January Project Recap

I had high hopes for January but I was also out of town for 2 solid weeks so the number of projects I could conceivably complete was greatly reduced. However, I got a good start!

1. Garage – add security film to window

This one was a lot easier to install than the last privacy film – it was easy to reposition and remove to adjust. I got it on Amazon here for $10.

*before*

*during*

*after*

2. Living room – have fireplace tested and inspected

This one was a little “good news/bad news” situation. I had a professional company come out to inspect and clean the fireplace and overall it’s in good shape. However, there’s a crack in the floor of the fireplace which means heat can go down and impact the flooring, walls and create a lot of other problems. So it’s still do not use until I can budget and schedule to get that replaced. While I don’t use the fireplace very often, I do want it to be working properly.

10. Garage – trim out the window

As you can tell on the update above, I did manage to trim the window with 1x4s before I worked on the privacy film. Here’s a picture of it before I caulked all the joints:

There’s a small patch piece there on the window sill because I can’t fit my nail gun behind the clothes dryer to install it. I’m going to get some liquid nails and tape and see what I can do!

All in all, not a bad January! I have my next few projects in the works from this master list and I’ll be working throughout February to make good progress.

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2018 House Planning

By mid-November I get easily swept up in the planning for the new year and all the fun things I want to do. This year I took off for London, Dublin and Manchester in early December and by the time I got home I was right back into planning mode.

Business plans are underway and I’ve already set my personal goals.

Now, let’s talk about the house. Realistically if I am working out 4 days a week, doing Whole 30 5 days a week, reading 1 book a week and traveling around the state twice a month then I’m not going to have a TON of free time for other projects.

Good thing the house is looking damn good these days. Instead of going room by room I’m going to list all the things I want to do and then put them in priority order.

I have a total of 30 goals (about 1 per week) and 3 potential bigger projects that require things like redirecting gas lines, water and drywall. Those are bonus projects that I am hoping to get to this year. One project that’s not on this list but will be carrying over from 2017 is replacing my gutters and downspouts. That should be coming in January.

1. Garageadd security film to window

2. Living roomhave fireplace tested and inspected

3. Dining room – touch up paint around the built-in

4. Dining room – add finishing piece to the built-in

5. Office – finish caulk on window trim

6. Guest room – remove hooks from ceiling

7. Kitchen – replace garbage disposal

8. Garage – add overhead lights in 2 banks 

9. Kitchen – trim the windows

10. Garagetrim out the window

11. Master bedroom – remove the canopy and patch ceiling

12. Master bedroom – touch up ceiling paint

13. Living room – replace overhead light

14. Guest bath – fix shower can light 

15. Side yard – add hooks for second ladder to hang

16. Office – trim and paint closet shelving

17. Backyard – build a cart for table saw

18. Master bath – replace bath fan

19. Kitchen – add new curtain rods and curtain

20. Front yard – replace mailbox and post

21. Living room – refinish the dresser

22. Master bedroom – rebuild bed frame

23. Office – replace ceiling drywall (patch) 

24. Backyard – build pergola in the corner 

25. Living room – reupholster the 2 wingback chairs 

26. Backyard – make a walkway to the sideyard

27. Front yard – re-pour sidewalk up to the front door 

28. Master bedroom – replace sliding glass door, trim and fix transition piece

29. Front yard – plant a tree

 30. Back yard – plant a tree

Potential Garage Project

Garage – drain the water heater, build a new box

Garage – add water softener 

Potential Kitchen Project 

Kitchen – re-configure cabinets and dishwasher / new countertops and sink

Kitchen – relay flooring with new configuration

Potential Bathroom Project

Master bath – replace pan in shower stall

Master bath – replace shower fixtures

Master bath – tile shower stall

Operation Backyard Oasis

Anyone who has witnessed my backyard knows it is far from an oasis but that is the goal of my work this summer.

I know, technically, that summer begins on Memorial Day for many but the last 10 days of 100+ temps means that June was a wash for me.

