Welcome... Follow along as we renovate our 9th home in 12 years

Saturday, June 5, 2010

06/05/10 The decision to renovate

Time to catch everyone up...

It has always been my dream to record one of my own personal renovations from start to finish. From the day we break through our first piece of drywall to the day we are sitting enjoying a glass of wine in our completely renovated home, I would like to document the experience. I was inspired by the movie 'Julie & Julia' where one of the main characters worked her way through a Julia Child cookbook, attempting to recreate each recipe one page at a time, while sharing her experience with the world in her blog 'The Julie/Julia Project'. I am hoping that people who read my blog will check in & see how we are progressing. I encourage you to leave comments or suggestions! By the way, I am definitely not a writer but I do love to share my experiences!

Just over a year ago we purchased an 1850 s.q ft bungalow in one of our favourite communities in Calgary. This is actually our third home in this community. When we purchased this home last April 2009 the goal with this particular home was for us to NEVER renovate (or move)... however, as all our family & friends know, we unfortunately have never been unable to keep that promise to ourselves... within the last 8 homes that we have owned & yes renovated over the past 11 years! Due to our life circumstances, we have moved again & again. With all of these moves, I have to admit that I am always both excited & curious about how much of an improvement/profit/change that we would be able to achieve after each project was completed. It is so rewarding to be able to make a "silk purse out of a sow's ear."

Someone once said that I will renovate every single home in our community... "one house at a time." From this comment & my husband's desire for me to leave our own home alone, I formed my company 'Suzanne Wismer Designs Inc.' (previously 'New Leaf Design Ltd.') Being a fairly driven being (!!!) I saw a way I could renovate multiple homes at one time & not have to finance all of them. As my business has taken off, I have been able to help many people design their dream spaces which now they can live in & love! Unfortunately however, I still cannot leave my own home alone...sorry honey!

Our new home was in great need of some lov'n... which tends to be our specialty. The more that needs to be done the better! You could tell that this home once had a lovely garden which now has been left to grow amuck! The home was build in 1976 & has had some renovations over the years. To give you an idea of the state of the home when we moved in, the day we moved in our first toilet stopped working. The second day we lost the use of our second toilet & yes, the third day we needed to call in our awesome plumber Steve to do his magic & replace all three. Quickly on the heels of obtaining new toilets we were off to Trail Appliances to buy a new washer as our washer ceased to work. New washer... might as well buy a new dryer too. Soon after that we added a new deck & fence as the old ones were rotten... literally. After a couple months passed we were forced to replace our fridge. In doing this we decided to go with our favourite "the twins" which are a lovely all fridge & all-freezer countertop depth combo which come complete with a trim-kit for a small fee. Great for those of us that really want a Suz-zero but do not want to pay the price. Purchasing these lovelies then determined that the kitchen would "need" to be reconfigured one day to fit those two units in. Thus a renovation was born...

Those of my friend who went into the "baby pool" game to see when we would actually start the renovations...hope I didn't disappoint anyone. We took a little longer to start this time : )

Here is an image of our "twins" that started the whole process...
Do you like my dry goods storage? (see top of fridge)
We are in serious need of more cupboards!

Here are some more pre-renovation images...

Quick temporary makeover of old fridge space. I kinda liked it!
More storage & a nice breakfast bar.

Bye-bye back deck door... you served no purpose. We needed to take this door out so that we could extend our deck out across the back of the house. This was really the defining moment. Once you take out a door something had to be done with the old mudroom.

Replaced dysfunctional non-sliding original 8 foot slider. Was not my first pick but we had a height restriction issue. If only we had 2 more inches!!! We have a lovely soccer field that extends out past our back fence.

Lovely new cedar to replace the old deck door.
This reminds me, does anyone want to stain my deck?!? Fence?!? ; )

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

06/02/10 Let the renovations begin...

After 1 year, 1 month & 14 days, despite the fact that we said we were never going to renovate our newest home, we have officially decided that we were going to go ahead with the process! Yes, I have to admit that I am the one driving this decision & yes my hubby still loves me (kinda sorta) : )

First step... getting ready to renovate. Ordered our dumpster to get rid of the extra junk that we have collected that can't be recycled or donated. Oddly enough I breath a little easier when there is a dumpster in my front yard... not sure why. No comments needed for this one! ; )

Follow along in this blog to see the entire renovation process unfold...

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