25 Acres to 25 Feet

Updated: April 6, 2018

After almost 15 weeks of international travelwe returned to Canada in late March of 2017.  And, there's a good reason why our travelling has slowed since then

If you've been following us, you'll already know we sold our home and the (almost) 25 acre rural, wetland property it was built on; including a surprisingly large amount of our possessions. For us, this move signifies the next logical step in our downsizing plan. It will allow us to pursue an even more minimalist lifestyle and an increased travel schedule ... hardly any stuff, no property maintenance, a 10 foot side-yard and a 25 foot rear yard, even less work.

Our final occupancy date was re-scheduled seven times, resulting in an overall delay of approximately 7 months. We'll be moving from a rental apartment in Bath to a new townhouse villa in Wellington by (Previous Dates: August 17, 2017, September 19, 2017, March 22, 2018, January 16, 2018, February 21, 2018, March 12, 2018) ... and now, March 19, 2018. 

This will be our sixth home. In general, we have experienced a good professional relationship with most Sandbanks staff and many of the contractors we have dealt with. 


Population 1700. Located on the north shore of Lake Ontario in the heart of beautiful Prince Edward County and centrally located in Canada’s newest VQA wine region. The town has many kilometres of waterfront and overlooks the largest freshwater sand dunes in the world at Sandbanks Provincial Park
Wellington’s roots date back to 1799.  One of Ontario’s oldest homes, built in 1786, is still occupied in town.  Many of the towns' original settlers were United Empire Loyalists and some of those families have lived here for generations.


We signed a contract with them to build our next home. Sandbank Homes is based in Wellington, Ontario. They have been developing and building active adult lifestyle communities around Prince Edward County since 2003. 

" Having built more than 400 homes within The County, Sandbank Homes has become renowned for construction quality, craftsmanship, and attention to the specific needs and details of each individual client. " 

Below, is an artists concept of the finished Townhouse Villa. We have purchased the right side of this 3-unit building. 


If you want to skip all my text and just look at pictures ... here's our final photo album.

Otherwise, continue scrolling down ...


April 13
Site Cleared with Layout Stakes

We visited the build site. The foundation hole will be dug soon, once underground services are located and flagged. Our villa will be on the right side of a 3-unit building. We're tucked into a corner with a 15' tree buffer on 2 sides. The unit behind us is complete now and occupied.

May 17
Municipal Services Located

The foundation hole has still not been dug, apparently later this week. We've had an extremely wet spring and consequently residential construction has been very slow. This region of Ontario has recorded historical rainfall records (for all time), for the months of April and May. Lake Ontario is currently, almost 1 metre higher than the monthly average. Our original build date was given as August 17, 2017 (Our Anniversary). It has been delayed and the official move-in date has now been changed to September 19 (Helen's Birthday).

June 2
Foundation Hole Dug

The hole was dug yesterday. Based on similar builds near us, we expect that within 4 weeks the foundation will be poured, the house will be closed in  with roof on and all windows and doors installed. It appears the buffer of trees on two sides will be saved and will give our unit the best privacy of any.

June 17
Footings Poured

The footings were poured last week and we were supplied with a tentative timeline of significant construction trade completions. A few days after that, the developer informed us of a major delay in our build; now extended to March 22nd, 2018!

July 22
Official Closing Date Given

After even more delays and further consultation with Tarion, Sandbanks and our lawyer, our new improved closing date will now be January 16, 2018; only an additional 5 months. We are disappointed ... I believe we'll take an extended road trip.

October 7
Foundation Poured
Concrete: Basement windows installed in wrong locations ... foundation cut and re-poured, fully RESOLVED

We were supplied with a tentative build schedule while we were travelling on the East Coast. The foundation was scheduled to be poured the 3rd week of October, but we were informed it was poured this past week. Took a drive today to check it out; both basement windows have been incorrectly located. Because of the modifications we have made to the plans and the upgrades that were purchased based on those modifications, it's critical the windows be relocated.

October 27
Windows Reformed

Other single family homes and villas that sold after ours, continue to be worked on. Ours is still moving along slowly; quite frustrating. The windows have been relocated; concrete cut out and the incorrect locations formed up for another pour. 

It appears we will be able to retain the tree buffer in the rear yard, but due to a drainage issue, we may lose all or most of the trees to the side yard.

November 21
Floor Framed

The framers have started, met crew boss Nick ... ' you guys have made a lot of changes to the standard layout! ' 

The floor was framed and sheathed in a day. Exterior walls will be built next.

