Saturday, January 23, 2010

What do you want to hear about first? Good news or bad news?

LL says:

What do you want to hear about first? Good news or bad news? Okay - good news! Craigslist saves the day again. As luck would have it, an old fella in the deep westside had a garage full of unwanted gardening supplies so we loaded up our car with a wheel barrow, gardening shears, heavy duty push broom and an old school push mower that is 30 years old. We always wanted one, and since our new lawn is so small, it is perfect for the job. Anyways, the old man selling the stuff was very sweet and I feel so happy to have inherited it from him. And I love that we didn't pay $89.99 for a new wheel barrow! Bargain price for everything. Excellent.

Now, on to the bad news. Neighbours that party outside, and late into the evening. First time we let it slide by, even though it was a backyard full of young guys yelling "chug, chug, chug - whooooooo!!!". The next party was a week later, last night, and it was the same scenario. But this time it involved finding a huge empty wine bottle at the bottom of our patio steps and not so artistic condensation drawings on the car. Grrrrr. Ok. Youngsters - back off. The older lesbos are going to get fierce! I almost started cutting wood in the backyard with our super loud circular saw at 7:30am but I was too tired from being awake due to the partying boys.

So what do we do? How would you deal with this situation? It seems like this is a party household and the summer months are only going to make it worse. I like partying and all, but there comes a time when you are respectful of your neighbours and take it inside. But, I think it comes with age that you realize this. And, these are young boys. Not caring.

On another note, we had the electrician come over this morning to have a look and give us a ballpark. I think it would be cheaper to buy a ballpark. Well, I knew that we would be looking at a few thousand dollars, and including plumbing it will a few more thousand dollars. Great. There goes my trip to Mexico.

And on another note - I spray foam insulated for the first time in my life! It was fun, and requires a bit of precision. Although I wasn't as precise as I would have liked. Check out our Flickr page to see photos -

So now that we have the wheel barrow, we can start figuring out our cement leveling plan so we can build a pony wall that will rest on it relatively straight, or gayly-forward concrete.

That's enough for now, gotta get to work!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lez hire professionals

LL says:

So, what are we up to now? Well, we have been kinda stalled. Not surprising. The fact that we wanted to have the basement suite rented for Feb. 1st is now a distant memory. I would be surprised if we had the electrical done by then. But, I digress.

It came to our attention that our breaker box, and subsequent power, is not up to par. Therefore, we need to have it replaced. Which means mucho dollars and mucho time. Since this kinda of thing requires a permit, we must deal with the city and that is a bummer. And waiting on electricians to come over, look around, talk about pricing, talk about time frame and assure them that the house is NOT falling down, is getting a bit tiresome. But, whatever. We will do what needs to be done. Which leads us to the next order of business, concrete.

Well, its not the next order of business - but to reap the benefits of the Home Renovation tax credit that the Canadian gov't is doling out, we had to think ahead to beat the deadline. So, there we are, Sunday night, tired and dirty from pulling old insulation out of walls, walking around Home Depot like a couple of reno zombies, looking for the appropriate mortar/cement to use on our concrete basement floor. Consensus is that we smooth out the hilly, bumpy concrete with cement and then put underlay and carpet on top of that. Ok, fair enough. But, cement mixture is heavy!! Damn. Next purchase, wheel barrow. I wasn't willing to put more money down on a brand new wheel barrow to help transfer said concrete so we had to carry each bag.

Anyone have a wheel barrow we could have? Or borrow for an undetermined amount of time? That would be great.

Anyways - moving on, moving on. This week consists of re-insulating the kitchen and putting up the drywall. We are also figuring out the logistics of putting up a pony wall. Man, I mean, wo-man, who would of thunk it? Me: jack-of-all-trades. Well, kinda. Saws scare me a bit.

LL jack hammering cracked concrete to prepare for the sealing process.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

lez vacances de noel

ho ho ho happy ukranian christmas from cool j, chez lez reno.

It was quite a time since our last post. I'm sorry we left some of you hanging, but the rest of our loyal followers were immersed in the xmas delights that was Lez Reno.

As many others were preparing elaborate 3-5 layer Nanaimo bars & other xmas treats of chocolate, fondant, nougat and sugary love, cool J & a trusty Lez Reno contributor were purposely soaking the basement of Georgia Cottage & applying a 5 layer delight of concrete sealant to the floor. Several days of misting later, the floor has cured & i am promised it will be impenetrable & impermeable. Still wonky & unlevel as a fun house, but not damp.

And instead of buying socks, underwear, or diamonds, we bought each other paint, and fire extinguishers, and overloaded a our hatchback & borrowed truck with drywall & mineral wool insulation & 10 foot rolls of carpet. like santa's sleigh, we made our round without incident and in record time.

Rather than bother with the fun of low priced boxing day electronics, we hit Jack's Used Building Supplies for some cool old school lockers (now marine enameled Mustard, thanks to Brad's discount at the paint shop) and a tiny pedestal sink for our tiny bathroom. Looking forward to seeing Johnny Depp in my locker & carving JG + LL TLF into the door with my compass.

A jaunt to ReStore was also fun - we got a couple of sweet lighting fixtures to replace the uglies. Several coats of marine enamel & spray paint later, we're looking good. We did learn that it is better not to paint indoors. how much have our lives been shortened by the VOCs in the paint?

Finally, and most importantly, just like Santa, we had many little helpers. The Schultz family busted collective arse to get our living area painted and cleaned top to bottom. THANKS to them, our wee house was home-y right away. not that i coudln't have made myself at home with the 2mm layers of dust, mold, and grease, but it's a small space, so without it, we have more room to move.

it's a new year and new lessons are on the way. more on PEX plumbing and it's miraculous sharkbite connections, the demands of a house insurance policy, the hungry jaws of mortgage payments, and of course insulation, drywalling, cabinet hanging, tiling, cement levelling... whew. i'm sure we'll be ready to rent by groundhog day! happy new year!