Saturday, October 7, 2017

Status Update

By some Thanksgiving miracle, I'm here to advise that things are happening - framing is 80 per cent complete. Sure, this time last year I posted about how there is NO way I wouldn't be back in my post-renovated home by Thanksgiving and that was my non-negotiable, bottom line. Everyone in construction assured me that I'd be back by the beginning of September - not optimism, flat out lies. But whatcha gonna do? Happily, we will be having roast vegetables, roast lemon capon and homemade pumpkin pie today. We will also be siting on the couch while we eat. Honestly though, it's just a convention to sit at a table while one dines. What's wrong with cozy spot on a couch?

We got some red roses and a really nice bottle of cava, not to mention that it's the most summer-like day for a fall holiday ever. I really love summer in fall. There is much to be grateful for.

But let me tell you where we're at with the house. To date, we've:
  • Expanded a foundation around a boulder
  • Corrected the foundations of 2 neighbours
  • Created a full-depth basement that now travels the entire length of the house
  • Replaced a rotted load-bearing beam
  • Replaced a dry-rotted two-story wall
  • Created the framework for 5 new rooms (sewga, 2 bathrooms a kitchen and a sitting room), and
  • Replaced the stairs and walkway from the basement to the backyard

What's remaining, as far as I can remember and in no particular order or order of magnitude:
  • Installing the heating, electrical, insulation, and plumbing - and all of those necessary systems
  • Actually outfitting all the rooms that have been built i.e. kitchen cabinets, pantry, showers, floors etc.
  • Installing a yoga wall in the sewga room
  • Replacing all of the windows at the front of the house (and getting the windows into the new build)
  • Installing a fireplace (I'm going with 3-sided glass and gas because, despite my undying love for the scent of wood smoke, not one person (even the fireplace installer) could recommend a woodstove.
  • Opening the load-sharing wall between the staircase and dining room (this will NOT result in open-concept), which involves installing beams in existing walls and ripping up the ceiling to reinforce the second floor.
  • Installing some new sort of balustrade (or glass?)
  • Affixing a brick veneer to the entrance wall, opposite the dining room.
  • New lighting throughout the house
  • New painting throughout the house
  • Reconstructing the wrecked-up dining room
  • Fixing the stairs (they need to be sanded and repainted) 
  • Hardscaping the backyard
  • Landscaping the backyard, including bamboo in boxes, to be set up outside the kitchen window for what I'm calling a panda-scape.
  • Furnishing the new spaces (we recycled a lot of our furniture that's been around since the beginning of time, and certainly before we had any taste).
That sounds like rather a lot.

So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and moderating my consumption of alcohol to the best of my ability. And feeling rather thrilled - for the first time since this saga began - about this architecture meeting my needs:

That's Marcus the framer, in the sewga room. What it lacks in width it makes up for in height!
Everyone thought this roof was crazy. The builders questioned it. People said it would look weird. But as my mother likes to say: no guts, no glory. I think it's fantastic. There will be wood panels or beams (scandi style) on the massively tall ceiling and a beautiful floor. It's going to be outrageously light in this room (note the window to the left of the wall of windows - it is not small), I'll be able to sew without overheads, even on a cloudy winter day!

And, to get super-controversial, I've decided against putting a bathtub in either of the new bathrooms (and the one in the basement is just a powder room). I'm putting in showers and I'll install a tub, as required, before I move in 20 yrs, in the event that people still bath at that point. Why no tub?? Um, because I hate them, they take up space, I feel entirely unstable getting in and out of them (and like I'm bound to slip while I'm in them). I love a sexy shower with bells and whistles and maybe a seat, you don't have to put a curtain around it if you like glass, and I do, and that makes for an infinitely more spacious-seeming, freakin' tiny bathroom. And as for the argument that children need them, my kid's been having a shower since she could stand up (not that all buyers necessarily share my perspective).

So, here's to a Kristin-post that isn't all doom any mayhem.

