Saturday, 13 August 2016

Deck Modification Phase 3 | Hot Tub

Hey there!  We are back with phase 3 of the deck remodel today.  This time we are sharing the new section of decking that will join the hot tub to the existing deck.

Last we left off, the hot tub was in place but we did not have an entrance way into it.  So while we waited for the electrician to come to do the wiring, Ian worked on creating a new section of deck.

The railing on the left hand side of the stairs was taken down.  Ian's plan was to create a deck level with the landing that is in the middle (well, off-middle really) of the stairs.

You can get a better idea of the location of where the new section of deck needs to sit, from this picture.

So with the addition of new posts and support beams. Progress was starting to be visible.

It always amazes me how long these projects take, if you say "build a deck extension" really fast it doesn't seem like that big of a deal! ha!

Ian secured the old deck, new deck and the hot tub deck all together with lag bolts to make sure everything was super strong and safe.

Te electrician suggest putting the hot tub in position so that the access panel for the motor faces the old deck / house.  Which is honestly not what we thought to do, and necessitated in Ian needing to rotate the hot tub by himself!

This also means that the new section of deck has to have a removable section to access the motor.

He actually had fun, figuring out how to do this.  He just loves this stuff!

At this point the cross-members were installed on the first section of the deck.

And the landing in the stairs got a facelift and some more support beams.  Now it will match the new section of deck.  The whole deck desperately needs a facelift too, but that is for another day.

We decided to run the decking on the landing the same direction that the stairs run, even though we needed to run the decking for the new section the opposite way.

Once he had a few of the deck boards in, he took a break to work on the stairs.  They were in rough shape, and quite rickety.  We had some company coming with kids, and wanted to make sure no one got hurt.

 Taking things apart and trying to salvage the posts, meant he had to be careful with the dismantle.

It also meant we had to work quickly so that the dogs still had access to the yard.

 The new stairs made a huge difference to the look of the deck never-mind the safety of it.

Next up was creating a removable section of deck, for the access panel, as I mentioned.

Ultimately, Ian decided to create an entire section that will lift out as needed but is well supported underneath.  It worked like a charm!

We love the way the new deck section and stairs look and feel.

 It is going to make for easy access to the tub.

This is about the time that the electrician came in to do the wiring for us.  $1500.00 later, we were ready to fill the tub.  We knew that one of the jets was not working when we got it, we didn't realize that meant we needed a whole new motor.  This model has two motors and the one that needed replacing has two levels, so it was quite expensive to replace.  The new ones run about $800.00, we managed to find a used one for $400.00.  Thankfully Ian was able to change out the motor no problem, so now we are in business!  Time for a fill and a cleaning! Then a drain and another fill!  The tub got christened with it's first use, by our youngest when it was only 67 degrees!  Brrr!

Next up are new railings on the stairs and the front of the new deck. WE also want to re-surface the upper deck and skirt the whole thing.  Add some lighting.  Divide the yard in half so the dogs have their own side when we need to keep them separate. And on and on.....  It is a process for sure!

Thanks for visiting!
Laura and Ian

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Deck Modification Phase 2 | Hot Tub

Boy ave we ever been ignoring our little home renovations blog.  But behind the scenes we (well Ian) have been really busy.  And we are also trying to enjoy some summer activities, too!

Today we are sharing phase 2 of the deck modification / hot tub installation.  When we left off last time we blogged about the back deck / hot tub work we were about to finish decking the top of the hot tub pad, wrapping up that project.  With the top of the complete, we were able to put the ot tub into place.

We borrowed this large trailer from a friend to bring the hot tub up to our home by the lake, from where we got it (about 3 hours away).  We could not have done it without this trailer. Ian needed assistance from a hot tub moving company to get it out of the yard it was previously in and onto the trailer.  It was a tight maneuver and so it was money well spent to get it out and onto the trailer in tact. If you are wondering or find yourself in a similar situation, it was $450.00 for the removal.

Once the tub was home and the deck complete, Ian drove the whole thing into our backyard.  We had to temporarily take down an small section of fencing, but it wasn't a bad job at all.

