syzygy_dw: (Default)
Hey, Internets. What up? Sorry for not updating in, like, forever, but I've been busy. Two jobs, husband, visitors, and oh, yeah, have I mentioned that we're renovating our bathroom? It's almost finished, but not quite, because we're still waiting for Home Despot to deliver our sink and vanity. But in the meantime we have a fully-functional, if not 100% finished, bathroom. New tub, new tile, new paint and a toilet that fucking works, OMG.

The Saga of the Toilet almost killed John and me dead. We had bought this fancy-pants toilet from Home Depot. It was a really cool space-aged one-piece dual-flush thing that the Jetsons would have envied. We even got a deal on it, because the company that makes it has decided to only sell via its webpage from now on, so HD was liquidating their stock. It was a $350 flushie, and we got it for about $125.

We had it delivered, along with our awesome new bathtub. And somehow, on the way to our house, Home Depot broke our toilet:



Not only did they break it, but they broke it spectacularly.

So we called them, and they were completely unsympathetic. The offered to refund us the money, which is fine, but there was no apology or anything. And they said there was nothing they could do because they were out of that model. We called head office, and went up the customer service food chain for a while, but basically, this model no longer exists at any Home Depot store in Canada. Home Depot offered to refund our money, but we had paid $125 for a high-end $350 toilet, and didn't want to get some standard water-waster. I tried to convince them that since they broke our toilet, they should replace it with one of similar value and quality, not similar price, but they weren't having it. (During all this, the plumber was in our bathroom demolishing our tile and making a ton of noise, which I hoped would lend a sense of urgency to our call.)

Eventually, Home Depot in Quebec City called us back and offered us their floor model. It was brand new, and although it had been out on the floor, they claimed it was in perfect condition. Since it was the only one left in the country, we accepted. I think someone from Head Office had been in contact with the store, because suddenly, the staff were unbelievably helpful. The manager of the department even drove the replacement over to our condo herself the next day. She said we could keep the first one, in case we needed parts or anything. Home Depot didn't need it back.

That night, John and I installed the toilet ourselves. It was a bit of a pain, because it's a huge thing, and it fit tightly against the wall. I had a hard time attaching the hose because my hand wouldn't fit in the space, but it finally got installed. We turned on the water, all proud of ourselves for our Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor-like powers,  and watched as the tank filled up. It only filled about halfway, and then it stopped. But suddenly, the floor was covered in water.

What are the odds of having two broken toilets? Pretty good, it turns out, because the second toilet had a leak. On the underside of the base was a tiny pinprick hole that you could barely see with the naked eye, but somehow, water from the tank was flowing straight through it.  So, we got on the phone to Home Depot again, and they offered to refund us the cost of the toilet, plus an additional 20%.  I went on the website and found a new toilet. It wasn't as groovy as the original, but it's still pretty good. You know, for a toilet. And it's dual-flush, which is what I wanted. We had a friend drive us to Home Depot, and we inspected the new throne to make sure there was nothing wrong. Meanwhile, we now had two useless toilets in our living room.



(Note how John arranged them to be like the Love Toilet from SNL.)

It's a damn good thing we have a powder room, because we spent the better part of a week dealing with just the toilet issue. The bathroom is fully-functional, and it even looks presentable, now that we've cleaned up and (mostly) painted. We'll finish it off once the vanity arrives, and then I'll post before-and-after pictures. I am so glad we did this, because it looks amazing, but man, what a hassle. It only took a week, but it felt like a year. 
syzygy_dw: (Default)
If you had a giant rectangular box in your living room, what would you do with it?

If you were me, you might do this:



Sadly, not a real TARDIS, but almost as cool: It's our brand-new bathtub! In the corner, you might also see our space-aged toilet, which is also currently living in the living room. The plumber and tile-guy are coming tomorrow, and who knows? Maybe by tomorrow night, I will be having a bath in water that actually goes past my knees.

The vanity is still back-ordered, and we have yet to choose a paint colour, but we're hoping that we'll have a finished bathroom reno by the end of the month.

