June 08, 2014

New Kitchen Light

This weekend's project was replacing the builder globe light with a nicer (but cheap! $25!) fixture that is a lot brighter - because it has 3 bulbs. I'm not very handy though... The installation looks better from a distance :)

Posted by JAY at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2014

Temporary Backyard

This farmer's field has been in my backyard since moving here 8 (!) years ago. Unfortunately, I've received a notice of intent to rezone it to residential :( I'm hoping for a couple more years while they get their act together!

Posted by JAY at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2013

Weber Performer BBQ

Got this at a great price - a charcoal grill with propane igniter. Might still get a chimney, though... It's the incidental purchases that add up! My sister picked it up for me - a floor model with some cosmetic scratches in the tabletop. We cooked some steaks on it today... a bit overdone, but still pink.

Update: got the Weber cover, usually $50-70 for $15! Just in time, too - it started raining when I brought the cover home.

Posted by JAY at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2013

Range Hood

I got seduced by a cheap stainless steel range hood ($99). It took me WEEKS to get set up because I'm not very handy - it was hard to mount because there was very little clearance from the underside to screw it in. Plus I was doing it solo. I'm not sure how long it'll stay up for!

Posted by JAY at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2009

Garage Door Opener

Canadian Tire had a great deal on a garage door opener - a heavy duty one with 2 openers and a combo lock. At least I think it was a great deal, because it was about a hundred bucks off and the whole skid of them sold out.

Lisa and I installed it on Thanksgiving Monday, in between gorging ourselves on prime rib, yorkshire puddings and pumpkin pie. EVERYTHING went our way - the motor head landed squarely between the electrical outlet and the ceiling light, and underneath the ceiling joist. My neighbor's ladder was the perfect height to support the motor head in place. The rail just barely fit past the garage door spring. When we needed carriage bolts to attach to the door, my neighbour returned home and supplied them. (For some reason, the kit only supplied 2" lag bolts - who has a 2" thick garage door!?) Lots to be thankful for!

I also installed a lock in the garage door to disengage the opener from the outside, in case the power is out or the unit malfunctions. Unfortunately, I measured with the door closed and when open, the hole for the lock was too low and pulled the disengage hook as the door opened. So I had to move it higher, leaving a hole that needs patching.

Anyway, I'm glad to have it up before winter hits, so that I don't have to get out of the car unnecessarily.

Posted by JAY at 08:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2009

Sealing the Driveway

So my neighbor bought a bucket of sealant and wanted to seal the driveway. Personally, I'd have preferred to pay someone to do it. So I thought, whatever, if it goes totally south, I can just pay and get it resealed professionally.

What a friggin disaster.

There were some oil stains on his side that needed treating, but he didn't think it was necessary. So we washed down the driveway with a hard hose down and waited a couple of hours for it to dry. I expressed concern that one bucket wouldn't be enough, but he assured me that the salesperson said it would be.

The sealant was a thick gel. We started applying it with a roller, but it wasn't doing a great job. We switched to a squeegee which worked much better. By pulling around a glob of sealant, it filled all the holes that the roller didn't.

But of course, halfway through, we were out of sealer. It wasn't even close! So he walked back to Canadian Tire (because our cars were both in the garage - stupid of us...) and brought back... a DIFFERENT KIND OF SEALER. I mean... seriously WTF?! I knew I shouldn't have trusted him to go alone. This one was a higher rated, '10 year' version. The problem was that it wasn't REMOTELY similar to the previous gel - it was more like a sticky wet CONCRETE.

Roller and brush were absolutely useless with this stuff. It felt like I was troweling on concrete with the squeegee. So now, there are 2 different kinds of sealant on the driveway. It took about 8 hours total of backbreaking labour to apply. It looks ok, but I have my doubts about how durable it'll be with the oil stains. Sigh.

Anyway, they refused to take any money for the sealant, so whatever, next time (and I'm betting it'll be soon) I'll just pay to do the entire thing!

Posted by JAY at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2009

Lack-ing Shelf Skills

This evening I hung this Lack floating shelf from Ikea that I've had since the old apartment. It was not fun.

First, I bought the wrong drywall mounting set from Home Depot - they were marked "Shelving Toggles" but were meant for a proprietary shelving system and didn't mount flush with the drywall. Taking the one I put in out made a big hole in the drywall that I've yet to fix (but it's covered by the stereo system).

After returning to Home Depot and getting the right hardware, the bits that I had for the screws that were going into the studs weren't fitting properly - I stripped one (it's never coming out) and the other one barely hit a stud. SIgh.

On the other side, screws that I thought were going to hit a stud totally missed. So it's being held up mostly by the anchors! I would've put more anchors, but I could only put the anchors in BEFORE I mounted the base in (and it can't come out because of the stripped screw.

