1913 House, my first house, this will chronicle my many projects and mistakes
Hi everybody, bought my home over the summer, and now that I'm digging into some heavier projects I came across this community.
Wanting to buy a house in a good neighborhood close to the wife's folks came with the knowledge that I was going to learn a lot about fixing up a houe.
We had a good negotiation for the place, got her down a few bucks and got a new Timberline roof out of it, which I'm happy to say fully survived Sandy.
Here's the back of the house, we're on a corner, this is the back which we use since I'm almost standing in the driveway to take the picture. The front faces a main road and we pretty much never use the front door (actually, never, because the head contractor screwed up putting the new door knob on and it doesn't quite work...the door is 100 years old and the sizes are different, it was pretty difficult alright? I'm gonna fix it this weekend I swear!)
Anyway, successfully got the 1950's wallpaper off the whole first floor, and the first project was to paint the sucker. I'd painted some rooms in my life, being 26 I thought this was no big deal and there's no reason to pay someone to do it. I learned why there are people who make a living off painting other people's stuff, it sucks completely. Especially because I already moved our stuff in, so the already slow progress was stunted by having to move everything and cover it when I felt like painting.
Fast forward 2 months, the living room and dining room are painted.
Next up was ripping up the old crappy carpet that plagued the first floor. This was a pain in the ass, also. In the summer heat, bending over and removing the staples from old carpeting is no fun. No central air by the way.
This project was was light speed compared to painting, we got the living room and dining room done in a couple of days, not even working full days, probably 10 hours all together. It is the easy stuff, no glue or nailing.
Bonus in that picture are the dogs we brought home since we bought the place. This has seriously side tracked the kitchen remodel.
Here's a view from the front door, after painting and putting in the floor and scooping up a sweet free rug (wife can't wait to throw it out, but she can't lift it on her own so she's stuck with it). We also put up a ceiling fan while redoing the ceiling in the kitchen. The open ceiling provided an alleyway between two studs to get into the living room, so we ran a wire and put up the fan. There's no lights in the room other than lamps so this was a great quick side project we decided to do. Putting up ceiling fans is extremely easy - you just run the wire through the ceiling, cut a small square where the fan goes, and they give you a bar to slip into the hole, turn it sideways and twist it until it connects to the studs. Then you put the electrical into the box, hang the fan and bang you got a ceiling fan.
Here's a view from the dining room into the kitchen
Some shots of the kitchen, after taking down the drop ceiling and putting in lights, as well as the dishwasher, there wasn't one before. Had to cut out a cabinet and run the water line and electrical, not too bad.
The original plan was to just put up a backsplash, new tile, new ceiling and countertops, maybe paint the cabinets. Then we decided to improve the flow of the house.
Here you will notice the wall missing and the cabinets from near the door have been dragged over to use as a placeholder until we get an idea of what the hell the island is actually going to be.
It definitely improves the area, when we would have friends over we never sat in the dining room, now we naturally gather in the kitchen area, people stand at the peninsula and plop down at the dining table.
As previously mentioned, this project has been stalled out by the dogs. We live on the main road, and although there are some bushes and a very old, falling down, split rail fence, it's not enough. So as of yesterday, my dreams of a 6' privacy fence were shattered due to the setback being too far from what I want, so we have a permit approved for a 4' fence, should be enough and now I can fence in the entire yard, pretty much to the sidewalk in the front and the street on the side.
Advice requested - What pitfalls am I going to encounter when putting up the fence? I plan on using 4x4x6 for the posts, rent a digger and pour concrete around the posts. Debating putting up 2x4x8 as the rails and using the father in law's nailer to put the pickets up individually or buying sections premade. The permit says it needs to be 50% visible, so every other picket.
Main question is, how difficult is it to brace the posts as they set in concrete? I have watched some youtube videos, so I'm pretty much a professional by now, but if you've read this whole post, I've made some pretty bad mistakes (see-doorknob :whistling2:)
Also, are there brands of concrete I should avoid, and does the chilly temperature affect how it will mix?
Bonus project -
When showering for work one fine morning, the shower rod fell. I am tired, late, and now the pressure rod won't cooperate with my soapy hands and wet tile. I can't tell you exactly what happened that morning, but the :censored: piece of :censored: shower rod is :censored: dead now.
Problem : Need a new shower rod before the wife gets home from works.
Do I run to bed bath and beyond to get a $40 shower rod? No damn it, I'm a home owner and I want to fix my own problem.
Solution: PVC from home depot, about $4.30
Once the fence is done, hopefully before the end of next weekend, we will get back to the kitchen. The spackling is pretty much done, just need to sand and paint, get the peninsula done, then sand and paint/stain the other cabinets and get the new hardware. Tile on the floor too, and probably take out the cabinet above the stove and use a stainless steel piece for the vent.
On the chopping block after the kitchen are the bathroom and creating a walk in closet in the bedroom. Stay tuned for 2-4 years for those to happen.
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