Friday, August 6, 2010

Home Sweet Home

If you have been reading my other blog Wyldestone Cottage then this is old news to you, but as this blog is more my personal story than the other, I wanted to document whats been going on as of late.

I finally have my own float home!!! All these years of blogging where I kept going on about how I wanted to build or find a floathome and it finally happened. I am over the moon!!

Home Sweet Home

Back in June, I found out that Davids other floathome that had been moored up in Mission had been seized by the baliff for non-payment of moorage fees. The tenants that had been staying there were involved in illegal activities, got busted and ran for the hills. When David went to check on things he found the notice from the baliff tacked to the door. He couldn't come up with the money to pay the bill and was going to lose the house, so I said, "if I can pay the bill, may I have the house?". He agreed and I went about begging everyone I knew to lend me the money. My Dad and best friend Daryl, came up with the majority of the money for me and the bill got paid just in the nick of time.

It took almost another month before I could get the house towed back here to Mitchell Island. I had to wait for the tugboat operator to get his boat fixed and for the tides to cooperate so we could rearrange the marina to make a spot for me. In the meantime, I was spending every day packing up my stuff at Diana's house and dragging it over here to store in the back of the shop. I managed to load and unload 6 vanloads of stuff over the period of a few weeks. Finally on July 14th, Steve and David were ready to go and get the house.

I was extremely excited and nervous at the same time. The freshet was still running quite hard, they were doing this with just one boat, and if anything went wrong coming under any of the bridges, I could have lost everything. I didn't want them risking their lives for me and my house, so spent the day praying as hard as I could that everything would go smoothly. I had David phone every hour or so and keep me updated on their progress. They had 60 km of river to navigate with strong tides to contend with.

They made much better time then any of us anticipated. I got a call around 4 pm to tell me they were coming through New Westminster. I jumped in my car and raced up there to see if I could get some pictures of them coming through the bridges. They were moving so fast, that by the time I got there, I only managed to grab a quick shot of them passing under the last bridge. I tried to keep up in the car, but they were flying down the river, so I beelined it back to the marina to double check that everything there was ready for them to dock when they arrived.

My first view of the house going down the river

The last of the bridges conquered

Lots of nervous anticipation and then suddenly there they were, coming around the last corner.

Passing in front of the condos across from us

A few more minutes and Steve had swung the house around and got it lined up with the docks.
A few helping hands to guide it into place and my home was home safe and sound. I was ecstatic to say the least. Everything went smoothly for them, the trip was uneventful, unlike the night we brought the Lucky 7 home, thank god! That night was too much drama, I thought we were all going to die.

The house sat for about a week at the very end of the docks while David finished rearranging things here to find me a better spot. Originally, I was to go on the inside of his house, but there is so much mud in there, it would take forever to clear a spot, so in the end I got put in behind his house and the 40 foot barge. I love this spot as it is right at the foot of the ramp and means I have the least amount of docks to stumble over to get stuff loaded into the house.

The previous tenants had left a virtual mountain of crap behind in the house, so I spent the first week, hauling all their stuff out and cleaning the whole place. It was a HUGE job. I literaly moved a ton ( 2000 lbs) of stuff in one day. ( I know because I weighed it!) It was back breaking work that I hadn't counted on before I could get on with the business of moving my own stuff in. Then I had to wait a few more days until the tides cooperated and gave us some water during daylight hours to finally get on with my move.

Last Wednesday, I borrowed a large panel truck from our neighbor and hired some helping hands and the great move began to get my storage lockers unloaded. We did two loads Wednesday night and another four early Thursday morning and finaly, all my stuff is under one roof. This is like Christmas for me, I haven't seen some of this stuff for 3-10 years. I can't wait to see it all again.

My house is not actually a house. It was designed as a workshop and had no kitchen or bathroom area. There are two rooms in the front of the house that are somewhat finished, a huge unfinished space in the middle and two rooms in the back (these will be a workshop and craft room.) The upstairs has one finished room on one end, a huge space in the middle and a smallish loft on the other side. I have my work cut out for me but have most of what I need to do the job. I have been collecting stuff from the free section of craigslist for the last year and have probably eighty percent of what I need to finish the job. Some doorskins and paint will be my first expenses as I try and get the two front rooms ready to live in. The next project after that will be to rearrange a wall or two and get my bathroom framed and plumbed in. By that point it will be a livable space and the rest will get done when I have time and money.