November 26
Main Floor Walls 


All main floor walls are 95% complete (missing 1/2 walls, cubby) in our unit, most in the other outside villa unit and none in the center unit. The framing crew has interpreted the drawing correctly; wall locations, room dimensions, window and door locations are all where they are supposed to be.

Fire barrier materials (green sheathing) has been installed in the common wall. CGC® Fire Wall Systems are lightweight, non-load bearing gypsum panel partition assemblies used to provide fire-resistant protection and sound-proofing for common walls in townhouse construction.

December 9
Garage Framed, Roof Trusses Up, Sheathing Started

Some windy weather in the last week or so delayed roof sheathing, but the crew is not that far behind, maybe a day to complete. In the details ... living / dining room trayed ceiling, gas fireplace knockout centre of back wall, fireproof common wall (left).

December 14
Another Delay

New date, February 21, 2018. We met with the Construction Manager, Chuck. He assured us this date is firm; we'll see?

December 19
Roof Almost Finished

We've been promised a new schedule with more accurate dates. Window installation has been started at the other end of our townhouse building; should be complete for all 3 units in a couple of days. Shingling should start before weeks end. 

We've been told that all but a couple of trees will be retained on the side yard and that a grade swale will be created to control drainage for our unit. Sand back-fill is scheduled for today.


January 4
Very Little Progress

Not much got done over the holidays, weather was extremely cold, high winds, a few heavy snowfalls. Here's a couple of photos of our journey across Picton Bay on the Glenora Ferry Icebreaker, on our way to Wellington.

January 14
Windows and Doors Installed, Most of the Roof Shingled
Windows and Doors: Exterior living room door wrong style ... correct door ordered, RESOLVED

Moving along slowly, weather has still been cold and difficult for the trades that are currently working. The back-fill hasn't been completed on the side yard. The living room exterior door is wrong; we upgraded to a full glass door with partial screen, from a patio door. It will need to be replaced. If you look closely, the photo below, shows the roof truss detail for a 'trayed ceiling' in the living/dining room area.

January 20
HVAC Rough-In, Main Floor Cubbies
HVAC: HRV controls and central vac inlet installed wrong location ... items moved, fully RESOLVED

Roof still not done but close, doors and windows fully installed, HVAC rough-in complete on Main Floor but will need to be re-done. Cubbies framed out, in Office and Laundry. The Office cubby will contain the internet hub.


January 20
Main Floor Electrical Complete

All roofing has been completed, Elijah and crew from Stewart Electric have completed work on the Main Floor, Dave and Bradley from Red Ball have completed their installation on the Main Floor, met with Chuck and Aneesh to summarise details for all trades.

January 30
Basement Rough-Ins 

The electricians won't return now until the basement is framed. Some HVAC controls have been moved to the Feature Wall, the insulation has been delivered and will begin for the Main Floor over the next few days, the concrete crew was here to prep the Basement for a pour; probably next week. A Hidden Room will be located under the stairs and accessible through the Basement Bathroom; the hydro panel, water service and some storage will be in here.

February 2
Main Floor Insulation Complete, Drywall Started 

The insulation contractors have done a good job sealing and insulating the Main Floor; thanks to a generous use of tuck tape, acoustic sealants, spray foam and gasketing. John and Dave (a father and son company) have begun the drywall boarding and should finish within a day; the LR / DR trayed ceiling is taking shape now. 

A couple of expat Jamaicans, part of the concrete crew are prepping the Basement for a pour in a few days. 

Some details still need to be corrected; move a vac inlet, frame the sloped stairwell ceiling.


February 6
Main Floor Drywall Boarding Complete
Electrical: Conduit not roughed-in at Feature Wall ... installed, fully RESOLVED

The Main Floor doesn't look as closed in as I thought it may. Had to remind the drywallers that the cubbies had a 'full' drywall return (floor & door jambs also). A different crew finishes the drywall. The Basement is mostly (sump is not installed) prepped for a pour and a salamander (for heating) has been moved into place.

Photos: LR/DR, Kitchen pantry, Staircase, Feature Wall, Office cubby


February 10
Mudding Started
Drywall: Boarded over the lower Laundry Room cubby and missed the rounded corners on upper cubby ... mistake TOLERATED
Plumbing: Sump located in Hidden Room not Mechanical area ... mistake TOLERATED

The first tape and mud coat is complete on the Main Floor, rounded drywall corners mostly done. Sump pit hammered out and tub installed, the Basement water lines have been run and foundation/footing damp proof is in place. The under stair area will eventually become our Hidden Room.

February 13
Drywall Finishing, Concrete Pour

Ryan and Scott of Sherman Drywall are applying the second coat of drywall mud on the Main Floor. Chuck will add some framing and then they will redo the second cubby that was missed in the Laundry Room. The concrete crew was just finishing the screed coat in the Basement when we arrived. The Garage gravel pad was covered with tarps and being warmed up for a concrete pour later in the day.

