Welcome to Canada's Ugliest Kitchen!

Yes we are the "proud" winners of Canada's ugliest kitchen.  Thank-you to everyone for your support in ensuring that we did not remain Canada's Ugliest Kitchen.  To see where we started, click here to watch our video submission to the Canadian Living/Home Depot contest.   I will try to post updates every couple of weeks with the most recent events at the top.  Hope you enjoy the progress!

Reno Update #10: Saturday May 29

Wow it's hard to believe it is almost over.  We are getting very excited about moving out of the basement... it has been closing in on us lately :)  Stephen and his crew were able to paint the front of the house and the front deck last Sunday after all and it looks great.  We were also hoping to paint the back deck but it has been raining/snowing all week-end so unfortunately that will not get done in time.  Oh well.  The inside is almost done as well.  We are just waiting for the grout to be sealed, the range hood to be connected and the gas line to be set up.  I can't believe it is the same house.  THANK-YOU all for making this happen!  Without all your votes and supports I would have still been living in Canada's Ugliest Kitchen... now our kitchen looks like it should be in a magazine... hey wait it is going to be in a magazine (ha! ha!).  We only have a few more days left.  On June 3, Calgary Breakfast Television is coming so watch for us during their "On Location" shots about every 1/2 hour.  For those not in Calgary, you can also see it the day off at http://site.btcalgary.ca/video/ .  Then Canadian Living is here to do the photo shoot over the week-end.  They will be "staging" the house so I will make sure to post pictures.


Little Helper


Neighbourhood takes a break from watching the painters

Reno Update #9: Saturday May 22

Well this week was a little slower as we approached the home stretch.  The electrician installed all the lights week, the appliances are in (we have to order the ice maker still for Andrew as that was all he has been talking about), sink and tap work, cabinets are done and everything looks great.  The plumber came to move the gas line for the 3rd time.  However there will be a 4th (uggh!) as the hole is OK but the piping is too fat for the stove drawer to close and the stove won't go all the way back due to the bend in the pipe. It's hard to believe that our ugly little kitchen has transformed itself into such a great thing!  The house doesn't know what has hit it! We were hoping to get the house painted yesterday but the weather turned cold.  So Stephen finished prepping the house for painting with a neighbour Kenny and they are keeping their fingers crossed that the weather will be good enough for them to paint tomorrow along with our other neighbour Ken.  So keep your fingers crossed for us.


We're almost there!


Is this placed condemned or what?!


Reno Update #8: Sunday May16

What another busy week!  The guys are still working on the cabinet, the hardwood is in as is the kitchen tile and backslash.  As well the baseboards were installed.  The most amazing is the countertop which is absolutely phenomenal.  What a transformation.  It is definitely starting to look like a kitchen!  Stephen has been working really hard as well to get the outside ready.  Unfortunately he has been unable to have any time for himself with all there is to do.  He wants to have the deck and the house painted before the crew come.  So he has been busy removing rotten boards from the decks and pressure washing the house.  This is a very tired household!


New countertop and hardwood being installed            Hardwood down hallway            Cuties taking a break                    Can barely move with stuff                      


                              New tile and backsplash                                      Deck helper                     Wow look at those rotten boards!                           

Reno Update #7: Sunday May 9

We had one pretty slow week but this past week has picked up again... in fact it was our busiest week thus far.  This past week saw painting (after we finally picked colours), cabinets being installed, and window/door trim installed.   The house is also filling up with boxes of kitchen 'stuff'... cabinets, windows, hardwood flooring, etc.  As well the door arrived last week-end so Stephen installed it and then the window arrived this week-end so another great job was done by Stephen.  Unfortunately the hole was not close to level but Stephen was able to work his magic.  Thanks Stephen!


