Tuesday, May 31, 2011

As If We Don't Have Enough To Do

A neighbor saw how into gardening we are and offered us a tree that had been stuck in a pot for god knows how long. We accepted, and then realized we had no clue what kind of tree it was. Where to plant it to be compatible water-wise with our oak and sycamore?

On the parkway of the neighbor across the street, of course!

They run a day care in this crappy, stucco house that a paint job would do wonders for. They were thrilled to get the tree (especially since we planted it and said we'd take care of watering it until it's established) and we get the hope that someday it will be big enough to hide our view of that ugly fence!

Monday, May 30, 2011

It Seemed Like A Lot At The Time

Our siding arrived from Michigan PreStain. We have both white cedar bevel siding and shakes in the color hedgerow. It seemed like a lot of wood when I ordered it, but neatly stacked on the pallet -- not so much. I hope it's enough.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Steeling Home

This is the beginning of the grid that will form the floor in the basement. There's a layer of gravel and sand underneath it. We still need to add this weird, two inch foam for the radiant heat system.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It Worked on Paper

Our designer sent us plans for the back deck and we realized, even though we aren't planning to do the kitchen just yet, we do need to know the layout so we know where the door is going.

I've been futzing with ideas and finally got one we both thought had possibilities. To get an idea of how it would work in real space, I cut strips of construction paper and set them out on the floor. I'm such a dork, I even pretended to cook a meal in the new layout and that's when I discovered the stove was in a really bad place in relation to the sink.

Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another Cover Up

The previous owners covered the porch floor with plywood, probably to cover up termite damage.

We pulled up one section so the door would open better and underneath is red cedar. We're hoping we can just replace the
damaged parts, sand it down and
have a beautiful "new" floor.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Our insurance company wants to drop us because the paint is peeling on the house. Believe me, I can think of a lot better reasons than that to drop us, but hey, whatever lifts your skirt.

That put a fire under us to get the siding replaced. We're going with prestained, white cedar from a place in Michigan. I ordered it Friday, so now we are locked into the color Hedgerow.

The red and yellow for the trim, however, still could be changed if we are so inclined.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The dirt in the basement has been covered in gravel. We are now one step closer to putting in the radiant heat and having a floor.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Baring All

I started stripping the rest of the wood trim in our dining room and discovered the dining room is actually paneled. Who paints over such gorgeous wood?

It's going to take A LOT longer to get all this down to bare wood than I had originally thought and I've never been so happy to have a job grow in scope. It's going to be gorgeous.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Going Down

The grading inspector won. The holes are going down -- a lot of good that's going to do us -- and are now covered in gravel.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Going Up?

There is a debate between the gradient inspector and our building inspector about which way the holes on the perforated pipe need to go in the french drain.

To me, Rob, our contractor and the building inspector, they should go up so that water will go into them and run out through our backyard.

The gradient inspector thinks the holes should go down, which begs two questions: a) how the water will get into the pipe and b) and what's to keep it from immediately running out?

Everything is on hold while this gets resolved.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Our Very Own Archaeological Dig

When they dug the drainage trench in the backyard, they came across the remains of a brick structure.

We believe the former owners regraded the backyard when they put up the crappy patio in the 1970's, so whatever this is predated that.

Sadly, the bricks don't match the ones from the fireplace, so I'm not sure what, if anything, we will do with them.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

But Where's the Sling?

Our foundation is now coated with layers of tar and fiber glass to keep water from seeping through it into our basement. It looks like it's wearing a black cast.

Next is to install the pipe and then they can put in the gravel and backfill it with the mounds of dirt piled up all over the place.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bye-bye Stairs. Bye-Bye.

I've always had this fear that some drunk friend would fall off of our back staircase at a party. Now there isn't even a staircase to fall off of. I'll be glad when we can use the back door as an exit again...

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The city required we put in a french drain, but neither the city nor the engineer figured out where the drain was going to, well, drain. Luckily, our contractor had an idea the city signed off on.

These pipes are going into the bottom of the french drain and will run underground into our backyard to allow runoff to filter through the drain and then gradually seep out. This works out really well, because after we went on the Theodore Payne native plants house tour, we had thought about creating an underground cistern that would allow runoff to deep water our plants. These pipes will now form the basis of that irrigation system. Serendipity!

Nancy Drew and the Case of the Mysterious Trim

We have a lot of wood trim in our house, all of which has been painted white. We've been wondering for a while what kind of wood was underneath because, if we decided to keep it, we wanted to carry it over into our basement.

Our friends Jim and Cybele, the ones we got our stove from, came over and brought a heat gun. The first layer blistered off quickly to reveal multiple layers of paint. (Yes, that is avocado green!)

Jim dug a little further to get to the bare wood. We think it's either pine or Douglas-fir.

Jim thinks our trim is of an intermediary style, a transition between the more ornate Victorian style and the humbler bungalow style. That piece of info tipped us over the edge; we're going to keep it. I bought a respirator today so I can start attacking the trim with the heat gun Jim loaned us.

Don't change that dial -- more bare wood coming soon!