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Winter sunrise, Lake Cowichan, B.C.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

January 2019 Wow and week #17 of renos!

Tuesday, January 1st.

After our usual morning routine of coffee and computers it was time to get moving. This is take down Christmas day. Fortunately Ray and I are on the same page with this. We thoroughly enjoy our Christmas decorations for the month of December, but come New Year's Day we are done with the clutter and can't wait to get everything back in their boxes and put away. The house looks so much bigger, it is nice to see clean tables and counters removed of their Christmas clutter. I can see the water again from my chair. lol Also with all of the builder stuff everywhere else in the house it is nice to reclaim a space for us.

We probably should have done it in two stages but we work well together. Ray puts away outside lights and the Christmas Village and I take down the tree, mantle decor and other miscellaneous trinkets. Took us about 4 hours and we were done for another year. It also gave us the opportunity to junk out things we did not use or did not work properly from being packed up so long. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow so it is better putting outside things away dry.

The rest of the day, Ray laid in bed with his TV and I read a book. A very relaxing afternoon. Meals today are leftover appetizers. lol

Ray was up very early this morning ... could not sleep regarding his meeting this morning with David Coulson. Anyways Derek, the deck guy was here quietly picking up their tools at 6:30 am and removing the supports holding up the rocks that were mortared 2 days ago. So they are done. They did a pretty good job cleaning up the concrete patio downstairs. Still a few spots where mortar is stuck on the new concrete though. It is supposed to rain very heavy for the next couple of days so I am glad the area is cleaned up and all garbage is in bags so they don't create a mess.

Bags of garbage to the right.

Wow we can get around all four sides of the hot tub now!
Ken, the other building contractor Ray had come to the house a couple of days ago, called this morning to decline. They just don't have the time in the next month to get here with all of the other things on their plates. Hopefully Ray works it out with David so work can get completed this month. As it turned out David was really sick so the meeting was off today. He seemed to think that the job has just about wrapped up ... we sent him the list of things yet to be done, especially the whole basement for "his viewing pleasure!" a page and a half typing! Also our patio door to the sundeck that was ordered at the end of August .... still is not here! Anyways Chris was here this morning for 8am and finished the ironing board closet and got most of the pantry shelving up. Now I have double the capacity in this cupboard.

Not "streaky" just shadows ... bad photography! lol
Other than the two transition pieces of wood for the floor under the closet doors where the walls used to be, upstairs that he will make up at the shop, the upstairs is done. The doors just need to be stained. He also managed to install the pantry door as well today. Still needs to be trimmed out tomorrow but progress. So happy to not see all the "stuff", especially the recycle baskets. Chris left shortly after 4 pm.

We only had one handle ... more on order.
Called today on the remaining ceiling tile that we ordered November 30th ... it is finally in Victoria and should be delivered Friday to the house. Les and crew will probably finish the T-bar ceiling off this weekend if the tile arrives as planned.

Jones Coatings confirmed today that they will be back early next week to finish the basement floor. After that we can start the finish work in the basement i.e. putting in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets etc. This is a short week with the New Year's holiday so not as much will get done.

With the meeting cancelled I headed out to Duncan to get our shopping done before the intense rain forecasted started dumping. I was lucky it was just sprinkling when I got back home but shortly after intensified greatly. lol Ray was pretty much done too. When I am not home he just keeps doing stuff to keep busy. He is determined to do as much as he can with small projects to help get this job done such as putting in the new door hardware himself.

Thursday it had rained all night and intensified by about 10 am into torrential rain with the wind picking up. Hopefully that does not spell more power outages. Chris texted that he will arrive at 12:30 today. He was working on our trim in their shop, I believe. Ray and I popped out to the Country Grocer and had a quick lunch as I needed to buy a few groceries.

I spent a couple of hours talking with Sameday Freight to locate our ceiling tiles ... after several calls all over the island and then calling Sameday Freight again, I finally discovered that they had been transferred to Standard Freight via Richmond to Victoria to Nanaimo. Finally have confirmation that Nanaimo has unloaded the semi and they have my skid and will deliver it tomorrow between 12 and 4pm Wow!!! What a pain. Les the drywall guy from Gordon and Gordon is going to try and get it finished this weekend. Good thing because we just received another invoice from David Coulson and he has charged us for the T-Bar ceiling and tile install before the job is even finished!

Ray spent a couple of hours this morning replacing door hardware and then a quiet afternoon reading laying down in the bedroom. He also did a short stint of sanding some of the beams in our ensuite from the overpaint that was done a year ago by the previous owner.