I’d like to share updates every Sunday to stay on track and before I get into my plans I want to share the before pics. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Here’s a shot of the back of the house including 2 of the dogs and my lawnmower:

The northwest corner of the yard is pretty boring with just a couple of surviving rose bushes (I’ve already taken out 2 this year):

The northeast corner has the patio that I had installed in 2013 that hasn’t held up very well. Right now it’s the holding spot for everything else while I work.

Standing at the sliding glass door and looking east there’s some trash cans full of green waste, the dog kennel, and a walkway of bricks which has seen better days.

Over to the side yard I had a bunch of crap leaning against the siding. The only good thing here is the raised garden beds with bougainvillea and lantana which are thriving.

While the front yard needs work, I’m going to focus on the side and back yard for the season and focus on creating a comfortable, beautiful space.

Right now the strategy is to work outdoors on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, aka the days I’m not at the gym and to work consistently throughout the summer months.

I have big plans for the yard and I’ll share more of them with you next Sunday. Until then I’ll be slathering on the sunblock and pulling on my gardening gloves.

 

 

I put the Pro in Procrastination

It feels like ages has passed since I shared in March about replacing windows and while it may feel like I’ve been lazy, I know a lot has actually been accomplished.

Primarily more windows. Over a weekend with some help I replaced 2 out of the 3 kitchen windows and the garage window and a lot of the surrounding T1-11 and 2x4s on the old kitchen bay window.

I’d known for awhile it probably had water damage since the 2×4 frame was literally crumbling but uncovering it all was a surprise. Thanks to the leftover T1-11 from the office window repair it was a pretty inexpensive repair (just time and paint).

But now I’m left with one more kitchen window to do, inside trim and then: paint.

I purchased 10 gallons of outdoor paint over the Memorial Day weekend (and still need to send in receipts for that rebate…) and will have it tinted in 2-3 gallon batches for the exterior.

While I’d really like to replace the sliding glass door before paint goes up, I think it’s a tad unrealistic with the summer budget I have in place.

I’ve also stained and assembled 2 new adirondack chairs that I purchased from Hayneedle and love them. They also fold up pretty flat to make storage easier in the winter. Soon I’ll need to pull out the outdoor rug and set up the front of the house for summer.

Indoors I’ve mostly been working to keep things clean and organized, decluttering slowly as I go through the house. I’ve already taken in several things to consignment and donation but it’s an on-going process.

I haven’t yet shown you the big upgrade I made to the dining room bench so that’s coming once I get the pictures done.

It’s probably time to go update my 2017 goals post since we’re almost to the midpoint of the year!

Trim it out

The trim project is well underway and I thought I’d give an update on how it’s going since it’s taking up the whole month. So far the quarter round has been installed in the living room, dining area, hallway, hall closet, office and master bedroom.

I started painting in the master bedroom and then worked my way back down the hallway to the living room before moving on to the office.

Since I’m working around the edges painting takes a bit of planning and time since I have to move a lot of stuff out of the way.

The order is typically to go along the baseboards with a nail setter and hammer to push in any of the nails that were still sticking out, then gather paper towels, a caulking gun and water to fill in the gaps. This is the most messy step but a bit of water cleans up any misplaced caulk.

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While the caulk is drying (a couple hours), I try to get the blue painter’s tape down on the floor to protect it. This allows me to go much faster when I’m painting.

Then I brush on the first coat of paint and yes, I usually need two. Since I don’t want the paint to pool along the floor or stick the tape to the baseboards I’ll load up the brush and put most of the paint at the junction of the quarter round and baseboard – then brush it down to the blue painter’s tape at floor level.

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I’ve found that the baseboards are pretty beat up after being pulled and reinstalled when I did the floors so I’m usually filling nail holes in the baseboards and painting them. The hallway baseboards were especially dingy, not just dirty but with a lot of marks and dings.

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Working in the office I found damage to the drywall in one corner due to a leak we repaired a few years ago. The final room that needs quarter round is the guest room but first comes finishing the office and getting that furniture back in. Once I’m 100% done with all this trim I am really looking forward to rolling out those new rugs!

Tools I’m using (click on photo to see sources):

Nail set kit

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Ryobi Airstrike Nail gun and 18 gauge nails

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White latex paintable caulk

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quarter round trim such as this type (though I buy it by the foot).

