Wednesday, June 12, 2013


With a mother-in-law arriving in a month with two of her sisters who are also going to stay for a couple months, I am going to need to start thinking of a project list that can keep me busy and sane. I've just about got the mother-in-law bedroom downstairs completed. I have a little bit of trim painting to do, move some furniture around, a general cleaning out and sprucing up of the small walk-in closet and that project can be scratched off my list.

The hallway leading to that bedroom and adjoining bathroom, needs painting and a new ceiling. It had a drywall ceiling but thanks to a leaking pvc boot on the vent stack up on the roof when we moved in to the house, it got wet and removed along with the drywall ceiling in the bathroom. Since it is below lots of plumbing and electrical stuff, I'm planning on redoing the ceiling with a drop ceiling and panels that can easily be removed and replaced should another leak occur. But I'm going to do that after the bathroom remodel has been completed.

The bathroom downstairs needs a major overhaul. Whoever painted it last evidently had a special on purple paint and loaded up on it. Because they had so much, there are runs on just about every surface including the floor, shower, toilet and vanity. Due to the aforementioned leak, I think I want to take some of the drywall off the walls anyway to make sure no mold is growing in the stud cavity. The floor is shod with 40 year old linoleum that has seen better days. That needs to come up as well. I'm up in the air right now on the shower. I can probably get the purple paint off the surfaces and clean it up if the rest of it is in good shape. However, part of me wants to take this opportunity to take it out and put a walk-in tile shower for the experience of doing so. Also, my master plan is for that to be the man shower when the mother-in-law is not in town. Originally I thought about making the shower with a different footprint but then it hit me that the drain plumbing is set in the concrete and isn't going to move unless I do some concrete work which I am not inclined to do.

Also on my list of things to try to get done this year while avoiding a house full of females, is to get my fireplace up and working. Right now the original stone fireplace was hacked open and stuffed with an electric insert with no remote control to even see if it works. I would like to either get it back to a working stone fireplace or put a wood burning insert in it so that I can burn wood for pleasure and also during power outages in winter. Since all my plumbing is nearby in the basement, I can stave off any frozen pipes for an extended period of time.

Other projects are to repaint the family room downstairs and build a set of custom built-in bookcases at the base of the stairs. Off the family room is our laundry room slash storage room. I'm not planning on big things for it but it could always use a few more shelves, some better lighting and some tidying up. The final room down there is the non-conforming bedroom that we currently use as our office. It suffered water damage thanks to the previous owners who evidently just tolerated the slow water leak from the upstairs faucet in the kitchen. It rotted the bottom out of the cabinet upstairs and dripped down onto the office drop ceiling and most likely into the nearby stud cavity of the wall built up next to the house foundation. I fixed the leak and removed the ceiling tile but there is still a funky odor that I take care of by running a de-ionizer full time in there. Long term I need to gut the wall there too and take care of any problems.

Outside the house, there is a huge laundry list of things I want to do. The attached garage floor was evidently poured over uncompacted soil with no reinforcement. As a result, the garage floor is a horrible jumble of heaved slabs of concrete that has even kicked out a small section of wall by the garage door. The garage door itself has 2" gaps on either end of its 17' span that I have temporarily filled in with strips of wood and a rubber door seal to keep rodents at bay. Long term I want to fix that problem. I also want to convert some of that space to creating a mudroom, upstairs laundry room and expanding the kitchen and dining room area a bit. I would also like to add onto the house to create a little bit more cold storage place for outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers, snowblowers, chainsaws and a bit of a shop that I can work in without having to shuffle equipment, bikes and cars around.

The siding on the house is 40 year old Masonite that has seen its better days. It has numerous spots that suffers from water rot as Masonite is prone to do especially on the edges. It is wavey, cupped, coming loose, etc. Underneath it, there is no house wrap and the sheathing is that black fiberboard sheathing that soaks up humidity like a sponge without house wrap and is literally falling apart. So I'm basically looking at tearing the siding down to the studs, re-sheathing and residing. Up in the air is whether or not I do anything about the insulation. It is 40 year old bat insulation in fairly good shape, at least what of it I have seen, but I'm kind of wondering if it isn't better to redo that too why I am all in at that point and gain some energy efficiency which this house lacks.

Landscaping wise, I have four more oak and black cherry trees that didn't survive into this summer. They need to come down. I need to spiff up around the perimeter of the house but won't do that until I take care of the siding thing. I also have a gully down the middle of the property that is washing out with every rain and in a couple years, will be washing out my driveway if I don't do something about that. I would like to plant a small orchard and a garden.

So that's the list of projects off the top of my head. Right now it sounds like a lifetime of of work but I don't think it is too bad since it will be my full time job especially when my mother-in-law and her sisters are around. Most of them are projects I can easily do by myself with the exception of the whole siding, sheathing, insulation deal. I need to grab a tablet of paper and start making plans so that when the time comes, I have my thoughts in order. But I thought I would take a page from Ron's notebook and create a list of sorts on here first.


edifice rex said...

Yikes!! Sounds like you actually have more to do on your house than I do to finish mine! I do not envy you man. lol!

Ron said...

That's a long list, but I think it's good to have a vision. Without a list, it's easy to get overwhelmed by everything there is to do. When I have a list, I can see where tasks make sense based on the upcoming weather, and can prioritize and pace myself.

Anonymous said...

Jeepers, the Queen of England doesn't get that degree of sprucing up when she goes on State visits.
Pace yourself, frankly if you've lord knows how many visiting you can forget about most of it anyway. You may as well go and buy a hat for you're about to become Jeeves the Driver for the foreseeable future and everything within a 1000 miles an opportunity to be photographed before. Mt Rushmore and the Crazy Horse carvings are in striking distance.

Anonymous said...

My list will be getting longer...she(who must not be called by name) has arrived. I will suddenly become very motivated to complete as many projects as I can dream up to avoid prolonged visitations. Let the chewing of tounges begin.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I think you need to take a vacation and spend about a month at our house. I have a good list of things to keep you occupied,