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Sunrise on our house, Lake Cowichan, BC

Saturday, 3 November 2018

New Built-ins and Renovation, Week #9

Monday woke up to very heavy rain. Hope it does not put a damper on the final concrete pour today for the stairs. The area is tarped up in preparation. Our crew did not arrive at 7:30 am as per usual, probably because it is still so dark out at that time. :) And then I hear a big truck. By 7:50, Chris had arrived, our carpenter, and the pumper truck and cement truck were here in preparation for the pour.

Of course the rain was just pouring out at that time. :( Unfortunately one of the concrete crew parked in the neighbours driveway, blocking it for her exit to work ... she was not impressed. Oh well maybe she will feel better after having some coffee. :)

Well what a day. The concrete guys were in and out shortly after 10 am. The rain quit shortly before that ... maybe they should have started at 10. :)

Pouring the downstairs bathroom floor now the sump is in.

Finished stairs
The electricians came late as their van broke down and had to get their boss's truck. Work was started on putting in the pot lights under the sundeck and pulling some wire for the plugs in the kitchen.

Roy from Shoreline Cabinets came over at noon to confirm install for Thursday. Fortunately, Adam from Kurtis Electric is already on site and Roy showed what electrical outlets need to be moved before Thursday.  So Adam started on that work in the hall and left his apprentice working downstairs. I also arranged with JS Plumbing to come tomorrow and pull out the ensuite vanity for the master bath and change the plumbing from a single sink to double sinks. They also need to pull the two upstairs vanities in preparation for the new cabinets up there. 

Running more wire in the basement to end up at the new sub panel.

Pot lights put into the underside of the sundeck for lighting.

Our interior doors are back from being drilled for hand sets. Chris, our carpenter, worked on installing our doors back in and changing the ensuite door frame so that the door swings into the bedroom instead of the bathroom for more space. It will be nice to close a door in the bathroom. lol

Our ensuite door below, swing out into the bedroom instead of into the bathroom. I think it will need a little finishing work. lol

Roger, our site supervisor worked on getting the sundeck stair stringers ready for painting tomorrow.

So that was a wrap for Monday ... just a lot of mess. The house feels like it is being deconstructed instead of constructed at this point. :)

Tuesday the noise, banging etc. started again by 7:30 with the carpenters. The plumber arrived by 9am yanking out our ensuite vanity and the two upstairs bathroom vanities in preparation for the new ones. Needless to say, Ray and I will be brushing our teeth in the powder room or kitchen sink for a few days. lol After all the vanities were removed, Nathan started the plumbing for the double vanity.  This wall borders the unheated garage, yet the plumber found no insulation around the plumbing to protect them from freezing.  Yet there is insulation on the other side of the stud.  Go figure.... this house and its' warts, grrr.

Chris, the carpenter is working in the new downstairs bathroom, framing the for the sump closet and toilet room.

Bernie, the carpenter's helper, took down all of the tarps for the stairs outside and painted the stair stringers. He's also working on connecting the perimeter drain for one of the scuppers that could not be done until the pad was poured and the 2x4's removed.

Looking Awesome!

Adam, the electrician continued on working moving the lights and plugs in the hall in preparation for the new hall closet while his apprentice stayed downstairs working on the new wiring for the basement, kitchen and bedroom. We have a total of 21 new circuits apparently.

Adam finished the hallway wiring after lunch and started in on the dining room plugs.

Here we go again!
 Ray and I headed into Duncan to get our Shingles vaccinations and pick up the light fixture for the new bathroom downstairs. I waited until they wired for it so I knew what size to get.

When Nathan finished with the plumbing of the ensuite, he began working in the new bathroom as well, hooking up the sump discharge system.

The big pooper pump! lol
Chris moved upstairs and repaired the gyproc in the pantry closet from accessing a vent for the downstairs plumbing.  He also patched the ensuite bathroom wall, including insulation, before cabinet install on Thursday. We will need more supplies for tomorrow to finish it.

We've been busy little beavers all day. Lock the doors, turn out the lights and breathe a sigh for the quiet. lol Until tomorrow!

Ray and I ended up with some company (little people) for dinner unexpectedly. A friend of ours had some unexpected business to attend to so she sent the boys over here for a couple of hours. We got to get our grandparent fix on.

Freyai is very excited to have "little people" to lick. The "little people" not so excited". lol  I even managed to find a bag of old lego from my kids years ago.
Ray sharing ice cream.