 February 16
Basement Floor Poured, Framing Mostly Complete  
Concrete: Jack post needs to be moved ... fully RESOLVED

The final drywall coat is mostly done on the Main Floor; just the knock-down ceilings, boarding around the fireplace and some minor details to complete now. Insulation will be complete in the Garage today and the gravel base has been prepped for a concrete pour. Wendell and Phil from Collyer Brother Constructionframed out the Basement in less than a day. Some details to take care of ... move a jack post, scab in framing around the hall I-beam, tub water lines, cubby framing, hidden door hinging.

February 25
Main: Painting, Flooring, Fireplace
Basement: Framing, Rough-Ins
HVAC: Missing a basement vac inlet ... fully RESOLVED
HVAC: Gas FP controls installed at unit, not Feature Wall ... mistake TOLERATED

Main Floor fireplace roughed-in, knockdown drywall is complete, painting has started, laminate flooring is complete and the tile work has begun. Basement framing is mostly done, some plumbing fixtures installed, electrical well under way, a/v room rough-in wiring , furnace installed, some duct-work completed. Garage floor is poured.





February 26
Main: Tile-work, painting
Basement: Central vac, gas furnace, gas fitters, HVAC and insulation inspection
Paint: Wrong paint delivered for feature wall ... repainted, fully RESOLVED
HVAC: HRV still not located where we intended ... mistake TOLERATED

Siding is complete on rear and side yards, gable shakes are on, brickwork to begin soon, front porch work has started. Garage has been boarded. The Main Floor trim is being painted out and tile-work is complete. Lots of activity in Basement; electrical rough-in complete now, HVAC progressing well, gas-fitters will be done inside today, central vac has been finished, an inspector was there for insulation, HVAC and gas-fitting today. 

We voluntarily moved our move-in date to March 19, in order to allow the Basement to be fully completed and the whole house to be thoroughly cleaned. Some exterior work will still be undone.



March 01
Main: Tile-work, painting, cabinetry
Basement: Central vac, gas furnace, gas fitters, HVAC and insulation inspection
Paint: Wrong paint Master Bedroom closet ... re-painted, fully RESOLVED
HVAC: HRV still not located where we intended ... mistake TOLERATED
HVAC: Instant HW installed in Hidden Rm, not Mechanical Rm ... mistake TOLERATED
HVAC: A/C located below Master Bedroom window ... unit moved, fully RESOLVED

The exterior siding is nearly complete, sand back-filled in important areas, Garage dry-walling continues, Kitchen install started, Ensuite vanity in, HVAC equipment installation continues.



March 04
Main: Kitchen cabinetry, doors and hardware, trim 
Basement: Insulation, Bathroom cubby framed
Garage: Stairs and landing
Insulation: Roxul not installed on 2 walls in the A/V Room ... mistake TOLERATED
Plumbing: Standard Bathroom(s) accessories delivered and incorrectly installed ... we provided upgraded trim, fully RESOLVED 

The Kitchen is complete except for counter-tops, Main Floor trim work and interior door installation has began. Carpet grade stairs installed to Basement, insulation is complete but the installer missed roxul on 2 A/V Room walls. Garage landing and stairs installed.



March 06
Main: Painting 
Basement: Drywall
Garage: Painting
* Framing / HVAC: A/V Room entry doorway and ceiling is unacceptable and probably a result of oddly designed HVAC ... ceiling re-built, fully RESOLVED

A few more exterior details are complete on the front entry. All doors are hung and drywall repairs are made on the Main Floor now and the second coat of paint has begun. Board is up in the Basement and the first coat of mud and tape is being applied today. The Garage will be spray primed today. 

The A/V Room doorway and ceiling is a major issue that will need to be resolved. Unless the ceiling is raised the door will not swing in or out and even then may only not swing fully.



Photo Below: The short A/V Room doorway and height of the ceiling section behind the acoustic tiled ceiling is a major issue that will need to be resolved. Unless the ceiling is raised in this area, the door will not swing in or out and even then may not swing fully.


March 08
Main: Trim-out, painting, drywall repair
Basement: Drywall
Garage: Painting
Plumbing Trim-out: Wrong accessories installed in Ensuite ... we provided upgraded trim, standard removed ... fully RESOLVED

Some Main Floor trim-out; HVAC registers and controls, passage door hardware. The final coat of drywall mud is drying in the Basement but there are still some issues with frame-outs and final surfaces. The A/C has finally been relocated near the front porch. The Garage is primed, looks good. Grading on the side-yard is in progress.

