Take Three

The kitchen backsplash didn’t make the cut on this third attempt. At least I didn’t see it. I was out getting plywood for the backing of the tub while they were installing the backsplash. I returned to a hung head. The different quartz batch was too different in tone so the two pieces were simply not close enough. They made the call not me so it at least feels good that they want to do a good job. The tub surround is in and looks good and some shower surfaces are in. I think it’s going to look and feel amazing. I hope it’s worth the wait….


Pour me

Yesterday our patio and entry slabs were poured and finished. It’s a nervous thing pouring finished concrete because it’s time critical and there are no second chances. This is why the team is large. They did good but it wasn’t without a hitch.

We were short about seven shovels full of concrete after the line pump was drained even. The guy up top was too frustrated and too pressured to start finishing to deal with it. There was a hole at the corner end of the upper entry slab! I gave up for a moment myself and went to lie down in frustration on another f*ck up. But then jumped back up and went out. The pump operator had cleaned out his truck and suggested using the wet pile of half concrete to fill it in. I took the wheelbarrow, filled it and cut in some blobs left from the line and some from the slab and filled it in. Slightly different colour but better than a hole… I can always put a large rock on it. There is enough variation to the surface I’m not sure it makes a difference. Now if we can only get the kitchen and bathrooms done it might get a little more relaxed around here….

Pretty Good

I had a blower test done today. I forgot it was my son’s 1st birthday but it mostly happened while he napped. We did pretty good. “The air leakage rate is 1.36 air changes per hour (ACH) at 50pa. This home outperforms the average home built
in BC, which reaches 5.50 ACH @ 50pa.” The passive house is under 1! Once again, we are close and meet the pretty good house standard and I’m happy with that. I was on top of gaps and holes but in the interest of progress didn’t get to crazy about it. So I’m happy with this. I’m sure me caulking the gaps under the doors helped. That was still a weak spot as was the non-insulated footing strip.  I simply don’t have the guts to put foam under my footings. The one roof to wall transition too but not too alarming there. Overall we are pretty impenetrable. Some infrared imagery from the report:



Extreme IKEA

I finally finished our closet this evening. That was an epic IKEA build over the weekend. Made me think there could be an IKEA Olympics where you complete against each other on building IKEA stuff…

There were a few steps backwards in this little project. Receiving a giant pile of IKEA flat packs with no reference to my design was daunting. Especially since I couldn’t get their planning tool to bring the layout up again. Note to others, if you use an IKEA planner print out your design! Having to rethread the holes for the shoe rack brackets was unpleasant. Never paint after threading holes! Then I had to relayout the one side after finishing the other since the later looked so better. You always do something faster the second time around. Now I only need to mount the barn doors. That’s a two person job. Time to buy a six pack…

Like nothing happened and a little better

The HRV guy came and almost finished. A leak and some controllers left to do. My job was to remount the one radiator that was previously mounted an inch too high. Just enough to allow the valve to connect but the pex connector would be exposed and no floor bezel could slide over it. At least I got to paint the spacers the wall colour… You can’t even see the wall damage (unless you can look from two feet away) it’s like nothing happened and a little better now.


I like to say I’m bitching, not complaining because look where we live. But, it is a pain living in an unfinished house. Sure people have lived in rooms walled with poly for months on end but that’s their story. Ours is more of a nagging itch than an open wound. Everywhere are projects. Some I can do if I can find the time. The concrete patio and entry? not so much. It’s been a month since the form work was finished and nothing. The builder says he’s trying to get it scheduled but I feel the summer will be gravel and rebar…. it’s not the safest for the kids either. Getting the finished grade around the house would also feel safer. Things aren’t going the smoothest with the solid surfaces either. Kitchen countertop is in now after the first attempt was botched. The backsplash will hopefully fit after the third attempt.

I had to get a new faucet to gain more space. The original was very tight and one of the issues with take one of the countertop was the hole was drilled such that I couldn’t put the nut on to fasten it down. At least I like the new faucet better. The bath top was cut too large but looks good so we plumbed it this weekend (my buddy came again) so we can now wash ourselves.

I feel less like a bushman (even though I live in the bush). The top being too large meant the sides were cut wrong and wouldn’t fit. The one face had a horrible seam in it anyway. At least they are apologetic and this time drawings have been emailed and dimensions shall be triple checked before slabs are cut. They haven’t given up and neither have we. If and when they get done it should make for beautiful, long lasting and low maintenance bathrooms and kitchen. Once the backsplash is done and our replacement cooktop arrives (the first one wasn’t level) the final electrical can get done. The HRV guys are supposed to arrive tomorrow to finish their install. We will see. “Finished” seems elusive around here.

The todo list we are left with is daunting and the really is it’s a bit much….

I got this

We moved in, sorta.

It’s definitely awkward moving into an unfinished house but there are many worse problems and it’s nice having the house to ourselves now. It’s daunting the amount of unfinished work that is on my shoulders and now that we are living here the pressure is on to get it done. There is a lot of “don’t touch that!” Going on right now. I guess I never really expected it to be finished but I did fantasize it would be. It’s just the 80/20 rule in effect. The last 20% take 80% of the effort.

A snap shot of a few of my projects.

Right now I’m preparing the radiator towel warmer in the bathroom. Island Energy is here finishing the boiler so will hopefully wrap up all the radiators today.

The radiators are old school with a modern look. They are beautiful and all water heat will be good for my lungs but being different they have been a challenge.

Yesterday one of my second hand finds was installed and it might be the best $100 I have spent on this house. A real “random light!” This was my holy grail in my second hand light purchases!

Gotta run, busy trying to finish this house.