Wednesday, another rainy day. Hopefully it will lighten up later and have a little sunshine like yesterday for the kids as it is Halloween. We certainly have a "Frightful House" right now with all the holes in the wall. lol

Chris arrived at 7:45 and started downstairs ripping some 2x8's into 2x4' for more framing. He used these to frame in the support post corner fireplace. Afterwards he was back upstairs late this afternoon starting in fill in some of the gyproc holes in preparation for the built-ins tomorrow.

Nathan and the electrician's, Adam and Nick, were here around 9am. Around 10am, the gas fitter showed up to run lines for the stove, fireplace and barbecue box on the deck. Another hectic day shaping up. Sean from Southshore Cabinetry came and picked up the sinks from the upstairs bathrooms to mount them on the new vanities for tomorrow.

Nathan uncrated the tub/shower but it is cracked. Home Depot is trying to source a replacement so it can be delivered tomorrow as Thursday they deliver in Lake Cowichan. TBA He did partially install the plumbing bib on the deck, making ready for a tap. Also the sewer system is all hooked up and connected to the main sewer line as well as the plumbing for the vanity and tub are all ready to go.

The two bottom corners under the 2x4 were cracked on both corners.

We now will have water, electrical and gas on the sundeck.
Greg, the gas fitter, ran all the gas pipe for the range, propane fireplace and Barbecue Box. He will connect these at a later date when the appliances are being installed and before the T-bar ceiling goes in.

The dining room switches were removed and one re-set for tomorrow, then Adam moved to the master ensuite to move the in-floor heating control, GFI plug and lights in preparation for tomorrow's install.... more holes and more dust. :( Also having him add a new light in the bedroom and move another one in preparation for a larger closet.

Yup more mess.
Meanwhile, Nick the electrical apprentice continued to run wire downstairs to all of the boxes he installed yesterday.

By 3:30 the house was quiet once more. Managed to arrange with Home Depot to send a replacement tub/shower tomorrow. Plumber will now install it on Friday.

We ended up with only two trick or treaters, our neighbours grandchildren. Great Costumes, The Eyeball and Knight. It was pretty quiet until around 9 pm when fireworks started going off . Freya was not impressed and stayed in the house near our bed for the rest of the night.

Freya having to give a sniff.
Thursday morning we woke up to rain. Apparently we will get a bunch of it today and tonight before we get a break tomorrow. The lake has risen up at least a foot as of yesterday. We will have to take another look tomorrow after this next batch of rain. Last year at the end of November, the lake came up really high ... up to the top third step from the beach, which is only about 5 feet from our basement! Hence all the "waterproof" building in the basement. Spoke to the bartender at Jake's, where we went for lunch to get out of the noise.  He explained the lake came up to the bottom of their steps last year in November. Here is a picture of our newly non-existent beach.

Chris,arrived about 7:45 am to started by finishing the insulation and drywall around the plumbing for the new ensuite vanity.

Southshore Cabinetry guys arrived at 8:15 and started unloading 2 trucks full of cabinets. Wow. By the end of the day they had the bases for all three bathrooms mostly done and started on the base for the dining room built-in.

Look by the front door, we can hardly get in with all the cabinets back there as well!

This is the counter top for the hallway built-in

Ensuite Vanity

Below is a before and after with the old, wobbly antique table being replaced with new vanity .

One of the new upstairs vanities partially done.
Bernie arrived shortly after that to work on cutting the stair treads for the sundeck. The electricians showed up around 9:15 or so to start their work in the basement. The two deliveries from Home Depot for the replacement tub/shower unit arrived about noon and the new gas range for downstairs shortly after. Nick spent the day running wire from all of the boxes he installed yesterday.

Adam worked on getting the wiring done for the sundeck with mounting the switches inside the dining room. He also started on moving a light and plug in the master bedroom in preparation for the new closet. More gyproc dust.

After the electrical was run, Bernie sealed it up with plastic to protect the wall against the rain forecast tonight.

Wall plug for outside lights wired in.

Chris worked on the last bit of framing downstairs, including the platform for the new free-standing fireplace. Bernie and Chris started taking down the forms for the stairs on the side of the house too.

South Island Fireplace service tech arrived this afternoon to fix our big gas fireplace in the living room that won't light. After 2 1/2 hours he was unsuccessful... the part department at Valor did not send the correct part, it was missing a wire or something. Epic fail.... now we have to wait until next Thursday and hopefully Brandon can come back and fix it.

Yup more mess! 
Another noisy but mostly productive day. Everyone gone by 4pm. A Gin and Tonic sure hit the spot! lol The rain also began in earnest. A very rainy evening.