Oh well. Supposedly the anchors that I have in there should support 500 lbs (125 lbs recommended). The stereo plus the speakers are probably around 60 lbs. So it should be good. I hope. Fingers crossed.

The stereo itself was another pain in the butt - it's so old that I couldn't find a manual online without paying for it. And the controls for the alarm clock are NOT easy to figure out. But I got it eventually (apparently, the CD player has to be turned on to set the alarms, but off to set the clock. You can't set the clock if there are any alarms on. To turn the alarm on, the CD player has to be off).

Posted by JAY at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2008


Rasterbator is neat program that converts a picture to a multipage PDF of any size. So - what a great way to make cheap art! This is The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. It's not particularly original - someone else did a HUGE rasterbation (hee) and this is just a smaller version.

However, what started as a cheap and cheerful project (just some toner and paper, right?) ended up costing a good deal of money! I -totally- blame Sean! A box of foam core mounting board, some gloss paper, cutting mat, razors (actually, Sean gave me those), adhesive sprays, adhesive wall mounting tabs... Not so cheap any longer! Though I do have extra supplies to do more projects for just the price of the toner. Sean lent me a laser level to help put it up.

As a first try, it worked out pretty good. I didn't have a metal ruler (doh!) so I freehanded the cutting on the pieces, but it still turned out relatively well. There's a definite knack to cutting foam core, and I gradually acquired it as I went from the top pieces to the bottom ones.

Posted by JAY at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2007

Painting the Kitchen

Earlier this week, after work, I painted my kitchen a sort of dull green color that goes with my brown cabinets and stainless steel appliances - neither of which are in this photo, which must be a result of poor planning. Anyway, I used Behr Flat Enamel paint, which is pretty cool in that it's a matte finish with a scrubbable surface. The color accuracy isn't quite as good as the Sherwin Williams paint that I used in the hallway. It was also a bit harder to cover the semigloss in the kitchen, compared to the flat paint elsewhere - but the 'edging tool' that I used worked far better than the brush I was trying to cut in with. Overall, I'm happy with it, though there are some thin places because I only did one coat.

Posted by JAY at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2007

Good Fences

I was helping build a neighbor's (Steve and Melissa) fence today. I didn't really do much and I learned a bunch. Their friend, Brad, runs a company that'll do fences. He gave me a quote for $27/foot which is a bit more than others charge but at least I know him and met his wife and children. He seemed to be doing a really good job too (mnd you, it was his friend's house).

He also said that if the homeowners were helping, he could just charge an hourly rate and it would likely end up being around $300. But frankly, after slinging bags of concrete this evening (and not very far, either! I left the heavy lifting to him and Steve), I'd rather just pay to have it done. Doing it ourselves, we'd have to arrange materials, post holes and neighbour labour (heh) and payment - I'd just rather not. The other thing is, there's not that much fence to be done - 25 feet and only 2 sides (the third is already fenced). So that's about $700 per neighbour and I think I'd rather pay an extra couple hundred and avoid the manual labour.

Now I just have to get the neighbours to agree on what kind of fence. Mike and Bo on my right will probably want bare bones, whereas Peter and Maggie on my left want lattice. Sigh. I don't even want a fence, but I do want my fences to match!

Posted by JAY at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2006

All Moved In

Welp, I did actually move in and get my Internet up and running - I've just been too busy to post!

Last weekend I hooked up the washing machine and dryer and tested them out. They seem to work well. I also used the oven for the first time - I used the bread proofing and the oven to make some rolls to go with the burgers I fried up for dinner. It seemed to work really well.

The only thing is that with the digital thermostat in the oven, the heat comes on whenever the temperature in the oven drops just SLIGHTLY. So the gas cycles on and off a lot, which is kind of annoying to hear. I guess it might keep the temperature in the oven more even than usual though. I found a whole bunch of complaints with Kitchenaid ranges online - none were my model, but still... a bit worrisome!

I haven't been able to find my camera - so I'll probably be text only here for a while.

Posted by JAY at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2006

New Sod

So there's sod now. I think this is probably the first picture of the finished house that I've posted. The last one had 2x4s instead of columns. The driveway is paved, and they're still supposed to come paint the doors and columns. Lotsa watering required, though thankfully it's not too hot right now. We'll see what the water bill comes to this month!

Posted by JAY at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2006


Every weekend I'm trying to do at least one thing in the house until I"m really ready to move in. This weekend, Lisa helped me hang horizontal blinds in the kitchen. They were a bit of a pain to put up - the instructions were pretty bad and the Home Depot person cut the front trim piece too long, so I had to go back to get it cut down. But now it's up and I've got some privacy in the kitchen (which faces the road). They weren't cheap, but they weren't expensive either. ($70)

Just below are the cheap Ikea curtains that I mentioned a while back. Total cost including rod hardware: $30! I like them, though. They kind of need ironing. I've left them pooled on the floor because I like them that way and I'm too lazy to hem them.

