Category Archives: House Stuff

The new garage /shop

Sept 24 2022

This post is about setting up the shop..


OK… The time has come to do some work . It’s a mess. I can’t find most of my tools.  In my other post the  garage was dry walled and painted.  Now the heater is installed so we are good to go.

The heater is nicely tucked up in the corner.  So now I know where I can install shelves and hang stuff.  It’s time to organize and unpack. One of the things to do was install a shelve between the two upper cupboards.

Yes very good storage for stuff I don’t need every day.  But it can’t be heavy because I need to lift it up there.  Oh yes I’ve been busy..

I’ve built a new work bench.  and look it’s messy already.  The drill press and the vice (under blue towel) are mounted.  And it’s painted too !

And more shelves and… I bought a 42 inch wide steel cabinet for my paints and whatever else I decide to put in there.  All of this should take the pressure off the big shelves.

Important News:

I have sold the Kubota BX tractor.  It will be gone from the garage later today and that will give me tons more room.

Bye Bye to a good friend.  But there is no more work for you..  I have a paved driveway and a new electric snow blower.  It’s all part of the plan to lighten the load.  And now … Say good bye to the two ATV’s and the Honda scooter..  wow got my space back !  However took the funds and bought and good ATV ..Newer… almost no work needed.  2013 Polaris.

I’m using the lift table again..

A New house Page 3

Sept 1 2022

Time to do some yard cleanup and make some changes.

During the move I had taken down the fence between the garage and the house.  This made it easier to get stuff into the back of the house and put the outdoor stuff close to where it will stay.  With intentions of turning the space between the garage and house into a parking area.  Parking on the street for three vehicles is all we have right now so this will give us more parking. Always better to have the vehicles off the road.

This area !  It’s 16 ft wide .. and I’m moving the fence back 8 ft into the yard.  This is what I’m currently working on..   One of the first jobs that we got done is the garden shed.

Tucked it nicely into the corner.  This strip will be gravel and a place to park the utility trailer. The problem here was the ground level.  It was up to and covering the vinyl siding.  That’s just inviting problems for the garage .  Notice the gas line on the far right. With the test gauge still there… it’s for the garage heater soon to be done.  But wait ! Before the gas line could be done under the deck needed to be cleaned up. The gas meter is there.

Cleaning up under the deck… What a mess !  Make way for the gas line to the garage . You can see the trench in the above photo.  It’s all done now and a load of gravel spread.  All done by hand.. no room for the tractor.

Great place to NEATLY store stuff like the kayaks.  This fence between the house and the neighbors needed to be replaced .  One post and most of the wood pickets were rotten. Now that’s done back to the the BIG job…  And this is how far I’ve got… to the end of August.  I have the new fence posts in the ground and the forms around them for a 16 inch wall. By digging down I was able to level the parking pad 16 ft out towards the street.  That’s a big level parking pad.

Here’s the concrete work all done.  A nice large step at the gate.  Plus a concrete apron for the double gate opening to the parking pad beside the garage.

Here’s a different view of the parking pad..  And shows better how I came 8 ft into the yard.  I have the metal for the fence now and I replaced the fence section on the north side of the deck.

Just over 5 ft high and never needs painting.  Just need a bit more gravel inside the fence and we are done. Back to the parking pad…

I’m working on getting the slope to the sidewalk just right.  The whole thing is 20 ft wide .. so it’s a double wide parking area.  With a path from the stairs.  I believe that pile is the last of the dirt and sod getting hauled away.  And after some tweaking I got the slope good.

Time for a truck load of the road mix.. And to spread it evenly..

Poof done !  Now we are looking at this and thinking the sand and gravel is kinda ..  dirty.  So we called the pavers.  And that means My part is done.  So I started on the fence.

And here we have most of it done …just the double gate needs to be built,  But I’ll wait till the pavement is done.   They came the next day.. and in 5 hrs we had a very nice new driveway.

The crew had only a little prep work to do cause I had done most of it.  The transition and slope is prefect.  We’ll give it a few days to set up before parking on it.  Meanwhile I have two more gates to build.

And there we have it.  The best gates I’ve made yet.  Six feet high and very little gaps.  They open out so I can better access the back yard.  And with that we are done .. The cats can use the yard and be safe.  Next is cleaning up and organizing the garage. Which has it’s own post…   Work on the garage

The Garage

A new house Page 2

July 19 2022

Week three … the work continues :

But now I have help!  Brother in law is here from Winnipeg to give a hand.  I’m now done most of the painting.  Now we have some work to do that having help with it is great.  Starting with the half wall in the kitchen.

