We were delighted when we had our new windows installed a few weeks ago. They gave the house a much-needed facelift, blocked outside noise, and promised to be more energy-efficient. We had researched the window manufacturer and gotten two recommendations from personal friends before choosing the installer. It was an added bonus that they actually provided the least expensive estimate that we received.
Huge thunderstorms rolled through today, and the rain came down in torrents. Honey called me this afternoon after finding water in one of the bedroom floors, and I rushed home to discover damp spots in the carpet under another window. We were devastated and frustrated, so Honey took a few moments to calm down before calling the installer to report the problem. We had to leave a message, because the business owners are out of town on vacation.
From what we can gather, the rain actually leaked in around the window and into the wall underneath. The outside of the drywall or the inside sill wasn’t wet, so it seems likely that the insulation in the wall under the windows is probably soaked.
We are currently in wait-and-see mode. Luckily, we haven’t sent in our payment yet, so the company should have a good reason to satisfy our concerns. Wish us luck…
I keep coming here with the intent of writing something interesting, but words fail me. I heard one time that the easiest way to write is to imagine that you’re talking to a really good friend. The problem is that too many faces pop into my head when I visit this site – former friends, coworkers, acquaintances – people that I no longer want reading my innermost thoughts.
Much has changed in the four years since I started this little venture, but I’m not willing to give up on it just yet. While Facebook often serves as an outlet, it just doesn’t warm the cockles of my heart like blogging. I also like the fact that I can reach more people this way… with the added bonus of being almost anonymous. Top that, Facebook!
So, I figure an update is in order. We’ve already been living at the new place for almost four months. The change has been difficult at times, but this place feels more like home every day. It’s strange that I don’t really miss the old place at all, even when we go over to visit Mrs. J.
We have made a million improvements to the new place already, but there is still so much to do that it gets a little overwhelming. The new roof was the biggest cosmetic and most expensive thing that we’ve done so far. The most awesome thing we’ve done is installing a Rinnai tankless water heater. We also had a storm shelter buried in the back yard – something that I’ve wanted for many years.
Honey recently started a new teaching job that forces him to commute 3 hours a day. He plans to get a job closer to home next year, which should be much easier with some experience under his belt. We are learning to prioritize our limited time together so that the focus is more on quality than quantity.
Between work, church, and taking care of things around the house, I find that I have very little time for much else. Even so, I feel pretty content with my life most of the time. I am blessed. I am thankful.
If the average human eye can perceive millions of colors, mine must see billions. I say this because when it comes to coordinating colors, I might be the pickiest person on the planet.
Case in point, a couple of days ago we decided to mix up the color scheme in the living room. It was time for the coral-colored throw pillows, abstract curtains, and large flamingo print to go. We found a fantastic set of lamps with crimson and gold shades and used them as our starting point.
Curtains seemed like the next logical purchase, so we picked out some panels that appeared to be a good match. Since the lamps were in the car while we were shopping for curtains, we had to rely on memory to pick just the right color. They looked pretty close at first, but started looking a little orange to me over the next couple of days.
“They’re too rusty,” I kept telling Honey. He argued until he realized it was useless and gave up.
So, I took them down and returned them for something more safe… and neutral. Unfortunately, as soon as I got home with the replacements, I decided that safe and neutral really isn’t visually appealing. These are going back tomorrow and I’m going to take one of the lamp shades with me as I continue my search for the perfect set of drapes.
Honey is used to me being this obsessive about color, but he still gets a little miffed at times – especially when we paint. He’d better brace himself, because the living room is getting a couple of coats really soon.
Remember when I posted the list of home improvement projects we were trying to accomplish by our July 4th cookout? I know we set some pretty lofty goals, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that we achieved several of them.
Our first goal was to hang the remaining interior doors and get them painted. Thanks to Honey, we had this part almost completely done before guests arrived. I say almost because the closet door in our bedroom is still awaiting its final coat of paint. The new doors were a pretty drastic improvement and certainly gave our home a more updated appearance.
Our second goal was to get the trim replaced and painted. We can’t claim much progress in this area, although Honey did put new trim around the new bifold closet doors that he installed.
