Sunday, October 26, 2014

Little Triumphs

I've been getting a few things done. But as you know, at first every job escalates as it begins. The key is to make sure it de-escalates and gets completed.

For example, here is how the shower ceiling looks now.
The AFTER photo
 Much improved from this:
The BEFORE photo
Still need to caulk around the edges. I bought some mold-proof caulk for that purpose. One of these days this shower will be gutted and rebuilt. 

Then I have ordered new lights for the bathrooms. This is why:

I was going to paint the rust base but the wiring is even kind of dried out and cracked. Therefore, I ordered a white porcelain-based light from Rejunvenation. I thought I was ordering from a different company, but I guess I was waylaid in my googling. Anyway, it is exactly what I wanted. So no more rust on the bathroom light I hope. 

Mathison Porcelain Light from Rejuvenation
The rule at my house is that I have to do an onerous (as in not a fun task) then as a reward I can do a fun task.

My fun tasks are making crafty things. I LOVE to make crafty things.  This is not a good photo, but I am making all these garlands for the windows. I hope to repaint my living room before my Christmas party so the background is not so yellow, but not sure I can get that done. Anyway, here is an idea of what the garlands look like.

I bought 5000 felt balls from Nepal and I am stringing them up everywhere. 

I hope you are having a lovely fall. These past few weeks have been a real gift, don't you think?

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.