The paper has settled. The tree is now bare of its much-anticipated presents and ensuing surprises. After our day of turkey and rest, the malls have filled back up again for those seeking bargains or returning that Christmas sweater from Great Aunt Gertrude. Yeah, no one likes itchy, bright green sweat shirts with too-long arms that shows off just a hint too much plumber butt. Oh, plus that creepy “elf” that seems to have imbibed just a hint too much eggnog on the front – not so much. Not sure if I personally am ready to steel myself for the parking lot though, so maybe I will leave you to it and slip into my new wool socks and head over to the house on Charlotte St to give you a recap of my FOLLOW THE FLIP instead.


In the beginning, there was a home that was in need of some love. I came across this century old bungalow and saw beyond the dented siding, sagging porch and cluttered to overflowing backyard. There was almost no insulation, old leaky windows and a kitchen that no amount of Mr. Clean could ever save. Any lesser man might have run screaming for the hills, but I guess I am a certain brand of crazy and warmed to the challenge. A handy guy by nature, I knew that with a lot of sweat equity, this decrepit hovel could be re-wired, re-vamped and re-designed to turn it into a home that any family would love to call their own. So with a trip to the bank and some words with the lawyers, I took over the deed on this dainty domicile and set to work.


I have had my work cut out for me. There has been demo done both inside and out. Starting outside, an overgrown yard required the strength of Job and both a sickle and a scythe to tame the weeds and waste left behind. A mosquito infested green cesspool in the back yard was the first thing to go, followed by a rickety shed and many loads of rusty garbage that someone felt might be worth something some day. Not the day I took over ownership though! Thankfully, it is now all gone.


Moving indoors didn’t prove to be any cleaner a job. We emptied the house from the ceiling down. Yes, you heard me right. We knocked down walls, ripped out drywall and even peeled off the ceiling at the back of the house. The bathroom was an empty hull of a space, with nary a pipe, nor plunger in sight when we were through. And the kitchen, well let’s just say the original grocer that lived here in 1901 will approve of the updates by the time we are through.


While demo is fun, eventually reconstruction needs to happen too. This Autumn we were blessed with magnificent weather and my crew took advantage of it every chance we could. The original siding on the house was long gone by Thanksgiving, but before we got started on the face lift with fresh board and batten siding, insulation was in order. New windows will also help to keep this little bungalow snug and warm when the really cold weather  hits. On inclement days, work was done inside updating the electrical. Bye, bye knob and tube!


Not sure if I would exactly say that we are in the final stretch just yet, but we have made a heck of a difference thus far. You have seen the pictures of the siding that now graces the exterior walls of Charlotte St. Christmas is taking a hunk out of my construction timeline, but drywall and trim are in the works. Once the kitchen has been refitted with cupboards, sink and a floor, it will almost be move in ready! Once we are done the bathroom, painting throughout and a few more spit and polish projects that is. I suspect you are going to get a few more details about my second FOLLOW THE FLIP on Lorne Ave  after that. Never a dull moment!

Just a few things that have come out of Lorne Ave