Finally, a shot of my kitchen appliances, totally installed. The counters probably won't remain this clear - I've got to find space for a microwave and my Kitchenaid mixer. That's probably it, though. I like clear countertops.

Posted by JAY at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2006


Installed some cheap Ikea curtains in the great room today. They look pretty good for what they cost - $30 per window, including the hardware. Nothing fancy, but nice looking and should block some sun from heating up the room. Uh, I fogot my camera or I'd've taken a pic for here.

Posted by JAY at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2006


Headed to Ikea this morning to pick up a kitchen table and a chair. I also picked up some minor stuff - including some cheap window curtain thingies (rods-$10 each and drapes-$10/panel). When I got home to unload, however, I found that my driveway had been paved and I couldn't drive on it. So it's all still in the car.

Posted by JAY at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2006


Spent today hooking up gas to the stove with my father. Yeesh. What a lot of work it was! We spent the morning taking measurements and the afternoon trying to make our measured pipes fit. What makes it difficult is that you kind of have to start at the end and work back to where you want to add a 'branch' in the gas line.

In our case, that meant unhooking the furnace and the water heater. The actual work wasn't difficult, just tedious and physical. The measurements actually worked fairly well - but we ended up being short a 3 inch pipe that we'd paid for but the gas vender people forgot to include in our package. A quick trip to Home Depot remedied that.

We haven't turned the gas on yet - going to test it all out tomorrow. *fingers crossed*

Edit: It's aliiiive! Yay!

Posted by JAY at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2006

Furniture Delivery

I call it... modern-cheap! Nono, Malaysian-chic! Er, Malaysian-cheap, I guess. Apparently, all my furniture so far has come from Malaysia. I've talked about the awesomely discounted dining chair ($30!) before and ottoman ($100!) previously, but there wasn't a picture. The couch came from The Brick ($400, inexpensive for a sofa, but not really discounted...boo!) and was a pain in the butt to assemble. Now I just need window hangings and a chair and lamp or two. Maybe some cushions...

My appliances were also delivered - stove, fridge, washer and dryer, all from The Brick. The delivery went smoovely... they gave a 3 hour window that they would be arriving in and came pretty early into it.

Oh, and you can see some of the view from my back door.

Posted by JAY at 06:45 PM | Comments (5)

May 16, 2006

Shopping at The Brick

When I got my mortgage, I was also given (eventually) a gift certificate for $2000 at The Brick. Today I went to choose what I wanted. I had done some online research about what I wanted, but when I got in I was persuaded by the helpful rep, Laura, to get slightly different stuff. That makes it sound like she upsold me, but that's not really the case.

Instead of the $800 Maytag fridge that I intended to get, I ended up with a $900 Whirlpool that's sized more appropriately (it's much larger). The low-end Maytag washer had a plastic tub and the one that was about $100 more, by Inglis (also part of Whirlpool) had a porcelain/steel tub instead of plastic. Not sure if that's good or not - apparently, the steel under the porcelain can rust. But it also had a better agitator and a direct drive transmission instead of belt... so I guess we'll see.

Finally, I also picked up an inexpensive but nice-looking couch (about $400) and the expensive Kitchenaid range that I've mentioned before. They beat Sears' price by $360, so yay for that.

Posted by JAY at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2006

Closing: Interior Tour

I closed on the new house today, so it's the beginning of the end of this particular section of the blog. After 2 years, this is long overdue! This is the entrance to the house, with the staircase to the right and the kitchen to the left. All the lights, even the one in the bedrooms, are totally enclosed, which hopefully means that no dust will get in! You can kinda see the stone divider between the tile and the carpet. That's kinda nice, I wasn't expecting that.

This is the bathroom on the main floor. It's just a sink and toilet. There's a smudge on the left door that wouldn't rub off. If it doesn't come off with water later, I'll have to put it on the 30 day report.

Might as well take care of the other two bathrooms upstairs. This is the main bath upstairs. I went with the plastic white cabinets because I figure they'll be easiest to clean. In the PDI, the cabinets upstairs were wrong, and these were in the ensuite. I think they dented a doorknob in the master bedroom when they were moving them. Sigh.

This is the master bedroom ensuite. The mottled tile in the tub here looks really nice, but they're not in this pic. I went with wood cabinets in here because it's a bit brighter in this room - it's window faces south. All the bathrooms in the house have a window, which is nice.

