IMG_20140612_111414

yep. so we’re renovating.

13th June 2014

Well, shit just got real. This renovation/addition we have been dreaming about since we bought our house in 2009, and planning and drawing for the last year, is legit happening.

Right after we got back from our trip to England mid-May, we packed up our house in lightening speed (thanks to some lovely family members who helped out!), and hired movers to get the majority of our stuff into a rented storage unit. Then we packed up a truck and car worth, and headed on out to my parents’ place in Merrickville – about an hour from Ottawa – where we have temporarily moved in. It’s actually really nice being out here. Dan’s commute now into town for work is a real bummer, but there are a lot of perks – a huge, bright two-bedroom, 1-bath basement to spread out in (the square footage is bigger than our whole house was!), having my parents around during the day to help out with Maya, and being out in this pretty country town over the summer. Once I go back to work, this whole renovation would have been way trickier to figure out (we probably would’ve had to rent an apartment in town), so doing it while I’m still off with Maya makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, back to the house stuff. As expected, everything with the bank and the permits has taken longer than was anticipated. That’s always how it is, isn’t it? I’ll get into more details on that whole process a bit later, but for now I really just wanted to share the photos of where things stand. You guys, it’s happening!

Here are some pics of the house once we had moved out. It looked dusty, and kind of sad, actually. It’s funny how as soon as the people and things you love are out of a house, it can suddenly feel like a bit of a lonely place.

IMG_20140609_111226

IMG_20140609_111235

IMG_20140609_111249

IMG_20140609_111305

IMG_20140609_111313

IMG_20140609_111319

IMG_20140609_111336

And as of yesterday, it was looking like this (!!!!!).

IMG_20140612_111414

IMG_20140612_111513

IMG_20140612_111517

IMG_20140612_111508

Eeeeee! The excitement is pretty epic around here.

  • Joy

    Whoa! That’s awesomely total renos there! :) Good luck!

    • gemma

      Thanks Joy!

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://www.lisagouletdesign.com Lisa Goulet

    Wow very exciting! Can’t wait to see the progress.

    • gemma

      Thanks Lisa! No turning back now…! :)

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://house-pretty.blogspot.com Amelia @ House Pretty Blog

    Crazypants!! So excited and happy for you guys – and looking forward to following along of course :)

    • gemma

      Crazypants – exactly. Ha! Thanks Amelia!

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://ourlifeindesign.blogspot.com Kala M.

    Soooo exciting. I’m kind of jealous! Can’t wait to see more.

    • gemma

      Thanks Kala! We’re also super excited (and nervous!) over here :)

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://krysworld.blogspot.com krys72599

    It’s a bit of a shock to see how fast they tear it apart, isn’t it? When we added a 2nd floor, I stood there in absolute awe, watching my house all of a sudden become a first floor with no roof and no attic! It was amazing to watch! And the interior? When it got torn down to the studs? OMG! Try to take lots of pictures of the process, if you can, although I know you’re not local… It makes a great scrapbook to flip through, the before, the during and the after!

    • gemma

      So neat to hear your experience! I will definitely be taking as many pictures as I can. I can’t wait to get to the framing part, and for it to be a whole new house all of a sudden! If you have any other tips or tricks to share from your experience, I’m all ears!

      xo,
      gemma

      • http://krysworld.blogspot.com krys72599

        A highlight… We wanted to keep the living room/kitchen intact. We went out to dinner (it’s a weekend home so we were going back and forth during construction) and came back to find the living room ceiling, WITH it’s light/fan fixture, had collapsed! It must have happened while we were just outside in the driveway because it was still swinging when we opened the door!
        As for a tip, watch everything you possibly can. We put a 2-sided fireplace between our bedroom and the sitting room. It was supposed to be framed to sit equally on both sides of the wall, but they didn’t frame it that way. So it’s now sitting 12″ out on one side, and 3″ on the other. That means the planned alcoves for our dressers on the bedroom side don’t exist, but we now have built-in bookshelves on only one side of said fireplace that weren’t planned, but none on the other side because there’s a window on the perpendicular wall that prevents equivalently deep shelves on that side… And I don’t have a linen closet on the second floor OR a coat closet on the first. (I think I mentioned that in an earlier comment!) Just be really picky and make sure the builders are doing what your plans call for!!! And question everything!

        • gemma

          Oh my goodness – that is such a crazy story, Kris! I’m glad no one got hurt during the collapse – yikes! Great to hear about your other tips and tricks. We have put a linen closet and coat closet in. Storage is huge for us as we have lived with so little for the last 5 years, that it is top priority. We will watch everything really closely, as you suggest. Thanks again!!

          xo,
          gemma

  • Sarah

    Oh my goodness, Gemma! This is so amazing. Congrats on getting all the permits approved and moving ahead with your dream house. Cannot wait to see the progress and the finshed product. xo

    • gemma

      Thanks Sarah!! We can’t wait. Will share the whole journey on here :)

      xo,
      gemma

  • Catherine

    WOW!! Looking forward to a bunch of new blog post as your new space takes form… and you start decorating!!!!

    We had an amazing experience renovating our kitchen.. Greg was really involved and we had a great team of people doing the work.. everything was on time! I really wish you a similar experience! yay!

    • gemma

      I remember when you did your kitchen – and it turned out so beautifully! I hope we’re as lucky! I might be emailing you questions, if we end up having any :)

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://newberrysykes.com Meredith

    Wow! Great news Gemma! We did this three years ago in downtown Ottawa. My best advice is to make sure you have a contract clause that clarifies a labour rate for anything that is consider outside the original scope! I’m sure that’s a ‘duh’ point, but…. Our contractor agreed to do some extra work AFTER our contract was signed i.e. additional flooring installation that was meant to be provided by another supplier. We found ourselves in an awkward position when a bill arrived and it was so much more than we had agreed on, wasn’t the correct footage etc. It’s easier to hash out a labour charge for any “extras” well in advance rather than after any unexpected work has been done. Maybe that’s more of my pet peeve than advice ;-) ENJOY!!! :-)