tenant I sure wouldn’t be sinking cash into gardens etc for the owner, no shade being thrown, just stating the facts.

We were not in any way fans of the exterior BUT in fairness it is stucco so nothing was rotten and it gives us the option of painting to remove that odd colored brick here and there look, or some siding. Also, as I touched on a bit on the main page we have some great plans for the exterior this coming summer. We will deal with the exterior, and get some gardens and landscaping in. Update the fencing, paint the garage, it will look brand new when we are done.

Okay let’s talk interior. We already had plans in the basement so we knew it was going to be gutted, we just didn’t have any clue how gutted that would be. We actually discovered they didn’t bother to actually properly heat the place, for the basement they literally just cut holes in the venting that was supplying the upstairs. They also used a totally illegal non conforming Gas heater. It was a sight to see. We installed a new Hi Efficiency HVAC system with dual thermostats and dual venting system. One of the other quirks we sorted out right away was the compressor for the AC unit was actually plunked down in the middle of the front garden’s one of the funnier looking things I’ve seen. When the HVAC was revamped we moved it to the side of the house like every one else.

It’s an amazing system, in the summer here the upstairs gets way hotter than the basement, in the winter the basement is much colder. With the new dual system those items are dealt with all while saving money, that’s a win-win.

I will go into more detail on each area’s page. So, you can see while reading about the plan how and why we came to make the choices we made. Of course you’ll have to keep checking back and we are pretty much done on the top floor, just a bit of paint and patching to be done. But the basement other than the laundry which is totally revamped is just getting to the nitty gritty of things.

I think what makes the most sense on the inner pages is to give you a little overview of the area being dealt with, some of the stuff we knew going in and of course all the surprises. Then I will put up two galleries of pics, the few I have of the original then enough of the renovated area to really give you a feel for where we are now. I will of course update as we move along.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jody, Wanida & Joaquin

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