Today's questions: What do you think of the all showers/no tubs decision? Are you in camp bath tub? Do you think I'm insane? And how do you like the crazy ceiling? (Note: If you hate it, feel free to desist from being entirely truthful.)  FYI, the roof doesn't look strange from the back of the house - you can't see the crenelation from that view. It's only from the third floor balcony that the shape of the roof is discernible. Have a great weekend, everyone. Kxo

38 comments:

  1. No tubs in our house and no regrets. Yours is looking great!

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    1. Love that feedback. Thanks so much!

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  2. Hi Kristin. I think the sewga room will be wonderful. I love the ceiling height and the large window.
    If it was just up to me, I would have a walk in shower instead of a tub, but dear husband is worried about resale, as we only have one full bath and one powder room. Oh well.
    I have just planted my garlic. All tucked in with leaf mulch and ready to sleep over the winter. The cloves were huge this year. Bigger than a twoonie, and only two or three to a bulb.
    Happy thanksgiving!
    Barb

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you too Barb! Thanks for your comment. I'm intrigued by the shower vs bath peeps. There may be more in our camp than I originally realized :-)

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  3. I hate baths, showers are my jam. Your house, your choice, go for it!

    Glad things are moving along in the home reno front and good luck with the rest! Hope your health is getting better as well. can’t wait to see your finished sewga room.

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    1. Thanks so much Kay! You know I'll keep you all posted on how it's going (if slightly less frequently for the next little bit, given work...) Wish I could say the pain has abated over the last couple of weeks but I'm optimistic, once things calm down just a bit - on all the fronts, more rest/sleep/better lifestyle habits will kick in again and that'll improve. I do find that fall is a tricky season for pain.

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  4. I'd have a tough time without a bathtub, tbh -- love my baths as self-care from time to time. But that's so personal, and if everyone in your family is onboard with not having one, why bother? As for resale, the investment you're making suggests you're in this for the (very) long haul, so build to enjoy and let the buyers way down the road add if they want. My son hesitated a bit last year over buying a house that didn't have one -- a really tough market and he wasn't in a position to be that picky but phoned to ask me if I thought it would work to raise kids in a house without one. They found a big plastic bin/tub that their almost-3 has been bathing in, in the large shower stall, and she's become used to the shower spray as well, so looks as if the girl's going to survive a tub-free childhood. We do get a bit precious, don't we. . . . So pleased to see the progress that's finally happening at your place -- and to see how gorgeous it's really going to be!

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    1. Frances - that's hilarious! I love that they found a tub to put in the bath. Very creative. And, I totally get it re: resale. When I moved into my house, I made sure there was a bathtub even though I've always hated them. But I was convinced that a tub was necessary for children, even if my kid didn't hang out in there.

      In a perfect world, I'd have enough space for a separate tub and shower stall - and the tub would be free-standing and modern - and once a year someone could use it / new buyers would love it. Alas, this house is SO much smaller than I remember. The bathrooms together are the size of one bathroom in the rental. So I need to be practical for my next phase in the place.

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  5. Love the ceiling. It's the wonderful sort of interesting architechy detail I'd want to see in an upper-scale home like yours.

    However, I am firmly camp bath tub. I bathe (not shower) at least three times/wk. But it's your house! So you do you!!

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    1. Thanks Hearth!! I have a friend at work who won't use a shower / always takes a bath and she and I have had some fun debates about this decision. She actually has 2 baths in her house and rotates to use the one that best meets her needs on any given day.

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  6. I agree about baths. I am hoping to renovate my bathroom soon, and leaning towards removing my bath and making my current stand alone shower bigger. My bath currently contains my clothes horse for drying clothes during winter. As Australia is heading toward summer by bath with now just collect dust until next winter.

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    1. Johanna - apparently, this is becoming a more popular trend when people renovate (even if it is controversial). I thought our architect would strongly advise against it but he says he sees it more now than ever. (Then he disclosed he hates baths too :-))

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  7. I wholeheartedly agree with your no-bathtub decision. If there was any way I could afford to remove the bathtub in my own tiny bathroom and convert it to a step in shower space instead, I would do it in a heartbeat. I never take baths, and my dream bathroom has a shower with only enough of a step-over lip on the floor to keep the water from taking over the entire room.