Chris did arrive at 12:30 pm and continued working on the pantry trim. Of course with a new door, the trim is not fitting the same and has to be rejiggered.  It took 3 1/2 hours to finish and he still has to put in a new transition between the wood floor and tile floor as the old one now is too short with the larger door. We also had him put the little stoppers so the door would not open so wide and hit the counter.

Chris said that on his way here today, there were areas of Highway 18 where the water was coming over the highway and cones were being put out to warn drivers. Between first thing this morning and about 1:30 pm the lake has come up 10 inches. A very wet, windy, miserable day.

Tomorrow I will take everything out of the pantry and organize it so I can get a bunch of stuff off my kitchen island. lol

Ta Da (all done Friday morning)
Friday. It had been a very rainy and windy night. it not bother us, but if there was a particularly strong gust, Freya would lay beside our bed instead of her bed. Chris arrived at 7:50 am and started working on the stair posts. The edges need to be rounded off as are so sharp Ray really scrapes himself on them. I did also for the first couple of months but I learned. lol By the end of the day all of them had been done and will have to be stained at a later time. Glad to see .... hear that job over. Both the dog and me were getting very tired of the loud noise all day long. Between the shop vac, router and sander.

Quite the contraption to minimize the dust for me. It worked great.

Bernie, Roger and two other guys showed up about 9:30. The 2 guys were digging out all the old cement in the grass and extra gravel and rock to take to the dump. The extra guys left after filling the trailer with all the garbage. Bernie stayed and cleaned up the concrete and attempted to clean the bathtub that was left a mess by the drywalling. I will have to pressure wash the concrete from all of the mess at a later date. Bernie will have to try something else to get the tub clean at another time as paint thinner did not work. New rubber was applied to the stairs to prevent Ray slipping as all of the black paint with the walnut shells all peeled off so they came up with something better. (we hope). Bernie left at 11:30 as there was no trim here to finish under the sundeck and rockwork.

Roger took out our patio door to get it remeasured against the new one. Apparently the one that they had ordered came in with veneer instead of solid fir so the whole thing had to get redone again. They took out the door and left me with a piece of foam for the day so they could match up the hinges and holes for door hardware. Apparently they are bringing the door back later today and installing it back in place and will put the new one in the garage for the painters to stain with the other doors later this month.

Ray took some pictures from the park after the major windstorm we had. Wow. Swim dock was now in the picnic area. Going back today with the rise of the lake it is now floating in the picnic area! Just to give you some idea of how much water the lake has filled up in 2 days.

Jan 2, 2019

Jan 4, 2019
There were some very large trees that had fallen over as well.

Fortunately Ray wasn't walking this trail with Freya!

At 10:15 am Ray noticed that water was dripping downstairs by the patio door !!!! Had Chris suss it out and it turns out that the tile guys cut our trim for the deck tiles and then cut around the trim and exposing the house to the rain. Now Chris is outside caulking all those areas. Unbelievable! At least it should be an easy fix, just Chris's time at $60/hr!!!

Basement door

We waited an hour and the water is still coming inside our upstairs patio door by the floor vent and dripping down through the floor to the basement floor. Ahggggg. Chris back out at 1:15 pm to try and stop the water egress again off our sundeck into the house. He is going to bring more supplies on Monday to attack this area again. Roger mentioned that he stopped at 4 other jobs today due to leaks.

Anyways the lake has come up substantially, 3 feet in the last two days. Hopefully the forecast for the next few days sticks with the rain slowing so the lake has time to empty before the next storm. Our neighbour Darryl had to go onto his neighbours dock and tie up the stump from their yard that had floated off and was in danger of hitting Darryl's dock. He has it roped between the two so it should stay in place until it can be dealt with.

Water again, up to Mike's ramp platform.
Our water level as of 12:30 pm Jan 4, 2019

We are glad we are here to monitor lake levels this winter ... just so when we are not here in the winter we know what to expect. It was high a year ago November the once and that was the most people had seen in quite a few years. This year has not yet reached that level even though it seems to us to be really high. So we shall see what happens with the "climate change" that is talked about.

Ceiling tile arrived at 12:30 as promised thankfully. Now hopefully Les and Paul will be here later today or tomorrow to finish.

Roger was back at 1:30 pm with the new door and trim. This door will get stained by our painters when they do the other doors, but at least it is finally here! The old door was put back in as well. On the same day ... who knew. lol Roger also took the leftover "feet" for the deck to Slegg for a credit.

