Ladies and gentlemen!
— Drum roll, please —
The Library is now complete!
The ceiling is done….
And the walls are painted.
Even the floor has been swept.
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.
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.
And paint cans from the 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!”
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”.
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!”
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