billeyler: (face in the sunlight)
Danny just returned from a month away, after competing in two rodeos as his new hobby as a horseman.

Since I knew he was going to be gone so long, I set into motions plans before he left to do as much as I possibly could on our checklist of house projects, most of which fell into the expensive, long-deferred maintenance category.

As far as I know, Danny just thought I was sitting at home eating bon bons and watching TV.

Here's what I got done, some by me, some by contractors, and some with a little help from friends:

- Upstairs guest bathroom tub refinished. The old refinish had been damaged in the 08-09 remodel. We should have just replaced the tub then!



- Rebeam the sagging garage roof (both beams had cracked in the past few years). Went from two support trusses, to six. This was a biggie. It was originally a carport; it wasn't converted to a garage correctly by the contractor back in 2005.



- Had concrete pad poured for a storage shed, being built partly to block the view from the neighbor.





- Had the old, leaky gutters removed
- Had all the soffits and trim on the house scraped, sanded, primed and painted



- Purchased an 8' x 10' Shed kit from Lifetime Storage Sheds. Delivered by freightline after I got back from Denver. I built most of it, but friends David and Alan came over on the Sunday and helped me with the roof section. Took about 12 manhours in all, with lots of taking apart and putting back together, in spite of some pretty clear instructions.





- Re-landscaped a lot of the back yard, which entailed a lot of cleanup, shifting of railroad ties, cutting up trees, laying 35 backs of mulch, extending the drip system for a new garden area.






- Patched and painted two areas where the old gutters were



- Planted two 8 foot Purple Robe Locusts to replace the now-gone cottonwood. (the in-bloom pic is from online)




Here's what is still on the checklist:
- renovate the back deck for safety and cosmetics (this is in process - my handyman has another big project he's working on across town, but will be back to do this)
- replace the roof, skylights and vents on the house and garage (this is in process- we received a significant insurance claim settlement for hail damage this week)
- New gutters installed (in process- quote received, will be installed after the new roof is on)
- resurface the front stoop (I'm sure it'll be artistic)
- permanent fix for the water main cutout in the driveway. it's just filled with pea gravel now.
- complete the landscaping in the area where the old cottonwood was. Plant something in the area where the old pine tree was in the corner.

I was amazed how much I could get in my new C-Max in my many trips to gardening materials at several big box stores. Not as much as in my VUE, but it still has some significant haulage capacity. Lawrence helped me on Wednesday by hauling the two trees from Jericho Nursery home.

Okay, I'm officially tired!
billeyler: (face in the sunlight)
I guess this is Phase 3 of our long-term remodel of the house.

Phase 1 started in 2004 when Danny and I redid the downstairs ourselves, plowing through our learning curve. Lots of electrical, drywalling, tiling, cabinet installing, but when that part was done over the course of a couple of years, we were generally pleased with our efforts. A few things, done by 'contractors' were awful, like the conversion of the carport to a garage and adding a deck. Both need to be redone.

Phase 2 was from October 2008 for about 4 months, starting with Danny completely gutting the kitchen--in effect, every square inch of the upstairs has something done to it. Most of the upstairs work was done by hired contractors, and except for a bunch of plumbing issues, the results were quite nice. But of course, we were both so over the process by the time we finally moved back into our bedroom and the rest of the upstairs in late Feb 2009, all the little unfinished things stayed unfinished.

Phase 3 isn't so much remodeling, but doing a lot of deferred maintenance things to ready this white elephant of a house to put on the market. New gutters, new shingles on the roof, replacing the badly made deck, fixing the roof in the garage, scraping and repainting all the trim (again). A whole bunch of small projects that will end up costing a bunch, but will be needed for a quicker sale.

Jim Bailey and I bought this house over 20 years ago, so a lot of memories have been accumulated here. The house is oversized for Danny and me, though. Although it's not a big hindrance, I am tired of climbing up and down the stairs, since we use large parts of the house for our daily activities. I don't use the downstairs for dancing anymore, although that was one of my Big Ideas when we first saw the house.

