21 Aug 2013

New House Randomness

You guys! I have so much to tell you about the new house, but have had so little time at my computer!  So, this post is going to be a brain dump of a bunch of random house stuff.  Hang in there with me. We've been jumping around from room to room, painting, tearing out flooring, laying flooring, etc, etc so I don't feel like I have anything cohesive enough in my brain to actually show you room by room at this point.

Also, I know I promised you a video...but you know what....I sort of suck at videos!  I did take it, but my goodness...it's awful.  I did it with my phone and didn't realize that I switched from portrait to landscape half way through and I also just jabbered on and on.  I pulled it into iMovie and tried to fix it, but I just don't have the time.  So, sorry...no video! 

Before I get into the nitty gritty of this post, I have to first give out a HUGE thank you to both of our parents.  We have had so much help over the past week that it's still blowing our minds.  Our parents have both been so wonderful with taking Fin and with putting in some serious hours at the house.  If it weren't for them I am pretty sure that Mr. Swell and I would be curled up in the fetal position on the floor. 

We took possession last Wednesday, so we have had the house for a week now.  It doesn't look like the same house that we started with 7 days ago.

Let's start in the front, shall we?  These trees....my goodness.  

Giant cedar trees

They look all pretty, but they are beastly.  They got so close to the house that the previous owners cut the gutters around them.  Not smart!  We got a couple quotes to remove them, and I am happy to say that they will be coming down in a few weeks.  It will allow us to redo the gutters and to actually see out of the front window. 

This is how our living room looked a few days ago.

living room before

See how much the trees block?  Can't wait to get them out. 

The room has come a long way since this picture, but I am going to save those pictures to show you another time (in a big ta-da look how fabulous it looks sort of post).

Bugs....oh bugs. There were so many of them in the house.  Good news is that they were all dead and didn't cause any damage to the house (except for being totally gross).  Every electrical socket that we emptied contained bugs.  Yuck.  I am pretty sure our shop vac is 99% full of bugs.  I think we have got most of them out now.  No pictures - I couldn't stand to look through the view finder at them!

And the source of said bugs?  


backyard before

It's like the craziest urban jungle anywhere. My in-laws went to town on the backyard over the weekend and I am happy to say that it now looks like this....

backyard in progress
(She LOVES sweeping...I didn't stage this photo!)

It's about a thousand times better!  We even discovered that there were stepping stones under all that mess.

There are still a few piles to remove but we have to wait for garbage day so that we can empty our garden waste bin!

The other good news is that we had someone come out to look at the hot tub and he says the electrical part of it is all good.  Now we just need to clean it and fill 'er up to see if it will actually hold water.  Fingers crossed....

Remember how we had grand plans of hiring a contractor and moving walls.  Ya, about that.  At $18,000 for what we wanted to do, we had to nix that idea.  I knew it would be expensive, but couldn't quite handle that number.  So, we decided to simplify our ideas.  Instead of moving a wall upstairs, we opened up one of the walls to the 4th bedroom just to make it all feel airier (and to have room so that Dief could turn around!).

A few days ago it looked like this...

upstairs hallway before

And now it looks like this....

upstairs hallway progress

Thanks Dave for taking out the wall for us!

We still have to add the drywall back on, but I am so happy with how it turned out.  One funny little thing that we did discover while tearing out the wall was that the whole house is double drywalled.  Very strange....

double dry wall

We are also replacing the laminate on the stairs, hallway and in that now open bedroom.  I am in the midst of picking out carpet this week.

Most of the house (the main rooms) are going to be quite a light neutral colour, but I am going with a super dark colour in the Master Bedroom.  

master bedroom before

After looking at 2 very similar colours for a couple of days, I decided to go with Benjamin Moore Dark Harbour (the left swatch in the picture).  After a bit of a catastrophe on the weekend that involved paint and the interior of my car (bad, bad, bad!!! Always make sure the paint store puts the lid on tight!!), we are now making serious progress in this bedroom.  

We've also been shopping maniacs.  I think the people at all of the home improvement stores are getting to know us!  Our smallest family member has been super helpful!  

Baby in the cart? Check!

We've had to buy toilets, a washer and dryer, drywall, paint (paint, and more paint!!!), electrical fittings, plugs, and tools.  It's fun for a while, and then it gets old!