Then he back up to the tub deck, avoiding dropping the truck or trailer into our firepit.

Okay you can see better in this photo that we had to move our deck stairs yet again!

Ian lined up the trailer right to the deck, with a minimal amount of effort.  I do not say this lightly as he really doesn't like backing up with large trailers.

And then he used his legs to push the 800 lbs hot tub onto the deck all by himself!  We do not recommend this but we had little options so he went for it.  You can see in the photo that he was pretty pleased with himself.

But he was thrilled with this... perfectly level!  Awesome!

One more piece of the puzzle is done!

Now we need electricity hook ups and a way to get into it!

Thanks for visiting!
Laura and Ian

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Bathroom Mini Makeover

When we purchased this house we knew that we would want to give the main bathroom a complete (or almost) gut job / makeover and we also knew that because that is such a big job we would be leaving it until after Ian's retirement.  It just didn't make sense for Timmy and I to live with a bathroom reno for weeks on end when Ian could only work on it during the weekends.  So we pretty much decided to live with it as is until then.

We did immediately switch out the toilet for a new low flush model, definitely better for the environment and our septic system. Other than we left things pretty mush as is.

This is a before photo, taken the day we moved in.

Until this past week that is; when I couldn't stand the crappy blue paint job one more minute.  There was blue paint on the ceiling where the previous owners had hit it with the roller numerous times, there was blue paint marks on the floor, the vanity and the baseboards!  And there were spots on the walls where they missed spots, too.  Basically it was a mess and ugly to boot!

 Here are a couple of more "before" photos, taken after we tried to spruce up the room a bit.

I took down the one towel rod under the window and repaired the wall.  We prefer hooks behind the door for our bath towels. I had leftover paint from the guest room across the hall, which I love so I painted the walls with "Barley Beige" from CIL.  It immediately brightened up the space.

The trim and baseboards were previously painted a creamy colour which looked really dingy in the room, so I freshened them up with bright white paint.  There is just something about clean white trim!

As you can see in the "before" photos the vanity was also cream so I painted it with  CIL's "Mansard Stone" which was also left over from the guest room.  It is the colour that I used to paint the beds.

As you can see, all of the fixtures are grey and quite dated (with the exception of the new toilet) and while we plan to replace all of them, they do look slightly better with the new grey colour scheme opposed to the old blue and cream scheme.

Oh and we changed out the handles on the vanity, too!

The ceiling was also very stained and dingy, so I gave that a fresh coat, too.

Now we are on the hunt for new lighting (we have been sort of looking off and on for a year but cannot find just the "right one), new flooring, a new vanity (we like this one and this one from, but are not totally sure, as it is such a huge decision.  We do like that they look more like furniture, have good storage and have classic clean lines.), a new mirror and a new piece of art to hang over the toilet. We would love a new and deeper tub, but are just not sure that it will make the cut when it comes down to the budget  -  time will tell.  We are also thinking of doing bead-board or board and batten in there as well as always the list goes on!

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

Monday, 27 June 2016

Guest Room 2 Reveal

Hi there!  Today we are sharing a look at our newly finished second guest room. We recently blogged about painting and replacing the flooring in this room here, and about how this used to be a craft room before we decided to create an extra guest room.

This is a tiny little room, but so lovely with great dappled sunlight that streams through the large tree in the front yard.  Being tiny, created a bit of a challenge as we really had our hearts set on two twin beds for this room.  We are happy that we were able to make it work!

The beds are inexpensive unfinished beds from IKEA and were painted in CIL's "Mansard Stone" , the walls are in "Barley Beige" also from CIL, which is much more grey than beige.  The beds do not need box springs, but I think we will watch for a sale and pick up a couple, as the beds do sit a little low.

The little night table was pinched from Timothy's room as we have given him a larger one. It used to be red and received a coat of fresh white paint.

The lamp is a Homesense find. We bought the Matelasse bedspreads from Amazon and the grey blankets are from Sears.

This room has a few small sewing projects.  The pillows on the beds were the jumping off point for the decor and colours.  They were actually originally made for the living room, but they felt more bedroom-y when they were done, so they migrated into this room.  They were created from a tablecloth purchased at IKEA.  Two pillow covers for $15.00 is a great deal in our books!