One of the biggest (and most satisfying) projects that I completed was removing the old, ugly heater that was mounted in the bathroom wall. I believe it was installed when the house was built in the early 1970′s and it was a definite eyesore. Removing it left a rather large hole in the sheetrock, and I found the notion of patching it rather intimidating.
First, I decided to put the leftover electrical wire to good use by installing a new GFI outlet. I then cut a piece of drywall and secured it to the wall studs with sheetrock screws. That’s when the hard work began. Putting on drywall tape and compound is much harder than it looks – especially if you want a good result. I worked on it for several days. Taping, sanding, pulling it all off and starting over from scratch. Finally, I achieved a near-perfect patch.
Our bathroom was painted a robin’s egg blue – one of the many bad decisions I’ve made over the years. I put on a couple of coats of Kilz and then a very soft yellow. Honey installed new flooring, new baseboard trim, a new wax ring under the toilet, and painted the vanity cabinet white. I put up a wallpaper border that coordinated the bathroom colors to our two nearby bedrooms. The result was amazing!! Here are some photos of the patch project.
I replaced all the light switches in the house with decorator switches, and replaced most of the electric outlets with white ones. There are still a few original outlets behind furniture that I need to change.
We painted the patio set, which was a vast improvement. We also removed the existing outdoor patio lighting and replaced it with updated posts and fixtures.
All of this work meant that the last two items on our list (deep-cleaning the house and weeding the lawn) were pushed to the side. We did manage to have the lawn freshly mowed and got the house as clean as time would permit (thanks, Liz!). We were still wrapping up little projects when guests began arriving, and we were exhausted but happy that we had achieved so much in such a short amount of time.
I guess we need to plan another party so we will feel motivated to finish installing that trim…
You know the old saying that says “it’s always darkest just before dawn?” Home improvement is kind of like that. We are in the midst of giving our home an interior facelift, and the house is utterly and hopelessly destroyed. Every horizontal surface seems to be stacked with the contents of emptied closets, paint cans, and tools.
We are having a BBQ on July 4th and are hoping to have several projects completed (or close to completion) by that day. Here are some of the things that we want to accomplish over the next couple of weeks:
Hang the remaining interior doors
Replace the baseboard trim and molding around passageways and windows
Paint said doors and trim
Remove the old electric wall heater from the bathroom and patch wall
Paint or paper bathroom (still pondering which is the best option)
Paint bathroom vanity
Replace off-white electrical outlets and switches with new white ones
Paint patio set and *maybe* buy some additional outdoor furniture
Repair or replace the outdoor patio lighting
Deep clean the house and make sure the lawn is weed-free and presentable
As you can see, we’re going to be extremely busy between now and Independence Day! Guess I should get off the computer and get busy…
We managed to replace two interior doors last night, which was a miracle considering that neither of us had ever hung one. Removing the old doors was a delicate process, since we didn’t want to destroy the surrounding painted walls. The absolute worst part of hanging a door is shimming it to get the sides perfectly level – not an easy accomplishment in an almost 40-year-old house.
I can now envision just how much this update is going to change the look of our home and it spurs me on!
Reason #1,648 why having close neighbors is a bad idea: the old lady that lives next door deciding to cut down the beautiful, well-shaped maple tree that borders your property and is the only source of shade for your backyard patio.
Granted, it could stand a trim to get rid of some of the broken branches that occured during the ice storm in January, but she had decided that it, like all the previous trees in her yard, is sending a squadron of roots to attack her foundation. This has been one of her “things” ever since I moved here ten years ago, and when she was in better physical condition, it wasn’t uncommon to find her chopping in the flower beds that surround her house while complaining about imaginary tree roots.
We have tried our best to convince her that this tree is healthy and unlikely to cause any damage to her home, especially given that it has survived a hurricane and an ice storm, but she is relentless. The tree comes down tomorrow.
I sometimes wonder if we’re wasting our time doing any home improvement to this house, due to the fact that neither of us are very happy with the neighborhood or the close proximity of the neighbors. I worry whether the alterations that we have made will result in any benefit when we do decide to sell, since it seems like most of the other houses in the subdivision have went downhill over the last few years. I look forward to the day when we can buy or build a home in a more rural setting, where we can have a little more privacy and aren’t so affected by those who live on either side of us.