This is the front bedroom that overlooks the street. The bedrooms are all pretty boring, the other 2 are just rectangular. This bedroom as a nook for my digital piano (did I ever write about that?) and I put a spot halogen over it so that I wouldn't have to have the room light on all the time.

I didn't bother with the living/dining area because, hey, more boring. The view out the back is pretty nice, but it's strictly temporary - when the farmer sells the fields, it'll be replaced by housing. Hopefully they'll leave the trees that are on the boundary line. (Heck, while I'm hoping, I might as well hope the farmer holds onto it!)

And lastly, here's the kitchen again. You've seen it before, but this one shows the tiles. There's a nick in one of the drawers that's bothering me, so I guess I'll put that on the 30 day report too. There's some dents in some of the moldings as well, upstairs that irritate. I upgraded all the wooden cabinets to maple instead of oak to get a less grainy finish.

There was an nice surprise too, they replaced my regular thermostat with an electronic programmable one. So that's cool, cuz I was thinking of buying one. I couldn't figure out from the manual how to get it showing Celsius instead of Fahrenheit though.

I don't know when I'm actually moving in. Right now, I'm just visiting it every other day or so and I've still got to set up the mailbox (ugh, supermailbox down the street). I still don't know how to pay the mortgage - I think it's automatically withdrawn from my account. I left the builder with a key so they could fix stuff while the house is unoccupied.

Sigh. I can't tell why the paragraphing and pictures aren't working like they are in http://jblog.nfshost.com/mt/blog/archives/2003_11.html#000018>this post

Posted by JAY at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2006

PDI & Lawyer

This morning I had my house pre-delivery inspection. Surprisingly, to my pessimistic worries, it went really well. They had fixed the damaged step, which was my main concern. There was a bit of damage to one of the tiles as well and the cabinets in the washrooms upstairs need to be swapped. The exterior of the house is still incomplete - I don't have gutters yet. A painter was inside doing touch-up paint.

I was impressed by the light fixtures, they're the totally enclosed frosted glass dome type, edged in brass. Much nicer than what I thought we were getting! Also, the really nice wood trim on the stairs remains unpainted - whcih looks really nice. I wasn't sure if they were going to paint it white or not. Finally, there's stone dividers inset into the floor between tile and carpet. I didn't think I was going to get anything that nice. The tiled tub enclosures look really good. So, yay!

Afterward, I went to the lawyer's to sign papers and hand over the downpayment. So both boring AND painful.

Posted by JAY at 09:16 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2006

Kitchen Cabinets

A construction site rep was kind enough to unlock the house and escort us around. The kitchen, which I've whined about being rather narrow, seems wider with the cabinetry in. Almost everything looks great, with 2 exceptions: the stairs are badly damaged on a couple of treads, and they mixed up the cabinets in the ensuite and the main bathroom. I also didn't see the rough-in vac that's supposed to be there.

I'm quite happy with how the kitchen is looking, though. The right corner bottom could've had a piano hinged corner cabinet, but they were kind of expensive. There are a lot of drawers - you can see the bay beside the fridge and the pots and pans drawers that I upgraded beside the stove. The upper corner cabinet has some knots in the wood - I might see if I can switch it with the one beside the fridge.

Posted by JAY at 02:07 PM | Comments (2)

March 12, 2006

Countdown Begins

Just the siding and some pillars to go. And... 4 weeks! More importantly, 2 pay cheques. I've been going through all sorts of heck around settling how much of a mortgage I need and all the tax info for RRSPs and income tax time. I met a couple in the house next door. Their closing date is only 2-3 weeks after mine but their house hasn't even begun to be bricked.

Posted by JAY at 09:57 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2006

Almost there...

(Still catching up on backlog)
Last week the house was shrouded in plastic, so I don't have any good pix of it. This week, though, it was unveiled. The house seems very close to done. The interior is drywalled (and locked up). There's a furnace in the basement that's filling the house with hot air so that the drywall paste can dry. Unfortunately, my picture is a bit blurry because I took it at night and filtered it to look brighter in Photoshop.

Posted by JAY at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2006

Bricking It Up

They're just going gangbusters on the house. I missed last week, when they had just started the shingling of the roof and had the windows in. Now, they've started the exterior briickwork. The final stairs are in the house, temporarily nailed into place and the copper plumbing pipes are more or less done. Woo!

I met the neighbors as well - and promptly forgot their names. They actually bought their house THREE YEARS AGO and it's far behind mine - it was the fire break and couldn't be built until the houses next to it had brick on their side walls. Heck, if I had 3 years to save, I almost wouldn't need a mortgage! It must've been quite a wait.

Posted by JAY at 08:28 PM | Comments (2)

February 05, 2006

Roofed and Other Notes

It was horrid out today. There was a lot of snow but it was really warm, resulting in a layer of snow over mud. The construction site was empty due to the weather - but I ended up sinking ankle deep in mud. Had fun anyway.

