Lakeshore Cottage

A reno blog for a cottage just outside of Toronto
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Finishing the windows

Monday, April 21st, 2014

We took a break from the house renos (currently finishing up the bathroom in our basement apartment) and spent the weekend at the cottage. It was great. We worked on finishing up the window trim and also replaced the broken whirlybird roof vent thing (no photo, though). These were some of the easiest tasks we’ve done but they’re so satisfying to see finished.






Fast forward two years…

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

I totally forgot about this blog until recently and now I can’t believe that two years have passed since my last update. We ended up buying a house in Toronto and it (of course) was a “handyman special” so we’ve spent more time working on the house in the past two years than we have the cottage. The house has slowed down a bit, however, and now I’m trying to refocus on the cottage as much as possible before summer hits and renovations are furthest from our mind.

We redid the kitchen last summer:

We’re IKEA kitchen converts and especially subscribe to the belief of leaving the uppers and just replacing the lowers if you can get away with it. We sanded and painted the upper cabinets to match the new lower cabinets and replaced the door handles. Also swapped out all the appliances with basic (read: cheapest) white ones to match. We never did paint the ceiling like I had originally wanted and it’s totally fine now that the rest of the kitchen doesn’t scream WOOD WOOD WOOD!!!! At this point, I think the only thing left in here to do is another coat of white paint (we ran out the first time) and to replace the front door. We love it.

Another huge update was replacing the large front windows and patio door. My brother and I had replaced all the other (smaller) windows ourselves up until this point but we decided that a patio door was too big a thing to potentially mess up and waited for a 15% off sale at Home Depot before moving forward. It took months for the windows/door to come in, the door was originally made the wrong size, it was too cold for the caulking to dry, an installer was let go so they were having scheduling issues, and I think the installation date was moved at least four times, but finally they got replaced.

We went with fixed in the front since the patio was coming with a screen and a large picture+slider on the side to allow a breeze to come into the diningroom if needed. The slider area is a lot less than the old one though. The old windows were super drafty, one was leaking, and the metal bar separating the picture from the slider was right at eye level when sitting at the table. These are so much better and we’re really happy with them. They were also insanely expensive compared to the other windows we ordered and installed ourselves which was hard to stomach, but it wasn’t something we really wanted to undertake and probably wouldn’t have gotten done in a day had we done it.

We painted the exterior trim to match the rest of the trim this past weekend:

Also repainted the inside room a different grey… it was minor but I wasn’t really a fan of the old shade.

Last fall we also got a local water company to replace the water line from the house to the lake and install a new heat tracer in it so we could continue to have water throughout the winter. There were a couple power failures that resulted in the line freezing but it always thawed and came back after a day+, even with our exceptionally brutal winter this year. I think it’s safe to say that it passes the test, although we didn’t get to come up in the winter as much as we would have liked.

Upcoming projects for the year include:
Next couple weeks:
– interior window trim on the smaller windows
– we need to make window boxes and add casing to the new front windows, the drywall is too wonky to do it any other way
– roman shades everywhere
– finish off baseboard and trim
– paint all trim
– figure out whether there is a better way to lay out the main room

– install a new basement door – the replacement is currently sitting on our front porch in Toronto because the truck was under the weather all winter
– build a new dock (spring)
– get an air hockey or fooseball or something table for the front room by the patio door

– replace the front door (this might be tricky)

I would love to sneak “redo the bathroom” on there but that probably won’t happen this year. Maybe the fall? Would also love to sand/refinish the kitchen/dining/front room floors (basically the only floors we haven’t replaced) but that might also be a fall project.