Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wood Stove!

(Click here for the pictures). My house has an uninsulated room on the back which until now has been essentially unused because it is too cold in winter and too hot in summer to be comfortable. But I hosted a New Year's Eve party and the organizer of the party (I was just providing the venue) talked me into collecting enough space heaters to make use of the extra room for the night. With tons of plastic and 60 amps worth of heaters we managed to get the room up to a reasonable temperature after a few hours but it cost about $60 in electricity for one night. But it was so much fun to have that extra 300 square feet of space (and a cool room too) that I decided that somehow I must add heat. The simplest (and most fun) economical solution seemed to be a wood stove, so I got one and it is awesome! It is a Hearthstone stove for 16" logs. I didn't know how awesome Hearthstone stoves were until I got this one (used, found it in the classifieds) but I'm now convinced that its pretty much the best stove made.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kitchen/ Bathroom

Its going to be a while before the kitchen and bathroom get full renovations, which they could both use. But some real progress has been made! I'll cut straight to the photos.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Seth's Room May Yet Be Finished One of These Days!!

Much progress made. Without further ado... here are the pictures:

A reminder of what it looked like before.
The progression of how it got to where it is now.
What it looks like now. Still some work to do, but sure is looking better.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday... ay.. ay

Well, it finally happened! I had to buy a lawnmower. And on a Sunday.

Actually it ended up being Monday by the time I got it all done. I don't think this lawn has been raked in years. So it took a little while, but its all raked and mowed, and wow, what a difference! It'll need a good summers' worth of landscaping (won't happen this year) to really look good, but it sure does make a difference to have all the sticks and stuff gone.

Seth's room is now ready for priming, then paint. Amazing what you can get done when you're not spending all your non-working waking hours on school.

George's future room in the apartment has made its first bit of progress... I bought an interior door for it at The Home Depot. Doesn't fit, naturally...non-standard door opening. I'll have to modify the door a bit.

No pictures... Noelle went to Florida with my camera. Should have it back in a couple days.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More snow, more time on the roof!

100_0364Another holiday came, so more snow came (I guess that's how it works now). As always, click the picture for the rest of the pictures.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Much More Better!

100_0332It took us a while, since I'm so busy with classes and work and all, but the first room renovation is all done, except for some cleanup and re-installing some outlets. Here's the pics! (As always, be sure to click on 'em).

Also been finding that the roof over the upstairs bathroom will ice-dam at any opportunity, so hafta keep it shoveled off, which means first I have to shovel off the nearly flat roof below that. I worked on that a bit this morning, since its snowing again.100_0327

Saturday, December 30, 2006


100_0274Through the holidays I've been so busy I haven't even had time for a quick note on how the house is coming! Well, very slowly, but surely. Guillaume has been staying with me for the month so I hired him to find me some appliances (a fridge so far and a lead on washer and dryer... thanks to Paul and Brenton too!!) and to start steaming off the wallpaper in the northeast bedroom.

Also got the storage almost completely empty now, thanks also to Guillaume's help, and so the house is full of quite a bit of junk now! However, 2 major items are already listed on craigslist so hopefully I'll be rid of most of it soon!

I also hired Pam to rake the front lawn. I'll bet this was the last yard to be raked in the whole neighborhood! Back yard will have to wait until next year. Borrowed Doug's trailer to haul the leaves to the Intervale. The trailer badly needed a new tailgate, so I built a new one from 3/4" CDX that I think is way cool and very New Zealand-esque in its ingenuity even if I do say so. Since then I have purchased a used folding trailer seen on Craigslist which is really really cheezily built but cool because I can fold it up and store it in the garage along with whatever car I end up buying to replace the ridiculous The White Whale. With a car and the trailer I should be able to haul anything weighing up to 1000 pounds. For anything heavier there's always Uhaul. I'd have to rent a Uhaul quite a few times in a year before rivaling the cost of filling the tank in The White Whale for a year, which is about $80 a whack.

On Christmas Eve Eve we nearly had a fire. The furnace in the apartment stopped working, so I went to basement to check it out and the breaker was tripped, so I flipped the breaker back on and the furnace did come back on, but when I went back up the (outside) staircase I heard and saw quite a spark-light show! Went back and shut off the breaker and came back out to see a badly arced wire going to the emergency boiler shut-off switch that is mounted outside even though it uses interior wire. For now the shut-off switch is bypassed so we can have heat.

And... I think that's about all that's happened with the house this week! Pictures of some of this stuff coming soon.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Couldn't Resist

Today the plan was to ignore the house and work on catching up on my pipe-organ project at church, but I started cleaning the apartment after church and got carried away and started working on more "stuff management", mostly involving sorting through the stuff from the storage unit, old removed wallpaper from the house, and other trash into one place for a near future dump run. Felt great!

