As of June 2019, I made the decision to move to northern Alberta and closer to family. There was very little to hold me any longer in Victoria or the Island. It was time for a fresh beginning although it would be taking me away from a province I do love and away from the ocean. Bitter sweet.
The past few months have been busy with never being at a loss for something to do and I needed that. Purchased a very nice three-bedroom home with an unfinished lower level – perfect. I was able to obtain the original proposed house plans from the city and began to connect with contractors.
This city although being five hundred miles north of Edmonton is no different than Victoria in pricing for trades. My word for it – insane! Victoria may have the well-off people from the mainland with money to spend but Grande Prairie has the oil and the money that goes with it. Well not so much for the average person.
After obtaining quotes that ranged from $30,000 to $50,000, I decided to be my own contractor. It is certainly a learning process and one that I relish. It is not rocket science; it is a step by step process with the most important key being good trades people. Eventually I was able to connect with one good trade which on recommendation led me to the next and then the next. Step by step.
Prior to deciding to renovate I had been busy with outside sprucing up.
First project was to work on the back-flower garden which was unbelievably horrid! Two owners ago had two large dogs that I can only guess used the flower bed for their business. The next owner kept putting bark mulch on it and my guess is to decrease the smell. What I ended up with was about three feet of smelly bark mulch. Bagged it all up and off to the dump.
Next – the entire yard is enclosed by a six-foot fence that had the lower fence boards completely set into the ground which ultimately means those boards will rot. It took me a while but I dug a trench and exposed the lower boards, what a job and hard work but it is now done and there are boards that do need replacing. After that sanded and painted as those dogs had chewed and clawed the fence, terrible mess.
Trees were next and with the amazing help of my friend we planted three trees to increase privacy, fingers crossed that they make it through the winter.
The upper and lower decks were next. They were bare wood. Scrubbed them with a special solution to remove the built up grim over the years then applied two coats of paint, looks great.
To add additional privacy due to a neighbour that lives behind me, I installed privacy paneling around the lower deck, it also looks great.
Installed a pull screen door for the back door, painted the garage door with my friend helping me, painted the inside of the garage and the front entrance and garage doors. Replaced the bottom rubber on the garage door and gaskets between the panels of the door – again with the help of my friend.
Planted flowers and scrubs; replaced outside lights with LED ones.
So that is it for outside work this year. It is now October with much colder weather soon to be here. Brrrr…………not sure how I will fare as I had lived in Victoria for 23 years and quite use to cold rain for what we call the winter months and then flowers coming up by the middle of February. Still need to get that snow shovel.