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    1. Oooh, you're all the way at the other extreme. Sometimes I come across those European designs where the shower just sprays into the entire room and it freaks me out. For some reason, I feel that there needs to be a container around it, even though it's technically unnecessary, as all of those Euro bathrooms prove.

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  8. Baths vs showers: Once the kids got old enough to stop playing in the tub no one ever used it. Ever. For years. And I had the slip/fall concerns you mentioned. So a couple years ago when we redid the bath with tub the tub came out and a delightful shower stall with fancy digital temp setting went in. We love it, and the future owners of the house can do what they like when they move in. No zoning requirement here for a tub in each house....

    The ceiling is fascinating, how could anyone not love it?

    And I love the "pandascape" idea; we have the bad thuggish kind of bamboo planted in the ground, a terrible mistake made years ago by former house owners, and even as I am thinning it, beating it back from tearing up the foundation of the house, etc, I do love the look/sound of it. Sadly no pandas to report, but we do have a rather nasty looking urban raccoon, probably a panda cousin.

    ceci

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    1. Ceci - I should have mentioned in my post, we have no zoning requirement for bath here either. Thank you for your lovely comment about the ceiling!

      Also, on the bamboo, Scott did some research and we learned that putting it into these special containers with lining etc. (it's a kit that comes from BC) will keep the bamboo from taking over. I too am concerned about bamboo's ability to proliferate. Scott loves bamboo. I'd be more into grasses because I think they look equally pretty in all seasons (yellow in winter but still fluffy). So we are negotiating. And the idea of the urban racoon (bane of our lives) being a cousin of the panda is very funny. I sense the panda would object!

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  9. Bath/shower--our house came with both in the master bath. I think the tub has been used 4 times in 5 years. I do love using the tub with a white board on top to give my orchids their coolish rest period. Our bathroom faces North :)
    Re roof...looks nice. I love the idea of a yoga wall.

    Happy thxgiving to you and your family. Abbey

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving Abbey! I agree that, on occasion, it's terrific to have a tub for things like orchids (I'm sure your orchids are very happy).

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  10. Would much rather have a shower, not a tub. When I had ankle surgery and was non-weight bearing for six weeks, the effort to get a shower (inside a bathtub) was just awful--a burden to me and to those who had to help me. Did not have enough strength to get over the edge of the tub to get out from the portable bath chair inside the tub, even using a grip bar I attached to the tub to assist. It was a royal PIA. Build a seat in your showers (great for shaving legs) and if you or your loved ones are ever have a medical situation like mine, you will know you made the right choice. And who the heck cares about the next buyer? Build for yourself.

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    1. I'm intrigued by how many people are in camp shower. I thought for sure that everyone was going to think it's a terrible idea! And I agree, if I'm going to build for myself, never mind the next buyer. I'll start worrying about those peeps in 20 years :-)

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    2. Seconding Mary: shower with a seat and grab bar and no thing to step over (whatever is the term?) to get in as when I was non weightbearing (and um I have spent 4 of the past 6 months either non weightbearing, or in cast/boot etc) I could not get over that lip. Bathroom was the most dangerous place as it only takes a drop of water for crutches to slip and certainly wasn't using crutches to get into shower. I happen to adore baths and so with help of chairs etc, just did that for most of the time. BUT for reno, I would go with shower with seat. Oddly, my office has one and I did shower there.

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  11. While the *idea* of a nice soak in a tub is nice, the reality is most of them hold water about 12 inches deep maximum. Unless you go really really expensive and then you need an extra water heater just for the tub it seems. Besides, I'd rather be sewing, doing needlework or reading that sit in a few inches of water that gets cold rapidly. I guess that makes mine a firm vote that you make yourself happy and go with showers only.

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    1. I never even thought about this angle. One of the things that always used to freak me out about having a bath is the weight of the water. And it never stays warm! Scott is all eco-plus and he hates the idea of taking a bath because of water waste. Of course, he takes a 2 minute shower.

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  12. Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving. Curling up on the sofa with delicious food is a happy thing. The house is coming on at last, and will be very worth the investment of time, money and soul.

