Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekend Update #3

I don't think I'll ever get over our late afternoon western light:

On to our accomplishments.  This weekend we (plus our Dads and a brother) got a lot done:

  • Put handles on bathroom linen closet drawers  
  • Replaced missing handles on the kitchen cabinets and drawers
  • Took down some of the vents for the alien overlord of the basement
  • Cut up the tree limb
  • Cleaned out downspouts
  • Debirdnested the basement
  • Dedeadbirded the basement
  • Attempted to fix the loose front porch railing
  • Took down the satellite dish
  • Took out unnecessary coax cables
  • Put coverplate on new outlet in the basement
  • Plunged the toilet (thanks Dad!)
  • Cut off the water supply to the leaky water heater
  • Found a much speedier way to get to Home Depot
  • Pulled out 2 big roots
  • Fixed the siding to the right of the porch screen door 
  • Organized the kitchen, tools, & cleaning supplies
  • Trimed south tree more
  • Cleaned out the basement storage room
  • Changed the front door locks
  • Covered the gas water heater flue hole
  • Replaced the 240 volt double pole breaker 
  • Put in 2 more 20 amp breakers for future outlets
  • Found out that reworking your whole HVAC system, getting a new furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and replacing old plumbing with PEX tubing is freaking EXPENSIVE aka we got an official estimate from a company on Saturday afternoon
  • Set up a the septic system cleanout for this week
Now for the pictures:

Siding BEFORE:

Siding AFTER:

We realize that the new siding is 4 inches instead of 8 inches and that the top cap piece is completely not level (it's because the screen frame that it is capping is totally wonky), but this will only be like this until we completely redo the porch next spring.  So this fix is just getting it weatherproofed (and less awful-looking) the quickest and cheapest way possible.  Come Spring that porch will have a railing instead of a short wall!

These drawers are now 100% more useful and are already storing stuff!
12 of the drawers/cabinets in the kitchen were missing handles, but by some sort of magic Home Depot had the EXACT match so now you can't tell what's old and what's new.  When we redo the kitchen these cabinets will go to the garage and basement for tool storage.

Look at these crazy roots that my fiance's Dad pulled out with his truck:
You can't tell from this picture, but it is about 6 feet long and looks like a huge carrot

The brand new outlet finally has it's cover:

The Alien Overlord of the Basement is beginning to lose some of its power:
So much headroom at the bottom of the stairs now!

No more satellite dish!

Look at the comically-sized wrench!

The dead branch is gone:

And is now this:

The garage is starting to get organized!

Just don't look over here:

Random pictures:
We have a really sunny basement in the afternoon. There are no lights on in this picture! Have I mentioned how much I love our western afternoon light?
Who needs sawhorses?

Look, refrigeration!:

Here's the creek across the street.  There's fish in it.

Here's the house from a new perspective:

Here, be inside a tree:

And most importantly we are ready for guests:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Before We Move In

As it stands now here is the list of things we hope to finish before we move in.  And just for fun let's throw in the current To Do list to add to my feeling of overwhelmingness.

Before We Move In:

  • fix grading around the house
  • trim South tree
  • trim back tree
  • remove bush from that tree
  • weed everywhere
  • trim front bush
  • plant a privacy fence between us and the trailer
  • replace trim/weatherstripping around back doors
  • replace trim/weatherstripping around garage door
  • replace gutter elbows 
  • add another gutter downspout
  • clean out gutters
  • patch & fix siding
  • silicone around nails on roof by chimney
  • replace the basement windows
  • epoxy in foundation cracks
  • replace fire alarms with smoke alarms
  • replace water heater
  • replace furnace
  • replace air conditioner
  • replace water softener? add iron-out system?
  • have our well water more thoroughly tested
  • get the septic system cleaned out
  • fix all leaky faucets/valves
  • fix bathroom sink drain
  • insulate pipes
  • replace screws in electrical panel
  • fix crawlspace support post
  • soffit venting in attic?
  • update electrical
  • fix up porch
  • replace broken living room window
  • replace missing screens and fix the hole-y ones
  • replace locks
  • replace shower head
  • put handles on the linen closet drawers
  • put handles on kitchen cabinets & drawers that need them
  • take down bifold doors
  • take down kitchen door
  • take down front door screen door
  • replace porch screen door
  • refinish the front door
  • install a door knocker
  • get a garage door opener for the car
  • make nice looking landscaping beds on either side of the porch
  • add window boxes?
  • paint all the rooms in the house
  • remove the shower doors & make a few other bathroom fixes

    My Current To Do List (all of these are ASAP items. PRESSURE!):
    • call furnace companies to set up estimates
    • call water heater companies to set up estimates
    • call a septic clean-out company
    • call Pella about replacement screens & the broken window
    • call a plumber about various plumbing fixes
    • call about getting the water tested more extensively
    • buy a fridge
    • buy a dehumidifier
    • buy an ice maker
    • pick out a new stove
    • decide how we want to change the locks and doors situation so Dad can do it
    • order the replacement garage door opener for the car
    • go to a local nursery about the plants for the privacy fence
    • plant the bulbs
    • find out how close to the property lines we can plant

    Really need to start making some calls...

