This is part two in a multi-part series by Miranda Fabricius about her latest renovation project, Crest View House in Belleville’s East Hill neighbourhood. Check out part one here.
How does one balance homeschooling three young children, while restoring a large Victorian home during a global pandemic and state of emergency? I’m not sure, but like you, I’m figuring out how to make this new way of life work.
When my husband and I decided to buy Crest View and restore it, we thought the timing would be perfect. We signed the papers in 2019 with a closing date of September 2020.
Our three girls would all be in school by the time we took possession, and we would get right to work. In spring 2021 we would unveil a beautifully restored family home in the heart of East Hill!
It was a good plan! Remember back in 2019? When Corona was just a light summer beer? Well, like everyone else, we have had to adjust our plans and continue on.
Renovating a house during a pandemic is tricky. Scheduling is difficult. We allow fewer people onsite at the same time, so that social distancing protocols are adhered to. Finding tradespeople who are available is difficult because it seems like everyone is renovating right now and demand for trades has sky rocketed. And then there are materials. Supply is down, so prices are higher and delivery takes a lot longer than it did pre-pandemic.
This all being said, we are continuing on and doing our best to renovate with respect. An old home like this needs time and special attention to make sure every detail is thoughtfully considered. And so, we slow down during another lock down, take our time and try to just enjoy the process.
We are currently working on running new electrical throughout the house, repairing the decorative plaster and prepping for drywall. While this work is underway, I’m also staying on top of the final look and design for every room. I’m ordering the finishing materials: tile, hardwood, kitchen cabinets, appliances and on and on. Design and finishing questions need to be decided now to ensure the
framing, electrical, plumbing and venting is run where it should be and also so we can make sure that everything will arrive on time for install, since we are dealing with huge delays for some supplies.
We are so thankful to be working as much as we can with great local businesses to find the finishing materials we need, when we need them.
The main businesses we are working with now are Blackbird Stone and Tile, Finkle Electric, and the Ensuite. These companies have been a pleasure to team up with. They have done a wonderful job of understanding our vision, and they have made great suggestions for good-quality products that are available in the time frame we need.
The project needs more of our own work, in order to move onto the next steps. That means that my husband and I have taken to working in the early mornings, in the evenings, and all weekend, at times. We have to seize opportunities when our children don’t have virtual school, and we have to divide caregiving responsibilities.
It’s a good thing we love old houses and are so excited about the future of Crest View!