Monday, April 30, 2007

Front Door Redux

Before our awning is installed, we'll be repainting the front door a more period appropriate color. Our home was built in 1910 and has some arts and crafts elements, so we are sticking with that color palate.

We have selected Sherwin Williams Bunglehouse Blue for the front door. The awning is a True Brown with a white key pattern trim. Our awnings will be shaped like this though, not rounded as in the previous link. We have delayed the awning for 2 weeks so we can thoroughly prep the door, repair some minor wood rot, and prime and paint it.

We have learned from experience that it pays to buy the best paint you can afford. Take our living room for example. We were not trying to be frugal. We just bought the paint brand they had at our local hardware store. Our living room is a deep red color and it took several coats to get full coverage. We ended up going back to buy additional paint, which cost more money anyway.

Another tip when painting is not to buy cheap rollers. We learned that painting the living room as well. We ended up with little pieces of fuzz all over the walls. Quite disheartening at the time. I never notice the flaws now, but our painting skills have much improved since that room was done about 5 years ago. My advice, buy the best rollers you can afford unless you like bits of fuzz everywhere.

Just some little lessons we've learned along the way.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Serenity Now!

I have vowed this year that I will relax in my backyard. I will not work all summer every weekend on wood. I will invite some people over to enjoy the somewhat nice backyard. In the city, many don't have a backyard and so those that do should share sometimes.

We need to repair the concrete (see photo) to make this space more usable and that will happen within a month I'd say. In the meantime, I am going about my plantings and am awaiting the grass seed to take.

I've gone with yellow this year in the pots and some texture: ferns, vine, white marigolds for their hardiness, and one yellow flower whose name escapes me.

In front, I planted some forget me nots, Prince William phlox in a beautiful purple, some coleus for color in the shade and some rosemary. The garden has been somewhat delayed this year because of late frost, but things seem to be growing well now. I think some bulbs decided to wait until next year, but that's the way it goes. If it was the same every year, it would be dull I suspect.

Who doesn't love a mourning dove in the morning? I saw a titmouse too this morning.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

What is a Dutchman?

A dutchman is the perfect solution for repairing old wood and mistakes (we all make those right?) A few years ago, we were installing our swinging door and Steve mortised out the wood to fit these special hinges. Unfortunately, due to fatigue, he mortised one of them upside down. doh.

At that point, we decided we did not want to wait any longer for our swinging door, so we installed the door with the hinges surface mounted temporarily (for 2 years) and not mortised in.

Last weekend, Steve mortised the correct placement and today we were able to install the door catch as the door has a spring swinging mechanism and will stay closed unless propped open.

In these photos,you can see the Dutchmen with the hinges now correctly mortised in. We will of course, be staining them to match.

Here's the hardware from Crown City that hooks the door open. Pardon the dust. Solid brass and about $50.00. I used to gasp when Steve would tell me he spent $18 on a brass door stop, but now I don't bat an eyelash. Solid brass costs but is lasts.

It's nice to tie up loose ends. Last summer, we had no time for anything like this.

Coming up on the horizon for us work-wise:
Awnings to be installed
Concrete patio repair
Repainting front door
Pantry Shelving

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Win some lose some

As I've mentioned here, I've been off houseblogs the past month so I could help out with our local Aldermanic election. Unfortunately, my candidate lost, but we made a really great effort. Considering the fact that we had much less money, and resources, we lost by only 247 votes.

On election day, I was up at 4:30am and at the campaign office at 5am. I got to the precinct at 6am and didn't get home till almost midnight. Much of the day was spent outside in front of the polling place and trying to get out the vote. It was fun, but very draining.

This weekend, Steve and I got back to some house projects. I worked on some major lawn repair and Steve was taking care of some inside jobs. He installed the last of the shoe molding in our kitchen and fabricated and installed missing thresholds from our bedroom and dining room. Then, he started on patching our old booboo with the swinging door, so we can finally finish that project. We purchased special hardware that will hold the door open and have not been able to install it because of the mistake. Instead, we've had a box of bricks holding the door open.

It's so nice when these little tasks get crossed off the list. That is the plan for this summer- lots of smaller jobs. We have plenty of those!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Making an entrance

We've been slowly working on our curb appeal for a few years. Little by little... giving our entry a makeover, restoring the french doors to the 2nd floor, and adding a decorative railing, landscaping the yard, etc...

We're down to the last bit of work we have planned for the facade of the building and that is adding awnings. We ordered our awnings yesterday from Chesterfield Awnings. They had been out a year earlier to quote the job ad now we are finally ready. The awning will be installed in about 6 weeks. We are putting a small one over the patio doors and a large one over the entrance.

I am excited to see this last change come to fruition. Other than that, my main "curb appeal" goal for this year is to add some more evergreen foliage to the front yard.

We also took a trip to Home Depot today and are ordering a new door for our garage. The door had to be special ordered so it will be here in about 3 weeks. It's nice because it will only need to be shimmed and we can eliminate the framing around the door that is currently there and kind of oddly done.

I'm glad that we are gettng going on some projects but nothing can compare to last year though. Looking back now, I realize how intense and exciting it was. I can actually kind of see how people can get hooked on renovation because one really feels like you are accomplishing something of significance. I have to adjust because we can't afford to keep that pace of spending money or working. I do miss it though sometimes. Such is the life of a renovator.