We have two dedicated guest rooms, rarely used. We have a 'crafts room' which is right now just storage for a lot of garage sale items. We have two large living areas (which I'll miss having), a large dining room, a large kitchen, and we have a walk-in closet that was formerly a bedroom. It's on 1/3 acre with a lot of yard maintenance that shouldn't need to happen (lots of tree trimming, leaf raking, weed killing), us being in a severe drought in a high desert environment.

Phase 3b will entail getting rid of a lot of the furniture that's filled this house up over all those years. I got rid of a lot when Danny moved in back in 2002, but we've accumulated a lot more. We've been purging small stuff for awhile; now on to the big stuff.

The plan is to have this house staged for a sale, move into an apartment somewhere, then look for a nice single-level house about 1700 square feet here. AND buy a vacation home in another city.

Yes, I could stay here forever, but I think an actual move might get me kickstarted in thinking of my own Phase 3 of my life and what to do as I enter my retirement years. Part of that goal is to live life for me and not put so much of my time into maintaining the house.
billeyler: (Default)
I've got posts in process about our Vegas trip (Danny jumped off a building!) and a wonderful two-day visit with Gary Monday and Ben Bryson, but I figured I'd post pics of the fence project that is finally DONE!

The guys breaking up old concrete in prepping the site (under our bedroom window)



After the posts were set. Another earlier LJ-rant detailed one post next to the house that was the wrong height, but they came back and fixed that later. Removing the concrete left a pretty good sized hole.



After two trips to Home Depot today and more prep, we dumped in 20 bags of top soil for a future veggie garden and installed 33 bricks to make the area small dog escape-proof (we hope).



A drip system will be extended to this area with a simple T, then comes the plantings. We opted not to fix the cracked concrete right now. The cedar tree that used to be in the small planting area above that area did a number on the sidewalk.

We like the fence with the locking gate a LOT, although we have to remember to keep our keys with us if we want to go out now!
billeyler: (Default)
I've got posts in process about our Vegas trip (Danny jumped off a building!) and a wonderful two-day visit with Gary Monday and Ben Bryson, but I figured I'd post pics of the fence project that is finally DONE!

The guys breaking up old concrete in prepping the site (under our bedroom window)



After the posts were set. Another earlier LJ-rant detailed one post next to the house that was the wrong height, but they came back and fixed that later. Removing the concrete left a pretty good sized hole.



After two trips to Home Depot today and more prep, we dumped in 20 bags of top soil for a future veggie garden and installed 33 bricks to make the area small dog escape-proof (we hope).



A drip system will be extended to this area with a simple T, then comes the plantings. We opted not to fix the cracked concrete right now. The cedar tree that used to be in the small planting area above that area did a number on the sidewalk.

We like the fence with the locking gate a LOT, although we have to remember to keep our keys with us if we want to go out now!
billeyler: (Richmond house)
26 months ago, the kitchen portion of our reno was "finished." I say "finished" because like with most major projects, some things get relegate to "later."

One of those many items we didn't get to was a back-splash for the kitchen. Like all good middle-class gay men who own their own homes, you know this is a MAJOR consideration. But have we made a decision yet? No.

Here's what the existing kitchen looks like (yes, this is post-remodel, design queens. Don't laugh).



Here's where YOU can help out. What's your opinion of these two backsplash selections?

Pics under clicky )

What say ye people of good taste and breeding?
billeyler: (Richmond house)
26 months ago, the kitchen portion of our reno was "finished." I say "finished" because like with most major projects, some things get relegate to "later."

One of those many items we didn't get to was a back-splash for the kitchen. Like all good middle-class gay men who own their own homes, you know this is a MAJOR consideration. But have we made a decision yet? No.

Here's what the existing kitchen looks like (yes, this is post-remodel, design queens. Don't laugh).