The curtain has been in our "stash" for a while and is so pretty with the floral pillows.  Actually the pillow has a little inset of the drapery fabric, which helps tie them together nicely.  And speaking of ties, the tie back was also made from the drapery fabric.

We were gifted this sweet memo board a while ago, and it has hung in the craft room ever since.  However, in an effort to save time and not have to do many wall repairs we decided that it would stay in this room.  We love how pretty and cottage-y it feels.  And it is a great place to post the WI-FI password for our guests. Plus it fills up and empty wall.

I used some scraps leftover from the pillows and curtain to make this sweet swag to hang on it.

These frames were also hanging  in this room when it was a craft room, at that time they housed scrapbook layouts.  I painted up a couple of quick little water colour paintingz to insert into them. I decided to add in a pop of green to warm up the space a bit.

Again, these shelves were leftover from the previous decor.  So we shopped the house to find some fun things to adorn them. Sticking with black, white, grey and green it was super easy to pull together an airy look. And nice to put some of these pieces to good use.

We re-purposed this little dresser to give our guests a space to put a few things. We also added in the guest book that we used to keep at our trailer. 

We also re-purposed this little IKEA shelf to hold guest towels and extra blankets, in the closet. (Please ignore the tie dye kit, we picked it up to use with some of our guests that are coming this summer!)

We are super happy with how this space turned out, and cannot wait for it to be used this coming weekend!

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Deck Modification Phase 1 | Hot Tub

Hello!  We are in the process of renovating out back deck, so we thought we would pop in and do a bit of sharing.

Here is a photo of the backyard that I snapped while we were having our home inspection before we closed on the house.  We have a large yard that is fenced (albeit an old chain link fence but it works just fine to corral the dogges).  The deck and screen porch are both small spaces so we decided to enlarge the deck as soon as possible.

The existing deck really is only large enough for a BBQ and a few chairs.  Ultimately it would be nice to also have the option of dining out here.

The deck is structurally sound but the flooring was not finished with deck boards and the gaps are far too wide, so resurfacing it is in our plans, too.

We have all of these lovely woods behind us, and trees between the properties, so it is nice and private and quiet back here, a great place to while away some time.

We had been wanting to add a hot tub to our yard, actually a hot tub has been on our wish list for a while now because Ian has a really bad back.  We were super lucky to be given a previously owned hot tub from our daughter-in-law to be's family, a few weeks ago! They inherited it with their house and didn't want it. Of course we jumped at the opportunity!

via Pinterest

Our goal is to add a second lower level onto our deck something like this photo, above.  The new level will house the hot tub and hopefully our patio table and chairs.  But we will not have as many stairs between our two levels. We will also likely use fence boards opposed to lattice to skirt the upper deck.  We are also looking at options other than spindles for the railings.

via Pinterest

We are also liking this style of stairs, we love that they are clean, closed in and that we can add lighting to the risers (it is DARK here at night).

So this past weekend, Ian moved our stairs so that they come straight out from the deck, to accommodate a deck for the hot tub.

The hot tub pad will be about 6 inches wider than the hot tub on all four sides, and will eventually be below our second deck area with the top of the hot tub standing slightly taller than it.


Our yard is not level, in fact we have never had a flat or smooth yard, so we leveled our posts to accommodate the grade. And then framed it out.

Our pup, Ruby Tuesday, likes to be close, she hung out with us for the day even though it was stinking hot and we kept trying to convince her to go in. She did go play in her wading pool a few times, though.

 Once the framing was done we added in supports every 12 inches on centre.

We supported every second one with a deck block for extra strength.

And then we started laying out the decking.

It is exciting to see things start to come together!  After we cut the deck boards to size, we called it a day, it was so hot and Ian had to get ready to go home.  Next weekend we will affix the boards and try to see if we can move the tub into position.


Our little helper was still at it, right to the end!

We can't wait until this phase is done and we can enjoy the tub and add some planting around it, will be sure to share the process!  

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura