Before and AFTER!

Eventually I’ll have to think of a better name than that but it will suffice to start with. I’ve been wanting to do this post for quite some time and I know that it will take quite some time to pull all these pictures together. It will turn into a fairly big blog entry and might actually elicit some comments. I think that Ron and I often forget how far we have come as we focus on the ” to do” list of projects upcoming. The biggest item that will change the look of the house is still to come next year (the remaining three sides of siding) so somehow it seems too early for the before and after look but I’ll give the inside tour. The notes from the “before” are what we took the day that we first toured the house in Davidson back in 2006.
attic view before.jpg
ATTIC: totally plastered, mostly intact. Floor 3 1/2″ fir in good shape, wood trim intact
AFTER: the plaster was repaired and painted. The floor was redone here and all levels of the house so I won’t mention that again. A single light was hung but many outlets were installed and base board heaters (which run off of the same system as the rads) were powder coated and installed. Personally this is my favorite room in the house – great views, wonderful lighting and my favorite activities. Unfortunately I don’t spend quite enough time up here!!
second floor landing before.jpg
SECOND FLOOR LANDING: plaster OK, flooring maple in good shape, wood trim great shape, ceiling ? wall paper.
AFTER: we kept the original color but applied new paint. We cleaned up the wood work. We found a neat hanging light (the kind of shade you often see in the antique store without the fixture) that matched the space wonderfully (which doesn’t show up in the picture!).
front bedroom before.jpg
BEDROOM 1: plaster so so, flooring 2 1/2″ maple in good shape, wood trim intact, ceiling so so.
AFTER: tons of plaster repairs in this room but no other major changes besides cleaning up the wood work and the flooring. On the second floor and the main floor we took down all the ceilings so we could easily run all the infrastructure so there is drywall on all ceilings.
fourth bedroom before.jpg
BEDROOM 3: plaster good, one main crack. Flooring maple good shape, wood trim intact. Ceiling full of cracks. 1 original radiator (painted).
BEDROOM 4: plaster good, some cracking. Flooring maple, wood trim intact but doors in bad shape. Ceiling cracks. 1 ugly radiator.
AFTER: so this is where we made the main changes on the second floor. From the hall landing it appears that there are still four bedrooms but there aren’t. We blew out the wall between bedroom 3 and 4. We used the same studs to build a new wall about 5′ north of that – this space became the walk in closet and en suite bathroom. The bedroom now has four doors which sounds like a lot – two to the hallway (one is always shut and that is where the reading nook it), one to the walk in/en suite and the final one to the balcony (which right now is a mother-in-law door). We made some major changes here but tried hard to keep the character. We filed in the closet flooring with salvaged hardwood from our bathroom space. We created a pocket door from an extra main floor door.
AFTER: reading nook in master bedroom. Our wonderful friends Jackie and Colin gave us the chairs which are such a great match for the space. Someday I would like to braid a rug for here.
AFTER: walk in closet. We had a big debate here about wood shelving versus modern shelving and in the end modern won as it was lighter and brighter looking for the small space. HM – too bad I wasn’t tall enough to have put that scarf inside the wicker basket. Oh well I’m not waiting until I retake the picture!
AFTER: en suite bathroom. We reused wood trim pieces salvaged from other spots. We worked hard to find appropriate tile and went with a pedestal sink. It’s modern, convenient but with all the heritage elements it doesn’t scream “wrong”.
AFTER: this is the view from “bedroom 4 into bedroom 3” minus the wall. You can see two of the doors here that lead out of our room.
BATHROOM: plaster good except for one corner, flooring 1/3 gone (needs new sub floor), wood trim painted, picture rail (?). Original claw foot tub and sink. Really ugly radiator.
AFTER: this room took a lot of work to clean up. It didn’t just need new sub floor – we ended up having to sister most of the joists by the time we got all the old and 1970’s plumbing work out of the way. Then new sub floor, then old hardwood (again from our bathroom which now has tile) and then onward up. We repainted the trim from blue to Forest Green and used the same color on the outside of the tub and sink. We didn’t refinish either of those items on the interior – they are a bit nicked but not bad for being 90+ years of age! This picture really demonstrates the new windows when they haven’t been stained (which is all of the second floor – main floor done) and varnished.
stairwell before.jpg
MAIN STAIRWELL: plaster OK with burnt orange design, wood trim intact, flooring maple (vinyl runner stapled or glued on), ceiling wall paper.
main stairwell after.jpg
AFTER: basically this area just needed cleaning up – it had plenty of shine left in it. Sanded, stained and varnished the railing. We also did the rise and the run of the stairs. Fresh coat of paint (minus the orange – we just thought that the Dorset gold was a rich warm color) and voila.Note the neat light fixture at the top of the stairs.
parlor full view before.jpg
PARLOR: plaster OK *burnt orange with brown* flooring maple, wood trim dry but intact, ceiling wall paper. Ugly ugly radiator.
parlor after.jpg
AFTER: basically looks the same but for a much nicer looking radiator. The floor cleaned up well, the ceiling was replaced. We took out a two foot piece of wall for access for infrastructure and we were even able to leave a patch of original plaster with original paint! The picture shows a significant color difference in the paint but in person it appears much closer to the original. I think the lighting has a lot to do with the difference.