This change needs to be done before the painter comes next week to paint the living room and kitchen.  Adding 1 ft to the half wall is needed to have power outlets and back splash for the new lower cabinets that are happening here.  So this was #1 on the list.

Week 4..  home stretch..   All the painting is done except for the computer room.

The plumbers have been and that work is done. New water conditioner, new sink and a new outside faucet.  The yard shed is up and the garage is done …

There’s a lot more in there now..  So Brother in law is heading home and I can handle the last of the yard stuff.  Movers are coming in six days.

Update : Mid August…  Been so busy time for updates.  We are moved in and mostly set up.  The garage is full.. as expected.  But it all fits.

The poor garage had to swallow up the contents of the sea can, barn and the garage from Pinter dr…  plus the two atvs and the Kubota BX..  it’s all in there now. In the house the furniture is all in place in the different rooms.

This is the set up for the family room.  Still a bit of work to do.  And the office has been wired and painted .  New shelves and the fiber now comes in here.

Still needs the drop ceiling done. And it’s getting a new window.  A work in progress.  but not the living room all done except a few pictures.

Notice the one foot rise in the wall.  Hard to tell it wasn’t always like that.  Yes you are seeing a lot of the same color paint..  We bought too much so I was using it in the office too.  And that turned out great.  Our computer desk that we have had for ever fits.  Nice to have high speed internet and TV again.


A new house …Moving Up

July 2 2022

We are just a little crazy. !

Since we are so good at moving …let’s try it one more time.  One LAST time.  However this is a good move… let me explain.  This spring we listed the house for sale.. So with all the reno’s we did and the market improving …why not see what happens.  Well nothing happened for two months ! Then on the last day of the listing along comes an offer and it’s a good offer… Darn we were all set to stay.  During that two months we were searching all the possible homes available. Some sold before we could make an offer. And lot’s of them were a not for us.. (rightfully fussy). But now we have a sale on ours.. The pressure is on.  So then we started looking at homes that didn’t tick all the boxes but most. And everything needed to be considered.  And this one was the best deal !

Say Hello to 35 Park Place ..

You know the saying: Location Location..  This is it for Drumheller.  Even last year when we were looking and not really familiar with the neighborhoods This was the part of town that we were drawn to. It’s called Midland and it’s on the north west side of town.  On the road to the Museum.  And that road can be busy during summer.. But not by trucks just the tourists.  This house is away from that road and on a dead end drive.  Yup I’m holding on to the quiet that I like.  Also it’s on the edge of the Midland Provincial Park, which is the home of the Royal Tyrell Museum.  AND we will now benefit from full city services, like paved roads and Fiber internet and tv..  Yes this is a smaller lot. Just a regular size, but it’s all done for us and with a fully fenced back yard.

Two decks …one is all screened in…

We like !  But let’s talk about what’s not seen in these photos.. just a peek on the right side of the house photo.  This !

Wow !  26 x 24  insulated ( soon to be finished and heated ) GARAGE.  Oh baby … I’ll make good use of this.  Would be better if it was attached to the house…but we couldn’t have everything.  The house has some interesting things..  Like the sunken living room.

Different yes..  Very much the same size as our current home. Three bedrooms , two bathrooms.  The basement has a big utility room, a family room and a nice room for computers and hobbies.  All needing no renovations just a little paint and we want to remove the only carpet in the house in the family room.  We also want to eventually change out the wood fireplace for a gas one.  SO what makes this move worth it.  I’ll share the list;

# 1  Less property to look after..  I’m selling the riding mover for a electric one.

# 2  A big heated garage for me..

# 3  House has a newer high efficient furnace AND central AC.

# 4  The wiring and plumbing is great no changes needed

# 5  Telus Pure Fiber is in the house.

# 6  The Kitchen is good and we are only adding one extra cabinet plus some new appliances.

#7  The three bedrooms are bigger and we can use all three.

#8  Storage ! this house has way more.. There is a 4 ft high crawl space under the living room..  tons of room .

That’s enough reasons for us..  We are looking forward to this move.. One other thing that makes this good for us is the deal we made to purchase the house.  The renter would be moving out at the end of June..  Our date for the actual purchase is Aug 8 th.  I’m writing this at the first part of July..  In a few days we have the keys to the house and as part of the agreement will have from now ( one month ahead) to clean , paint, finish the garage, change the floor in the family room. We are having a water conditioner installed.  Set up the new garden shed.  AND move some of our things in as there is room..  All before the movers do the furniture on Aug 6 th.  That’s a huge advantage for us..  All this will mean we are settled in quickly.  Soon we will be very busy..  But I’ll try to take the time to continue this post..