Of course, I am probably deluded, and this could well turn out to be the reno that never ends, but I am hopeful.

syzygy_dw: (Default)
I have been meaning to take pictures of the new condo in all its furnished goodness since we moved in. For some reason or other, it's never been in a state I wanted, but my friend's visit this week prompted a mega-cleaning binge. I was so pleased with the results that I finally snapped some pictures. So now, I present to you, The Condo:

Before )Before Pictures )

Hallway (With ugly carpet)


Bathroom
Before Pictures )

Note the ugly carpeting everywhere and the floating kitchen cabinet.
And now:

After )
So, that's the guided tour of our first home! Hope you enjoyed it!
syzygy_dw: (Default)
Tomorrow will mark our first full week here in the New Condo. And I have to say, I'm still in love with it, and despite the hell of moving and all the money that is flying out of our wallets on a daily basis, we don't regret doing this at all.

We're still living among boxes (Boxville, Boxhenge, Boxtopia), we still need to buy lights for most rooms, and I really should install some towel bars in the bathrooms. But the kitchen is mostly put away, and we have a functioning living/dining area. It's not done, but it feels more like home than the last place ever did. Also, this one is ours, which makes it that much better.

It's amazing what a bit of paint, a new light, and new floors can do. Even though we still have the same boring white melamine cabinets, our kitchen looks brand new, and all it took was a few small cosmetic changes. From being the room that was hate at first sight (and was almost the dealbreaker, I hated it so much), it's become my favourite place in the whole condo. I love spending time in there! I still want to hang my pot rack and change the door handles, but it's pretty much done.

The living room is shaping up, too. We're getting new bookshelves today, which means that I can finally unpack my boxes and boxes of books, and my new bureau arrives today as well, which means I can start putting the rest of my clothes away. In the old place, we had almost no closet space, here, my husband and I share a walk in closet. My side of the closet is almost twice the size of the one he and I shared in the old apartment. Oh, to be able to find clothes again! Our stuff was jammed so tightly into the old closet that I couldn't remove a shirt or dress without three other things coming with it. Putting stuff away was a nightmare, so I didn't bother. My clothes lived on top of the dryer (much to my husband's consternation).

At the old place, we couldn't use the dryer and the stove at the same time. We had a big switch in a cupboard that we had to flip if we wanted to use one or the other. It meant we sometimes had to choose between having supper or having clean clothes for tomorrow. Here, we can do laundry and cook at the same time. And, since the washing machine and the kitchen sink aren't connected, the kitchen isn't flooded when the washer goes into the rinse cycle. In the old apartment, the kitchen sink used to back up every time we used the washer.

The best part, though, has been going to bed at night, and hearing nothing. No stomping, no running up and down the hallway, no moving of furniture at 2am, no TVs, no marathon sex. Nothing. We can still hear our neighbours a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary or intrusive. Mostly, it's just hallway noise. In the last place, though, the constant noise was so bad that my husband would go to bed with earplugs in. Although I never really got used to it, I learned to just accept it. But that first night, when there was no noise at all? That was bliss, let me tell you. Bliss. I forgot what quiet was like.

As soon as I have the time (and I find the cable for my camera), I'll upload some before and after pictures.

Homeowners

Feb. 28th, 2008 12:25 am
syzygy_dw: (Default)
Look what we just bought!



The bottom one is ours. And three weeks (and $10 000 worth of renovations) from now, we'll be living there!

To give you some perspective:



We went to the notary's office Wednesday night, signed a pile of paper, handed over a cheque for a large amount of money, and picked up our keys. Then we had champagne and pizza with two of our friends, sitting in patio chairs in our empty living room. We called it our "House Defrosting". The House Warming  will be in April, once we have furniture and stuff.



I still can't believe we own our own home. For a kid who lived in rentals her whole life, it's overwhelming. It doesn't feel real, yet, although I'm sure it will once we make the first mortgage payment.

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