Saturday, March 31, 2007

Our yard needs some TLC

Last year was a pretty rough one for the backyard. Between the roof tear off, pretty much constant workers traipsing across the lawn, Steve and I refinishing woodwork on it, and digging a trench for the electrical wire, it really took a beating.

I have never liked our yard in the winter because almost everything in it is dead. We need more evergreens and hopefully by fall we can add some.

We are planning to add a row of a variety of upright evergreens on the right side of the yard along the fence that you can't really see in this photo.

I am happy that the picea orientalis pine tree has recovered somewhat from the drought in 2005. The lawn is SAD though.

Probably the first project we are going to tackle this Spring, is replacing our falling apart door to the garage. The frame needs to be rebuilt and we want to get a door with a small window so we can see if the garage is open.

In this photo from July 2005, you can see the fence where we will plant the row of evergreens. You can also see that the yard looked a bit better then before the construction chaos.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It all comes down to paint fumes

So, somewhat recently I upgraded to the new blogger and merged all my blogs together. No more compartmentalization. No more hiding my houseblog from the neighbors. No more keeping my community blog out of my houseblog. It's all mixed together now and the result?

Yesterday, I was commenting about the local election here on one of our community blogs.
and one of my neighbors and fellow bloggers who happens to disagree with my choice in candidates directed the following comment at me:

"Maybe you should wear a mask next time you're around paint fumes. "

It takes a thick skin to deal with neighborhood politics in Rogers Park. But at least I can be flattered they read my houseblog right? The hazards of blogging about your house projects... who'd have thought?

This morning when I read it, I was a little hurt, but now I think it's funny. And the person did apologize too, which was good of them.

Friday, March 09, 2007

It really is about the house

Oh, I talk real big and say other things are important, but I always come back to the house. In fairness, we aren't quite done yet. There are still some small jobs that really need to be done, such as replacing the rotting wood entry door to the garage and all those little odds and ends.

So, tonight Steve and I made a list of what is on the agenda for 2007 (and beyond). There's more than this long term, but this list is somewhat realistic for 2007. I'm sure we won't get to all of it, but we will certainly put a good dent in it. Every year can't be a gut rehab year after all.

If we accomplish half of this, I would be very happy.

To Do List for 1st Floor 2007

Install shoe molding


Finish installing shoe molding
Kitchen caulking
Build Pantry shelving and install pot rack


Fix single popped screw in mud room inset all nails in trimwork
Adjust hinges on swinging door so we can prop open with $50 hardware we purchased over a year ago...
Put in thresholds for bedroom & dining room
Restore/fix 2 stained glass windows
Add storm windows on all 4 stained glass windows
Refinish floors throughout
Refinish bathtub
Add electrical outlets and light to closet in Bedroom
Purchase & refinish salvage replacement doors for missing doors to den and front mud room
Strip Basement stair door and refinish
Strip trim in bedroom
Install ceiling fan in living room
re-paint radiator covers
Asbestos abatement in basement

Yard & Outdoors:

Install new awnings
Reframe and replace Garage entry door
Paint front door
Replace basement windows
Install back yard side door Gate
Install dog run gate
Garage door wood framing- paint
New front door

Front yard:
Jackhammer sidewalk in front (side)
Eliminate bed right along side of house and lay patio area.
Plant evergreen trees and shrubs for interest in front yard

Fence on north side- new posts and stockade fence
New back porch deck?
Plant evergreen trees and shrubs in backyard for privacy
Add some source of shade

Just some things to keep us busy this year. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's not just about the house

It may sound like heresy to say this on a hosueblog, but really it's not. I've talked about this before. As we all know, any home is a part of a bigger picture, a neighborhood.

I learned a hard lesson when the beautiful single family home next door to us was leveled for condos. Speak up. If you speak up as a community, often you can stop these types of things from happening. I've seen it play out this way first hand.

The next month or so will probably be a little slow on my houseblog as I head on over to my community blog and campaign for a candidate that I believe can make our neighborhood a better place to live. If you head over there to check out what's going on, I'll warn you Rogers Park politics can get pretty scrappy.

The election on February 27th resulted in a run off between my candidate and the incumbent by a mere 54 votes! This right here shows how much every vote does count especially at the community level.

Lately, we've been living in our home more than working in our home as we usually are. It's nice. After all, we are all doing this hard work so at some point we can kick back and enjoy it right? I always say when I'm working that there is a lounge chair waiting for me at the end of this. Like there will ever be an end. I know better now.