Blogging renovation part 1: Genesis

I’m really doing this series of posts for my own benefit, so anyone else reading these may not get much out of them. It was a bit of a long road finding a contractor, so I’m not going to bother documenting that process here, as I have a different type of update in which to cover that. I will say, though, that compared with the kitchen and bath renovations we did at our previous place close to a decade ago, finding the right contractor proved a much more laborious task this time. So far it seems worth it, but I’ll save my recommendation until we see how the work progresses.

We live in a townhouse complex built close to 35 years ago and our kitchen and baths are all still largely original issue. We were forced to replace our three toilets a few years ago, but as we had just moved from a place where we’d almost completely re-done the interior not long before leaving, our hearts just weren’t into doing that all again. Plus, when we first moved into our current home, EVERYTHING except some laminate flooring and a new coat of beige paint was original issue. As such, as we moved in I replaced and painted all the interior doors and we put in a new furnace, hot water tank, washer, dryer and stove. We also updated the garburator and, about a year ago, the dishwasher.

So, for a few years the guts of the place had been updated but not anything else. I won’t quite say our kitchen and baths are now falling apart, but not far from it. Cabinet doors are out of square, ugly lino adorns the floors, old-school fluorescent lighting provides that sullen glow only a cheap, cool white bulb can. I look bad enough at 6:30am, so the current lighting doesn’t help.

I don’t want to go into a massive scope description and detail here, so I’ll just post a pic or two of each room with a little information. I’m hoping I’ll capture the renovations at three or four key stages for comparison and progress.

The kitchen and den

This is actually the den off the kitchen and is one of the extra floor spaces we’re having tiled as part of the renovations. While we could have kept living with the laminate here, the way the previous owners stopped at the oh-so-useful diagonal seam with the kitchen floor made doing only the kitchen floor almost an impossibility. We’d prefer it not still look like ass after we’re done.

Everything but the dog will be tiled over

The kitchen will feature new wood cabinets, quartz counters, a range hood, backsplash tile, pot lights and we’ll inlay our microwave in full wall cabinets between the fridge and bay window.

Everything but the appliances to be updated

The bathrooms

In our hall bathroom, you can see the effect of the lovely fluorescent light I mentioned earlier. The metal tub and its adhesive flowers (not pictured), along with the grey flowered accent tiles and more of the stylish lino from the kitchen, will all be gone. We’ll be keeping the toilet, the towel hanging hardware and the new medicine cabinet. Otherwise, a new fan, vanity, sink, mirror, lighting, complete shower enclosure/hardware and tile throughout will replace this ageing eyesore.

I’ll miss the hole we drilled to flush the new toilet

I don’t have much different to say about our en suite, below, which is largely a mirror layout of the hall bathroom. That is, with the exception of how much I hate the monstrous sitz tub pictured at the far end. Neither of us are particularly keen on a seated, jetted bath and trying to use this as a shower proved useless. As such, it has basically held our bathroom cleaning supplies and plunger while we used the hall shower, since we moved in. We’ll soon be able to use the shower in our bedroom, with a nice new floor to ceiling tiled shower.

The sitz tub became a small storage space

Also, as we’re now reduced to using the basement family room bathroom for the next several weeks, I won’t post a pic of it here, but we are doing a little bit of work down there after we have functional bathrooms upstairs again. We’re not ripping out the bath, vanity, mirror or lighting, but will be replacing the ceiling, ceiling fan, updating the shower hardware and faucet, and tiling the floor. If possible, the downstairs bathroom has even uglier lino than the kitchen and baths upstairs.

A little extra flooring

Finally, with parquet flooring at our front door landing, then a third version of ugly lino at our garage entry landing, we figured we’d get those tiled. There will still be some new flooring left to do at a later date, but at least we’ll no longer be cringing as we walk through various spaces in our house.

Up next …

In truth, possibly jury duty. I have to report for jury selection tomorrow at 9am downtown. As I may be selected for one of two trials running 5-10 or 5-20 days, or simply not selected at all and sent home, my next few weeks are a little up in the air.

Restricting next steps to only the renovations, as long as everything gets off to the right start tomorrow, the demo phase should be done this week. I’m not sure how quickly they’ll get to leveling the floors and doing the tile work, but I expect to capture some new pics during or at the end of the demo phase, for another brief renovation post.