Ok ..,.It’s the 8th of July and we are in the house it’s ours to do the fixing up needed.  We have a month before moving day.  So every morning we head to 35 park pl to do our list of things.  And it’s a long list.  Today the crew came and started dry walling the garage.  The plumber came to access what needs to be done.  And our cabinet guy came to measure for the new cabinet for the kitchen.

This wall which is currently doing nothing to help the kitchen will be put to work.  Six feet of lower cabinets will be here.  Providing lots of additional storage and counter top space.  I will be raising the wall a foot so there can be power outlets and stuff won’t fall off the back of the counter.

And of coarse finishing the garage speaks for it’s self..  Wait till you see it done.  Then I can start moving my shop stuff in.

This is one of the spare rooms upstairs. We are re painting all the upstairs except the two bathrooms.  This room will be two tone gray .. the blue is too much.  The other spare room will be a neutral taupe paint.  Interesting checker plate wall paper.  The family room in the basement is getting some love too..  We don’t want carpet so we removed it and put it in the crawl space.  New laminate flooring for that room and some paint.  We are now a week into the work and there is lots of progress.  The room pictured above is now finished.

Looks great..  As well I finished the second spare bedroom which had green painted walls.  It looked like this..

But no more..

The color is called “latte”  don’t know who’s latte..  but it’s very neutral.  The family room got a coat of paint today as well. But something went wrong with the paint and it changed color as I progressed.  I’ll repaint and then take a photo.

But let’s start a new page for this story..

  Week 3 page 2 work

The Basement Bathroom Page 3

Nov  20  2021

The final finishing touches !

I’ve been working away since the finishing of the kitchen.  Once the plumbing was all done and the last of the framing..  I was able to put up some drywall with the help from Brother Scott.

And this is where we are..  flooring is in .  then the shower stall had to be installed.

Done !  Took a whole day to do this part.. some tweaking needed. But it looks great.  Then the drywall is finished..  that covers the attachment flanges. We are ready for the taping now.  The flooring was done before the shower because I wanted the flooring to go under the shower base.  The floor is a new product.  No glue vinyl sheeting..  Thick and water proof.. just like vinyl planks but no seams. Notice the upstairs toilet drain is gone from this picture.  The modification done by the plumbers worked out perfect.

My Son has Come and taped and filled all the drywall.  And today I sanded cleaned and primed the room.

Two more days and the painting will be done. And there’s more work after that.

Painting done ! and the trim is in too.  Lights and the vent cover done !  And today I put the toilet back.

Vanity next… then maybe the door..

All DONE !

Skipped taking photos.. Sorry…  But the important thing is … I’m finished.  And we are having showers and using the bathroom.

This project turned out great.  Careful planning and quality components makes the difference..  We love the shower.  The vanity has lots of storage and counter room.  The powered mirror is just cool.

Thoughtful things like LED lights (shower too) and coat hooks for the towels.  I made a short video to point out the changes from the old bathroom..

And that concludes this project..  Taking the winter off renovations.  I will be out in the garage fixing up my new Polaris quad.   Check in on that  HERE.  Polaris 500.

New Kitchen #2

Oct  15  2021

The cabinets are Here !

And being installed .. All the base cabinets are in place now..  And a few of the uppers too..

Enough to tell me how much room on either side of the window. And whether my wire for the light was in the right place.. So far everything looks good.

Well here’s progress.. All the cabinets are installed and the crown moulding done.  It’s going to take another day to build the counter tops ..

A different view.  We have more cupboard space now.

Here’s the first peek at the counter tops..  We like !  getting closer to the finish.  Also the new stove is installed.

All Done !

New Kitchen #1

Oct  10 2021

We’ve been waiting for months for the cabinets to be delivered.

And that time has come!

We knew it would be sometime in October.  Got the call “get the kitchen ready”  Everything else gets put aside … Cause there’s work to be done and it’s a bummer not having a place to cook. So the quicker the better. The photo above was taken a week after moving in.. Therefore this is what we call a “base line”.  Almost immediately we moved the island from the middle of the kitchen to the place you see here. This worked better, and made sense to us..  So you will see that the new kitchen design has this configuration. Here’s a video explaining some things..