    Monday, September 23, 2013

    Weekend Update #2

    Trying to capture the beautiful sunset view from the open basement window.

    Messing around with camera settings

    This weekend we had a tremendous amount of help for which we are very, very grateful.  Both sides of our family pitched in and we got a lot of work done- some electrical and a LOT of yard work.  We definitely took advantage of the beautiful outdoor weather. 

    Here is a BEFORE picture of two of the trees in our backyard:

    And here is AFTER my nephew spent two hours attacking the bush that was growing all over the tree's trunk and after I cut down a bunch of lower limbs on the maple so that now we can walk under it:

    Hey! The one on the left actually looks like a tree now! It turns out the tree isn't that healthy (perhaps because of the giant suffocating bush?), but we're going to give it some time to come back and hope for the best.

    Here are some BEFORES of the weed-packed front of the house (unfortunately I didn't get an all-encompassing before shot):

    And here's the AFTER that was the work of many people:
    Don't mind the tiny nephew digging in the dirt.  Who needs toys?
    Can you believe it?  I can't wait to pull up next weekend and be greeted by this view!

    Also the south tree got trimmed and so is no longer attempting to become one with the house like it used to:

    And here is the giant pile of tree trimmings we amassed:

    We also did some inside projects.  For example, all the Breezeway carpet is now gone and there is pretty much no more smell!  Now to get all the carpet glue off of the cement...

    We took down a really good portion of the old 1921 knob and tube wiring, though I took this picture a little too early because the pile got much, much bigger:
    Here they are in action:
    Yeah, that's right.  I still use Paint.
    Next up is to do a little re-wiring because now there is no ceiling light power in the dining room or two of the bedrooms.

    I also knocked down most of the strange wooden contraption, but didn't take an after picture. Here's a before:

    And here's the use-your-imagination-after:

    We also got some other things accomplished:
    • got two of the basement windows to open
    • finished washing the upper-upper cabinets
    • put shelf liner in all the cabinets
    • replaced a lot of light bulbs with CFLs
    • attempted to snake the bathroom sink drain, but it still doesn't drain, sigh
    • hand-edged the driveway (thanks big nephew!)
    • carried up all the random metal pieces that used to be in the crawlspaces to add to our growing Metal Pile
    • vacuumed out the garage and some of the basement
    • knocked down all the old bug nests (wasp? hornet? not sure)
    • carried old wood trim pieces out of the attic
    • cleaned out the gutters
    • put in an updated (non-knob & tube) outlet for the sump pump and radon mitigation system to plug into 
    I feel very lucky to have all the help we do!  We even got an aerial tour of our property (there is a mystery unplanted small rectangle in the cornfield...) via a future brother-in-law's quadricopter!

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    The First Weekend

    We got a lot done on our first weekend. We were able to get a lot more done because my mom came on Sunday and helped us get a lot of cleaning done.  Thanks, Mom!

    I plan on doing a post after each weekend listing what we were able to get done:

    • took off the front door screen door
    • took off the Kitchen door
    • took off the Crafting Room bifold doors
    • took off the broken railing in the Breezeway
    • started taking up the carpet in the Breezeway
    • scrubbed the stove, sink, & counters
    • scrubbed the toilet, sink, & linen closet
    • mostly scrubbed the shower (it's proving very difficult)
    • cleaned all the windows and use wood oil on all the window trim
    • cleaned most of the (we didn't have a step-stool) kitchen cabinets
    • replaced missing screens in the Front Porch
    • vacuumed up 1.3 billion bugs & spider webs
    • took down 1% of the weeds in order to stop getting covered in burrs every time we went in the front door and BONUS! discovered the (only?) outdoor faucet
    Picture Evidence:
    Stove Before 

    Stove AFTER!
    Let's see that Before again because I am very proud:

    Kitchen cabinet drawer, the before is on the left and the after is on the right

    No more railing!  Also the smell has improved considerably since removing a big chunk of the carpet.

    No more kitchen door! The doorway & stove area feels much roomier now.

    No more bifold doors! It feels much bigger in there now.

    Look what was hiding under that awful broken screen door!
    Coming tomorrow: A GIANT LIST of all the things we're hoping to get done before we move in.