The Great Wall of Stafford – The Beginning

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

The construction of the ‘Great Wall of Stafford’ has begun.  Not only did I need to dig trenches that were 12″ deep and 24″ wide, I also needed to fix the grading in front of the new wall.  Luckily, General Rental is just a mile away and they are very lax on renting large equipment out to people like me.  I was surprised they let me rent the Mini Excavator, Kubota U17.  They probably thought, “What’s the worst that could happen?”. Continue reading “The Great Wall of Stafford – The Beginning”

The Neverending Remodeling Project: My Office

It’s day 984 and I am still not finished with my office.  I started this project in August of 2014 and it’s haunted me ever since.  The paint has been removed, however, I’m not looking forward to sanding all the molding; it’s going to be so messy.  I might just leave it how it is and attempt to stain over it.  Next step is to place plywood over the decaying floor and install carpet or laminate.

I will be painting the walls white with some blue thrown in.  After that I get to make some shelves for my Superman toys, some stands for my vintage Apple products and maybe buy some frames to hang family photos… Continue reading “The Neverending Remodeling Project: My Office”

It’s Starting this Spring… a Massive Retaining Wall

When Kathy and I moved into this house in June 2011, we had a lot of projects.  She took on the ones that required tools and stuff I know nothing about and I chose to replace an old retaining wall with a less crappy wall.  Since we couldn’t afford the fancy blocks, I settled for concrete blocks.  I’ve hated that choice ever since and 2017 is the year I correct that mistake.

The New Great Wall of Stafford

The New Retaining Wall, some assembly required.

I purchased 160 blocks totaling over 9,200lbs.  I will need 40 more to finish phase 1 of the wall. Continue reading “It’s Starting this Spring… a Massive Retaining Wall”

Kathy’s Kitchen Remodel

Kathy’s projects are HER projects; I only get involved in a few areas.  I will do all the heavy lifting that’s needed, I will happily demolish anything I deem interesting to destroy, I will make the largest fire possible in the burn barrel and gleefully burn whatever I can fit into said barrel… oh, and I will always take credit for all Kathy’s successfully completed projects.  That’s just my thing and trust me, she thinks it’s super adorable.  Joking!  Kathy and everyone are fully aware that I cannot successfully use tools without eventual failure and/or disfigurement of myself or others in my vicinity.

This surprise renovation happened one year ago tomorrow, April 13th.  After a “long” day of “work”, I waltz into the house to find the entrance way and kitchen floors torn apart and although I’ve come accustomed to events like these, it’s still a tad irritating.  Luckily, she knew how to divert my attention, she was super nice and put a lot of large pieces of wood and other burnable items next to my trusty burn barrel. Continue reading “Kathy’s Kitchen Remodel”

The Small Retaining Wall of 2016

Last year it was time to fix two other drooping areas with retaining walls.  These two came out better than expected… and Kathy didn’t help me with the first row, I was actually calm… well except that time I lost it, threw a 20+lb block and felt like I tore off my shoulder… but it flew at least 5+ feet a distance to be proud of.

These two walls were really good practice… the behemoth wall of 2017 currently in prep is scheduled to begin Saturday April 15th. Continue reading “The Small Retaining Wall of 2016”

Goodbye Porch Roof, Hello Pergola

As I’ve said many times before, it’s sometimes overwhelming owning a 100+ year old house.  Over the century Mother Nature sure has wreaked havoc on the wood exterior.   Kathy and I are somewhat lucky that the carpenters in the olden days used cedar a lot.  If the wood underneath the slate tiles was not cedar, then we would be in bad shape.  Cedar tends to hold up longer than other woods.

Our slate roof has a few missing slate tiles and a few leaks.  I would love to replace the slate with something else but the roofers have been quoting around $15k; repairs are 5x less. I am torn, I dislike slate as do home insurers, but I do like money and I could use that cash on other much needed repairs.

Two years ago, we noticed a leak on our porch roof.  Kathy opened it up and noticed extensive rot; damn you water!  The posts holding the roof up were even worse, you could literally poke your figure through the wood. Continue reading “Goodbye Porch Roof, Hello Pergola”