Monday, June 25, 2012


In my second post ever, i wrote the following, "We've budgeted about $135,000, and i plan on doing much of the work myself. SO...Do we think we'll be able to get all of our money back out one day? We're not sure, but we plan on starting a family and staying put for a while. My wife and I have had a chance to check out some of the local shops and restaurants, including a Valentines day date at GATE 403, and more and more, we are falling in love with our new neighbourhood. So at the end of the day, it's not just about an investment in real estate, it's about an investment in lifestyle and from that perspective we feel we've done alright."

It's strange looking back and reading that today and thinking of all the changes that have happened over the years, and even more strange to share the news that this will be the second last post that i do on the Roncesvalles Victorian Reno Diary blog.  The reason is that we've sold our home.

It was a difficult decision that we struggled a lot with. Just two short years ago Heather and i were care-free DINKS and our pretty little Victorian in Roncy was all the house we ever needed.  Since then we've added two beautiful children with all their "stuff", a live-in care-giver and more frequent overnight guests.  So as much as it pains us to move from the home we've worked so hard to make "ours", and our street with many friends, we realized that we need more space.  I've been asked a lot lately how i can move after having invested so much time and hard work on the house?  But i learned something very important, the week our house was on the market.  To keep it looking it's best, Heather and the kids spent the week at the cottage and i stayed in town, so i could be around to tidy and turn the lights and A/C on and off each day.  As i would come home each night after the last viewing was done, i realized our house never looked as beautiful as it did then, but without Heather and the kids there to greet me it didn't really feel like home anymore.  I realized that no matter how renovated, beautiful or immaculate my house is, home is wherever Heather and the kids are.

We still love the neighbourhood, so we aren't moving very far (about 3 blocks).  Still close enough to walk to all our favourite shops and restaurants on Roncesvalles, and even closer to High Park, where we've been spending more and more time.  So as some of you may have guessed, there will be a new blog once we get settled in, in fact i've even picked up a new nick name - bye bye Roncy Vic, hello High Park Eddie!  In the new blog i hope to share some more projects hopefully enlightened by some of the wisdom gained from this home, from life with children and from having a tighter budget.  Hope to continue hearing from many of the readers that have made writing this blog so enjoyable.  The link to the new blog, a house tour and a final farewell will be posted next.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Backyard Makeover Reveal

In the last post i revealed the finale to the Cheap and Cheerful Garage makeover, so today i thought i'd share the finale of the rest of the backyard makeover.  Last fall i showed the rebuilt deck and rebuilt covered basement walkout in the backyard.  Like the garage makeover, Gerry our painter ((416) 727-9089) did a great job of staining it all.  And like the garage, the difference that stain can make is insane.  Pressure-treated wood has lots of benefits, but in my opinion looks have never been one of them.  Once stained with a solid stain, not only does the look become much richer and beautiful, it also helps to preserve the wood by repelling water, mildew and UV.

Here are the afters:

And here's what it looked before:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

From Gar-ughh to Garrrrrr-geous!

Continuing where i left off last fall, we hired Gerry the painter ( (416) 727-9089) to work his magic on the back deck, the structure over the basement walk-out and the garage.  Ordinarily i would have done this myself, but have been a bit pre-occupied with other things.  We used Benjamin Moore's Arborcoat Solid Stain in Chelsea Grey with Cliffside Grey accents.  Arborcoat goes on really well, looks fantastic and lasts a long time, it has UV ptoection, mildew inhibitors, and repels water.  I managed to hunt down an old Victorian door on Kijiji.  We painted it black and installed it.  Then i ripped down pressure treated fence boards and stained them in Cliffside Grey and attached them as casing around the windows and door.  The results are unbelievable, in my opinion.  I kind of hate that i didn't do this much sooner.

Here is an after:

Let's not forget the before:

Total Cost (not including Gerry's services):
$60 Windows from Kijiji
$100 Door from Kijiji
$140 two gallons of Arborcoat Stain (enough to do much more than the garage)
$40 Door handle set
$30 Misc lumber and screws