March 10
Main: Trim-out, painting, drywall repair
Basement: Drywall
Garage: Door
Plumbing: No sign of a laundry tub installation in the Mechanical Area ... RESOLVED
HVAC: Furnace condensate line has been plumbed in at shin height?
Windows & Doors: Basement windows will require narrow casement trim-out ... fully RESOLVED

Very little progress over the last couple of days. The Garage door has been installed. On the Main Floor, drywall repair, some painting and miscellaneous trim-outs have been done. The correct LR door has finally been delivered. The final coat of drywall has been sanded out in the Basement, however there still needs to be a change to the A/V Room entry ceiling. Window jambs were installed for the 2 Basement windows.  


March 11
Basement: Drywall, paint
Windows and Doors: a 36" door has not been framed for the Mechanical Room ... fully RESOLVED

We had a good meeting with Chuck and resolved a number of issues ... A/V and Hall ceilings will be raised, furnace condensate line should be relocated, window & door trim-out discussed, laundry tub upgrade missed, some Basement carpet will be delayed for installation. We delivered the acoustic tiles for the A/V Room ceiling. Some paint priming is on-going in the Basement, there have been some deliveries of materials (cork tiles, ensuite shower walls)

March 14 - 16
Grading, paint, electrical and plumbing trimout, cabinetry 
Plumbing: incorrectly delivered chrome trim-out in Basement bathtub ... RESOLVED 
We've swapped out the Basement Bathroom sink with a drop-in model ... RESOLVED

There must be a dozen workers on site now ... painters, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, cabinet installers. 

Drywall repair and painting is on-going, doors are being hung and trim completed, stairwell handrail installed, 1/2 wall cap on and stained at stairwell, carpet, tile and cork flooring is being laid, Bathroom vanity installation, Kitchen cabinetry detailing, A/V Room acoustic ceiling going in, central vac fully functional. Outside, we have temporary stairs, the building facade is nearly complete, gravel in the driveway, more grading and trees are coming down on the side yard. 


March 19
PDI Checklist  

We delivered a few items to the villa on Saturday and did our own inspection, before the official Tarion Pre Delivery Inspection on Monday. The cleanup got rid of all the construction garbage and debris and a local house cleaning service completed a cursory clean of most areas. There will still be workers on site for several days after we move in, primarily in a few reas in the Basement.







June 18, 2019
Final Landscaping 



... blueprints, upgrades, finish materials
Drafting: Skylor
Design: Bobbi-Jo
Scheduler: Aneesh

... scheduling, carpentry, garage & basement insulation, laminate flooring, tile-work, garage landing
CrewChuck (Sandbanks Construction Manager), Darryl (Chuck's right-hand guy), Patrick (garage insulation), Patrice (carpenter, tile-work), Matt (basement insulation)

Prep CrewJamaicans

... building shell, floor, roof, basement
Crew Boss Main FloorNick

Collyer Brother Construction
Belleville, ON
Crew BasementWendell and Phil

... all standard residential work, including internet cabling, trim-out
766 A Wallbridge-Loyalist Road RR5
Belleville, ON 
K8N 4Z5
Email: info@stewartelectric.ca
Crew ChiefElijah
Trim-out: Jake

... installation in A/V, Master Bedroom and Living Room
6 North Front Street
Belleville, ON
Phone: 613 962-1333 | 800-363-1100
InstallersBradley and Dave

... all HVAC equipment, the gas FP install 
6833 Highway 62, R.R. #5
Belleville, ON
K8N 4Z5
Phone: 613 707-2421
Email: dandk@serviceexperts.com


Owner: John and son Hunter 

Sherman Drywall
Corbyville, ON 
K0K 1V0
Phone: 613 969-5287
Boarding Main Floor: John and Dave
Mud and Tape Main FloorRyan and Scott
Basement Floor and A/V Ceiling Entry: Dave (young) 
Acoustic Ceiling A/V RoomDave (old)

4 Corners Painting
1274 Ridge Rd RR 2
Deseronto, ON 
K0K 1X0
Phone: 613 849-9918
OwnersNick and Justin Vos

... vinyl siding, stonework, soffits and fascia

... Kitchen and Bathroom cabinetry and counters
425 West Front Street, P.O. Box 397
Stirling, ON
K0K 3E0
Phone: 613 395-1490
Toll-Free: 1 800 284-0435
Fax: 613 395-5714
E-mail: info@kitchensbypaulholden.com
InstallersAdrian and Kelsey

... all Closet and Pantry wire shelving
Phone: 613 966-0654

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