Week 18: Living in a construction zone — again!

This was to be the week — finally — that the punch list (just 3 more items) was completed by our contractor. No more mess, no more dislocation.  Had I fully understood how much mess, and how much time, the addition of a brick wall to our dining room would take, I might have decided to live without it.  I think it’s a bit like childbirth — we conveniently forget how difficult it is before we have the next one.  My husband certainly forgot how much work was involved when he told me he needed just 4 hours to add mortar to our brick wall.

For the past week, we have lived with the fireplace on the floor, awaiting time to add the mortar and sealant to the bricks installed last week.

Now that the cold weather has finally arrived, we are without our fireplace!

Now that the cold weather has finally arrived, we are without our fireplace!

Because we work 6 days a week in our showroom, we have only 1 day a week to complete projects.  Unfortunately, we had to clean up the mess from last week so we could use our living and dining rooms, so we have to set up all over again.

Here we go again -- lots of tape and plastic sheeting.

Here we go again — lots of tape and plastic sheeting.

I'm not too happy to have all this right next to new drapery and area rug!

I’m not too happy to have all this right next to new drapery and area rug!

Mortar is applied like icing on a cake, with a piping bag, between the 'bricks'.  It then has  to be troweled off. Lot of blobs fall on the floor, and the troweling adds more debris to the mess.

Mortar is applied like icing on a cake, with a piping bag, between the ‘bricks’. It then has to be troweled off. Lot of blobs fall on the floor, and the troweling adds more debris to the mess.

This is the mud that ends up on the floor -- now you know why we have the drop cloths and tape to protect paint and floors.  Thank goodness for shop vacs!

This is the mud that ends up on the floor — now you know why we have the drop cloths and tape to protect paint and floors. Thank goodness for shop vacs!

Eight hours later, all the mortar has been applied and troweled off.

Eight hours later, all the mortar has been applied and troweled off.

Unfortunately, we have to live with the mess and misplaced furniture for a few days this time.  The mortar has to dry before we can apply sealer to the wall, and that has to happen before we reinstall the fireplace once again.  We have guests coming for a 70th birthday lunch next weekend, so we need to finish this ‘little’ project.  We will have to live without the dining room for a few days before we can clean up the mess.

Good thing we added a breakfast bar to the peninsula!  We swore it wouldn’t be a place to eat, and we only have 2 stools there, but it looks like we will be making use of it — and playing musical stools to see who gets to sit down and eat.

nov 4 breakfast bar

Breakfast at the breakfast bar isn’t so bad! We don’t all eat at the same time in the morning, so there’s lots of space and no shortage of seats.

 

The other use for my breakfast bar -- menu planning!

The other use for my breakfast bar — menu planning!

Since we renovated the exterior of the house — back in June! — our house number has been missing from the front of the house, and the mailbox has been on the ground.  The mailman has been patiently dropping our mail into the box from above.  However, without the house number, we’ve discovered that the numbers on our side of the street are not quite as logical as we assumed.  I had never noticed that one neighbour is number 73 and the other is 79 (we are 75) — where is 77??  I came home one day to find a complete stranger sitting on my porch waiting for the owners of number 77 to come home to let him in.  He had never been to their home before, and assumed that my house was number 77.  I couldn’t even direct him to the right house!

We realized after the siding was complete that there was no longer a flat spot to put our house number above the garage door.  As it turns out, most house number plaques are horizontally oriented.  No problem, I thought — we’ll go vertical and add the number to the side of the garage.  That was much more difficult than I thought. I did find a plaque that would work perfectly if it were hung vertically instead of horizontally, but the manufacturer wouldn’t orient the numbers vertically, so that was out.  Likewise with the mailbox, most are horizontal, and of the vertical ones, this was the only one I found that was narrow enough to fit next to our garage.

Getting ready to install the mailbox and house numbers. Thank goodness the rain stopped!

Getting ready to install the mailbox and house numbers. Thank goodness the rain stopped!

We are no longer anonymous!  And we shouldn't have any more strangers knocking on our door.

We are no longer anonymous! And we shouldn’t have any more strangers knocking on our door.  We had hoped to get a plaque to match our mailbox, but none were narrow enough for this spot, so we went with this configuration instead.

This will be a much more convenient spot for our mail -- we come and go through the garage anyway.  And, the mailman won't have to go up the stairs to the front porch.   Win-win!

This will be a much more convenient spot for our mail — we come and go through the garage anyway. And, the mailman won’t have to go up the stairs to the front porch. Win-win!

Finally finished!

Finally finished!  (Well, at least until I find replacements for those lights!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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