Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finally - a Post that ISN'T about the Garage!

There are a lot of upsides to living in Canada - don't get me wrong, but when it comes to online shopping, it just isn't the same as the good ol' US of A.

So many shops just won't ship to Canada, and if they do, they usually won't ship the items I want (i.e. rugs from Overstock or furniture from Urban Outfitters).  I've had my eye on a table at Urban Outfitters for what feels like AGES now because it is the perfect size and a great price. Of course, the only way I can get it is if I have it sent to a UPS/FEDEX station in Buffalo and go drive to pick it up. Super annoying.

Anyways, imagine my absolute ELATION when I popped in the local Urban Outfitters and found THE TABLE just sitting there waiting for me. It was clearly brand new, and looked SO perfect in my arms (because of course I grabbed it right away and didn't let go in case someone else noticed how perfect it was!).

I asked, and lucky me they had just received a shipment so I was able to pick up two! You might not think this is exciting, but I have been HUNTING through UO probably once a week on the way home from work for months. Canadian UOs don't get all the furniture, nor can they order anything in. It is a surprise what they receive and today was my lucky day!!

I was in a bit of a rush, so yes the tag is still on and I haven't figured out the rest of the room.

Another piece of good news - they were only 8 dollars more than they are listed for in the US!

Anyways - that's all for today - no garage updates (finally). Should have some painting updates shortly though :-)

ETA: As excited as I was, don't ask about the streetcar ride home with two heavy metal tables in my arms where NOT ONE person offered me a seat, and one actually STOLE a seat from under my almost-sitting tush.


I came home ranting about hating people (especially the seat stealer), but of course was overcome with excitement once I started putting the tables together!


Monday, June 28, 2010

NOW it feels like we have a garage...

Because the door was installed!!!!!

Seriously - I went away to work in the morning and came home to THIS:

It is a 12x7 insulated steel door with a super duper quiet garage door opener:

We found the company "Open Sesame" on Home Stars - a great website for reviewing home contractors and service providers.  It had received many great reviews and gave us a great price for the door/opener and installation.  They came on the day they were supposed to and did a great job installing it, leaving everything tidy and in working order.

Just in case you don't know how a garage door opener works, I found this great tutorial on youtube :-)

Jay Gets a Garage Door

Have a great night!


Weekend Update

Happy Monday everyone!  This morning was my first time venturing back into the downtown core (I live about a 10 minute walk from here) since all of the craziness of this weekend.  I walked a bit to work down Yonge Street and even though a lot of clean up work has happened, it was shocking and sad to see all of the boarded up windows. However, today is a new day right? Sun is shining (for now) and the city is starting to look like itself again.

For those of you who weren't around this weekend, here is an update of what we got up to:

Friday - prep for electrical, disgusting crawl space and some downtown scavenging

Saturday - electrical and pretty locks

Sunday - we have power!

Today is going to (hopefully) be exciting - the garage door and opener is being installed!!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

We Have Power!!

Hubs is pretty excited - we have power!!

One of the lights is hanging by its wires for inspection purposes - I guess they like to see how you hooked everything up. There are three overhead lights - the two you see here and one up high in the centre. Of course once the garage door goes in there will be one incorporated into that.

And finally here are the two hard workers:

Hope everyone had a good (and safe) weekend.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Garage Update - Saturday

Today was electrical day - J's good friend happens to be a certified electrician so he came down and helped us out. It is actually really amazing seeing a skilled tradesperson at work.  He is coming back tomorrow to finish up but  it is all pretty exciting!

3 overhead lights, 6 or 8 outlets, an outlet overhead for the garage door opener, and some exterior sensor lights.

While they worked on that, I went out and picked up some handles for the french door:

I went with the "Smart Key" by Weiser in an oil rubbed bronze. The colour sort of matches the outdoor lights we picked out.

You may notice that the turny- lock-button bit is on the outside. Seems weird non? Well basically for safety reasons, we wanted a lock that could be secured by key on each side. Originally I wanted a double key deadbolt (you lock it by key on either side) but they only come in ugly colours (yes, I'm silly like that!). So I decided to go with a normal deadbolt with the key on the outside, and then used a keyed handle with the key part inside.

Now when we go away with the car, we can lock it via key to hopefully make it more difficult for anyone who breaks into the garage. Sure, they can just break the glass, but I'm all about deterrents!

Of course while this was happening, I kept hearing helicopters overhead and then my mom called, panicked about my safety.

For those non-Toronto bloggers who read this, the G20 is currently underway in our awesome city and it has caused absolute HAVOC downtown. Violence, police cars burning, broken store windows, etc. It has been absolutely terrifying and saddening to watch all at the same time.

It is so sad - while there are some good, peaceful protesters out there, it has all been ruined by a small group (in comparison to the large numbers of people) of anarchists who are causing so much destruction.

It is really so so sad.  This doesn't feel like my city.

Photos of the Black Bloc

CBC Gallery of the Protests


Friday, June 25, 2010

Garage Update - Friday

Day number five brought some non-exciting progress, but important nonetheless.

