a peek inside the fishbowl

08 Mar, 2011

Reno post #002: measuring up

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Home/reno

Thank you all for your positive comments in post #001. I’m glad some of you are here for the ride. :)

The architect has sent over two people to measure the house this morning. It’s going to take about four hours.

My mom temporarily confused the heck out of me when I told her about this part of the process. Why doesn’t David (the architect) just go to City Hall, pay ten bucks, and get the house plans from there instead of hiring two people to spend half a day measuring? she asked.

Uhhh. Perhaps it’s because City Hall doesn’t have house plans on file and because he needs a set of working drawings to start with?

So yes, two people are measuring. One is taking photos too. They are armed with industrial tape measures and pencil and paper and making note of room sizes, door and window placement and things like that. I am secretly afraid they’re going to open our office closet and turn around and run. What if a dust bunny jumps out and kills one of them? I’m also afraid that they’ll get trapped under a pile of board games and baby clothes in the basement and I won’t hear their muffled cries of suffering.

I’m seeing all the things that Look Absolutely Terrible with painfully fresh eyes. The crack in the paint upstairs, the banged up baseboards, the beat up screen door, the ugly paint in the dining room. Gah. It’s making me feel totally inept. Why haven’t we been better at this home stuff up until now? What is wrong with us?

I’m sorry lady, he’ll say. You don’t deserve a nice house. You can barely take care of this one!

A question for you: are you interested in a petit video tour of our house? If we’re going to crowdsource ideas it might provide a good starting point.

5 Responses to "Reno post #002: measuring up"

1 | Javamom

March 8th, 2011 at 12:29 pm


OMG isn’t it funny how people go through this with very similar experiences! We are in constant ‘we need to update/renovate/improve’ mode and a short year later, the updated, freshly painted, cleaned up ancient (1949 tiles! tub) bathroom looks like it needs another update…

I’ll follow along your adventure. Our kitchen requires major work but there is so much hesitation (money, layout requiring custom ordered pieces, time)…so I may either get inspired by your posts, or completely depressed.

Good luck! And don’t worry…it’ll all be worth it in the end!!

2 | Lynn

March 8th, 2011 at 4:32 pm


I would love a video tour! I can’t wait to see how the process plays out. And don’t feel bad about the little things sliding away…our to-do list of repairs and fix-its is a mile long.

3 | Tiana

March 9th, 2011 at 11:15 am


Yes video!

Any plans the city would have on file would be construction plans and not as-builts so they likely wouldn’t accurately reflect your home as changes often occur during the building process.

4 | Mandy from Nova Scotia

March 9th, 2011 at 12:14 pm


I’d love to see a vid of your place it would make a great before shot too. Who doesn’t have a mile long list of things they need fixed up? I know we do!

5 | Alison p-h

March 9th, 2011 at 9:44 pm


Video would be nice. But so would a photo gallery. Either way, there will be a good base for “before” and “after”.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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