As the story goes we really never intended to replace the whole kitchen.  But when we looked closer there was just too many things wrong.  We thought that just getting new counter tops would be great..  Now that grew into spending three times as much and just make it right!  Worth it Right!

The first cabinet to go was the tall one with the wall oven and the microwave.  The microwave was plugged in behind the wall oven, and that was hard wired in behind the cabinet. Nope not surprised. I’m re-purposing this cabinet out in the garage. Only a few cabinets were junked, the rest will find a home either in the garage or the basement.

This is the wall that a lot of folks remove for an open floor plan. That’s not going to work for us.. It’s needed for more cabinets and more electrical.  I had to remove the band of drywall that had the tiles glued to it.  That allows for fixing the wiring, and new surface for new tiles.

With all the old cabinets gone , I’m working my way around the walls removing only what’s necessary.  Those access holes were already there.

There! all the drywall removed and a few surprises. I moved the stove over to it’s new home so we could still cook.

So let’s talk about those surprises shall we !

Nothing wrong with the window wall.  But the one between the bathroom and the kitchen…  I was really wanting to see more of that. First off there was a stove vent..  I believe it went up to the roof.  Cause the roofers found a vent cover that seemed to go no where.  So they patched the wood and carried on.

There it is beside the fridge.  Whomever did the back splash tile just tiled over it..  Okay that works..  But the wire for power to the hood was just taped up and left in the wall. You can see it by the red broom.  NOT good !  There also was a set of three switches that worked the hokey lights over the upper cabinets, and the one over the sink. And the heat lamp under the cabinets ?  Not sure what that was for.  Both these wires got pulled back into the basement and removed from the utility room light box …. where a zillion other wires were connected.

And here’s the bath tubs business end of things.  Some pretty fancy framing there..  I was thinking of changing out the tub faucet … but there is nothing wrong with it. The pipes are good too.  So leave it alone.  The one mystery that needed solved… Was the creaking sound coming from in the wall when hot water was run in the bathroom sink.  Watch this video…

Again not too surprised ..  The house has been full of DIY gone wrong.  The fridge needed it’s own circuit  and we needed a proper ground fault plug in the bathroom..

Done!  Easy when you have this kind of access.  And the mystery pipe noise from in the wall..  Solved !  Someone mounted a shelf bracket into the drain vent, pinning it against the dry wall.

So after several attempts to find something solid they did !  the vent pipe …  Why not.. but to their credit there was no way to know unless you have a stud sensor.  Stuff happens.

Speaking of things happening…  The dry wall is done and the first coat of tape and filler. It feels good to be putting things back together rather than fixing stuff.  One more coat of filler , then primer and paint..And DONE !

There… ready for the cabinets.  They are coming tomorrow.  I only painted the grey where needed..  So lets start a page 2.


The Basement Bathroom Page 2

Sept  17  2021

Everybody’s favorite..  pipes !

I already did the bathroom drains, and the plan from the start would be to replace the pipe nightmare with new PEX .  And I can do the whole house… because the kitchen is getting it’s overhaul in October.  That will involve taking down the drywall behind the sink and the wall backing the upstairs bathroom.  All the back splash needs to go.  Some wiring needs work in those walls too.  So much of the water piping is a bloody mess.  No saving it..  And there’s some bad things the main water feed going along the outside  concrete wall.  YA it could freeze if it gets cold enough.  Guess that’s why there is pipe wrap on it.

In this photo you can see that pipe running under the window ?  It does not need to.  And what’s up with that drain pipe?  Fairly sure it was hooked up to the kitchen sink drain (red arrow).  I’m thinking that will go back there instead of cutting across the room.  In the future this laundry room will also get a much needed makeover.

These two pipes (one hot one cold)  Go up into the wall between the kitchen and bath. I’ll temporally hook up to them …till the kitchen work happens.

So the plan is to build the new plumbing system along side the old.  Then hook it all up at one time so there is less down time.  And what are those mystery pipes..  just rattling around in the wall..  I think there was a bar sink in the rec room other side of this wall.  AND did you know …you can’t buy the old style laundry sink faucets any more..  had to make my own. Down the road when this room gets it’s make over All this will be inside the wall and proper faucet.

Here’s the new plumbing all done in the basement bathroom.  No mistaking hot from cold.. And yes the cold is on the wrong side.. but these pipes cross the utility room parallel to each other and I did not want to cross them over.. On the other side they are correct.  You will see later.