It is SO AWESOME to have elbow space again. I am capable of living in small confined spaces but I am really liking the variety of rooms to play in. I have already started on my beduoin tent themed room upstairs. I am loving it so much I am having a hard time leaving it to work on the rest of the house. I will be spending a lot of time in there in the future. I'll be back soon with some updates, right now its a lot of grunt work, shuffling stuff around, ripping down tacky wall coverings and trying to find neccesary tools buried in my boxes. I've taken this week off work to try and make some headway, so back to the grindstone before work comes along to distract me.

I'm a river rat again and I LOVE IT!!!

So come on in and let me give you the grand tour ( I have to say, I have a whole new apprectiation for real estate photographers, I couldn't get a whole room in one shot so these pictures are really hard to get a good idea of what the place really looks like. I think I will have to do a walk through with a video camera)

The view through the front door, this room will be my tempory kitchen, there is a tiled corner for a woodstove, the other room is just to the right, the door you see ahead leads out into the main area of the house

Looking to the left of the same room, I have already taken down the wallpaper in these pics.

Same room, wall to the left

Same room looking back to the front door

The ceilings in the two front rooms look like this

Looking into the second room ( I don't have any other decent pics of that room to show you, it has two windows)

Coming through the kitchen door and looking right( the wall on the left, I want to push back 5 feet and build my bathroom and a walk in closet in the space. I want to put a door from the second front room into the bathroom so that if I ever needed/wanted, the front half of the house could be a separate self contained suite)
Looking to the left is the staircase to the upstairs bedroom with a space for wood storage

Looking straight ahead you can see a fraction of the unfinshed space that will one day be a kitchen , living room. The two doors at the back are my tool/craft room(on the left) and workshop on the right

A picture from the back end of that room looking back towards the bathroom area

From the other corner looking back towards the staircase and front rooms

My tool /craft room with stairs up to the loft, looking in from the doorway

Looking to the left, I have a lovely view of the river out that window, my big desk will be going there
a view from the loft

Looking back into the room from the base of the stairs

The other room that will be my workshop right now has shelves on both sides. I am using these to store my hardwood flooring for now, once the flooring has been used, I will take down the shelves and open up the room to set up my lathe etc.

The bedroom above the front rooms, soon to be my beduion lounge

In between this room and the loft space is a huge room about 40 x16 feet that at the moment is stuffed full of my boxes, so couldnt get a good picture, and forgot to before the movers showed up.

My wonderful crew of movers, still smiling after moving my mountain of stuff

Casper is a happy cat, he has a new friend, Davids cat Smoochie, they get along like peas in a pod, so cute!

I still can't believe I managed to manifest my dream home, I'm looking forward to many years of joy and happiness within those walls and the joy of knowing I will never have to pack up my belongings again!

I'm linking this post to Cindy's Show and Tell Fridays


Tim Zim said...

Wow - looks fantastic!

Welcome home.


Judi said...

I can't imagine your house travelled to you as it did. I still don't quite understand where this house it parked at the edge of the river..on the river? It doesn't move again does it?

What moved it to where it is?

It looks sooo spacious and you are going to have lots of hard work and fun getting it just the way you want it... how neat!
thank you for sharing

Mikey said...

I'm so happy for you! I love your new place! I can't wait to see it all finished!

cyberangel said...

Hi Tim and Mikey thanks, feels great to finally have my own home.

Judi, my home was towed 60 kms down the Fraser River by a tugboat. It now lives in the river in Vancouver BC. It is tied to the docks, so I can get to shore easily. It will probaly be moved again in a few months as this location I am in is very industrial and dirty. We are looking for a nicer place to put it. This spot was perfect for now as it was close to all my stuff in storage but eventually a nicer view will be in order.

rob said...

So pleased for you its been a while! just shows you what can happen in life if your patient, eh?.Now the work begins, I cant wait to see the updates if you have time that is.

Magoo said...

I am excited to see and hear the rest of the story as it unfolds!

rob said...

More pictures please, how are you getting on with the work?? what stage are you at now how close are you to finishing? (:O)) I jest of course) but an update would be nice please!