LIVING ROOM: plaster OK *burnt orange with purple*, flooring maple, wood trim intact, ceiling particle board and plaster. Very ugly rad x 2, door with oval glass intact. 3 free t.v.’s!!
AFTER: we had to create a bulk head in this room to run the infrastructure for the en suite. We also took out a 2′ section of wall to run lines in (found a dead bird inside the wall!). We then repainted using the same outlines but with a golden overtone instead of the orange. The 1/4″ painted lines which were purple before will some day be the darker gold color – someday, that is, when Joanne needs a break from life in Edmonton and wants to come paint.
dining room before.jpg
DINING ROOM: plaster west side good, east side bad, note the motif on the wall. Flooring maple with some heaving (partly covered in lino with glue), wood intact (some damage on east walls), ceiling particle board. Toilet and shower INTACT!! OMG. Ugly rad (of course)
dining room after.jpg
AFTER: this room required a significant amount of work. The toilet, shower and damaged wall panels were removed. The holes in the floor were patched after the lino was scrapped off. The ceiling was toast as was most of the bay window plaster which was OK as we had to enlarge the bulk head for plumbing. All of the wood was scrapped, sanded, stained and varnished. Some day we would like to repaint the motif. Sorry that the picture is a bit dark.
BEFORE: this room was Herbie’s office but we didn’t find any of the fabled money although we did look quite thoroughly. This room has the neatest Harry Potter under the stairs cupboard!
AFTER: this room became known as the Gramma’s bedroom – a place to stay without having to climb stairs. It cleaned up quite well. It has an antique quilt with the pattern “around the world” and we have photos and souvenirs of our trips in here.
kitchen view 2 before.jpg
kitchen view 1 before.jpg
KITCHEN: plaster rough type, poor shape. Flooring maple with lino glued. Wood trim intact, ceiling particle board. Cupboards original (1 bad, 1 so so).
AFTER: the pass thru glass cupboard doors inspired the glass doors around the pass thru window, the dumbwaiter door inspired the design of the cupboards. We went with real maple cupboards but painted them a light cream color (called Hollandaise!) so that the room wouldn’t be too dark. We put in an island that is fir and stained to match the dumb waiter and the pantry cupboard. The lights are all custom made as finding antique kitchen lights is as hard as finding bathroom ones. These turned out really well.
old back porch before.jpg
ENTRY PORCH: plaster rough shape++, flooring partially rotted, wood trim and bench intact but bad shape. Window needs replacing as does outside door.
AFTER: we didn’t salvage the floor in here and in fact ended up having to redo most of the sub floor as well. We put down tile which is lovely in an entrance. Right now this space is kind of the dog head quarters with the kennel and food bowls but someday it will lead to the walk out stairs. the exterior door is still as ugly but we covered it with wrapping paper and someday will replace it.
back entrance before.jpg
BACK PORCH: plaster decent, rough type. Flooring maple (lino squares glued down), wood trim intact, ceiling poor
AFTER: we put up a wall, door and transom window between the porch and the pantry. It wasn’t there originally but it looks like it was always there. We added the transom (good executive decision on Ron’s part) as there is no window in the room and it will help with air flow. We went with a screen door again for light and ventilation. We reused the same shelving unit boards in the pantry but only after we sanded the heck out of the “whatever it was” that made them smell ghastly!. The back porch got the tiling which has in floor heat and is such an awesome invention for a high traffic entrance. We found an old cupboard out in Nanton AB and with the help of brother Bob and our great friends Marian and Gord it arrived in Saskatoon. Painted it up and voila. The lights in both porches, pantry and our walk in closet are all reproduction lights which fit the space nicely.
BEFORE: rough type of plaster. Flooring maple. Trim and doors dry and cracked. No rad. Interesting motif on walls. Note the fuse box (1 of 2 – upstairs bedroom one intact, this one partially intact).
AFTER: in this room we moved the wall west about 18″ and took the second door out of it (it originally had 3 doors). We used that space to put in a half bath. The stacking washer and dryer also fit in this space and it is so handy to have them on the main floor. The vanity is an old dresser with a granite counter top. The harp became the mirror and the towel hanger. Put a piece of glass over-top of the fuse boxes and kept them visually intact but not electrically intact!
OK ~~~ I think this is it. I have missed the smallest upstairs bedroom and I didn’t show that many views of the kitchen. But people I’ve been working on and off on this blog for over 2 months and it is time to post it. There are, I believe, 35 pictures so I hope you don’t have dial up!! It does give a good tour and shows the scope of what we have accomplished.
There is a new show on HGTV called Massive Moves. It seems that Ron and I were ahead of our time and if we had waited we could have had our 30 minutes of fame. They did do a Saskatoon house that was moved this fall so that was interesting to watch. They have had some complex moves on there but none that had our traveling height or distance but we aren’t going to go backwards so a blog tour is as exciting as it is going to get. Feel free to stop in for a real visit ~~ we aren’t working on many projects this winter so have time for a visit, tour and a beer.

