20/20 Hindsight

Before we wrap up 2019, we have a December update of our activities towards finishing the house.

First, there is much exterior work that must wait for spring (e.g., pouring concrete walkways/patios). However, with our builder having ceased doing anything on the house, we were tasked with frost-proofing the foundation under the watchful eye of our architect/designer and the geotechnical engineer. Essentially, S had to source sand (more difficult than it sounds), which he had to use as a bed for a layer of insulation foam slabs set around the perimeter of the foundation followed by several inches of sand on top. This was a huge labour for which he was rewarded with hurting his back just before Christmas.

We also had some work done on the windows and doors (additional seals, re-installation of cladding), however, we are still having problems with both door lock systems.

Balcony rails were installed on the suite and roof supports and finishing were completed at the back door.

We had window coverings installed, giving us some much needed privacy. Thanks, Jane!


Tiling of bathrooms continues…slowly, which is okay because the vanities are in production and won’t be ready until the New Year. Thanks, Brent!

As the electrical subcontractor was prevented from completing the electrical activations, we had to find another electrician to activate our appliances and kitchen outlets after the countertops were installed. Further electrical work will be required to locate some “missing” wiring and/or to install additional fixtures. Thanks, Tyson!

We had a variety of tasks done by our carpenter, including re-framing a window that was done incorrectly and the City’s requirement for a temporary stair rail. You’d be surprised how complicated it is getting stair rails designed and built. Each “system” (glass, metal, wood, cable) is handled by different professionals and we have calls in to numerous providers. A major task for the New Year.


The heat pump was installed and both the HRV and mini-split were installed in the suite. In the New Year, a specialist will come out to balance the system throughout the house.


While there are several finishing tasks remaining to keep us busy for a while into 2020, we are reflecting on how much we have accomplished this past year. These were the highlights for us:

January: S does Hazmat (preparing the old house for demolition)

February: moving to temporary apartment rental (filling a large storage unit)

March: Barbados! (while the house was demolished)

April:  Foundation installed

May:  Walls and roof erected

June:  Windows, doors, interior framing, electrical, plumbing, & mechanical rough-ins

July:  Preparation for energy loss testing (sealing, insulation)

August: Kitchen cabinetry installed

September:  Drywall, paint, and commencement of exterior cladding

October: We take control of the building process and much progress is made!

November:  Initially squatting in our “new” home before receiving occupancy permit

December:  Enjoying unpacking and turning the house into our home….with time off to celebrate Christmas with family.

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After an epic drive to the coast during a storm (and 2 major detours), we are grateful for our families as we enjoyed a balmy Christmas break. Playing cards and spectacular sunsets on B.C. Ferries, holiday dinner, puzzles, and men making breakfast on Salt Spring Island, making faces in Langley, the great walk around False Creek, charcuterie & games in Kitsilano, Christmas day plaid and turkey dinner, visiting with friends in Vancouver, and the city lights. We got our urban fix!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! May 2020 bring you health, happiness, and prosperity…

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