The roof is done (well, not shingled) and some ductwork inside has been completed. I went checking out some of the houses that are closer to completion and there's good news: I'm getting copper pipes, not PVCC plastic. I'm also getting vinyl-clad windows throughout, which is good, because the purchase agreement only specified them for the front elevation. I know from experience that wood window frames are a pain to upkeep.

So really, I got everything I wanted: concrete block demising wall, solid wood floor joists*, copper pipes, heck, even the interior garage door rough in. So, yay!

*Though Renato and Dom tell me the engineered floor joists are better now... oh well!

Posted by JAY at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2006


The roof is almost done! No more snow will be falling on the inside of the house... yay! The flooring has already been soaked a few times by melting snow. The construction site was very very busy today, it was above freezing out. So I only got pictures from the outside of the house. You can see that the framing is done and the roofing plywood is almost complete. Interestingly, another co-worker's home is closing after mine, but her house is further along.

In other news, I cooked curried chicken fried rice for lunch and my mother's making a stew for dinner (her stew is better than mine, and dad's been demanding stew - it's one of his favorites). So I don't have to cook dinner tonight - yay!

Posted by JAY at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2006

Garage Door - Yay!

Just noticed this today when I went to visit the construction site... One of the things that people were telling me that I should get as part of my upgrades was a door into the garage. But the builder wanted $1500 for it and Vince said I could get it done for far less doing it myself after closing. My parents, among others, still thought that I should get the door installed. Well, it looks like since all the framing is being done uniformly, the roughed in framing for the door is in ALL the houses so all that would need to be done is knock out some drywall! I'm so glad that I didn't pay $1500 for the door - I'd feel totally ripped off (though I guess I wouldn't know it.)

Posted by JAY at 12:04 AM | Comments (2)

January 19, 2006

Interior Framing

Took this photo on the previous miserable weather Tuesday. This is the interior of the house looking from the great room at the back toward the front door. On the immediate left is the door to the powder room and behind that is the kitchen. The stairs to the second level can be seen on the right (temporary builder stairs).

The solid floor joists that I mentioned wanting in a previous post are visible, but Renato and Dom tell me that the composite laminate I joists are actually better! I looked them up online, and the manufacturer also claims that they are stronger and cheaper. I guess I'm just untrusting of new technology...

Posted by JAY at 01:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2006

Second Floor

They're just going gangbusters on the house. Now the second floor is almost done... it hasn't even been a week yet. Did a lot of walking this week - walked to work several times for exercise and walked to the house from work to take pictures. It's unnaturally warm, making the building site very wet and muddy. I don't know if I'll get there this weekend or not, so I figured I'd take the pic now.

Posted by JAY at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2006

First Floor

Wow, they're really going fast! I walked into town today (round trip: 3hrs). It looks like construction is going on 7 days/week. They were working on the ceiling joists so I couldn't actually get in. The building across from me was all wrapped in plastic for brick work, so no shot from above today. Now that there's actually some vertical building it doesn't matter so much anyway.

Posted by JAY at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2006

Demising Wall

This picture is actually from around New Year's Day.you can see that there's a single wall up and the first floor concrete block demising wall. Yay for that, since the Hillmark homes don't have it, only drywall!. The white on the right is insulation lying on the floorboards - they sealed up all the holes in the floor and have propane gas heaters in the basement to speed curing. I'm not sure why they didn't cover the whole thing - the left side had snow on it that all melted from the hot interior and the flooring is soaked in some areas.

Posted by JAY at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2005

Floor Joists

Things proceed apace - maybe this closing date wll actually stick! I'm relieved that they're using solid wood floor joists. Some of the Hillmark homes (Ballantry?) in the same subdivision use a crappy composite joist made out of a narrow piece of chip board framed top and bottom with 2x2s. I guess it'd be easy to drill through for wiring, but I wonder how many holes you can put into it while maintaining structural integrity. The Rosewood homes us regular joists, too.

The next thing to find out is what kind of water piping I get. The Hilmark homes are getting copper while the Rosewood homes are getting the new plastic piping. I'd prefer copper, since it's tried and tested. Who knows what'll happen with the PVC waterlines? (Actually, I'm sure they'd be fine, since they've been used for drainage forever - but what about drinking safety?)

Posted by JAY at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2005

House From Above

Woot! My minor modification to the cms.pm file worked and now I don't have to add my usual class/border code to the images that I upload, it does it for me... Anyway, other than some earth moving and some cladding, there was nothing different about the house this week. This is a nice picture of it, though! It was taken from the upper story window of the townhouse facing it!