Yesterday I helped Pam move her motorcycle into my garage for the winter... gotta take care of the peoples!

Friday morning Guillaume helped me move some of the things from the storage unit that require two people to move. Not much left!

And... I can't remember what I did that was house related on Thursday! I think I did something... or something.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


The past few days have had to consist of work not directly related to house repairs, but very productive, nonetheless. Sunday Brad and I helped paint a room at Becky's place. On Monday I took the apartment bathroom sink drain apart and pulled out (eww) the stuff that was keeping it from draining well. Tuesday I moved almost everything that can be moved by one person out of my storage unit and into my garage, to be sorted through. The goal is to not have storage rent anymore by the end of December. Today I got the boat all winterized (ie covered) in the back yard. I also got the underdrawers (!) placed under the bed for better clothing storage in my bedroom. And now, time to take a quick nap and get ready for work after a nice productive weekend that also involved the watching of Pixar's Cars with a bunch of friends who also hadn't seen it before... great fun!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Little by Little

I can open the side door to the apartment from the outside with a key now! Woohoo! And the kitchen floor has been scrubbed for the first time in years I think.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm Moved In!!

For better or for worse, I am now living in this old house

Friday, December 01, 2006

Off with the wallpaper!

Here's some pictures of the anti-wallpaper project: (click)

100_0258Wow! The whole house is full of grandmother-style wallpaper, so I've kind of been dreading the fact that I'm going to have to get it all off. I've heard all the nightmares of how awful it can be to get it off, involving razor blades, putty knives, rented steaming equipment, and hours and hours of tedious labor. Today I went over to the house just to take some room measurements before going in to work (it was too rainy to try to move anything). I went into the smallest bedroom and just stopped to look at the wallpaper and noticed a corner had come loose from the wall, so I decided to just give it a tug to see what would happen. Off came a whole section of paper! So I kept going, and in half an hour I had the room totally stripped to bare sheetrock with my bare hands. Wow! Cool!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Moved a few things

I had about 2 hours to work with before work so I brought one vanload of stuff from my old place (which is where I'm still living for a few more days) to the new place. Mostly storage-type-stuff so far (boxes and things). Stuff I don't need to live. That stuff (bed, desk, clothes, etc) will move on Tuesday, the first day that I have more than a couple consecutive hours at my disposal. I didn't pack anything, I just made a layer on the floor of the van. I don't think I'll pack anything at all for this move, since its only a few blocks away and I have a van to use anytime (as opposed to a rented truck).

In the process, I made a couple decisions. One is that I'll move into the apartment for now, not the house. The apartment has a fridge and stove ready to use, the house does not, and the house needs more work than the apartment does. I've got two roommates moving in with me in the house in a couple of months and living in the apartment will mean I'm not in my own way getting the preparations done.

The other is that I'm going to take care of that garage door ASAP, which will probably mean hiring someone. I have the skills to do it, but not the time. Originally I thought appliances for the house would be number one priority, but I've moved that back to a close second.

All for now!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Closed Today!

100_0237Its been kind of quiet around here for a while, and here's one of the many reasons why: I've been busy house shopping! Closed on this one today! A fixer-upper on a great street in Essex Junction! I didn't want to put it on my site until now in case it all flew apart, but now I'm thinking it would have been fun to blog the buying process... it was rather interesting and people who haven't bought yet would probably like to know how it all goes down. Oh well. But I just took a count of my "house" folder in my gmail and I have accumulated 304 emails pertaining to the house hunt and purchase. To the prospective first time buyer: Buy soon! There are amazing deals and VHFA loans are locking in at 5.75%! But do have some cash around. You don't have to put anything down but all the checks I've sent various directions have been pretty crazy. There was $2000 for the deposit, 300 or so for the inspection, maybe 400 for the appraisal, 500 to the attorney, another 1500 at closing, oh, something like 300 for application fee. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I got much of this back, but still had to have it available until getting it back. I guess I'd say have 6000 or so at the ready, assuming zero down, and assuming the house doesn't need any immediate repairs, furniture, or appliances (mine needs all of those, but I had planned for it). That about sums up what I learned. That, and a good realtor is worth their commission in gold. I used to think I'd be a for-sale-by-owner type, and maybe I will someday, but I'm glad I had a good realtor for the first time around. Ask me for her card! Actually, I'd also highly recommend the inspector, the lender, and the attorney that I used. I've got cards from them all.

The pictures I have so far are here