Sunday, 8 February 2015

2015 Challenge Update #1

Unknowingly, we actually started this project before my parents' arrival. While we were cleaning and trying to make it looks as if no one actually lives in our house, we had a good cull. We got rid of all things that we don't actually use, including the stuff that we'll claim we'll use, but really won't. Anticipating that our home will be dominated by all things baby related, if this pregnancy goes the distance, I want to pare down as much as possible. We threw all the discarded items into the garage, as we didn't think my parents would have any reason to go into the garage. One of the best things about our neighbourhood is that various charities will come around to collect old clothing and household items. They'll send a flyer in the mail announcing the next date, you leave your crap by the curb and they'll put your donation receipt for the tax return in your mailbox. Usually, the flyers are like buses; if you miss one, just wait five minutes and another one comes along. Sometimes there will be multiple pick-up opportunities within a week. Yet, over a month went by and nary a flyer was seen. So one obstacle was that we had to work around the clutter. The other challenge was that we had to take down the ceiling lights, so all work was done when natural light was available.

While my dad was still here, he and Husband installed a set of pull down stairs in order to gain access to the new storage space.
Stairs and Materials: $300

Husband's friend Susie came over one day to let us have access to her truck. They brought a truckful of unused construction materials to a recycling centre, where they will be repurposed. While, he had access to a truck, Husband picked up the insullation, framing and flooring materials from Home Dep.ot. Susie stayed to help Husband complete the framing in preparation for the dry wall. 

Insullation and Lumber: $600
Recycling Fees: $50

In order to be able to dry wall the ceiling and create a storage space, we realised that we would have to move some of the wiring in the garage. Husband is pretty adapt at simple electrics, but this was a little out of his reach. Plus, my dad noticed there were a few things with the current wiring that weren't done according to code. The professional electricians moved the wires, corrected the faults, and added several new outlets, including a few outside, so that we no longer have to drag extension cords through the garage when we want to use the leaf blower. They accomplished quite a lot in a single day's work. (During which, Husband failed to offer them a cold beverage...) We also had to purchase some new lights for the ceiling (we had been repurposing the flourescent lights that had been in our kitchen) as well as a new outside flood light (it was broke during my father's visit, but I never heard the story on how it happened...) We also needed to call our Alarm company, as our service was disrupted after the electrians' visit.

Electrician: $825
Lights: $200
Alarm Service Call: $175

Total to Date: $2,150

We started installing the floor in the storage space, but all construction came to a screeching halt as Husband went back to the East Coast and then to England for two and a half weeks. I kept things going by re-organising all our tools and researching storage solutions (don't worry, I'll spare the pictures). In all honesty, I appreciate the distraction from my pregnancy and I somewhat hope it keeps us occupied until we have to start planning and preparing for the baby's arrival. One thing is certain; there is no way we could have started this project with a newborn in the house. It does make me wonder when we'll ever be able to tackle other renovations. Husband went into the crawl space under the house (I'm not quite sure why...) and I was in charge of keeping Tyler away from the opening. I thought I had shut the door completely, but Tyler is clever enough to open any door that is ajar. Just as I went to make sure the door was shut, I saw his fluffy ginger tail disappear into the crawl space. Husband spent almost half an hour crawling around trying to find him and to coax him out. It was one of those moments that made me realise how great a father he will be, and I felt that I was doomed to be a horrible mother if I couldn't even keep my cat out of a dangerous place. I left some food out for Tyler and sure enough within twenty minutes, he was either hungry or bored and made his way to the opening and within my reach. He was fine with the exception of being a little dirty. Crisis was adverted. Still, if it is this difficult to work having a cat around, how will we get anything done with a small child? 


  1. I don't think you'll get anything done. With our dog immobilized (the jury's still out if he'll recover, and if he doesn't, deciding our next steps is heart breaking) we decent amount of time caring for him in the morning and the evening and we now have no time for anything else. And that's only three times per day. What's going to happen when it's multiple feedings and multiple changes per day? Less than nothing, I'm sure. I'm impressed at how much you're getting so much done pre-baby!

  2. I feel ya on the pressure to get it done before baby. Though I have a bit more time than you, we have a few renos that we intend to do one of which is tiling our bathrooms. I did it in our old place, but by the time it is warm enough for us to be cutting tile outside I am going to be too pregnant to help much... Might have to hire that one out, it just seems like such a waste when I can do it myself. All the best with your renos, hopefully it comes along quickly, and without any more suprises and added costs!

  3. It's definitely a challenge getting things done with a baby around, but you will find a way. Maybe not right away, but once they leave the newborn status, things do get a little easier and you figure out your new normal. You will be a great mother!!!! I have no doubts of that at all.