There are some other houses like this one further up the street. They're a bit further along, so I went and took some pictures of the framing and walls in case I miss them for my house. It was wicked cold and windy today.

Posted by JAY at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2005

Foundation Walls

Despite being delayed until April, they seem to be moving along at a fair clip. I missed a week and thus don't have pictures of the walls in their forms. It looks much bigger than when it was just the footers on the ground.

Posted by JAY at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2005

More Delays...

Welp, got notice from HR today - my new closing date is April 12 2006.

So let's take a look...
Original closing dates to current:
June 2005
October 2005
December 2005
February 2006
April 2006

It was a one year closing date, so this is almost 2 years! I'm not really upset, though, it's all more time to save up for the house. In fact, I'd already budgeted funds until April - so I was kind of expecting it.

Posted by JAY at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2005

Poured Footing

They've poured the concrete into the footing frames and got some gravel over the ground. It appears that things are progressing...

Posted by JAY at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2005

It's ALIVE!!!

Finally, FINALLY, they're getting started! This is the framing for the footing (footer?) of the foundation. I imagine it'll be poured by next weekend. I'm still pretty sure that they're going to be delayed past the beginning of February, though. I've got my bets on the end of April.

I actually walked all the way into townn to take this. It was a beautiful day except my legs are a bit sore from the 2 hours spent walking. I picked up some Swiss Chalet on the way back and ate while I read Robert Jordan's latest book, Knife of Dreams.

Posted by JAY at 10:21 PM | Comments (2)

October 12, 2005

Final Decor and Upgrades

Well, just got back from selecting the final upgrades and colors from the decor centre. I got talked out of the terracotta and the blue tile - so it's a whooole lotta neutral. From left to right... kitchen, powder room, main bath, ensuite bath.

The consultant, Laurie, was very helpful. She was also very subtle about giving advice - she avoided saying pink when describing the powderroom tile (it just has a hint) because I had rejected several other tiles for other rooms with pink in them. And she not-so-subtley suggested a blue shower curtain instead of the tile.

Laurie was also helpful in suggesting upgrades. She recommended cabinets for the dishwasher (since I won't be getting a dishwasher) and a plug on the garage ceiling for a garage door opener (since the ceiling will be drywalled). The other upgrades were:
-cabinets (kitchen and 2 bathrooms)
-roughed in central vac
-ledgeback sink
-angled corner upper cabinet
-pots and pans drawers
-one halogen pot light for above the piano
-one extra cable tv outlet

I got out for cheaper than I thought I would: just under $150 (after the amount that I was given on signing for upgrades).

Posted by JAY at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2005

Lotsa Choices

Went to the HR Decor Centre today to pick stuff in advance of the meeting with the design consultant in October. Got together what I think will be some nice picks for the rooms. The colors aren't really representative of the actual things, but they're close enough, I supppose. I went previously with Dave K, but this time I spent more time actually choosing stuff.

Floor: Kansas 12x12 Brown, PLKS.BWN.1212
Counter: Jamocha Granite 7734-58
Cabinet: P71 Maple, Color 710 Chestnut, Viking 3, Upgrade
Intention: Stainless appliances, tile backsplash
The colors are actually slightly greyer, which compliments stainless appliances while not being too dark for a northern facing kitchen. Trying for a warm modern look here, rather than a cold modern. So hopefully I get the warmth from the wood and the modern from the appliances and countertop. Gonna have to take another look at the wood color, I remember it being more subdued.

Powder Room
Floor: Aruba 12x12, Snow White, DU.AR.SWT.1212
Counter: Rose Granite, 86201
Cabinet: Thermovision 8001, Color Ontario White, Viking 2
Intention: White walls, red accents, replace light fixture with halogens?
These colors are actually closer to white and black, not yellow. I do wonder if I should go for a darker floor to match with the counter and contrast with the cabinets. Going for a minimalist, sterile look here.

Floor: Corte Milia 13x13 Beige1505I? GE.CM.BGE.1313
Counter: Tuscan Marble 7736-58
Cabinet: P71 Maple, Color Natural, Viking 3, Upgrade
Bath Tile: Excellance Bisquit 49990, GE.EX.BIS.0606
(Go for the white tile instead? Concerned about grout)
Intention: Neutral walls
Just going for a warm, neutral bathroom with (hopefully) universal appeal. This is probably the only bathroom that'll actually see much use. The cabinet finish is actually a pale maple finish, not golden like it appears in the photo.

Floor: Palio 12x12 Terracotta PLPO.TRC 1212
Counter: P-277-CA
Cabinet: Quadro White Matte
Bath Tile: Excellance Blue Moon 60670, GE.EX.BLM.0606
Intention: sky blue walls
This is the odd room where I threw some color around. It's meant to be sort of beach-like. Glossy white cabinets with minimal detail, an earthy terracotta floor tile that I'm sorta worried about wear on, a gravelly looking countertop and a vivid blue bath tile. This is the only room that actually has color and it's an opposite-sides-of-the-color-wheel sorta thing. We'll see how it actually looks...

