Monthly Archives: June 2012

Ramsjo, I hardly knew ye…


The destruction and devastation continues at the home, but in a totally good way. As expected, a few ‘unexpected’ situations have revealed themselves, one: the flooring structure on the east side of the house on the second floor is severely compromised. Apparently at one point an incompetent plumber cut six floor joists to accommodate water lines, which resulted in a serious structural problem that was the cause of a major sag in that part of the second floor. The entire ceiling will have to be removed as well as a good size portion of the floor in order to rectify this.  Frank, our contractor, told us that Dave’s fear that he used to joke about -falling through the floor in the bathroom to the kitchen below – was not really a joke, and that the floor was in such bad shape that this actually could have happened. Scary!

Glad we didn’t fall through!








The second surprise (but not really surprise) is that the water feed to the house is made of lead, which is not good, so we will have to apply to the city to change the feed.  It’s not a major issue as long as it is fixed, but it wasn’t part of the original plan (or budget)…

I took some pictures last Friday of the progress to-date. As you can see, the walls are gone, there is only framing and that too will go once and new framing for the new layout is erected in the next couple of weeks. It is amazing how quickly things are happening!


Last night Dave, Kate (our designer) and I went to look at options for a custom island, and possibly custom cabinetry for the kitchen. We weren’t initially going to go this route, especially since the ratings for cabinetry made by certain Swedish international brand were so well received…(who can balk at a 25-year guarantee?) Sadly however, our experience with a sample of Ramsjo cabinetry that Kate had professionally painted for us failed. (It looked great until we started to gently tamper with it – the paint came off much too easily). Unfortunately this means the great economical solution for one wall of cabinetry is looking less and less likely. I am still holding out hope that we can use good ol’ Ramsjo for part of the kitchen if we find a better paint or a better professional painter because it makes a difference in the budget, but ultimately I realise it’s better to get something that will look great and stand the test of time.  That said, I also have a lot of confidence in the custom option after last night’s field trip to Aya – it seemed like less of a headache to do it all-in-one rather than doing a piecemeal project with components from a few different places. Decisions! Ultimately, they rest with the numbers and so the lady at Aya will be providing us with a quote in a few days. After work, I hope to swing by the house and check out further progress. Frank told us the crew had already started to frame based on the plans! That’s exciting!


Ready, Set, Go!

We moved out of the house and into the condo on Saturday. The move itself was fairly painless as far as moves go – we didn’t bring much with us-  furniture, clothes or otherwise and so I am definitely crossing my fingers that our summer lasts well into September because we didn’t bring any winter clothes. Deciding what to take was tricky at times. Do we take the bikes? It is summer after all. No, we don’t take the bikes because we’re not used to downtown biking.  Do we take the racquets? How many forks? There were a lot of decisions to make in packing that required more thought than I had initially considered. Four months isn’t long enough to miss any one particular thing, but I couldn’t remember how often I used, for example, a cheese grater. When was the last time I grated cheese….? The cheese grater came. But not bringing stuff like winter clothes was definitely one risk we took to limit our baggage back and forth.

The unit looks pretty sparse, what with the white couch against the white walls and the two empty white bookshelves and the white chairs. But I am liking sparse, at least this week! I think this temporary residence situation will provide an interesting exercise in living without all the stuff, which, as a firm believer in whatever the opposite of hoarding is, I am looking forward to. The purging that went into this move alone was fantastic, and one goal of mine is to move back into the newly renovated house with fewer things than we came with. We’ll see.

Before we left the kitchen had been gutted. We actually managed to sell our cabinets and two appliances in exchange for a small sum and the buyer’s tax filing services (she’s an accountant). The barter system works! We were not able to unload the stove, so we’re looking into donating this to the ReStore. The cabinet removal revealed a really funky wall colour, which I am guessing is from the 70s,  and also about a half a century of flooring stacked on top of each other. The contractor will remove all of this and then lay down new hardwood which will span both the kitchen and the current carpeted portion of the hall and family room. I know, I know, hardwood isn’t the *best* choice for a kitchen, especially since we have a small dog, but in the war of form vs. function, aesthetics won this battle. 

Half a century of flooring

And I can see sixties, and seventies and eighties…

The heavier demo began this week and only three days behind schedule, owing to our preference to move in/out over the weekend. So the adventure begins… I am doing my best to not let how *big* this whole thing is intimidate me, as apparently its super “go” time from now until finish. Dave and I will be making decisions on a near daily basis from this point on, from what I understand, so I am going to have to remain focused. We’re going by the house today after work to see how smashy smashy the place got this week, and to take lots of progress pictures. *Fingers crossed* that there was progress!

look ma, no cabinets!