Friday, October 10, 2014

Ok, So the House is done, Now What?

Yes, we basically finished John's house. I need to spend more hours underneath the house taping the air barrier better. We need to paint the outside, but the house is livable and John is very happy and comfortable. It is living up to expectations so far. His power bill the last month the we worked on it where we had constant air conditioning and power tools running was $58, I think. One morning as he left, the temp was 68F inside the house and going into the 80's outside that day, he meant to turn the air conditioning, but forgot. When he got home the temperature inside was 70. He would have set the AC on 72. Nice. The house holds the temperature very well. 

It is extremely sturdy and quiet. John keeps hearing noises that have been bothering him a little bit, but he thinks it's the refrigerator as nothing else makes any noise in the house. 

The housewarming party was a great success. I didn't take any photos as I was talking to everyone. 

Anyway, what is next? My house and Kathy's house. I have had a Christmas wreath-making party 3 times in the past, but skipped last year since John was living in my basement and we were busy working on his house.  I think the wreath-making party is a really fun way to start the season. I'd like to get some stuff ready at my house so it looks really festive for the party. But there are some obstacles and challenges in my home. Or in other words, some real problem areas. 

For starters, I didn't have a light that worked in the kitchen for years. There was an ugly boob light that just wouldn't work. I thought the problem was the 2-way switch, but apparently it was the light itself. Rich (my brother-in-law) switched out the light for this one. It really works, but as you can see it exposes another problem - old cracked plaster on the ceiling that desperately needs to be patched and painted. 

Kitchen light challenge

Next, when I worked on my house and had it covered with a layer of polyiso foam and re-sided, I that the brick stairway redone to match the house. Only problem - they did a terrible job. They used slate that is too thin for steps and not adhered well. Danger. Danger. I don't really know how to fix this problem by the time of the party. We've got to something though.

Front steps challenge

This is the back wall of my basement. I think I have solved the water problems in the basement by grading that area and a french drain in the backyard, but until John moved out I was unable to see how moldy it is. We'll scrub the walls, then repaint.

Basement wall challenge


My basement stairs are covered with this horrible green vinyl stuff. I was driving me crazy so I started peeling it off. I will probably only be able to do the landing and not the whole stairway as that would probably be too time consuming, but I think I can make the landing look much better. (Almost all of my photos are iPhone photos, but this is a particularly poor photo. Still you get the idea.)

Basement stair landing challenge


When John lived in my basement he refused to leave that bathroom door open despite the serious mold and humidity problems. The ceiling was solid mold. What you see below is the bathroom fan and ceiling AFTER scrubbing the ceiling. Needs lots more work. That bathroom will be gutted and redone sometime in the future (the future to me is 3-5 years, I kind of work on the slow renovation schedule).

Basement bath fan challenge


And this is the shower ceiling after I spend days cleaning the shower itself. I think what happened here is that someone added a bathroom light under an aluminum false ceiling. It has seriously corroded over time. I'm going to sand it and repaint it, but not take it down yet. I've got to do something with the upstairs bathroom pretty soon so I need this shower, but I would like it to be much more pleasant before I use it.

Basement shower challenge

The other  serious problem areas are replacing the upstairs bathroom tub and tile around it and then uncluttering my porch and back bedroom. I find uncluttering harder to do that scrubbing walls or sanding floors. 

Thank you for taking time to look at this little blog. I hope you are doing well. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Certificate of Occupancy and Housewarming Party!!

We got the Certificate of Occupancy on Friday, August the 29th! What a relief that is. John has been very happy about that. We still have lots of details to do. I hope to have some good photos this evening.

We have planned a housewarming party on September 13th from 4pm to 9pm. Hope to see people there.

I'll post more later. Thank you for reading about the house that took so long.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fat Cat Grooming

One of my cats is an eager eater. We have to put her in a different room so the others have a chance to get at the food. This morning she was casually grooming herself after indulging in some canned cat food. This is Betty Boop who is about 3-4 years old.

"Are you talking to me?"

"I'm busy, don't interrupt."
"I just love a relaxed bath in the morning after a good can of food."
This has nothing to do with the house, but it is a nice diversion. And I do know that Betty is massively obese, but it's hard to put one out of nine cats on a diet. Several of the others are extremely skinny. I do try to keep her from the food.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Why We Built the House on Piers (instead of a Crawlspace)

While we were working on the house today, suddenly a storm came up and dumped buckets of rain. This is the view of the front yard with two little rivers running through it. On the right side near the road you can see the creek that the beaver's have dammed up. We need to work on it some more to try to get that down.



This is a view of the front entrance porch. We have not added more gravel to the driveway because it always gets messed up when they move the dumpster. We will do that in a week or two when the dumpster leaves for good.


Another interesting day at the house.