And lastly...check out this gem

ugly switch plate

Awesome. right?  Or not.

The best part is that it's in this room...

bedroom before

Apparently the Chinese lettering makes you feel all zen, until you see that horrible switch plate....then you can't sleep because you are contemplating having a drink.

I'll be back on Sunday with The Week's End, and will hopefully have more cohesive thoughts for you next week.  


  1. i am usually a tree-hugger, but i want to b***h slap those trees out of there!

  2. Sweet!! Love the "new" back yard. Have fun making new plans :)

  3. You, Mr. Swell and your awesome in-laws rock! What amazing changes already. It looks like Yard Crashers stopped by.

    I also can't wait to see what it looks like when you get those view blocking trees out of there. Normally, I'm a fan of leaving trees whenever possible, but that close to the house - I don't blame you one bit.

    And I just had to laugh, I mean really laugh out loud when I saw the "Family Guy" switchplate, my husband loves that show [I'm a closet "FG" fan]. It'd be perfect for a man cave! LOL

    1. Thanks Erica! Oh how I WISH yard crashers would stop by...now that would be awesome.

      It's going to look like a totally different house with those trees gone...I cant' wait until they are gone.

      Email me your address and I will pop that switch plate in the mail for you - it's all yours :)

  4. Oh, I'm am dying right now...the chinese letters and that switch plate! Hilarious!!! It looks like it is coming along! I love the dark blue color that you chose for your bedroom, too. It's so pretty! And way to go on that back yard! It was a beast! Looks so much better now! Smart choice on the video...you look like you have your hands full enough! lol! Cannot wait to see more!

  5. Ahahha, that light switch cover... Those trees are terriable! I had to pull out two myself, it was NOT easy. What are you going to do with the room with the open wall now? Playroom? Office... I'm intrigued.

    1. No, I can't imagine that pulling trees out is easy, although I have zippo experience doing it. We do have some small trees in the backyard that we are planning on pulling out ourselves, but it might wait until next summer.
      The room upstairs is going to become a bit of a hang-out/playroom for now. We don't need a 4th bedroom, so we figured it would be nice to just have an open room where we can all hang out and relax and not worry that toys are overtaking the downstairs. I think at some point we will probably put a TV in there - for the odd time we actually want to watch different TV shows! (i.e. The Bachelor!). I am also planning on housing all of my craft crap in that room (which means it will fill up almost instantly!)

  6. I cannot believe that is the same backyard!! Oh my golly goodness!! Looks amazing!! And I can't wait to see what you do with the house. It is going to be absolutely incredible. I love following along. Thanks for all the pictures!

    1. Crazy, right? Thanks for the vote of encouragement! Right now it still looks like a bit of a disaster, but it's coming along!

  7. Wow you have been a busy bee! I can't wait to see your fabulous new after pictures! Good luck!


  8. Ahhhh fun! I really have a soft spot in my heart for renovations, but I've never ever done it with mobile children.

    I'm going to follow your adventure closely - we're talking about moving, and there may be some work in my future. (Gotta love sweat equity)

    Also - your backyard? Whoa. Was the house vacant for a while?

  9. It's all very exciting. The yard looks so awesome already. And OH NO to the car and paint incident!

  10. You go girl!! It's going to look great for sure! Don't work too hard though, enjoy this!! Hugs and take care.

  11. Wow...just reading your post I feel the crazyness there !! I'm sure you having a great time to get it all together ! Nothing beat the feeling of " I did it " at the end !! I hope you have a wonderful weekend !!


  12. Oh... this brings back memories. It's amazing how a yard can change with just some pruning, trimming and mowing. It looks wonderful. It's going to look awesome when it's done, when that will be who knows, but it doesn't all have to get done in one weekend. I've learned that this past year when our house looked and sounded the same way.

    It will be a year next weekend since we began the same journey. The process can get to you after awhile but just step back for a while and you'll come to realize it's worth it in the end. I can't wait to see more photos. Crazy, crazy, crazy!!!!

  13. Yay for progress!! You're going to have such awesome light in the living room without those trees. Love, love, love the the bedroom color! And, the yard, wow what a major improvement! :) Have fun!


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