Here they are 3/4 ” PEX and are (loosely ) in place..  I’ll firm them up after the copper is gone and out of the way.  This is were they cross over the hot water tank on their way to the other side of the utility room.  Where they go back to 1/2″ PEX  and feed the laundry , kitchen and utility sink. And that’s where things were left…  There’s a part of me that wants the plumber to do the switch over..  I had to do some outside stuff ..getting ready for winter… and the Kitchen has to be started on soon..   See that post HERE.

Well After dealing with the kitchen… I did get the plumbers to finish up the conversion to PEX.  All done .

Here the part over the hot water tank.  Tons of copper taken away. I all so got them to redo the upstairs toilet drain..

It’s now tucked up and out of the way..  The city water feed / meter is up and ready for the water softener to be hooked up. Now I can resume work on the bathroom…  as soon as the back splash in the kitchen is done..

The water conditioner is in and working great.  What a difference! This should help save all our new appliances.  No more water lines near the outside wall.

It’s great to get back to work on the bathroom.  Got all the framing done and all the drywall that can be done before the shower stall is in stalled.  Things should move along nicely.

I’m going to start a new page for the final finishing of the bathroom.

Page 3  Finishing


The Basement Bathroom

Sept  14  2021

Yup It was usable….  JUST!

The toilet was new-ish.. Good.  The sink and vanity were right outa the seventies..  Oh they worked but they were but ugly.

All paneling,  check..  ceiling tiles, check.  Bedroom closet intruding into space, check.  Phone booth sized rusty metal shower,  check.

And …holy crap the plumbing for the toilet and the shower is down right embarrassing.

And the mystery hole in the ceiling turns out to be someones attempt to have a heating duct.  Not the least surprising. Some reno’s are own right bad !

So let’s gut the room and reconfigure it !

First to go bye bye is the shower..  it was not even attached !  just sitting there ?  WOW.   The label says “Fiat”  that figures.

So they put the shower stall up on a base so as to run the drain out to the laundry drain..  NO P trap ! Removed the copper mess and ran a temporary pex line for the toilet..  not wanting to give it up yet.

We took down all the paneling for the bathroom and the bedroom next door.  And removed the closet.  Yup no insulation behind the shower ?  HUH..   The outside walls were framed with 2×2’s and R6 insulation.  Ya the works for an Alberta winter… NOT!  Quite a bit of the 2×2 sill plate was black and rotten from wayward water..  Still using that toilet..

When the vanity was removed the drain pipes fell apart !  The funky vent pipe going across the ceiling was not glued ?  And it all fell down.  Fine by me.  All the framing was removed on the outside wall.. bedroom too.  The flooring was scraped up.  New windows were installed in the whole house including the two small ones one this side of the basement. It’s good to have a bare concrete wall.  And I had a bit of a leak under the bedroom window.. That needed to be remedied.  This is the way it sat for most of August and a bit of Sept.  Still using the toilet !

Time to get going again..

Looking like I got that crack fixed good..  So I guess the toilet needs to get outa the way.

Time to move some drains.  I rented a Hilti concrete drill and hammer..  Hard work but the 4 inches of floor gave way to my aggression’s. Revealing where the sink drain goes. And the 3 inch toilet drain goes straight to the clean-out under the plywood lid.    We decided to move the toilet a bit into the bedroom.  Just ten inches give a little more room when you step out of the shower.

Lots of trips outside with the concrete bits and dirt.  Time for new pipe..

I moved the toilet flange just 40 inches. And the shower now has a P trap.  The sink drain is also a vent there’s plenty of air.

I put sand around the pipes and a layer of gravel too …All packed .  Five bags of Quick Crete and there you have it.. Just leave it for a few days .

Ok framing time !

Well all that rippin things apart..  now it’s time to put it back properly. The bedroom closet used to intrude the bathroom space..  Now we are going the other way.. 10″ into the bedroom, making a bit more room for the toilet.

Treated lumber for the sill plates with gasket.  2×4 walls  for better insulation.

I have the shower sill plates down.  And a bit more framing a point where the old plumbing is in the way.  Look up..

That mess needs to be dealt with..  Sooner or later I was going to get to the point where all the water pipes would need to get cleaned up and become PEX pipes.  And I would need to do something about the upstairs toilet drain.  This intrudes into the shower big time..  It’s working fine.. all the drains in the house work fine..  But this needs re-working .  As well that 3/4 copper water pipe is in the way.  Time for some… PLUMBING !   Let’s start a new post..

Page 2 Pipes