In this weeks’ article, Jessica tells us how she and Emma prepped for the total overhaul that is their renovation. Walls down and everything.
Once we signed our renovation agreement with Jostar we had about five weeks to pack and to move out of our place. The renovation is supposed to take about six weeks and during those six weeks we can’t be in our place, as it’s getting (almost) completely gutted. I thought five weeks would easily be enough time to meticulously pack and plan everything but when it came down to it we definitely could have used an extra week!
We sold any extra furniture that we knew we definitely wouldn’t need in our new space but made sure to keep the furniture that we still love and think will still work in the renovated space. We sold our bed, some bookcases, some stools. We also donated a lot of clothes and books that we hadn’t touched in awhile. Even though the packing process is a pain in the butt we made sure to use that entire five weeks to really go through our stuff and purge anything that we didn’t need anymore.
We put the majority of our stuff out at my mom’s farm, we rented a second storage locker and we even bugged some of our friends in the building to see if we could put some of our stuff in their storage units – even though our place is only 450 square feet, we had lots of stuff in it! We have appliances all over our building in multiple people’s storage units! We certainly owe a debt of gratitude to our amazing friends!
Reno demo – it begins!
…Well, kind of. Our contractor completed a bit of demo work the Friday before the September long weekend and they were going to continue to demo after the long weekend but, unfortunately, one of the guys on their two-man crew injured his hand on another job and couldn’t continue with ours. This meant we needed to find a new contractor, and fast, because there was just no way we could delay the renovation now with our place partially demolished. This was another instance where we were glad to have Jostar involved. They lined up another contractor right away. We met with him the very next day, and by the end up the week he was on board. Any further work would have to wait until the beginning of the following week, but we were very much relieved to be back on track.
We did get a few things done in the midst of the contractor uncertainty. Our new ventilation pipes were installed, and we received our floor tiles.
As the project has progressed we’ve encountered a few hiccups regarding some of our plans. We had initially wanted to move our laundry units into the kitchen and make the former laundry space into a front entry closet. As the plumbing would need substantial re-routing that idea has been nixed. The laundry and plumbing stays where it is currently, and our entry closet will be located in the kitchen; which we’ll make into a combined broom/coats/boots closet.
The other slight hiccup is that the two concrete pillars that we had wanted to expose have drywall glued to them, making the drywall extremely hard to remove. If we were to remove the drywall by chipping away at it, it would take a very long time and in the end the pillar would be chipped and messy and would look…well, terrible. The solution we came up with is to patch and repair and drywall on the pillar and use an architectural mineral coating that gives the illusion of concrete. We found several excellent plasters at Carbon Environmental Boutique in Edmonton, made by American Clay. If you’re planning a renovation and looking for environmentally friendly products and alternatives, I would highly recommend Carbon.
Plastering over the concrete pillars have several advantages. It reduces the time that the contractor will spend demolishing our place, the cost is minimal and it acts as a temperature-controlling element (which is advantageous as one of our pillars is on an outer wall and cools our place substantially in the winter – hopefully this plaster will help with reducing our heat loss).
Fortunately, none of these changes have been much of a compromise and, in fact, might work out for the best (and within our budget)! We’ll see how it goes!