Here's where YOU can help out. What's your opinion of these two backsplash selections?

Pics under clicky )

What say ye people of good taste and breeding?
billeyler: (Richmond house)
Except for removing the very hi-tech duct tape after the silicon seal sets, Danny now has his high-end dream shower. Two glass installers were here 2 3/4 hours installing the shower enclosure. Something else we can say is DONE. I hope.



Sort of the same view on October 29. I don't have a still picture of the 'before' since the camera angle would have put me on the inside of a closet that no longer exists.

billeyler: (Richmond house)
Except for removing the very hi-tech duct tape after the silicon seal sets, Danny now has his high-end dream shower. Two glass installers were here 2 3/4 hours installing the shower enclosure. Something else we can say is DONE. I hope.



Sort of the same view on October 29. I don't have a still picture of the 'before' since the camera angle would have put me on the inside of a closet that no longer exists.

billeyler: (Richmond house)
Our only project we had planned for Saturday was to continue shopping for carpet. We had gone to Home Depot and picked out carpet we *thought* we liked, but after getting the sample home, didn't at all. We had paid $50 for the carpet estimator to come out, which he did on Friday.

Another glitch? Gee, I can't imagine. The estimator measured the rooms in TWO sections. Turns out he was all afeared that the old kid's room linoleum in what's to be the walk-in closet had the dreaded asbestos in it; there's the possibility that the installers won't install tack strips into it because of the potential health risks (to them). Danny and I were both stunned. We can't take the lino up--it's solidly glued to the plywood underlay.

But in spite of that, Saturday we visited an enormous carpet showroom, bring home samples. We headed over to Lowe's to see what they had. Everything is of course special order, so it'll be weeks before we get whatever we choose install.

I'm all for a carpet that already looks lived in.



Front sample: Home Depot (rejected)
Middle five samples: Floor Club
Back sample: Lowes
billeyler: (Richmond house)
Our only project we had planned for Saturday was to continue shopping for carpet. We had gone to Home Depot and picked out carpet we *thought* we liked, but after getting the sample home, didn't at all. We had paid $50 for the carpet estimator to come out, which he did on Friday.

Another glitch? Gee, I can't imagine. The estimator measured the rooms in TWO sections. Turns out he was all afeared that the old kid's room linoleum in what's to be the walk-in closet had the dreaded asbestos in it; there's the possibility that the installers won't install tack strips into it because of the potential health risks (to them). Danny and I were both stunned. We can't take the lino up--it's solidly glued to the plywood underlay.

But in spite of that, Saturday we visited an enormous carpet showroom, bring home samples. We headed over to Lowe's to see what they had. Everything is of course special order, so it'll be weeks before we get whatever we choose install.

I'm all for a carpet that already looks lived in.



Front sample: Home Depot (rejected)
Middle five samples: Floor Club
Back sample: Lowes

Progress

Jan. 24th, 2009 09:16 am
billeyler: (Default)
Danny and our contractor headed over to Lowe's at 7:30 this morning to pick up all the prehung doors, replacement doors, trim and hardware we need for the upstairs to look like a finished product. They're hard at it right now upstairs--I'm just about to head out with [livejournal.com profile] krisjensen to our square dance club's last-year's prez's casita for the first "Caller Advisory Committee" meeting.

I'm not impressed with the name.

Progress

Jan. 24th, 2009 09:16 am
billeyler: (Default)
Danny and our contractor headed over to Lowe's at 7:30 this morning to pick up all the prehung doors, replacement doors, trim and hardware we need for the upstairs to look like a finished product. They're hard at it right now upstairs--I'm just about to head out with [livejournal.com profile] krisjensen to our square dance club's last-year's prez's casita for the first "Caller Advisory Committee" meeting.

I'm not impressed with the name.

Details

Jan. 23rd, 2009 12:51 pm
billeyler: (Richmond house)
All 41 8' lengths of baseboard are completely DONE and are ready to be cut and nailed on! Last coat of varish went on last night.



