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Drum Roll, Please! John’s House Pt. 6

Ladies and gentlemen!

— Drum roll, please —

The Library is now complete!

The ceiling is done….

Blog Photo - John's Library Ceiling

And the walls are painted.

Blog Photo - John's Library Walls Painted1

Even the floor has been swept.

Blog Photo - John's Library floors

And with that, all of the repairing, re-plastering and repainting of the rooms has been done.  Year One of John Garside’s incredible 3-year mission to restore his large old house, coach house and grounds in Prince Edward County, Ontario, is almost over. And this means that he and his wife Ann can finally move in.

(Gee whiz – I feel like stopping everything right now and having a celebratory drink myself – and it’s not even my house!)
Blog Photo - John's House - Front

But before we get too excited, I have to tell you there’s still a bit more to do.

Like putting in the baseboards (skirting) around the newly installed floors on the third floor.

And removing all the scaffolding and tools from inside the house.

Blog Photo - John's House Scaffolding

And paint cans from the kitchen.

Blog Photo - John's Kitchen

And then the big clean-up.

All that before Move-In Day on May 7.

But even during the push to finish it all, John’s feeling delighted with what he’s accomplished – by himself.

“For example, the quote I got to repair the plaster ceilings and crown moldings was $5,000 a room.  Instead of going down that path I invested in $50.00 worth of materials (per room) and did it myself.  The results are truly amazing!  Even the local contractors are impressed!”

Blog Photo - John Red Room Finished

He still arrives at the house a little after 7 each morning and works steadily till 4 p.m., stopping only for a light lunch.

“All is on schedule and all deadlines will be met!  Ann will be arriving on Sunday (May 4) to help with the final cleanup of the house just before the movers arrive on Wednesday.  Great happiness!”

When I told you that John was doing all this work by himself, I wasn’t joking.  His wife Ann, a partner in an accounting firm, has been in Toronto, more than two hours away. This is the busiest time of her work-year – tax season – and Ann’s been working flat-out at her job.   She hasn’t been to the house since mid- February, when she made “a flash-visit”.

Blog Photo - Picton Staircase 2

So how does this work for them? How does Ann know she’ll like what John has done?

“Lots of pictures are sent each day to provide Ann with the state of affairs at 27 Centre Street,” John explains.

“Does she trust you THAT much?” I ask John cheekily.

And he replies: “That is why I send the pictures each and every day . . . Feedback is always good!”

Blog Photo - Picton Staircase

On reflection,  I’m really liking the sound of this arrangement:  Husband does all the hard and dirty work, while wife stays away from all the chaos and white dust, returning when the work is done.

Hmm… Ann, you’re a girl after my own heart.

Way to go, Ann!

Ooops! I really meant:  “Way to go, John!”.


 Photos by John Garside

19 thoughts on “Drum Roll, Please! John’s House Pt. 6”

      1. Absolutely! Which reminds me of the hilarity that went on in my house last year. The workers came and measured the bathroom windows 3 times, but when the windows arrived they were the wrong size. They were perplexed; I was dumbstruck.

  1. Blimey. I am so impressed. I’ve been agog all week to find out if John finished in time. By jingo he has!

    That said, I think I have to add a caveat about John’s plastering skills… be careful about trying this at home kids. I reckon he’s hiding some serious light under a bushel. Clearly the man has a talent. I… well… I’ve not managed to produce quite such fantastic results on my attempts at plastering. Our stuff is lathe and plaster too and full of bright red hair – presumably from Suffolk Redpoll cows. Either that or there are suspiciously low numbers of ginger haired people round here is for a reason. Either way, smoothing over those cracks so they don’t show is way harder than it looks.

    I am so, so impressed. Top job John (and Ann). Have a virtual bottle of e-champagne from me.



    1. What a great reply, MT.
      John is remarkable.
      I had a friend like that – a woman – who would sit and stare at a thing and say: “how hard can that be?

      Next thing you know, she’s building or repairing the thing. I never understood that – since she was dainty – her husband wouldn’t even try, but she did!

      Now: did you really try this plastering thing at home? ‘Nuff respect for that! I just stare at the plaster cracks very hard.

      But I think you should check your area to see if there’s a shortage of red-haired people. One never knows….

  2. What an amazing house. And so much love and time and energy poured into it just makes it all the more special. I have loved this series. I hope you do another.

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