New door                                    Paint colours - bright ones from Calgary designer               New trim in front window


Window rough opening NOT level


Reno Update #6:  -Sunday April 25, 2010

Still waiting for the plumber to come finish a few things.  However the drywallers and mudders came and it is starting to look like a house again.  The cabinet installer was also here on Saturday and the lower cabinets are in.  Still lots to do but it is getting very exciting. I was also surfing the net and found a brief clip from our day on Breakfast Television.  Click here to watch it :)


All ready and waiting for the drywallers


Now it's starting to look like something

Reno Update #5: - Monday April 19, 2010

Well late Friday Stephen had the great plan to contact a hard working friend to see if we could hire him for Saturday.  Thank god Brian was available both Saturday and Sunday.  We also hired a babysitter Saturday for a good part of the day so I could help (mainly being the gopher).  Brian was amazing and stayed until 10pm Sunday when we were almost finished.  At the request of the contractor, we ripped down all the remaining drywall in the living room, re-insulated the front wall and had the vapour barrier installed.  By Sunday afternoon we had Stephen, Brian, the handy neighbour Ken and a newer addition to our neighbourhood Scott helping, along with myself while JoLynn, the other neighbour, watched the kids and cooked burgers for all. 

With all renos there is the unexpected.  Ours was uncovering the drywall only to discover that our front jut out was not properly supported and was falling in on itself... so more work.  But thank god for Ken who, besides being uber-handy, has any tool you would ever need, including a jack for fixing our ceiling.  New 2x10 header and some proper 2x4 supports and our front area is good to go again. Our small window also does not have a header but we ran out of time to fix it and install a new window.


It all begins                                                 Super insulator hard at work                                          Mess and action


Front winder has no support for header                        Ken gets ready to rebuild                                 Fully insulated, time for vapour barrier


Almost done sealing all the vapour barrier as Sunday night comes to a close... can't wait for bed!


Reno update #4 - Friday April 16, 2010

Well the electrical and plumbing are in.  The building permit passed (thank goodness after all the hassles we had with the engineer) and the electrical is passed.  The plumbing failed but we are allowed to drywall the walls as there is just a vent the inspector needs to check and can do from outside.  We had a busy week as well.  Our contractors "leveled" our ceiling at the end of last week - but not how we expected - instead with tons of strapping.  This made the ceiling too low for the cabinets so we had to take it all down again and then Home Depot leveled out just the newer section to match the older section.  That's 2 days worth of money down the drain.  Oh well.

This week-end will be a crazy work week-end for us where we have to finish all the insulation and get the vapour barrier in.  The drywallers come on Monday. 


                      The strapping                                 And you call that level?                                     Up til 2am removing $2000 worth of work


Plumbing and electrical in                                           Assembly line                        Stephen's custom insulation for the eaves

  Tired worker

Reno update#3 - Friday April 9, 2010

Well the boys and I went to Ontario for Easter for my mom's birthday while we left Stephen to deal with the mess.  Good thing too as the back of the house was being knocked down just as we were leaving for the airport.  It was a busy week:  A new wall is in the back of the house, the two walls of the kitchen are double studded and insulated at the first level, the subfloor is in and the contractors are just finishing leveling off the ceiling.  We also had an engineer in who made us put a special beam in the ceiling and that too is complete.  Today is the last day for our private contractors.  The Home Depot Contractors will move in on Monday.  Living in the basement is tight but is working out OK.  We are still sleeping upstairs but the poor boys have very limited play areas.

On an environmental side note: most wood is being reused/recycled - all good lumber has the nails removed and broken scraps go to our neighbour for firewood; most metal is being recycled including the soffit, siding, screws and nails.  Stephen will have to take a trip to the scrap metal depot soon otherwise it will take over his garage.  We even freecycled our ugly old wicker looking ceiling fan.  Yes someone really wanted it!


Old back Wall                          Back wall gone looking out....                                              Looking in     


                           New wall and opening                        Garbage                                      Insulation on first set of walls                    Just some of the scrap metal


Reno update #2  - Sunday March 28, 2010

We are pretty much down to the studs and I think it is starting to look really good. The last picture looks even better now as we spent the weekend taking all the stuff like dead wires and pipes out of the walls. It is starting to look like new construction.   We have partly moved to the basement where I have my interim kitchen set-up. It is tough living and will make us appreciate the new kitchen even more!   I think that is it for news on our end.


Andrew hard at work                       Wall out to remove old furnace                     Open between living room and kitchen


Carol shows off Canada's Ugliest Kitchen on Breakfast TV                We've moved out - or at least down




The gut continues                     Nails collected from just the week-end                    Bare bones          


Reno update #1:

Click on the link to see Reno update1- this is a humerous pdf file that Stephen presented to work so may take awhile to open.  Use the arrow keys to move from page to page