Yay for us!

Hung the guest bathroom shower curtain last night. Oh la la.

The plumbing inspection is done and we passed. Both plumbing and electrical (at least what the contractors are doing) are COMPLETELY FINISHED.

Our general contractor is taking us to Lowe's tomorrow morning to pick up the 5 doors, trim and hardware we need for upstairs and will help install them. GRATIS!

Details

Jan. 23rd, 2009 12:51 pm
billeyler: (Richmond house)
All 41 8' lengths of baseboard are completely DONE and are ready to be cut and nailed on! Last coat of varish went on last night.



Yay for us!

Hung the guest bathroom shower curtain last night. Oh la la.

The plumbing inspection is done and we passed. Both plumbing and electrical (at least what the contractors are doing) are COMPLETELY FINISHED.

Our general contractor is taking us to Lowe's tomorrow morning to pick up the 5 doors, trim and hardware we need for upstairs and will help install them. GRATIS!
billeyler: (Richmond house)
Don't have any pictures since last week when Danny posted the youtube video of the in-progress walk-through.  Danny posted about it here.

- Larry completed the install and grouting of the bath tile. We're significantly less than 100% pleased with his choices in doing it, but it is what it is. At first glance, it's quite good looking, until you look at the details. Since it's just us, not worth worrying about. There's a bit of story about Larry's helper Tony not showing up. Appears the kids was stopped for his FOURTH DUI on Monday night. Unbelievable.
- The granite countertop and sinks were installed in the master bath. Danny's quite pleased with the look of the result.
- An on-site requote was done for the shower glass enclosure by the low bidder we had gotten two months ago. His new quote was several hundred dollars higher this time, so we're going to get requotes from a couple of others now. This crap is expensive! Blast--thought this would be the easy part.
- The one new kitchen replacement cabinet hasn't arrived yet, so I've held off on calling Sears to get the microwave installed. I don't think we can do this ourselves (safely).

The plumbers will be here at 8am on Thursday to complete the rest of the plumbing for the baths. Functional upstairs bathrooms will be a really good thing!
billeyler: (Richmond house)
Don't have any pictures since last week when Danny posted the youtube video of the in-progress walk-through.  Danny posted about it here.

- Larry completed the install and grouting of the bath tile. We're significantly less than 100% pleased with his choices in doing it, but it is what it is. At first glance, it's quite good looking, until you look at the details. Since it's just us, not worth worrying about. There's a bit of story about Larry's helper Tony not showing up. Appears the kids was stopped for his FOURTH DUI on Monday night. Unbelievable.
- The granite countertop and sinks were installed in the master bath. Danny's quite pleased with the look of the result.
- An on-site requote was done for the shower glass enclosure by the low bidder we had gotten two months ago. His new quote was several hundred dollars higher this time, so we're going to get requotes from a couple of others now. This crap is expensive! Blast--thought this would be the easy part.
- The one new kitchen replacement cabinet hasn't arrived yet, so I've held off on calling Sears to get the microwave installed. I don't think we can do this ourselves (safely).

The plumbers will be here at 8am on Thursday to complete the rest of the plumbing for the baths. Functional upstairs bathrooms will be a really good thing!
billeyler: (Richmond house)
Although I take more pictures (I think) of the remodel and more videos, Danny actually has a youtube account. It's been 6 weeks since his last post, just when the floors were being installed, so here we go with today...



Definitely getting there!
billeyler: (Richmond house)
Although I take more pictures (I think) of the remodel and more videos, Danny actually has a youtube account. It's been 6 weeks since his last post, just when the floors were being installed, so here we go with today...



Definitely getting there!
billeyler: (Richmond house)
I stayed home this morning to deal with the tilers and the electrician.
Pics of actual humans! )

Back to work shortly!
billeyler: (Richmond house)
I stayed home this morning to deal with the tilers and the electrician.
Pics of actual humans! )

Back to work shortly!

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