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James Wanless

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Blogging renovation part 2: Middle

Demo

Demo-licious


In my first post about our renovations on May 24th, I wrote about the scope of the job and included a few pics of the areas to be renovated, the weekend before they were to begin. Generally, things have progressed quite well so far. There have been a few small glitches along the way, as with virtually all of these kinds of things, but so far we’ve found the contractors to be conscientious, unfailingly polite and very nice to work with.

The only thing I can say at the outset is that it’s going a little bit more slowly than we would have liked, but there are some unavoidable factors, which I’ll highlight next. If nothing else, at least some of the issues are due to diligence on the part of the contractor and I’d never say that’s a bad thing.

The scope and timeline

When we first contracted them, our stipulation was that we wanted them to begin in mid-May and be complete by late June or early July, and they said they felt a six week timeframe was appropriate for the job. Our rationale was that we wanted to avoid the summer heat and we also intended on doing some minor work around the house during our three weeks off together, beginning July 24th. We really didn’t want contractors still milling about the house during our time off and we’d obviously be less productive and less relaxed if this was the case.

As I alluded to in the first post, this is a fairly complete renovation of a small kitchen and two small upstairs baths, some tiling of an additional den and two door landing areas and then, a little tiling paint and hardware replacement in our less-frequently used downstairs family room bath.

We’d originally pegged a May 19th start date, but a small conflict with another job pushed this back to May 25th. The contractor felt we’d still be finished at the end of June or very early in July, but I suspected that wasn’t likely. As well, they found far more sub-floor repair and levelling was required in the kitchen/den than anticipated, and this probably added a week or more to our timeline.

I don’t think any of us anticipated the current heatwave Vancouver is suffering through, and that has impacted not only speed, but their ability to go up into the attic crawlspace to finish some fan and lighting wiring. Given that it’s probably above 40 celsius with no air up there, I can hardly blame them. Seems like things may be finally cooling off a bit by the end of this week.

The kitchen and den

The den, below, is still in need of some baseboards and I’ll have to figure out what to do with our ageing gas fireplace insert after the renovations, but the floor tile is making a huge difference already.

The kitchen, below, is sort of halfway there (but the time consuming work is almost complete). Tile, countertop, sink and most lighting is finished, while backsplash tile (not shown at far end of kitchen) and under-cabinet puck lights are partly done, with cabinet door/finishing and faucet/garburator still to come.

The (upstairs) bathrooms

The heavy lifting in the hall bathroom (below) is done, with shower door, fan replacement, medicine cabinet, vanity backsplash and towel/toilet paper racks still to come.

The ensuite is a tiny bit behind the hall bath, but very close. Converting an old sitz bath to a floor-to-ceiling shower meant more tiling. One nice change to both upstairs baths was the addition of a pot light directly above the shower/tub area.

Up next …

Well, in short, finishing up everything above. Our sincere hope is that we’ll be very close to finished most of the upstairs by the end of this week. Provided the shower doors are ready to go in on time, at a minimum the baths should be done, with a lot of the kitchen, too. If we can begin fully using the upstairs baths, then the contractor can have access to the basement bath and start working there soon. The last pieces will be the tiling of the landings.

As it stands now I expect them to be at our place pretty much up until we are on vacation, and hopefully no longer. I’ll have a final post on all this when I can show off pics of completed spaces and talk a little more about the renovation experience and contractor, overall.

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