Make your Water and Well jokes here

So, when we bought this house, we assumed a couple things, like:

– the well was old, but water likely good
– the septic tank would need replacing

I should also mention that since the previous owners had started renovations, plumbing had been completely gutted. There was a couple pipes leaving the kitchen and some leaving the new master bath upstairs, but other than than, the only plumbing left was in an original bathroom that had seen much better days. It also included a toilet with a hole in the bowl.


There is a small shed near the house and we assumed it was the well house, given the age of everything. It was also full of junk. We eventually cleared enough out to try and find a well, but alas – NOTHING. So we were lost. Was there a well to start with? Was it filled in? Turns out the teeny little well-looking building we thought was part of the house NEXT to us was our well. The property line jogs over to encompass it.

Not the well house, oops.

By this point, not knowing what the well was like, and knowing any pipes went under the driveway to the house, we had already decided to drill a new well in a better location at the back of the house.

We also decided the new well pipes would come into the house in the new basement and not the old one under the original section of the house.


Yes, we have two basements, sort of. The old one under the kitchen / dining area is rock wall, barely head height and super creepy. It also had a could missing sections where a friendly gopher wanted to camp out. Finally got rid of him and we definitely need some repair work to the hole before winter and snow get in. So, we didn’t want any water equipment down there where it is also more likely to freeze. The door to this is on the kitchen side, under the main staircase.


In the new section of the house, under the great room, is a full basement that will eventually be my craft / sewing room. It is large enough there is plenty of space in a corner to make a closet to hold the pressure tank and hot water tank.

Getting the hot water tank in the new basement was super fun because we haven’t built any stairs yet.


There is a crawl space of sorts from the new basement to the old. We were able to run some pipes through there to get to the kitchen. Ron has also done work to fit the pipes in the kitchen sink, as well as the pipes for the upstairs toilet. Some of the shower fittings are in as well.


We finally got the septic field plan approved, which was great because our initial suspicions were true. While digging out for the new basement, the previous owners opted to “save money” and not start digging a new septic field or replace the tank. which was right next to the hole they were digging for the new basement.

Ron found the old septic tank, which was wood. There are cast iron waste pipes leading out to it, most of which we have removed. We did keep a chunk of pipe that goes out of the old basement wall, for support, and ran a new ABS pipe through it.

Ron dug the hole for the septic tank and now has it in place.


Next up, he will fill the tank with water, and run some water through the waste plumbing he’s done already to check for leaks. The septic field still needs to be built but has been started, and we can also start on the intake pipes, to bring water in from the well to the taps.

And then the electricians showed up

One of the biggest things to finish was electrical work, and I’ll skip the saga of getting someone to sow up to do the work, but finally they did and boy howdy a lot of work was done in a short time.

Wires were re-run, cabling was sorted, all the room heaters that were scattered around were hooked up, and we had to go on a light fixture buying spree. That also meant decisions had to be made.

In some places we couldn’t decide so we just went with temporary bare bulb fixtures.


The living room hasn’t changed much. We can’t decide here because every large fixture we like hangs too low.


I love the retro fixture over the sink.


So much light in the kitchen!


So much light!

And I swear I took more pictures of hall fixtures and a couple bedroom ones. We also have covered electrical sockets and light switches in almost all the rooms!


After they re-did the wiring, Ron said the neatness of this almost brought a tear to his eye. Everything is labelled and we have a clear sense of what needs to be finished. Any room we need right away is mostly done.

Cabinet Update

Andrea mentioned the island in the last post & included a picture with placeholder cabinets. A drain pipe had already been installed. Since there wasn’t a spot in the existing cabinet arrangement for a dishwasher, we concluded that’s what the island drain was for.

While planning the island design I kept in mind that the cabinets would essentially be freestanding. Secondly, the location of the drain was such that the dishwasher couldn’t really be installed at the end of the island.

The design I came up with was to have the dishwasher between two cabinets that were facing the ends of the island. There wasn’t a wall to anchor the cabinets to so I built a frame anchored to the floor for the cabinets to back against. There will be a small set of shelves behind the dishwasher but I won’t add those until it has been plumbed and wired.

Installed cabinets looking north west
These cabinets and range are along the west wall of the kitchen. The front door was behind me.

The upper cabinets on either side of the space for the electric range had been installed but the lower ones had just been pushed approximately in place. I hadn’t realized that right away and was happy when I discovered it.

We bought the range and dishwasher months before we needed them so that we could position the cabinets around them.

As it turned out, one of the counter outlets didn’t have a wire that went to the electrical panel. Pulling that wire was easier because the cabinet was mounted to the wall.

All the kitchen cabinets are now levelled & anchored in place. The next task will be templating for the countertop.

Kitchen window over sink & cabinets
The windows face south east. On a sunny morning the kitchen is nice & bright.