Posted by JAY at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2005


Woo! Finally got the list of upgrade costs from the builder. Hopefully, I'll be able to go in and browse this weekend (ride permitting...). The only real disappointment is that the upstairs bathroom cabinets can't accomodate drawers. That kinda sucks. They both have mirrored cabinets, though, so whatever. I've got $3000 of upgrades to choose (included with the house) - $2800 since tax isn't included.

Click for the planned upgrades

On the "Definitely" list:
Angled corner kitchen cabinet $342
Pots and pans drawers $585
Roughed in central vac $500
Additional cable outlets $150

On the "Possibly" list
Upgraded bathroom cabinets $160 (cheap, so ok)
Upgraded kitchen cabinets $480 (depends on how crappy standard is)
Kitchen tile backsplash $480 (depends on how nice standard is)

Totals: $2697 - pretty close!

On the "Unsure/Probably Not" list
Roughed in basement bathroom $700
Oak Stairs $1614
Hardwood flooring in a bedroom $unknown

Expensive upgrades, so probably not. The basement bathroom would be good for a granny apartment, but I don't need one and definitely don't want an extra bathroom to clean. Plus, when my parents got a rough-in, it all had to be redone anyway.

Oak stairs would be nice if I ever got rid of the carpet in the place. But they're so expensive!

Posted by JAY at 12:47 PM | Comments (3)

September 19, 2005


The HR Decor Center called me at work today and said that they were going to email me a price list for interior features. They say they've finally got the "release to build" from the town and construction will be starting shortly. (Yay!)

However, I haven't received anything yet. The person must've taken down my email address incorrectly... The email address on their website is invalid, too. Yargh.

Posted by JAY at 10:18 PM | Comments (1)

August 18, 2005


Mary Anne at work is buying a house in the same subdivision as I. Her house is a bit further along than mine, so she got called in to do her upgrade selection. The stuff she chose includes most of the stuff I want and she was kind enough to sendme the prices.

Oak stairs $1700
Corner cupboards in the kitchen $350
Roughed in central vac $500
Drawers in the master bathroom $342
Extra drawers in the kitchen $172?

Extra cable TV drops
Decora fixtures

I don't know if I can afford the staircase or would prefer to do something else with the money. On the one hand, it can't really be retrofitted. On the other hand, it won't add $2000 to the resale value of the house, either. I guess I'll have to see if there's other stuff that I want.

Posted by JAY at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2005

Housing Delay

Some mail in my box this afternoon:

We regret to advise you that due to delays beyond our control, it is necessary to extend the closing of this transaction to October, 2005. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We will make every effort to have your home ready on that date.

Oh well, bit of an anti-climax, but it gives me a bit more time to save up. I guess I don't have to give notice for a while now.

Posted by JAY at 10:05 PM | Comments (2)

March 19, 2005

Services In

The services appear to be in, and the streets that were dug out the last time I visited have been filled in. It was warm today, so the site was VERY muddy. Hopefully the next step will be to dig the foundations.

Posted by JAY at 05:55 PM | Comments (1)

February 27, 2005


It looks like the services are being installed at the building site of my new house. THis view is under the road in front of my house - you can see the beginnings of the sewage and storm drainage systems.

Posted by JAY at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2004

Furnishing Jason

Vince and Nives donated a lovely coffee table and two side tables that they didn't need anymore. They're rattan, though very substantial as the rattan is woven around a wooden frame. They also had glass custom cut to fit the indentation in the tops of the tables. I've left the glass wrapped in the protective foam until I move. Thanks guys!

Posted by JAY at 09:48 PM | Comments (1)

December 24, 2004

Decor Centre

Going back in time (before the hospital trip!) back to the Decor Center. This was an exploratory mission - apparently, they won't have prices for my subdivision for a while. However, all of the stuff remains the same. There was a really good selection. To the left you can see most of the standard countertop finishes (I can't afford the upgraded stone or Corian countertops). You can also see a selection of standard floor tiles - though this is only one third of them. There were 2 more panels of standard tiles and 2 more with upgraded ones. Whew!

I can also buy appliances from the builder. A standard set of 5 appliances would apparently cost about $3700, but they don't offer a gas stove, so I won't be getting that, at least.

I've got $3000 in upgrades already paid for, and I'm willing to add maybe another $1000. In rough order of what I'd like to get:

-drawers for the upstairs bathrooms*
-corner units for the cupboards*
-roughed-in central vac (depends on price)
-upgraded carpet underpadding
-washer/dryer (if there's any money left)


Still working on the color schemes.

