Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wow, what a busy month!

In my last post, I told of our fence project and the upcoming, unexpected need to reno our upper bath. Well, I am happy to share that the fence is done, perfect and beautiful!

Our landscape plan is to build raised beds for a vegetable garden along the garage wall.

The bathroom project is still in the early stages. We booked a plumber and selected new tile flooring. This Friday a dumpster is being delivered to our house so we can start gutting it. Oh joy!

One additional thing has happened... We had to get a new roof on our house! After weeks of heavy rains & high winds, the ceiling in the master bedroom turned into a waterfall during a storm. Apparently there was substantial hail damage and it needed to be completely replaced. The roofer we hired moved quickly and worked with our home owners insurance to get our claim processed fast. It took two very long days for their team to turn our roof from this (older photo, took it when we last did landscaping)

to this.

Our landscaping is a mess, we let it go since we knew we were going to be doing so much exterior work and didn't want to waste money on plants that would get injured. We plan on getting the exterior painted and the porch railing rebuilt next year, so we will hold off on landscaping until that is finished. Wish we could get on a Curb Appeal show and get it all done in one whack for free, lol!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Goodbye Ghetto Fence!

Things have been crazy already this summer. We decided this spring that we really needed to tackle replacing our fence in the backyard. It's sorry, "homemade", broken, unsecured condition just wasn't safe for the kids to play in. A previous owner slapped this thing together out of salvaged pieces and it sure looks it.

The driveway gate is a struggle to swing open & shut, has a latch set on the inside right at an easy height for Sean and Aidan to open (not good) and too low for me to reach to open from the outside (not good.)

The smaller front gate has no latch at all so it's usually tied shut with a piece of rope. Unless a repair man/meter reader comes by and leaves it open.

The back gate is two parts: a lovely cattle fence that Aidan has been teaching Sean how to climb over.

And this funny looking thing that secures with a loop of clothesline wire and is often smothered by fence foilage.

So what part of this rickety system is fencing? well, that would be these slapped together bits of barn siding patched with 1 x 2's and supported with steel posts intended for chain link fences. One side is smack dab next to the over-lording neighbor's deck.

The other side is being strangled by the other neighbors' overgrown, wasp-enticing ivy.

Initially, we thought Doug would build the new fence. He did a fabulous job on our deck 2 years ago, but we learned from the experience that it takes a whole lot longer to do when he has to do it alone while I try to keep the kids out of danger. So this project we decided to scrap enough money together to have it hired out. We're saving a bit by preparing the yard for the builders & hauling off the old fence. Last night, Doug got one side done and it so nice to see that ugly thing out of here! It really gets me excited about the finished result.

Unfortunately, in amidst all this planning, we've had a new project pressed upon us. We spent Memorial Day weekend at my parents' house so Doug could work on building railing on their deck. I hadn't made arrangements for a cat sitter, so I just filled up several bowls of food & water, plus turned the tub tap on a trickle so she'd have plenty to eat & drink. When we got home, we walked into our kitchen and the ceiling was dripping wet and a puddle was covering the kitchen floor. Doug ran upstairs to see if the bathroom toilet had over flowed or something, only to see that the tub had filled with water & was draining into the overflow drain.

The drain is suppose to connect to the tub drainage system, but apparently it isn't. I hadn't checked to see if the tub stopper was up and the tub had created a huge problem from just a little trickle of water! I had no idea such little water could fill up a tub so fast.

We filed a home owner's insurance claim and will probably spend July and August replacing the tub & plumbing, bathroom floor, and the kitchen ceiling. What a nightmare! Granted, that bathroom is on our reno list (it only has a tub, no shower) but it isn't very close to the top due to the expense. Dang thing just got bumped up, all for the sake of a thirsty cat.

So, yeah, I guess that's how we will be spending our summer vacation. Good thing I didn't pay for us to book a trip to Colorado like I wanted!