Thursday, October 20, 2011


Here are some tiny screen shots of the draft floor plans for the new house. Some bits have since changed, but these are mostly accurate.

first flooor

Gound Floor: entrance, living room, The Greatest Kitchen Ever, dining room, side patio (gardens and barbecue and table and chairs), powder room, laundry room/dog corral.

second floor

Second Floor: open office area, sewing room, spare room, bathroom, deck (for container gardening).

third floor

Third Floor: master bedroom, closet, bathroom, deck (for sitting and reading the paper and drinking tea and coffee. And probably some more gardening, like grape vines.)


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

And there it goes...

house falling

I missed this big event, but luckily I have a husband with a Blackberry who was on site when it happened. He snapped these six photos in succession as the house came down. They'll be digging our new foundation next week. Everything seems a whole lot more real now.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Last Days

We got word that the house will be torn down this week, which is very exciting. I'm hoping it happens on a day when my work schedule is flexible so I can come by and see what's going on. And take more photos. As it is, here are the photos I took today when we stopped by the house after lunch.

from the front:
bye bye

from the back:
from the back

this tree needs to come down:
other doomed tree

bricks and flagstones from driveway and backyard (to be re-used):
saved stones

back of house and one doomed tree


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thinking About Toilets

I don't normally think about toilets. You know, beyond the "I really need to find somewhere to pee," thoughts that we all have now and again. But choosing fixtures for our house means thinking about toilets. And sinks and showers and faucets and bathtubs.

These are the fixtures that we have to choose first, because they might actually affect how the house is built. Things like cupboards ("millwork" I've now learned to call it) and wall colours, and flooring come later.

We went to four different plumbing stores (Boone, En Suite, Preston Hardware, and fancy, fancy Astro) a few weekends ago and took photos of any fixtures that caught our eye. By the end of it all I was thinking mostly about an article I'd read in the New York Times magazine about "decision fatigue".


What we learned? I like round stuff. My husband likes square stuff. We don't actually care much about what our toilets look like. I have a major crush on "pot filler" kitchen faucets. There are a lot of ugly sinks out there. If you want to sit in a showroom bathtub, you need to take off your shoes first.

Luckily, there is a designer who works with the architect we hired. Her name is Serina, and she helps sort out stuff like which bathtubs fit the style of the house and the limits of our budget. I am more than happy to leave these things to the professionals. Last week we had a meeting where she took all the fixtures we'd taken photos of, and showed me options she'd found that were identical or similar. One of the architects, Sarah, sat beside us, doing budgety math. I just had to say, "I like this bathtub better than that bathtub." Almost everything we chose came in under budget which made everyone very happy. It was much less daunting than I thought it would be.

I'm still expecting to be a bit freaked out when I have to pick paint colours, though.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Boarded Up

On Thursday I drove to Sandy Hill so I could vote in the Provincial election. I parked in front of our now vacant house and got to see for myself that it had been boarded up. I'd seen the house in disrepair already, since our friend Jamie corralled my very kind husband into tearing up the floorboards with him. Jamie is going to use the floorboards in his basement. At least he's going to try. The floorboards are soft wood and were installed by idiots. They were nailed AND glued, despite being tongue-in-groove. All that to say they didn't exactly come up like a dream.

The windows were removed by the contractors. Part of the LEED certification involves responsibly disposing of the old house, so they're dismantling the house slowly so they can salvage as much as possible.

One thing people keep asking me is if I feel sad at all thinking about the destruction of the house. I'm pretty sentimental and soft hearted, so I'm surprised that the answer to that question is no. I am so excited to live in the new house. A house with heat! And a great kitchen! And non-splintery floors! A house that's organized and practical and healthy. So no, I'm not shedding tears for the old place. Everything that I loved about living there, namely my husband and pets, are still with me now and will be with me in the new house. We'll all be happy when it comes time to move in.