Posted by JAY at 01:26 AM | Comments (2)

December 22, 2004

Decor Centre

Also, went to the Decor Center with Dave K. Lots of nice tiles and cabinetry to choose from... like 20 of each or more, all standard! Also, apparently my builder tiles the ceilings of bathtubs, which is kind of nice (the paint always seems to peel there).

More, with pics, tomorrow.

Posted by JAY at 03:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2004

New House-Graded

Peeked over the fence at the construction site. It looks like the place is graded now but I don't think it's been serviced yet. I'm wondering when they're actually going to start construction.

Posted by JAY at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2004

Got a Different House

Here's hoping that the 3rd time is the charm. I ended up buying a different lot on the same street without a walkout. I probably don't need the extra space anyway, as I'll be living there alone. It'll save me $9000.

The builder just got back to me today saying that the offer has been accepted.

Posted by JAY at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2004

Stupid House Builder

Sigh, the house deal may not go through after all.

I added one clause to the Purchase and Sale agreement that basically said "if you don't put in the walkout basement that I paid $9000 for, you have to refund the $9000".

It got added because there was another section where they said alterations made to the plan due to the grade of the land would not result in any refund.

The builder has rejected it; I can't see why he would if he were being above board about the issue. I may put in an offer on a non-walkout lot, or abandon the idea completely.

Posted by JAY at 02:32 PM | Comments (2)

July 28, 2004

Bought a House

Well, I just signed a Purchase and Sale agreement for a new semi-detached house. It closes next year, so hopefully I can save a bunch in the meantime for the downpayment.

Unlike the last time, the closing costs were all disclosed. It's more expensive though - the other house was a detached for almost the same price. (Although this one has a walkout basement which cost an extra $9k.)

I feel poor now!

Posted by JAY at 07:29 PM | Comments (2)

June 14, 2004

Apartment Found

Turns out I got the first apartment. Yay!

Signed the papers on lunch break from work. The landlord dude seems pretty nice. I didn't think the tenancy agreement was very clear, so I re-wrote it. He just took a brief glance at it before signing it. Too bad I didn't include the soul of his first born or something. I only made it for 6 months and told him that I'd like to stay longer, but if it sucked, I was outta there. He seemed pretty comfortable with that - a good sign.

Anyway, I gave him first/last month's rent and he called before cashing it to see if I had changed my mind and make sure that I had the money in the bank already. So yeah, looks good. Moving in July.

Posted by JAY at 06:54 PM | Comments (3)

June 12, 2004

Apartment Hunting Cont'd

So Dave was kind enough to take me apartment hunting today. I had lined up 3 to go see today. The first one was the best. It was a basement apartment on a walkout lot, backing onto forest. It was clean and well appointed and owned by a friendly young couple. The current tenant had a very affectionate kitten that was very cute. Unfortunately, it was a bit far from where I work.

The other 2 were dreadful. One was too distant from work and smelled wierd. The other one was expensive, run down and didn't have any access to laundry facilities.

Posted by JAY at 10:34 AM

June 10, 2004

Apartment Hunting

View image
Started apartment hunting today. I have the feeling that I'm going to regret letting this one slip through my fingers, but I didn't want to commit to the first one I saw. It's about 3 minutes walk from my office!

Grr, for some reason, Image::Magick doesn't seem to be working right now on my site, so no thumbnails.

Posted by JAY at 08:01 PM

June 03, 2004


I almost bought a house...

It was a new detached, closing mid 2005. Not a bad price, either, $250K. Great location, within walking distance of groceries, hardware stores and the bus station.

Unfortunately, there was a clause in the Purchase and Sale Agreement that said that "the purchase price in the Agreement may be increased or adjusted by certain additional costs or charges". I'm pretty sure that they just mean the normal closing costs (paving, meter installation, hookup, etc), but that's not what it says.

I told them if they could strike or amend the clause to be more specific, I'd take it. But they talked to their lawyers who refused to modify it. Other purchase agreements that I've seen itemize the closing costs in the contract.

Posted by JAY at 08:14 PM

April 04, 2004

House Hunting

In the morning, DaveB was nice enough to pick me up to go look at a house that was pretty close to where I work in Newmarket. Unfortunately, the house was in pretty poor condition. Most of the floors would need to be redone and there was water damage in the basement. The roof needed re-shingling. Quite unacceptable, especially considering the asking price of $235K.

From there, we went to see some new townhouse subdivisions that were being built.

These weren't bad, though they started at $224K rather than the $195K in the advertisement. The real estate market is really high right now, so I'm not sure that it's the right time to buy anything.

Crash, damn you! Crash!!

Posted by JAY at 02:57 PM | Comments (2)