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16 Responses to Before and AFTER!

  1. Patti Erikson-Reynolds says:

    What a great post Bernie! Really neat to see the before and after. Also confirms what incredible vision you and Ron have!


  2. Megan says:

    what can one say but WOW!
    amazing job you all have done and besides this amazing masterpiece, you continue to work together with little or no argument.
    Congratulations on a job well done so far.


  3. Twylla Berriault says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!! I love your room in the attic, and think I’d just stay there all day. You didn’t want a toilet and shower in the dining room? how handy that would have been! lol


  4. Karin Closson says:

    Awesome progress Bernie and Ron. I love this post, especially all the before and after pictures. You 2 amaze me with your dedication and hard work. I could barely handle the bathroom reno before we left! I agree, my favorite room is the top floor. Love the sunlight and the colors. Currently in Vietnam, getting slowly caught up on the blog! That is another thing that I appreciate now. These blogs are tons of work, but nice to have the time documented! Talk to you soon. Karin


  5. Helen & Lorne says:

    Wow, what a blog – really difficult to remember the ‘before’ – you two have done a fantastic job! I was going to say “so far” but decided against that statement!!
    Too bad you missed out on that “Massive Moves” program – yes, you were ahead of your time!


  6. Judy says:

    My gosh Bernie, what a spectacular job you have done with your house, and with your before and after blog post with description. You now have a treasure to enjoy for years to come. Well done!
    (love all the colour choices for the walls–rich and warm)


  7. Yvonne says:

    Your passion for the project is reflected throughout the house. Love it, and love the blog.


  8. Rita Jo Hoffman says:

    Nice blog. It is indeed slot of work getting a blog together, but not as much as all the work you have done with the house to date. Bravo, and well done.


  9. Jenn Sharp says:

    Wow – such a beautiful house! Please email me. I’d love to feature it in a weekly paper from the StarPhoenix called Bridges.


  10. Lesley says:

    Fascinating to see the before and afters. What an incredible job you and your crew have done.


  11. Bernie says:

    Oh my gosh!! I just realized that I have named another blog entry the same thing – only that time I used capitals!! My kids are convinced I’m getting senile and this would appear to be proof.


  12. Margaret King says:

    Love the ‘before and after’
    Hope to see it for real some day


  13. Oh Bernie! What a LOT of work and a lot of terrific changes! Wow. Unbelievable. Beautiful choices.


  14. Jeff and Kristy says:

    Hi there,
    I finally got a chance to look at all the before and after pictures. Your place looks amazing! We will make it out to see you soon I hope. Not this year as we won’t have enough holiday time, but next summer…we have been talking about a road trip for a few years now!
    Kristy, Jeff and Fynn


  15. kagould17 says:

    Stunning before and after photos Bernie. Good to see the transition and it sure shows how much work you put into the house. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

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