Today hubby had to work on getting electrical to the garage. He dug a trench through the backyard and actually had to pull up part of the deck to get under it:

From under the deck, the workers (J and his dad) had to crack open the crawl space. When we bought the house, the inspector couldn't check it out because it was sealed up to prevent "vermin" from getting underneath.  Lucky for the sellers, because it was pretty insane under there. Here is a shot of under the deck with the door to the crawl space getting opened for the first time:

And here is the SHOCKING crawl space:

If you are thinking "what the heck?" I can assure you, I felt the same way.  From what I understand, there are exposed pipes (awesome) and the drooping ceiling is basically plastic filled with insulation. The crawl space is actually open to the neighbours (even better), but is closed off with chicken wire and dirt.

We had always wondered about it because we thought we heard a little critter under there earlier in the spring, but when we opened the door there wasn't anything there! I guess it was getting in from the neighbours' place but we closed up any entrance ways to prevent this in the future.

Then they drilled a hole from the crawl space into the space under the deck:

The super thick electrical wire (NMWU 14-3 is the technical term) went through the hole and was put into a conduit and made its way to the garage:

The electrician is coming tomorrow to hook up the power in the garage so we are pretty excited!!

Speaking of the garage - check this out!!

She fits!! We weren't really planning on parking in there yet, but I forgot to print off a new parking pass (oops) and wasn't at the office today. Ah well - meant we got to test out the garage!

In other news.... on one of my many trips to Home Depot I had my first, proper, Toronto style curbside decor find!!

No joke - I was driving through my back alley and came upon THREE interior doors that were put outside. I wasn't even thinking of the doors when I stopped because all I could see was the gorgeous knobs!

Of course we went back to check them out, and ended up coming home with this:

Sure, she's purple, but the moulding is sweet and it is honestly the PERFECT size for our currently door-less closet in our master bedroom. Recall:

** This picture is from the listing when we bought it**

I also made my husband go back with me to get these:

One is a black ceramic or something solid and the other is a gorgeous brass with really interesting detail:

Isn't it lovely!!! It was on really intricate plates that are COVERED in probably 5 coats of paint, but I'm confident I can clean them up.  It was a pretty hilarious sight though - hanging out in the back alley taking the hardware off the doors that someone was throwing out.

Pity - if only the owners knew that they could probably have gotten $$$ on Toronto Craigslist for the doors. One was so beautiful and solid wood - unfortunately it was too big for us but would have made a great desk, headboard, etc.

Anyways - that's it for the Friday update! Tomorrow brings the electrician and hopefully some screening for the pathway.



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday's Garage Update - A Roofing Angel Flew By

 I went off to work today while hubs stayed home to work on the garage - J took pictures as the day progressed and here is what I missed!

Enter the door!!

When we first started talking about putting up a garage, I knew I wanted to get french doors. First off, if we are going to stare at a garage when we sit in the backyard, I'd like it to look pretty. Second, I remember watching season 1 of Home to Flip and LOVING what Peter Fallico did with his garage:

Looks more like a guest house or something eh? I just loved it!!  Anyhoo, we got a great deal on some french doors and went for it!

Once the door was in, it was time to get going on putting up the roof shingles. This was about the time I called J to see how things were going and it did not sound good.  It was his first time shingle-ing and started with a tricky section and he sounded frustrated.

Alas, I came home to this:


** The roof is actually done now - just didn't get up on it for a final picture***

When I was oohing and ahhing over the amazing (and FAST) work that was completed today, my husband came clean.  This is how it went:

Me: Oh my gosh. You did SO well today! I can't believe how much you did!
J: Thanks (breathing heavy). It was by far the hardest day yet.
Me: I bet. I can't imagine putting all those shingles up.
J: Umm...I have a confession to make.
Me: (looking confused) Okay?
J: I didn't do all of the shingles.
Me: Huh?
J: This guy walked by and offered to do it so I let him.


No seriously - some guy just happened to walk by and offer to do the shingles. J said no at first (we get a lot of people in the alley offering to do just about anything to help for some money), but the guy insisted and said that he was a roofer and was rained out that day and was looking for some extra cash.

He thought he could do it in about 2 hours.


This ACTUAL roofer was going to shingle the garage for my beginner husband for WAY LESS than it would have cost if he had called up a roofing company.

That is how this guy:

ended up on our roof!!

This city is nuts! My husband said he was a super nice guy just trying to make a living and was from out East and he sure could shingle!  J was so happy with this roofing angel coming by to help him out that he took his card and promised to call him for the house roof (for a proper paying job!).

Anyways - so that is where we are now. Progress won't be as drastic over the weekend - electrical and some landscaping. Garage door gets installed on Monday and then next weekend is the siding!!

Hope everyone is surviving the heat/earthquakes/G20 craziness!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Garage Updates - Tuesday and Wednesday

The garage building process continues....



Today we were lucky and the rain stayed away (so far) and the earthquake didn't make this baby budge!

I just can't help but be SUPER proud of my husband who has spearheaded this entire project from start to (eventual) finish and has even taken a week off of work to help the framer and learn from someone who has been doing this for years.  The framer actually helped build my in-laws family home 20 some odd years ago.

Anyways - hubs is up picking up the french doors and the shingles and some other building materials ("stuff" as I like to call it).

More updates coming tomorrow! Cross your fingers for good weather!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Backyard Progress #2 - Amazing What Happens in a Day!

So a little while back, our back yard looked like this:

Last Tuesday, the concrete was poured:

And today we took delivery of a whole whack of wood:

And in what feels like no time at all, we have this:

The walls will be finished tomorrow and the roof goes up! Let's hope for half decent weather - it is calling for rain but hopefully not too bad!