And we have appliances!

We are one step closer to having a functional kitchen! ¬†The appliances are here. Now to get them working ūüôā I think the one below is going to change my life, and the life of my house guests – who wants to come over?

Our coffee machine!

Our coffee machine!

The kitchen is getting closer to being ready Continue reading

Kitchen update

Our countdown is on….2 weeks left.

I’ve been assured this is when the magic happens. ¬†Everyone works together to get all the big and little things done. And I believe it. ¬†We have come a far way and while there is still a lot left to the untrained eye, it is getting there. This week we saw the cabinets start to take shape and got our first view of the blue cabinet covers. The boxes are in place and the plumbing is ready. The floor is down and the appliances are here. Now to put the cabinet doors in, the backsplash on, the countertop cut and installed, the workplace desk and shelves installed…really not much. OMG, maybe it won’t be ready. ¬†Billy? Continue reading

Let’s Check in…

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today with all the big changes I saw at the condo this week. I went back to my original post and looked at my “must have” list. Wow, things have changed. Let’s take a look.

Our Must Haves:

  1. Open concept kitchen with an island¬†‚ąö
  2. Replace the hardwood floors throughout¬†‚ąö
  3. Expand to two full bathrooms¬†‚ąö
  4. Have a great play area for the kids
  5. Update the design to suit us ¬†‚ąö

We are slowly but surely ticking things off our list. We haven’t decided completely about the kids play area yet, but we are looking into a few storage options. Stay tuned for a post about their bedroom and playroom. The girls are very excited about it.

But what else has spiralled out of adding a bathroom and tearing out the kitchen?

Our new additions:

  1. Open the stairwell to let in light
  2. Change the glass to a floating glass system throughout the stairwell
  3. Change the glass on the loft balcony to match the stairwell
  4. Add new lighting throughout the house/add recessed lighting ceilings
  5. Add heated floors
  6. Add a workstation for homework and crafts and adult work at home days
  7. Add organizational systems to the closets downstairs
  8. Open up/widen the doorway between the kitchen and living room
  9. Add AV and electrical to make it a “smart home” since the walls are already open
  10. Paint everything!

I always heard that a reno is more like a living organism than a static project but now that I reflect on it, it is really clear.

There She Blows!

We have a hole in our kitchen floor! It’s taken 3 separate formal application processes, 3 formal approvals and a phone call half way around the world, but we finally have approval to cut through 8 inches of reinforced concrete slab. Here is the result. I’ve never so happy to see¬†tubes coming out of my floor. It’s starting to feel real! Wait until the cabinets come next week…

Our new island sink plumbing

Our new kitchen island plumbing

And a snag…

It had to happen right? We had our approvals from the stratas and the city. We had the plumber in after the floor was taken up to assess where the plumbing needed to be moved from the side wall. This involved ultrasounding the cement floor.

Since I get ultrasounds on people all the time, this was pretty cool to think I would need to ultrasound my house too. I imagine it looked something like this. It would have been fun to watch. I wasn’t there but found¬†these cool markings on the floor later on. Unfortunately the ultrasound didn’t came back as easy as we hoped.

The place we wanted to put the plumbing in the island was too close to an electrical conduit (or some other equally unknown to me term). That meant that the plumbing would have to be moved by a foot. ¬†That doesn’t seem like a crazy request, except that the plumbing may be in our floor but it’s also in a commercial site’s ceiling. We had authorization from the first location owner and strata but moving a foot moves us into the site of a different owner. Now we needed to start at square one again and ask for authorization. This potentially means a huge delay and uncertainty if we can do this at all. ¬†We may have demolished the kitchen to find out that the plumbing is not movable.

Kitchen Floor Ultrasound

Kitchen Floor Ultrasound

I was devastated. The strata told us the owner did not live in North America and it would be difficult to track him down and get a quick answer. But Billy and Amber were on it and told me to keep on my rose-coloured glasses. They would make it as easy as possible to get the authorization and make the work as simple as possible for them to say yes. We can’t move forward on anything in the kitchen at this point though. If the plumbing doesn’t work out we will have to rethink the layout and the cabinets. At least the engineer has signed off and given their approval. One step down. Let’s hope the other steps aren’t too difficult. Oh my, please cross your fingers for us!

Demolition day!

The day we have been waiting for!

I can’t believe how much pre-work has to go into planning a renovation on your own home. First finding the right people (that part was easy – Amber and Billy are second to none). Then applying for strata approval. In our case we had to apply to a residential and a commercial strata – fun times. Then after the strata gives approval, the city application is due. ¬†So many steps. Luckily, my team did all the work in writing and securing the applications and proposed plans. That was a welcome surprise. I thought I would be dealing with the approval process.

Then just when you have conditional approval from all parties, you need to wait for the city inspector to come. That was actually the longest part for us. ¬†The city was amazing in getting us the building plans within 24 hours, then getting the application approved within a week – big shout out to Vancouver City Hall! ¬†Things were moving along at a good clip. Then we were told the inspector would come in the next week. I was flabbergasted. Where were all the horror stories of delays and crotchety people who won’t even look up from their papers? Then we waited for the call for the confirmed time for inspection and… it never came. ¬†We waited and waited and called and waited and tried to be polite, and then after 2.5 weeks, the inspector came and gave his stamp of approval. ¬†Yeah!! We can start tearing this place apart!

It feels so good to know we can do the reno we want to do. I did have a lot of worries that either the strata or the city would say no. ¬†It is a big deal to core into the cement floor and the ceiling of the business downstairs, but everyone said yes. Someone is looking out for us for sure ūüôā

Positive thinking

Positive thinking

So Billy got the good news¬†on a Friday night and got his crew ready over the weekend and was ready to rock and roll on Monday. They didn’t waste a minute and had the place wiped clean in just 2 days. It was time consuming and needed a lot of planning during the days to get it done right and within the regulations. There is a yoga studio below us and apparently jack hammering interferes with savasana and ujjayi etc… Who knew Yoga. So Billy was only allowed to jackhammer for 15 min every hour. Not disruptive at all.

But with the crew’s hard work and determination. It was done. ¬†We were cleared to come look at it now that all safety concerns were out-of-the-way. And here it is. I can’t honestly say that my first thought when I walked into the space wasn’t “OMG, what have we done!” But after the first few seconds of panic, we were so excited to see the clean slate and get ready for the next step. ¬†Bring it on!

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