Autumn is here and we love it!  Be sure to make time for a few more bike rides, walks, trail hikes and any other outdoor activities that you fancy because, like summer, fall never seems to last long enough, does it? 

If you began a home renovation project during the summer I hope that you were able to make a lot of progress or that you were able to finish everything on time, within scope and within your budget.

Our followers know that we have two large renovation projects underway – the cottage and the beach house. With this blog we keep everyone up to date and along the way we share ideas and information; and we hope that we can inspire or assist with your own projects.

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We focused heavily on the beach house for most of the summer, but we still made a respectable amount of progress on the cottage property, especially over the past few weeks.  We had 4 new windows (white frame, grilled, with cranks) and a matching garden door installed by Ross Windows and Doors (great staff and reasonable pricing); and the floor plan for the addition is now done as well, albeit, with considerable scope changes since my last update.  We planned to extend the living room and add a dining room along with a small entrance closet.  That was it.  But n-o-o-o, we are extending the living room, adding a dining room, an entrance closet, a two-car garage, shifting the kitchen, adding an island, turning the laundry room into an ensuite bathroom, relocating the laundry room, and updating & converting the current bathroom into a guest bathroom and adding another bedroom.  Paving the long and winding driveway and landscaping the property is now loosely part of the plan as well.  Srsly?  What the what, what?  We are reno junkies!

A natural gas line will be installed within the next four weeks as well.  Although the major carpentry and redesign won’t begin until the spring of 2014, we’ve lined up a contractor for the removal of the existing oil furnace and for the installation of the new furnace, water heater and air conditioning unit once the gas line is popped up near the structure.  This phase should be completed by mid-October.  Money saving/making TIP:  if you are removing an oil tank that contains oil, look around and you’ll likely find someone to purchase the oil and possibly the tank.  We did!

While the gas line and equipment is being installed at the cottage, we will work through a couple of minor scope changes at the beach house.  Thankfully the changes will not throw us off our budget or timeline.  This almost never happens.  Changes in scope usually lead to either a change in timeline or a hit to a budget, or both, but not in this case because we will go back to the sweat equity principles and carry out the changes on our own.  The investment is not additional time or money, it’s our own effort.   A-n-n-d scene!

Since my last update we received plumbing, HVAC, electrical and window/door production and installation quotes for the beach house.  We then busied ourselves with researching prices, evaluating and comparing bids, negotiating costs and reviewing the expected timing and availability of each contractor.  We’ve accepted a plumbing bid and an HVAC bid; and we hope to sign off on an electrical quote tomorrow.

The plumber started onsite last Friday.  He’s estimated that it will take about a week and a half to complete his portion of the work.  That’s fairly speedy when you consider the scope of the job – 5 bathroom showers and toilets, 5 vanities, 1 tub, laundry facilities, kitchen with double sink in the island, and outdoors taps.  The HVAC team will begin just as the plumber is wrapping up and we expect it to take another 1.5 weeks while the HVAC lead bounces between our project and others.  The electrician will begin when the HVAC team is done.  At this point, we’re looking at mid-October for the utilities to be installed and fully operational.

Our carpenter will work alongside these contractors to complete the remaining window and door framing (because the new windows and doors will be ready to install any day now!).  We’ve decided that the closets and upper level bathrooms should have cathedral ceilings (because all upper level bedrooms have the same); so there are some minor carpentry tweaks to make during this time as well.  We need to apply more ceiling/floor reinforcement between the lower and upper levels; and then we’ll move on to laying a sub floor on the lower level.

This is an exciting phase because we are just a few weeks away from the utilities rough-in being completed and once that’s done we can move on to kitchen installation, bathroom fixtures installation, dry walling etc. – the interior stuff!  And you know what that means?  Interior design phase!  Woot!  Don’t get me started!   🙂  We could be here all day!

All in all we’ve had a very productive summer!  Everything is progressing as expected and we expect to stay right on track during this phase too.  That’s all for now, but there is plenty more to share.  I’ll continue to keep you posted on our progress.  Thanks again for following along.  Please send your thought’s, comments, stories and pictures to us at if you would like to be highlighted in our blog.  Follow us on Twitter @YMMatters and LIKE us on Facebook so that you don’t miss out on any of our contests.  Recent changes to the contest rules and regulations should make it even easier for you to enter and win some really great prizes.

The Mortgage Centre – Your Money Matters Inc. will assist you with all of your mortgage related financing needs.  Whether you are purchasing a home, refinancing, renewing, interested in debt consolidation, or simply need a consult or audit of your current mortgage; please do contact us.  We work you for, not the lender.

What is your favorite season, and why?   

Tell us about your renovation project!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Onward and upward,


Roy, our Operations Manager spearheaded the creation and launch of our website and social media initiatives as well as the design and roll out of our new company logo and rebranding while leading our strategic marketing, advertising and analytics endeavors.  In his personal time, he enjoys photography, recording music, concerts, and traveling.  Sometimes he sleeps.