The new patio door is finally here after talking about ordering it since August!

The heavy rain finally quit at 2:30 pm.  You can actually see the lake flowing like a slow river. The showers started up soon after again. Chris was all packed up and gone by 4 pm. It is definitely "Miller Time"! Now Ray is making all of the noise. He is ripping the left over baseboards we have so they can be used with the new smaller profile ones that we are putting in the basement.

Saturday we were both up early ... too much on our minds I guess. Took a quick peak at the lake level while I had Freya out first thing (5 am). I think it is down a bit ... we shall see when daylight comes. The rain had stopped though.

Later in the morning Ray determined the lake was up a couple of inches and then went down a couple of inches later in the afternoon.

Les texted that they will be here tomorrow to finish the T-Bar ceiling so Ray and I had a free day to go to Duncan for a little shopping. Ray took me out to lunch at Original Joe's. Fabulous fish and chips.

Back at home I got our rattan lazyboy recliners all set up in the gazebo, lit the fire table and turned on the infrared heaters. Nice and cozy on the very cloudy day. lol

The rain began again around 3:30 pm so that was our afternoon outside. Hopefully it does not rain too much again tonight. There is apparently a wind warning though for early Sunday morning.

Sunday, cloudy but the rain has appeared to stop. Ray says the lake did not come up any higher but it was quite windy at 7 am.  We are waiting for the expected wind storm this morning. Already 10,000 BC Hydro customers out of power on Vancouver Island as of 8 am. We shall see what today brings for us. lol The next few days are quite a bit cooler so we could see snow flurries, although tomorrow is supposed to be sunny before the next deluge of rain.

Les, Paul and Kristy, showed up at 9 am as planned to finish the T-Bar ceiling. It turned out the flat tiles we received are a different colour "white" than the contoured ones. However, because they are the exact same colour as the T-bar track and walls it really looks fabulous and sets off the patterned tile more like a coffered ceiling. Bonus! Whew! They were all done by 11 am. After they were finished and took out most of the garbage, I finished up and swept all the leftover bits.

Living room ceiling

Bedroom ceiling
Checked the lake at 9:30 and it is down 8 inches or so. Great. Still waiting for the predicted wind at 10am. (It never came.) It rained off and on for the rest of the day.

Kat and Garrett gave us an ornamental garden anchor for Christmas. We found the perfect place for it. It will look better once the junk is gone. lol

Floors should be dealt with downstairs tomorrow, Monday or Wednesday and will take two days to finish. Then we can move onto finishing downstairs. Ray decided to make the transitions for the upstairs closets himself. It is a finicky job and takes quite a bit of time, but it is far cheaper for Ray to do it than pay Chris $60/hour. lol Ray is enjoying the challenge of using his brain with fractions and using his tools. He is taking his time and doing a little bit at a time to not hurt his back.

And that was week #17 of Renos.


  1. Wow what a long slog of renos! It's going to be beautiful when you are done. Are you making the basement into an income suite? I'm asking because you mentioned putting a kitchen in.

    1. No this will ultimately be a caretaker suite for us when we cannot travel anymore and need help with day to day stuff. In the meantime it will be used by our kids when they come for extended stays or for some of our RV friends. I don't mind cooking for a weekend but if they are staying longer such as a week or more then they can look after themselves. lol

  2. Looking much more finished now, but what happened with David?!?! Text me if you prefer but I want to know.... :D

  3. I can't believe how much the lake level changes and so fast!! Guess why the nickname "wet coast" came about. Amazing amount of water change. The gazebo must be fantastic with lazy boys and heaters and a frosty beverage. The basement ceiling turned out really good, you must be happy with that team. Some of the others not so much :(

    1. Yes the level of the lake is always fascinating to us. lol Don't want to ruin our reno before it's finished. It is down today quite a bit so the lake will have room for the next monsoon. :) The ceiling and gyproc team were excellent and very quick once material was on site. Now we just get the "bills". It looks like the reno will be finished by the end of the month, fingers crossed.

  4. Your ceiling looks great! After seeing all your blogs on renos we’ve been watching and are hooked on the series Holmes Makes It Right and Holmes and Holmes. It’s amazing what some contractors have gotten away with. We’re sure looking forward to our summer visit!

    1. That's funny you are now watching reno shows and getting a "feel" of what we are going through. ha ha. :)

  5. Sure hope the leak is fixed. How frustrating. At least you saw it now before all the final trim is in place.
    Hope Ray takes it easy. He's a smart guy and will have all those fractions figured out!
    Stay dry!