Friday, we woke up to torrential rain for a short while, then it started to clear as predicted. Getting geared up for another busy, noisy day at Kyles Kottage. Chris and Bernie crew arrived at 7:45 am. The 2 cabinet guys also arrived. The electricians, the plumber and gasfitter arrived at 9 am. So we have a full house again with 8 guys trying not to trip over each other.

Accomplishments for the day.

Adam, while keeping an eye on the apprentice downstairs, finished moving the plug and light for the new closet as well as putting in a new light over Ray's dresser. It was always so dark in that corner of the room that it was hard to see his clothes in the drawers. Nick was working all day on wiring all the boxes he previous put in including the heaters for the bathroom and bedroom. The old subpanel will now come out on Monday.

Extra bedroom light. It sure is making a difference in that corner of the room.

This light had to be moved to make room for the new TV placement.
Wired for the in-wall heater.

Chris worked on the final framing, finishing up small jobs in the basement, and making sure all the other sub-contractors ran their lines correctly so other things can be done like venting for the bathroom fan and fireplace As it turned out a couple of things needed to be moved. Good catch Chis. Although we are putting in a fancy T-bar ceiling in the rest of the basement, the bathroom ceiling will be gyproced so everything must be done right as it will be a permanent ceiling. Bernie painted all of the stair treads with black paint with walnut shells, in keeping with the colour theme of the house. The shells will reduce the chance of anyone slipping in wet and cold weather. The rest of the forms for the concrete stairs were removed and the house got a bit of a bath taking off the overspray of concrete. A load of construction waste was also picked up to tidy up the yard. Chris also did a bit more gyproc repair from the lights in our bedroom, so they could be reconnected. The new window arrived, but it is not exactly the same as the other windows in the basement suite. So I came up with the idea to swap out the window in Ray's workshop that no one will see so everything will match in the suite. Another problem solved since we are here and not down south!

We had Greg here, with both a gas ticket and plumbing ticket, to supervise his apprentice. The tub/shower was installed with the drain system hooked up to the sump system. With the electrical work the light was unhooked in that area of the basement so a cheater light was set up temporarily so they could see what they were doing. The plumbing lines in the ceiling had two shut offs in it and they required moving into the sump closet so they are accessible in the future. Greg also hooked back up the 2 upstairs vanities so we have working sinks up there now.

Fortunately this one is not cracked.

And there she sits.
Sinks hooked back up in the guest bathrooms.
In between his plumbing duties, Greg installed the venting for the gas fireplace and finished running the propane lines for the gas range and fireplace. One step closer .... The vanity should arrive on Monday, but it won't be installed until the gyproc goes in.

Just needs to be trimmed out by the carpenters.

Venting in and gas line for fireplace.

Ready for our small gas range.

The cabinet makers managed the most transformation done today. The bathroom vanities upstairs were completed other than the drawer fronts. The butcher block maple counters are awesome.

They got most of the framing of cabinets done in the dining room.

Note how they carved the upper towers around the timbers. Fabulous work. Glass doors to come!

The ensuite bathroom cabinets have been leveled and installed ready for Matrix Marble to come and measure for the Quartz countertop on Monday.

They placed the hallway built in,  preparing for two towers to be mounted. We now have a lot less cabinet boxes to negotiate around the house. lol

Lots done this week. The electricians will be back on Monday to finish up the basement wiring. Next Wednesday, the basement will be sprayed with an eco safe, non-gasing antifungal to prevent any mould should the basement ever get flooded in the future. Hopefully the roofing guys will come back to finish the sundeck as the first three days of next week is supposed to be nice.


  1. Everything is looking fabulous. So in love with the timbers, we had timbers in our house. Just something about it... Anyway, place is looking messy but it'll be fab when its done! It will eventually be done... just doesn't seem like that right now, but it will get there. Hang in, your doing great! :D

    1. The next two weeks should be huge in the finishing up department I think. As long as the contractors come in a timely manner to do some of the things before the drywalling. Thanks for reading through all my stuff. :) I mostly do it so I can remember what was actually done in the week so we can see lots did happen even though sometimes it does not feel like it. :)

  2. Looking very nice. I like watching from afar.

  3. That is a lot of stuff going on at once but it looks like you are down to the final stretch! What kind of wood is your dining room table made out of? Looks great!

    1. The table and the countertop for the dining room built-in are from Western Maple. These trees are plentiful on Vancouver Island.

  4. Good job staying on top of everything that is going on! It's lots just to read about it let alone organizing it. Plus you're living in the chaos. Cheers to you both.