Sunday, April 23, 2017

Making sense of what I already have

 By financial necessity, my outside projects are very limited this year, but clean up is fairly cheap. There are multiple bricks (classic red, beige in a few types) as well as concrete hectagon pavers all around the perimeter of the home. At least the front is neat, with beige brick planter boxes topped with dark grey slate. This is the side of the garage, various slabs of slate, and a hodgepodge pattern of pavers/bricks.
 Here is the rear of the home, with bricks stacked side by side against the concrete basement, some pavers further out
 The deck off of the rear dining room even has extra beige bricks about
 I had the contractor remove the ramp from the dining room slider to the deck (see discolored area) as I don't need it, and it will be removed once the replacement door is in. The entire deck will get power washed this year and stained.
 Here is a ramp off of the deck, again, I have no use for it, the wood will be removed and saved for reusing to build proper steps. At the base of the ramp are pavers-perhaps from a former patio and walkway?
 To the right of the kitchen door are more bricks and several bags of gardening soil. I used some to top up my pots.
 Next to the hatchway, more evidence of a patio/walkway and msc bricks
 On the rear corner of the garage, turning to enter the back yard, more are found
 To the right of the deck ramp, evidence of a planter built into the pavers of what I assume was originally a patio, with more added at the top, intermixed with 2 colors of brick,
 More loose brick and a patio
 Just to the left of the kitchen cement stoop, more bricks
 Here, one can see evidence of the second door, now a window to be replaced with an upgraded window, which would have led to a built into the rear of the garage "shed" or storage room.
 On one side of the deck, there is this assumed ramp to be disposed of. General raking desired as well.
 Evidence of a possible walkway or planting rock garden along the side of the garage
A closer view.

I am planning on having DSs remove all of these stones and stack them on pallets along the side of the property somewhere. Then, I can see just how much I have of what, and decide how best to use them, or if I wish to dispose of them/give them away/sell them. Minimally, they could be used for paths in a future kitchen garden. I love the idea of a brick walkway from the side of the garage into the back yard, leading to the deck, an arbor along the side of the yard with a fence put up as well, sectioning off my lot from the noisy neighbor. I remain anxious to get my property survey done, and put the issue to rest, knowing just what is mine or not.

Outdoor projects: the hatchway

I previously posted about what I had done to the interior of the hatchway. Now my thoughts turn to the exterior, which needs some help before the return of cold weather.

These doors will be sanded, and a fresh coat of Rustoleum (thinking black) will be applied both to the interior and exterior of the metal doors and frame. A new set of Bilco doors through Home Depot would be just over $600. Refurbishing what I already have works well for me.

Working on the outside, aka "gardening"

 I was able to dig some free to me daffodils and Irises from someone from my former town, who is removing a bed in her yard. I've planted them in the planters seen above, to the left.

 I have been watching prices for annuals, hoping to add a pop of color on the cheap for the front steps, to fill my 4 planters. $5.99 for 6 single pansies is not what I wish to pay. So, I decided to pot up some herbs instead. I have lavender (my absolute favorite!) in the green urn and regular and purple basil in the brown one below it.

Here, to the right of the door, I again have lavender, but the herbs in the brown pot are lemon balm (for iced tea and if I have enough later, to dry for Winter teas) and sage (will dry for use in Winter, too). This seemed like the best, more practical option for me. I did spend $3.78/plant but they are non GMO, potted in a decomposing peat pot. This compromise works for me.

I still have this large bed to populate. I am hoping for some free if not cheap shrubs to do so.

Contractor has been busy

 The contractor and his helpers (can vary from 1 to 2 extra guys/day) have been busy: hallway and Master bedroom trim is primed, as is the trim for the 2 bathrooms.
 More demo had to happen in the Master bath
 with replacement sheetrock added
 Various holes from defunt outlets and switches were patches and spackled over as was the original vent over the range in the kitchen. Whomever "remodeled" this house in 2011, simply put up the microwave over the range and didn't bother to seal up the old vent, now properly sealed. @@
 You can see the new water lines for the Master sink as well as the return of the pink wall tiles. Some will have to be cut out where it's rusted from the cleat of the wall mounted sink. There are extras on hand to accomplish this with ease. A large, 48 inch vanity will be installed over this area anyway, so if some need to be "stolen" from behind, it's not an issue.
The new seat for the Master shower was built and water proofed, and awaits delivery of tile to start to rebuild it.

Electrician has finished his rough ins for now

 Above the electrical line is the vent for the laundry, there is one on the opposite side of the house for venting the 2 bathrooms, which previously were vented to the attic. @@
 Numerous switches and gizmos from the previous owner were disconnected, ripped out and blanked or patched over in the cellar stairwell.
 The peach colored foam is an example of the former hole connections that are required by code to be filled before being sealed up.
GFI's all installed, including this one in the newly added half bath.

Electician will return towards the end, once floors are sanded, sheetrock is up, and there is no chance of making a huge amount of dust, and will then install the ceiling fans, the light kits, and address a few msc replacement outlets (literally replacing the old, black outlets for 3 pronged white ones), adding cover plates everywhere, etc.

The plumber finally came for the rough in and redoing the waste lines of the house


All waste lines were upgrades and correctly sized.
 Going from the now correctly done laundry/half bath, across the cellar, under the stairs, to the front of the house connection to the septic
 Here's the area under the half bath/laundry that houses the electrical panel, well tank, oil tank
 Hall bath sink is replumbed, we discovered evidence of a leak there as well

New toilet flange

 New water line to the shower
Cast iron tub was delivered on Monday, installed Wed.
 The ceiling of the laundry/half bath was removed in order to run a vent. Amazing that the laundy wasn't vented. @@
 Another ceiling shot, that goes into the attic that covers the garage, this area behind the garage.

New, and properly vented water lines and waste line to the Pedestal sink and the new toilet for the added half bath.


New water lines, properly vented to the up to code, laundry installation.
 Master bath also has a new toilet flange,
new waste drain. Luckily, the Master shower valve can be reused, although the water lines were replaced for both the shower as well as the Master sink.


Light grocery shopping

Is the new mantra. We have an ever growing list on the fridge, divided into 2 columns: grocery/non grocery items. Next to it, there is a list entitled, "must buy this week."  Here's what I recently bought:

2 deodorants for DS (had a BOGO coupon) who will reimburse me, a 2 count box of lubricating eye drops in a different brand than I normally use but the RX company sent me an "up to $15.99" coupon that I used on these $14.49 on sale drops. Nice.

 Coffee, Pam spray (I figured it's getting more expensive to use butter and I need to bake a cake today), XX sugar, ck lite tuna to mix with the remaining albacore I have on hand. We have 5 more weeks here before we move.
 Romaine, red leaf lettuce (noted signage stating that there is a shortage due to drought in CA), tomaotes, organic baby greens, celery
A splurge: some snack items to round out the options. Not pictured was the family 3 lb pkg of 80% ground beef @ $1.99/lb, limit one (meatloaf and burgers were already on this week's menu), 2 marked down pkgs of Perdue whole grain breaded cutlets (for cheaper chicken parm or a quick sandwich).