repairs

Before And After

A little background before I get into the meat of this post. The last 12 years or so of my military career, were the married years. I was single for the first 8, then Wifey came along for the ride.

During those 12 years, we averaged a mere 22 months between moves. Yup, we moved. A lot. And now that I’m retired, we’ve been in this house for just over 22 years. During the active duty years we did quite a bit of living out of boxes. Somethings just never got completely unpacked. One example is my record albums. It was easier to just take them out of the box to play them, then put them right back in the box when done. Then the movers just put a new sticker on the box (not always covering up the previous stickers), taped the box up and off the boxes would go to wherever the hell we were going next. Even today, those albums are still in the same boxes with the same stickers.

But after 22 years those are the only boxes we still have. Well at least the only old boxes. Now we have 22 years of accumulation of pure junk. The garage is full of stuff.

One of the things that this constant moving ingrained in our heads was a lack of understanding of house maintenance. We were never in one place long enough to worry about replacing a roof, or an air conditioning system (both of which we’ve had to do lately). We have replaced the carpet with wood floor inside and painted the inside of the house, but we never did anything to the exterior. So I present these before and after photos and notes taking full responsibility for the 20 years of neglect. Don’t @ me, my brother will take care of that for you. And he’ll be channeling our dad when he does!

I’m sure you remember the tale of the leak that never ended. The wall is finally patched all damage to the cabinets repaired, and the dishwasher is back in place and secured.

Under the sink was badly damaged by the two leaks, but we didn’t know that until we tried to fix the second leak. That’s when the floor and side came apart.

This was the only piece of dry rot. Not bad for 20+ years of neglect. Painting will commence soon.

The laundry room was in really bad shape. Not so much anymore. The pressure washing took even more of the lower siding off after this picture was taken.

We still have much to do. The kitchen floor needs to be done, but we should still have enough tile for that, some finishing on the floor work (quarter round and such). I’ve started the painting of the closet doors, but the white is not covering the old dark green very well.

The lizards weren’t very happy with my work place choice. On the other hand I’m pretty sure I killed about 20 love bugs with my spray paint.

Needless to say, I didn’t do this myself. I had help. Well, actually I was the “help”. We have a contractor that we’ve used for several jobs. He’s not the lowest priced guy around, but he does quality work. I have no problem paying for quality. All I really did was pay for everything, and do the simple spray painting. Which was still physically demanding for me. I can’t stand for all that long so it was paint a door, go sit down. Paint something else, go sit down. Take some Tylenol. Drink lots of water (no beer until the work day was done).

So that was the beginning of my week. What did you do for fun?

Peace,
B

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Home Repair as Therapy

This last weekend Wifey® and I got busy in some home repair work. It had started about 3 months ago when I pulled up the very old, stained and smelly carpet from the dining room and hallway. We’ve been in this house for 20 years now, and the carpet was installed just before we moved in. It was a very nice carpet, but dogs with bad bladders, kids and spilled drinks, kids with dirty feet and just life in general beat it to death.  It was time to go. So I ripped out some of it and hauled it away.  But the living room area was too much for me to do by myself, plus there were still pieces of the carpet under the china cabinet and the computer desk. I just cut around those since I couldn’t move them by myself. Not to mention the carpet tack running the perimeter of the floor that still needed to be removed. So that was Saturday. We emptied the china cabinet of all the glassware and breakables, cleaned off the two small bookcases of their breakable items.  So basically every flat surface in the house now is covered in stuff.  Mostly breakable stuff. And the cat loves to jump up on the table and walk around the breakable stuff.  Just waiting for a big crash in the middle of the night.

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We finally removed all the carpet tack in the dining room and hallway, which wasn’t easy since the floor is Terrazzo and the nails they used were quite large. Many chunks of floor came up, hopefully the primer/leveling solution will fix that.

Sunday was the living room. This room still had the carpet in place. But the biggest problem is this room was added by the previous owners. As such it has just a concrete floor, and it’s not quite level with the terrazzo floor. This meant that the carpet installers had to add an extra layer of padding to make it close to even.  The padding they used was this thick black rubberized stuff. And I swear they used 900 gallons of glue to put it down. We spent 6 hours scraping by hand to remove this padding and glue.

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As you can see did one half the room moved the furniture around and did the other half. We even had the granddaughters “help”.

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By 2PM we had most everything done except under “Spike the Tortoise” cage, which my sons insisted that I couldn’t help with, they had to do it. That meant waiting until after 6PM for the older one to get off work and come over.
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So we sat around and had lunch and made a beer run of course.

The new flooring will be delivered on Thursday, and I’m taking Friday off from work to start the prep work. We will start the installation of the new floor on Saturday.  With any luck we hope to get the living room and dining room done over the three-day weekend. I would really like to get the hallway done too, but it may have to wait.  Then it’s the four bedrooms to go, probably one per weekend until we’re done.

So not only is this project helping improve the house, it has, for now, dispelled the depression I have been fighting for the last two weeks. It seems to be that having a project (and not just a hobby), it what keeps me afloat. My depression was nowhere as bad during my military days as it is now, due to the mission that was always before me.

And I have to give a big thank you to Wifey®. Not only was she the catalyst for getting this project going this weekend, she turned in Wonder Woman!  For a tiny little woman, she held her own in scraping the floor, moving furniture and pulling up carpet tack.  AND she fixed us (including the kids) lunch AND did the laundry AND washed the dishes! I would still be pulling up the tacks in the hallway if I was doing it all by myself.  Thank you baby!

Check back in a week or two, I will post more photos as we continue the work.

Peace,
B