You Didn’t Want This Wall, Did You ?!

Man alive, time is flying! And so much has happened!!

I started writing this post over a week ago but have been slammed with house projects followed by a super fun but not exactly relaxing camping trip. I’m hobbling around today after a weekend full of kamikaze tubing, some butt clench worthy waterskiing, and rookie attempts at wake boarding, which explains the whiplash-esque feeling I have today. Hoping to be a little less tin soldier tomorrow. Although isn’t it the second day that hurts the most?! Can someone come over tomorrow to take care of Isaac while I moan in a tub full of Epsom salts? Anyone? Mom?!?

At least being pain riddled means I can finally sit down and finish writing what I started…

My folks came out to help out in our drywall-dust filled, wallpaper free house. My dad specifically was there to help move three light fixtures as we are getting our ceilings textured soon. Yay!

As an electrician, he is often asked for help with some electrical thing or other and as such, typically doesn’t do side jobs. Even for family. Unless you bat your eyelashes and whimper on about how much you love and respect him and how his grandson cries out for Grandpa whenever he’s not around. Take note. Basically, a lot of sucking up and thank you thank you thank you’s were lovingly thrown his way.

The man works a lot of hours in a week and puts his all into everything. And he’s a grandpa now, so that’s slowed him down. A lot!  Poor old fella.

So we were super thrilled when they offered to come out to lend a hand. Not only were we saving some serious cha-ching but we also knew things would be done quickly and to a high standard.

Lee worked on the walk in closet project while dad started pulling wires. (I asked if Isaac’s room could be done first. The kid was in need of el nap-o soon). Room one  for electrical was done quickly. And the plan (seriously, those with children can relate) to put Isaac down for a nap was totally kiboshed. So mom, Isaac the very awake turkey, and I trucked out in search of a screen door.

Which brought us to one of my favorite deal finding building supply stores in Calgary, the Home Improvement Warehouse.
I’m not sure how they can offer such great prices but I can tell you that the Dutch in me goes bonkers for the deals. Top that off with the fact that they accept my American Express credit card which means my Air Miles account gets stocked with points which ultimately translates into me being the happiest little house renovator ever.

Renovations on average cost a serious butt load of money. Seeing as this is our 4th house and the 3rd renovation project, we’ve learned some tricks. Like where to look for inexpensive, but still quality products (liquidation places, warehouses that bulk order, kijiji, etc).  And how to ask retailers to work out a better price to encourage us to purchase their product. It’s key to keeping costs down – even if it’s awkward asking.

Anyway! I found a fancy shmancy screen door that was last years model so they lopped off an extra $100 bringing my screen door total to $250.00 plus tax. Although that’s not cheap, the door is higher end, has a lovely profile and came with all of the door hardware. I had scoured kijiji first but sellers were asking for a lotta beans for their ugly brass knobbed doors that had dents and ripped screens. Or they just weren’t getting back to me. Either way !  So, with a little prodding from my deal-finding momma I ended up coming home with a brand spanking new door. Hurrah!

However, when we got home, the menfolk advised us that it is best to replace the exterior door at the same time (which we need to do anyway) as the screen door is set up based on your exterior door. And they agreed that there is no point in doing that twice.

So now my screen door sits. In the garage. And I sit. In the living room. Pining for more light to come in. And a breeze. I’m saving up my pennies because along with a new front door, we would like a matching back door. And new knobs and door hardware. And all of that together costs a lot. And we have a list as to what gets done when so as to not kill our budget or force me back into the working world.

When mom and I returned from the Home Improvement Warehouse, everything on the menfolk’s To-Do list was complete! And it was only 2 pm. It was the perfect time to mull over whether or not the dining room walls were load bearing. The grand consensus was not load bearing – but being diligent, safe homeowners, we wanted to hear from a qualified carpenter. Craig was on his way over – to check the walls, but also to pick Lee up. You see, Lee and Craig had been offered a chance to go to UFC 149 (by my brother in law) and how could my manly man say no?!

So, after confirming that the walls were not load bearing (YAYYY!!!), those boys left my mom, dad and I alone. And considering mom and dad came to town primarily to help us with our renovations, we couldn’t resist taking down some walls.

You don’t leave an Oudenaarden with such awesome news and not expect something crazy and unplanned to happen.

Next thing I knew, dad was pulling out his Sawzall and mom and I were pulling drywall and then hauling out the debris.

First down was the plastic/wood front entry partition.

Then the stub wall below it.

Then the kitchen wall.

Then the back sitting room wall.

In an hour and a half.

Before: View from the front door

After: View from the front door

All in all, a lot was done. Some planned. Some not. But all essential in moving forward. Especially because the ceiling texture and the carpet were booked for that week.


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