 

2017 House Goals

Looking forward to 2017 there are a lot of things I need to get done, some things I would like to get done and a bunch I would love to get done if I win the lottery. I’m breaking them up into tasks by room like I did in 2016 to help keep me focused on what needs to happen around here.

My travel schedule is filling up for the new year so I know that the weeks I am home I’ll need to make the most of my time and getting these projects done.

The kitchen:

  • Get the counter tops re-sealed
  • fix or replace garbage disposal
  • remove the pull out trash can

If budget allows:

  • Replace the stove/oven
  • Replace (3) windows
    • Trim windows inside and out

The dining room:

  • Install bookshelf
  • Add lighting to bookshelf
  • Fix chain on hanging light
  • touch up wall paint

The living room:

  • Re-finish the dresser (possibly paint)
  • Get fireplace working
  • Replace window
  • Trim window inside and out
  • Hang new shade in window

The guest bath:

  • Install a can light in the shower
  • Fix transition piece
  • Touch up wall paint

If budget allows:

  • Re-tile around bathtub
  • Replace bathtub fixtures

The office:

  • Touch up wall paint
  • Replace damaged drywall on ceiling
  • Finish off closet shelves
  • Replace window
  • Trim window inside and out

The guest room:

  • Hang rod in closet for curtains
  • Remove hooks from ceiling
  • Replace window
  • Trim window inside and out
  • Hang new shade in window

My master bedroom received a whole new bed set up and mattress but I’m still eyeing that sliding glass door.

  • Trim transition piece by back door
  • Touch up ceiling paint
  • Remove canopy and patch ceiling
  • Fix chain for hanging light

If budget allows:

  • Replace the sliding glass door
    • Trim back door

The master bathroom:

  • Remove glass door
  • Hang new shower curtain

If budget allows:

  • Replace shower floor pan
  • Re-tile shower stall
  • Replace shower fixtures

The backyard :

  • Remove 2 dead rose bushes
  • Remove corner patio
  • Replace fence boards on east side
  • Add lights to fence for night
  • Create a walkway to the side yard
  • Disassemble flower boxes on corner patio
  • Fix gutter downspout
  • Build cart for table saw

The side yard:

  • Empty compost bin
  • Hang lights
  • Replace damaged siding
  • Take the old gutters in for recycling

The front yard :

  • Replace gutters and downspouts
  • Set up bricks along the fence
  • Replace mailbox and post

If budget allows:

  • Pull sprinklers
  • Pave square by front door
  • Demo sidewalk
  • Re-pour sidewalk
  • Extend fence to front of the property
    • add a gate to the end of the fence
  • Landscape the front yard

The garage:

  • Add overhead lights
  • Trim the window, caulk and paint it
  • Build a new box for the water heater
  • Build workbench

If budget allows:

  • Add a water softener

There are a few bigger projects that impact the whole house: 

  • Add quarter round to all baseboards
    • Hallway and hall closet
    • Office
    • Guest room
    • Master bedroom
    • Living room
    • Dining room
  • Re-caulk and paint all trim
    • Hallway and hall closet
    • Office
    • Guest room
    • Master bedroom
    • Living room
    • Dining room
  • Replace rotting facia boards on roof
  • Paint house exterior
    • back wall
    • Sideyard
    • Entryway
    • side from kitchen to garage
    • around garage door
    • up on the roof

 

2016 Master Plan – Final Update

This post has been in draft mode for months now because I knew I would want to post an update on what’s been done around the house in 2016. While I hoped to get it out in December it’s a few days late.

In the kitchen most things are done with the exception of those counter tops.

  • Fix the faucet or replace it with one that has more clearance
  • Get the counter tops re-sealed
  • Add trim around the cabinet base
  • Line the curtains with a solid white fabric NEW
  • Fix the curtain hangers so they don’t fall off the wire

Dream goal:

  • Replace the stove/oven

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The dining room saw the most changes this year with help of an electrician. I’m tackling the bookshelf in January

  • frame out the door to the garage and paint
  • reconfigure the garage light switch
  • Install new outlet and move existing outlet
  • Install built in dinette and bookshelf
    • build a built in bench 6′ long
    • create a countertop along the back
    • build a bookshelf 8′ tall across 6′
    • add lighting
    • trim and paint the entire contraption
  • Reinstall baseboards
  • Paint base of bench and add cross supports

In the living room  there wasn’t much on the goal list. I really wanted to buy a big leather stuffed chair and as soon as I went to order it the item was discontinued. Womp-womp.

