Monday, 26 September 2011


When we bought our new house, we knew we had a few projects which had to get done before we moved in. The list:

  1. Install a new front door
  2. Remove the wood burning stove
  3. Install a gas burning fireplace insert into the wood burning fireplace
  4. Remove the fake ceiling beams and prep to...
  5. Paint the place from top to bottom
  6. Fix the water well by raising the casing and packing it with bentonite.

We actually initiated all of them in early July. 

Here's their status. All are taking much longer than expected.  The reason for the delay is what we have come to refer to as "Canmore Time". This is a timeline that makes West Coasters seem like they are in a hurry. As KC has concluded

  • "tomorrow" in Canmore Time is actually "in a few days";
  • "Monday" in Canmore Time is actually "maybe Wednesday if I don't go hiking"
  • "next week" in Canmore Time is actually "in a few weeks";
  • "next month" may be as late as the spring if it involves frost.

The front door:

Installed September 13th. See this post.

The wood burning stove:

Removed last week, going from this:
What it was this.
What it is
The stove was removed only two weeks after we got the quote to get it done. Now, it did take close to 7 weeks to get the quote, but it happened pretty fast after that.

Now, of course, inside every big problem is a little problem trying to get out. Here, the little problem is obvious: there was no flooring under the heat shield. Now we need 12 square feet of hardwood that was originally installed in 1979. We are fortunate that it is still being made, but finding a supplier is proving difficult even though the company is now owned by Armstrong Flooring.

The gas burning fireplace:

It arrived early last week.
Box 1 of 6
The gasfitter said last week he would be here today to install the gas line for it. Today became tomorrow. After the gas line, the chimney needs to be cleaned out before the sleeve can be put inside it. Then it can be installed. I'm guessing 2 more weeks.

Removing stuff to prep for painting:

My contractor, Bogdan's Construction (the only guy I have met who doesn't work on "Canmore Time") came last week and pulled everything out.
The office before
Beams gone. We took the closet out in August
Beams gone 
So we are ready for the painters.


Three weeks ago, we got some quotes and picked a contractor. We were torn in selecting because one was much less expensive but had a poorer timeline. One was ready to start immediately but had a substantially higher price. Three weeks ago, the contractor we selected said they said they would be here tomorrow, Sept 27. Today, tomorrow became Thursday.

The water well:

Yeuch. This has been the project to nowhere. The wellhead for our water well sits 7' down in a culvert.
The broken rotting cover on the culvert
Crap flows into the culvert (especially when it rains) and leaks down beside the well casing, contaminating our water. We need to weld a 7' extension on the casing raising the wellhead, then pack the hole with bentonite clay to seal the casing.

Initially, I was told to do all this work by a consultant with Integrated Environments in Calgary. I asked this consultant for a list of contractors who could do the work in the Canmore area. He promised to send me a list. I sent him 3 e-mails (he never replied), left 4 phone messages (that were never returned), and spoke with his secretary twice. Nada. I gave up dealing with these idiots.

So in late July I called a water well guy in Cochrane, who's a gruff old dude who has been in the water well business for 15 years since retiring from Shell. He did some work on the well for the previous owner. Initially, he didn't want to do the work, because he didn't think it necessary. But I convinced him to do it, and he made it clear he knew what needed to be done.

He finally showed up on September 9th with a casing extension and a welder. But despite having been here before to do work on the well for the previous owner, he brought nothing to deal with the culvert. He said it needed to be dug out (he could have mentioned this before). A quick call to Bogdan caused him to try to track down a bobcat/excavator guy. There was a chance Mr. Bobcat Guy could come on the 10th. So Mr. Well Guy disconnected our water system.

That was 17 days ago, and we have not had water since.

Mr. Bobcat Guy came over last Thursday (the 22nd), and said he could dig the culvert out "Friday or Saturday". In Canmore time, that means maybe it will happen sometime this week. Maybe. Mr. Bobcat Guy said he didn't need Mr. Well Guy to be there to get the culvert out. Hmmn.

Bogdan bothers both Mr. Well Guy and Mr. Bobcat Guy daily. Both are noncommittal. Getting this well work done is like pushing a rope uphill.

So if you come to visit, pee first.

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