    Regarding the bath....I love the occasional soak so love a bath. But!!!! It's your house and you do what the heck you like that works for you. If needs be and you come to resale, then worry about it then. I think with a reno of this magnitude you have to go for it and make it perfect for you. The previous owners of our house put an enormous jacuzzi in the master ensuite. It is equal parts ridiculous and hilarious. We don't use it. It will be taken out in the next year and replaced with a large shower, because that's what works for us.

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    1. Thanks Evie. I'm now eating all the leftovers. Nothing but pumpkin pie and capon/veg soup until it's gone! (BTW, the soup is awesome for making my bones happy and alleviating pain - I think it's the natural collagen...)

      One of my good friends LOVES baths so much that she thinks I'm insane but, really, she's one of the only people I know who actually takes a bath on a regular basis... And another friend has one of those hilarious jacuzzis of which you speak. (Alas, she's lived in the house for 10 years and has yet to get around to removing it. Get rid of that thing as soon as possible. It effectively limits her family because they all bathe in the en suite bathroom - which has a shower.

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  13. I have to admit to being a tiny bit skeeved about baths, all that sitting in dirty skin cell broth. Also I have very long hair and will never wash it in the bath. Team shower for me. Really like the sewga room so far, let there be light!

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    1. OMG - this is my issue as well. It's like sitting in dirt! Every time I've ever taken a bath, I've taken a shower afterwards. Of course, my germ issue is fairly well-documented. I'm even more freaked out by public pools because then I'm bathing in the dirt of people I don't even know!

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    2. Other people's dirt is the least of things to worry about in a pool...

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  14. Happy Thanksgiving! And hooray for progress!!

    I'm firmly in camp No-Tub. I happily ripped out the tub in our old house when we gutted the bathroom, and never felt that it was a problem, even though my youngest was born a year or so after I finished it. I had put in a hand shower and bought the little foam doo-dad for bathing babies and was just fine. After he could stand up, we showered with him until more recently when he started asking too many questions....eep!

    Besides, who seriously wants to soak in their own filth if they have a better option? Not I! And even when I give the toddler a bath (we do still have a tub in the new house--for now!) I end up giving him a shower after because...ew.

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  15. Progress!! How wonderful. I'm in the no tub camp as well, and am seriously considering eliminating it when I redo the bathrooms. I'm being fought on that, but it is my house, and I'm not planning on selling anytime soon. I may be naïve but I think there are more than enough people in the world who would buy a house without a bath.

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    1. Seriously, let this post form your justification! It's your space and you should love all the aspects of it. Also, I suspect (being in a US house) that yours has more square footage than mine. It should be quite easy (so they tell me) to rough in a spot for a bath later on, if you decide you want to put one in before you sell.

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  16. Great to see the progress.
    I think a house needs a tub-I am one of those people who can only warm up properly when chilled to the bone in a hot bath. Otherwise I ache all night.

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    1. OK - let's not throw out the bath with, um, the bathwater :-) You raise a valid point. Also, have you ever tried a heated blanket or pad? I had a pad at one point (it broke) and I found it very nice when it's freakin' freezing. The thing I am most looking forward to in the new house is a space that isn't freezing for 3 seasons because the walls are basically a sieve. The rental is SO warm as soon as you turn on the heat. In my other place, you could never get rid of that cold.

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  17. I would trade my tub for a shower with a seat in a heartbeat.

    So glad things are coming together!

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  18. Haha—who knew tub or no tub was such a hot topic? My dad and his partner have reno’d Their house out of tubs. We have three in the new house, which is definitely excessive. Our future fantasy bathroom plans include removing the clawfoot tub in the upstairs bathroom and replacing it with an exquisite shower. In my version of the plans the clawfoot goes downstairs to the main-floor bathroom, where it gets an exquisite paint job and sits looking extremely decorative and only being used when my oldest comes to visit. (Because she’ll totally be moved out long before this happens.) My husband is less sold on the aesthetic value of the clawfoot, and would prefer a fancy modern lookalike with the plumbing in the middle so two can bathe comfortably together. �� Funny—�a house without a tub seems distinctly incomplete to me, but I can’t actually recall the last time I took a bath rather than a shower. Also the one thing I’m missing about our old house is the glass shower surround. I hate curtains.

    Which is enough rambling from me! So glad you’re finally seeing progress! ��

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