  • Add 2 new feet to the couch (in the middle) stained to match the others
  • Re-finish the dresser (possibly paint)
  • Replace green arm chairs

The guest bath had a lot of progress early in the year and I’ve scheduled the electrician for January for the light.

  • Skim coat the walls
  • Paint the walls blue
  • Install a can light in the shower
  • Trim out the door
  • Sand and re-paint the tall cabinet
  • finish replacing floor tiles
  • remove the baseboards
  • install new baseboards, bead board & chair rail
  • paint the trim

 

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Dream goal:

  • take down the shower surround and re-tile it with subway tile
  • upgrade the faucet in the bathtub

In the office the paperwork is mostly organized and now I just need to finish scanning and shredding things I don’t need to keep. Looking to do the windows this spring as well.

  • finish trimming out the door and paint the frame
  • trim out the window with a new frame and sill
  • replace the window
  • organize all of the papers, boxes and binders 

The guest room has been moving along slowly and I’ve had a good amount of fabric used up in projects this year.

  • finish trimming out the door
  • find a runner/small rug for the guest room
  • recover the desk bench with a new fabric
  • paint the foot chest in the guest room NEW
  • create a pad and cover for the foot chest
  • add feet to the window bench to raise it up (used a different bench in here)
  • work on fabric projects to use up material – HALFWAY DONE

My master bedroom received a whole new bed set up and mattress but I’m still eyeing that sliding glass door.

  • finish the trim on the door (hallway side) and paint
  • find a solution for the bed frame to raise it up 12-24″ higher
  • make a headboard
  • buy a new frame for picture above dresser NEW

Dream goal:

  • replace the sliding glass door with a single french door to the backyard

The master bathroom still has the dream goal:

  • re-do the shower
    • take out the shower surround
    • replace the floor pan
    • tile the walls with subway tile
  • recycle the door and install a shower curtain

The backyard stalled after the guy I hired to help stopped showing up and I got tired of people on Craigslist being less than responsive. It’s definitely on the new list for 2017.

  • take out the corner patio and save the bricks
  • take out the raised garden bed under the guest room window
  • take out the back door patio and walkway to the side yard
  • build a new patio outside the back door with access to the side yard
  • install a water barrel on the gutter downspout
  • take out 2 dead rose bushes
  • make minor fence repairs
  • reseed the lawn

The side yard doesn’t have much to do but those gutters really need to be recycled!

  • build a trellis around the bougainvillea to support it growing up and over the raised garden beds
  • keep the lantana from taking over
  • make space for the lawn mower and garden tools (protect from the elements)
  • Take the old gutters in for recycling NEW

The front yard got a lot of work done in the Fall which made me happy

  • haul away the rest of the wood from the maple tree
  • grind down the 2 tree stumps and take out prominent roots
  • remove the palm tree 
  • take out 2 orange rose bushes
  • get rid of the bricks around the old tree and level that flower bed
    • replant the lily growing in that box
  • build a fence out to the front of the property
    • add a gate to the end of the fence
  • fix the walkway up to the house
  • take down the patio cover over the front door
  • replace the gutters along the side and front of the house
  • install new downspouts to divert water
    • add water barrels
  • plant a tree in the front yard

And I made a lot of progress in the garage

  • install new can lights throughout the garage
  • paint the floor when the temps are within range
  • finish trimming the window, caulk and paint it
  • reconfigure the wood cabinets
  • get the holiday storage bins up on the walls – reduced them instead
  • build a new box for the water heater

Dream goal:

  • add a water softener for the house

Then I have a couple of whole house changes:

  • Add quarter round to all baseboards, re-caulk and paint all trim
  • Install and secure floor transitions for laminate flooring 
  • Choose color and paint the exterior of the house

Dream goal:

  • install crown molding in every room
  • replace ALL windows with new, more efficient models and trim them out