Saturday, May 7, 2016

Basement Reno- Creating an AirBnB

Wonder where I have been the past forever??

Long story short this happened:


After we moved in in August 2014, our basement became a glorified storage area. Then we had some friends stay with us for a few months, but it was still half storage, and in February of this year, we started to clear it out and renovate, and now it is a Air BnB

Long story version: 

We were the true definition of weekend warriors, and we created a detailed schedule involving a task every weekend. There was even a Gantt chart involved.

We also created a mood board: 

We stuck with the above plan pretty closely, but then the last task: installing doors and finishing some of the decor accidentally took us one month. The cool thing was we stayed completely below budget! Most of these items we either already had, got for super cheap on Kijiji, were traded with friends, or purchased on sale.  So the cost performance was very good, schedule, not so good! Oh well!

We did most of the work ourselves (had some help from friends and family), and in the whole process we both have to agree that demo and painting was the easiest, followed by flooring, then baseboards and the hardest was definitely with out a doubt, installing 2 doors. We wanted to create a separate lockable space for our guests, and then also add a door going into our kitchen. Neither door frame was a normal size, and required some creative work by Mike (and my dad!) In the end..we got er done!

Here are some photos/videos of the process! Enjoy!


Weekend 1: Demolition
Video of the Before and Demo
 Weekend 2: Repair
There used to be an old kitchen down there, which a previous owner had made into a bedroom(?). We got rid of the tile. 

After patching, and recoating the drywall...lots of sanding and dust
We trialed some Behr colours, but in the end we used Benjamin Moore paint Daiquiri Ice
 Weekend 3: Priming/Painting

Primer was key to neutralize that bright blue wall

For painting, I did the cutting, and Mike did the rolling as per Young House Love instructions

 Weekend 4: Flooring
Because the space was under 500 sqft, we got a great deal on flooring. This took a while to get started, and was pretty tedious, but looked so good when we were done!

Weekend 5: Furniture Painting/Decor/Baseboards

We actually set up the whole room temporarily for some friends, who also helped us with baseboards. 
We then had to completely move around everything to install the baseboards. 

Free chairs from our neighbours, needed some TLC (they were also brown wood at first, this was after I painted them white).

A little paint and fabric medium to get the job done! 

 Weekend 6-12 Doors and Finishing!

My mom and dad came to visit for Easter, and at that point we were 90% done, just had some last bits of decor and doors. Mike and Dad started the doors, and then Mike and I took a few weekends off. But the past few weekends we spent the time finishing the trim, painting, and then getting the room Air BnB ready! We had to wait until it was sunny to take the pictures below! We also spent some time dealing with the logicstics of actually running an Air BnB (insurance, finances etc.).

Big focus on the doors here, wanted to show off the ridiculousness of that install

It is done!! We are now listed on Air BnB and have already received some bookings!

Biggest lesson learned of the whole thing: Don't give up at 90% completion. We should have just taken Weekend 6/7 and finished the darn thing!! Other lesson learned: Painting wooden furniture is a pain in the butt, but still pretty fun.  In general though: Mike and I have very little home improvement skills, and it was cool to learn how to do all this ourselves! YAY! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Annnd we're back!

Helllloooo cannn you hear meee??

Happy 2016 everyone, with one day left of January I feel like I can still get away with saying that! 
Also, happy 5 year blog-o-versery! Although I haven't written a post in a while, I was still snapping photos for the past 6 month going "ooo this would make a good blog post." get all caught up...

Quick recap from the last post: 
July: Relaxing, maxing out cool, sitting in a pool! Anndd..eating delicious food and BBQ PIZZZA! (Man now I really miss summer...I forgot how hot July was, it was awesome!)
Our backyard addition!

Our -1 month anniversary brunch!

Soaking up the rays with the Moseby

We made dis. BBQ Pizza + Peaches...mmmm.


August: WE GOT MARRIED!!! Woooo! I promise I will talk about this more in another blog post.

August also featured our mini honey moon in Cape Breton chase!!

September was back to reality, we started half marathon training, accidentally matched one day, and we ran a 10 km run! 

