Project creep. I learned first hand what that meant. It all started with some rotten siding, some old draughty windows and a toilet threatening to go through the floor. Oh, yes, and the broken cabinets in the kitchen...

I first started talking to builders about this project in January 2004. I quickly discovered that I need to do a lot more research about what exactly I wanted. I combed the libraries, read books, bought gazillions of magazines and integrated all my friends. I visited building supply houses, plumbing supply, and looked at every catalog at electric supply house where I worked. I finally signed a contract in June and construction began in September.

Phase 1


My house is an A-frame with a 2 story dormer on one side. Dale convinced me to add a matching dormer on the other side.

A dormer would make my downstairs bedroom a real room instead of a cosy triangle. It would add enough floor space upstairs to add a master bedroom and library nook, allowing me to convert the old library to a master bath. I really liked that idea.

I bought some design software and 59 floor plans later I had designed the upstairs. Downstairs I decided to move an internal wall which changed a poorly setup closet and laundry into a much more usable configuration.

I was also replacing many of the windows and residing the T1-11 plywood with Hardiplank siding.

I did all the floors in bamboo. They are beautiful and very hard. I had fun introducing river rock in unexpected places.

Phase 2

Phase 2What was that I said about project creep? I was going to fix the floor and replace the vanity and maybe the toilet. Unfortunately, this bathroom was covered wall to wall (even as the tub surround) by mahogany panelling. It made it very, very dark. And moldy. Wood paneling in the shower? What were they thinking. Did I say it was very dark?

So, to the cheers of all my friends, I finally consented to gut the room. Guy and I tore out everything down to the studs, including the iron cast tub and newly fixed slate floor.

It was a good thing that we did. We found mold through everything and the wall creating the tub alcove was rotten through and not even touching the floor. The wonderful builders came back and put most of it back together.

Notice the fantastic granite on the countertop. It looks like you are looking through a creek to the rocky bottom. Also notice the lovely tiling job in the bathtub area. Guy and I did that. My first tiling job.

I did the stain glass in the window.

The floors are bamboo, like the upstairs and the bedrooms.

I'd been wanting to do the vessel sink with the water coming out of the mirror, but then decided that was just going too far. I'd like to thank the builder for encouraging me on the vessel sink and the plumber on the wall faucet.

Phase 3


My Kitchen went through a couple of stages. After I started talking to the builders, I discovered very quickly that I couldn't afford to redo my kitchen. I had a choice between the kitchen and the dormer which would add footage and a bathroom on the same floor as my bedroom (what a concept.)


So, in February of 2004, I decided to paint my cabinets as a temporary measure, just to lighten things up. The result looked fine. However, it still left the original problem of broken drawers, inadequate space, fixed short shelves, and the red formica countertop.

After 2 years of listening to Guy say, "We can replace those cabinets ourselves", I decided, why not? I figured it would take us a weekend to pull the cabinets down, two to put them back up and install the countertop and a fourth as a spare. Is that laughter I hear? We started pulling out the shelves the first weekend in December 2005, got a working kitchen back in the spring of 2006, finished the tiling in June, and by September just some trim work remained to be done. Another example of project creep.

The problems started when we were tearing out part of the ceiling for the added duct work. That's when we found the cracked beam and the bare electrical wires. We fixed the beam and called the electrician, who was dedicated enough to fix the problem before Christmas. So, then I decided to get fancy with the lighting (there are dangers working in a lighting shop) which added another month.


I want you to notice the tiling in particular. That lovely pattern I created out of 13x13 tiles that I cut down to size. Not bad for my second tiling job. And unlike the bathroom tiling, this I did mostly myself.

The upper cabinet doors are not completed yet. I plan to make stain glass to put in there, though still keeping with the rice paper frosted look.

The cabinets I got from Lowe's, the countertop from Home Depot. My niece did the cabinet layout.

Phase 4

Great Room

The last room to be hit was the remaining A-frame great room. As you look through the pictures you will see that I have a habit of flipping living room and dining room. I think I'll stay the way it is for a while.

I had windows (er, skylights) put in because the room was so dark. I also had the walls (er, ceiling?) replastered smooth instead of the scratchy popcorn. I also had low voltage lighting put in and a new fan/light.

Painting this room was a real adventure. And, no, I have no idea how I'll change the uplights in the fan.