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A Change Of Plans

by - Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why, hello there shiny new LG steam washer and dryer...

... sitting there in my old basement.

Wait, back up. Isn't there supposed to be a basement renovation going on here? Why yes, yes there is. Last we left it, we had figured out the layout and were discussing things with our contractor. A few things got in the way, like the holidays and an unexpected trip to New York, but the plan was good and we only had to agree on a price.

Let me say that hiring tradespeople sometimes requires a bit of give and take. In our experience, some trades do fantastic work but their price is too high, or they have poor communication skills, or they take too long. It is rare to find one who does great work on schedule and on budget with little grief - and if you do find one of those, hold onto them for dear life! So when we started on this basement reno journey, we knew we wanted to work with our contractor N. He had worked with us before, doing part of our bathroom, doing lots of great work at my sister's house and HandyMan's uncle's house. We knew his quality of work so we were willing to put up with some less desirable qualities.

Unfortunately, one of those undesirable qualities was an inability to provide a fair quote based on the scope of work. Prices changed each time we talked, quotes increased when work was removed, things cost many times more than we knew they should, and getting a response took days. And yet, we were close. We wanted to work with him and were willing give and take here and there. But it wasn't enough, so here we are... plan in hand, new washer and dryer installed, new vanity in storage, and half our garage overtaken with Ikea cabinetry for the new laundry room.

We're hoping to find a new contractor soon, but in the meantime, we've decided to change course. With Chloe's 2nd birthday in two months, we hoped to host the party at home and need a space for guests. So we've decided to renovate the living room over the next eight weeks, and keep the basement as is so partying toddlers won't have to play musical chairs amongst all the construction debris.

A few of you have noticed that I've never shown the living room on my blog. I'll give you a tour soon and you'll see why. Its basically Chloe's indoor playground and a place where mismatched furniture goes to die. Oh, and then there's the leaky hole in the ceiling from where we removed the fireplace FOUR YEARS AGO. Sigh. Yes, I've been holding out on you. Guilty as charged. Hopefully once I show you my brand spanking new living room you'll forgive me though.

Eight weeks, people. Gotta get moving!

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  1. I think it's an awesome idea to do your living room first. Laundries can wait! I am so glad I did our living room. We actually used it during a dinner party last week and it felt awesome!

  2. I feel your pain. Our bathroom renovation has been taking what feels like forever mainly due to scheduling issues. We've had great contractors, and ones we wish we never even met, let alone overpaid for sub-par work. I hope you find someone amazing, affordable and available! I'll be excited to see you living room transform before our very eyes!

  3. It's funny the projects we hold off on doing even though we use the room every day. We has outlet and switch covers missing all over the house and some of the room were painted 8 months ago! Oh well. I'm excited to see the basement changes. We're about to start ours in April as well!

  4. Anonymous1:58 PM

    I like this change of plans. Hooray! And I like your fancy pants new washer and dryer. LG is my favorite brand. They are good products, but they had me at the cute logo.


  5. well basement is always a pain but I'm sure it will be great once you're done with it ... and will be one of those laundry rooms people wouldn't mind spending time in!

    what color of cabinets did you pick from ikea?

    I guess this is the next project anyway. ... and how exciting it's to do your living room! Is that the room with the funky wallpaper from an earlier era?

    I also had fun with my contractor when I was doing my place. He was good with sticking with his quotes and timeline was good. Quality was ok but I had to watch his work and needed to be very specific when I wanted a more intricate patterns on tiling details... remembered Sarah complained about the moonlight tile details in her bathroom at the Farm. . . that was what I had to deal with. Good that I found it early and had it fixed right the way. More money on materials but he didn't charge me extra for his time.

    can't wait to see your finished product!

  6. Can't wait to see your living room pics! I can totally relate to holes in ceilings!! I wish I'd started blogging before I had kids... the pace would have been WAY faster. : )
    Happy Valentine's Day.

  7. Tim - we picked white cabinets, the ones with the beadboard looking front. We saw them in the laundry room done by House & Home for the Princess Margaret Hospital showhome and they looked great there. And yes, the living room is the one with the pale stripey wallpaper (seen below behind the map). Taking that down will not be fun!

  8. Ah yes the phantom mysterious living room. I bet you don't really have one and that's why you've been holding out on us. Just kidding - looking forward to hearing about the make-over.

    I can't believe Miss Chloe is almost two. I remember when you announced you were pregnant (as I'm sure you do too).

  9. Love the washer and dryer. How nice! I have yet to hire a contractor but can't even begin to imagine the headache! Hope your living room re-do will go smoothly!

    I don't show my kitchen, all ugly 90's oak, but am renting so I can't touch a thing! Sigh...

  10. Oh, can't wait to see what you do! You are motivating me to get things done around my own home.

  11. Yay! I thought you'd done all your rooms except the basement, looking forward to new before and after living room.

    It's a bit like reading a series of novels that you really liked and discovering there was one more you didn't know about :)

  12. "a place where mismatched furniture goes to die." hahaha. well I'm excited to see your living room renovation. and your washer and dryer set look beautiful.

  13. looking forward to see your living room. i'm sure it will be as fab as your other renos.


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