October featured some late BBQs and oh yah...A HALF MARATHON!!

Photo bombed by the bat ladies

November also featured marathons...of netflix and food. Seriously this is one of the only photos worth sharing from November:
Maple Bacon Doughnut

December was usual Christmas stuff, vacation back to the Maritimes and visiting with family and friends...

And we are all caught up!! 

Tomorrow...I talk about the theme of my January: De-Junking!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kay and Mike Take Toronto By Bike: The Port Lands

Mike and I have made it an unofficial goal to visit as many neighbourhoods as possible in Toronto via public transit and biking. This is a multiyear adventure, and has no order, very few rules, and no deadline. The only rule with bike club is that we don’t talk about bike club. Just kidding! The only rule is that we have to get there without using a car, and then I have to blog about it. 

Bike adventure number 3! (See Dundas ON, and Leslieville from last year)

Sometimes bike adventures just spontaneously happen. This Sunday, Mike and I were planning on attending a free intro to sailing class over in the Port Lands. Our plan was to drive over, do the sailing class, and then drive back. But then CRAZY TRAFFIC JAMS happened, so we decided to skip frustratingly waiting in traffic and biked over. It was one of those moments where we were like "herm..its only 50+ km of biking, we should be able to do that!" Spoiler alert: we did! 

22.5 km one way!

The first 15 km of the ride was very familiar as it is my normal commute to work. I have started biking to work and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I take side streets for a few blocks and then boom: water front trail. Especially with the amazing updates to Queen's Quay, the bike to work is actually cycling friendly! It is crazy to see how much the biking infrastructure has improved in the past few years. Only thing to note is that on a nice summer weekend the pedestrian traffic can get a little nuts, but I don't mind sharing the trail, it just means biking with more caution than early on a weekday morning. We did however see a guy on a old timey bicycle about 8ft in the air so that was pretty neat! 

After the waterfront area, we continued our trek down through the Port Lands, our main destination for this trip (20km from home). 

It is a Mike!

The Port Lands area wouldn't necessarily be considered a "tourist" destination. It is definitely a part of Toronto that shows off it's historical industrial side. However, there are some pretty cool things out that way. Pulson Pier (driving range, indoor soccer, go karts and more), Cabana pool bar which has some of the nicest views of the city, Cherry St. Beach, and lots of Sailing Clubs.  It will be interesting to see what it will look like in 2o years after more development. 

We were at the Sailing Fanatics club for our short lesson, and Alex our guide took us out to show us a catamaran style boat. It was a lot of fun! I love being out on the water, and in the future I really want to look into getting a small boat/kayak or something that we can bring down to the water near our house and go for some water adventures! (Kay and Mike take Toronto by Water?). 

 After sailing, we decided to add more kms to the bike and explore Tommy Thompson Park, (otherwise known as the Leslie Street Spit).

It is a spit!

You could go check out wikipedia or you can read my summary below:
Back in the 50's shipping was a big deal. So they decided to build a breakwater to create a second harbour for shipping traffic. Shipping traffic died down, but now the city had a convenient place to dump fill. So they created a man made spit. Then because nature is awesome, things started growing (as green things do) and nature started to take over the man made spit. In the 70s they decided to open the area to the public as a park/wildlife, and even though it is still an active dumping area (some of the cells still have a 50 year capacity), it has also become an important bird conservation area. Pretty cool example of humans doing something kind of good for the environment by accident! Definitely felt like we were out of the city for the afternoon, and it gave us some pretty cool views! 

After the spit (now we were up past 30 km of biking) we decided to grab a bite at Cherry St. Restaurant. It is a cool old building that has been around since 1907! Since it was a weird time of day, we spilt a club sandwich, salad and some pretty delicious sweet potato fries (and a beer-vrage!). 

The Cherry
Om nom nom

After that nice stop we headed back on the road, only to be stalled at the bridge as a huge ship drove through....
I'm very excited!!

That is a big ship!

...and then another 20km to get home! It was a little tough on the legs, but we made it!! Just in time to have some leftover BBQ for supper, and call it day! 50+km of biking, one more area down...a ton more adventures to go!