Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the window treatment

Not much to post about, but what the heck. Two days ago I had the window people out here to reglaze my rear windows. While they were at it I figured I'd replace the last two cracked windows in the house. When we first moved in there were several windows that were broken, but we kind of ignored the other two since they weren't going to be a big deal during the winter.. The only thing that pained me about replacing the glass is they still had original wavy glass. Unfortunately, it had to be done. Oh well. Since we were just replacing the glass I figure it's not too blasphemous to use regular old glass. Most people don't notice details like that (usually). I'll notice.

So we're one step closer to getting these rear windows repainted. All that needs to be done is get some epoxy to fill in the holes where the iron bars were drilled in on my kitchen window. Some quick sanding and I'm ready for primer. I am sooo ready to get this done.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

living room furniture

Well it took a while, but we finally have some real furniture in the living room down at the old McBroom House. Up until spring sometime we had been using the prior owner's living room furniture. It was a case of him wanting to unload them on us and getting some easy money out of a young couple with no furniture in their first home. Problem was, it wasn't really our style (old & a little ratty) and we told him we weren't interested. Of course, he left it there for over a year until he called me up asking when he could swing by to pick it up. Honestly, I don't think I had to give him anything back but I wanted to be a good sport. I guess we got away with not having to blow some money on furniture while we didn't have to. So it worked out for everybody for a while..

After purging the PO's furniture we borrowed my mom's old couch for a few months. This was a temporary stop gap until we laid down the green for some new furniture. Behold, our new couch (Pottery Barn) and new coffe table (crate & barrel). The rug is an antique persian we inherited from my in-laws.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The McBroom House

Well, it's official. El Paso foursquare is officially known as the McBroom House. I had been trying to get some info on my home from the local historical society for a while. It had been probably 4 or 5 times that I'd gone by and they were always closed on a particular day, closed for the holidays, or closed for renovations.

Thankfully, Patricia the local curator of the El Paso County Historical society, helped shed some light on my home. The house was originally owned by Joseph H. McBroom who was a local attorney in El Paso. Here's the kicker though. My house was built in 1914! I was floored because the Central Appraisal District has city records that show my house was built in 1929. However, Patricia said these records are not always accurate and sometimes only have records from when the house was last updated. She verified by looking up the old city directory in 1914 and saw Mr. McBroom listed at my address. The previous year this address didn't exist.

It's kind of cool to think my house is actually 15 years older than we had previously thought. I need to research a little more about the McBrooms, hopefully I can uncover even more info. Thanks Pat!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

no more jailhouse blues

It was a busy weekend here at El Paso foursquare. The iron bars that have bugged me for so long are history! It took 5 men, 2 pizzas and a case of beer but she's one step closer to glory. I forgot to get some pics during the day, but we were so busy I kind of forgot. My front lawn was covered with iron bars which promptly found their way onto a trailer and out of our lives for good. My wife and I are amazed at the difference inside and out. It seems so much brighter inside it'll take a little getting used to, but I'm very happy. You'll notice just how beat up the rear windows are compared to the front. The years haven't been kind. I'm still debating whether I'll do the top floor windows myself, but I'm planning on having the whole shebang done by next summer. That should still give me plenty of time to get the bottom floor done before winter sets in. For El Paso, that's usually november/december. That's the plan anyway. Astute readers will see Bogie my dachshund basking in the shade in the after pics. :)



Sunday, August 12, 2007

pics updated

Ok, I realized that the pics from the last post kind of sucked. You can click on them for a bigger pic now. Sorry about that.. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

lower sunset heights (west)

I had a few pictures already, but got a few more to show some of the different style of homes in the neighborhood. These are a few of the buildings in what is commonly referred to as "lower" sunset heights. As you can see from some of the pics, this is both geographic (being at the bottom of the hill) as well as a term of endearment for some of the more dilapidated homes on this side of the neighborhood. I plan on getting some from upper sunset heights as well as the eastern side of lower sunset heights. So stay tuned for more pics.. Enjoy!

This is literally the view from my front door. It's a pretty cool looking elementary school built early 1900s. I love the view of the school, but I really got to get some parking ordinances in place. Once school starts up again, parking is going to be a headache. The teachers like to park right in front of my house, which I guess I don't blame them. It's technically public parking, but they do have a parking lot in the back. It's hella annoying.

This is my neighbor's house, which is a pretty cool bungalow. Our two houses were both built in 1929 by the same contractor, Dave Crockett. It's a little rundown and needs some landscaping, but is still pretty solid.

This cool little victorian has looked pretty much like this since we bought our home. There used to be a large family that lived here, but a month or two ago they moved out. Seems it's a rental, but has been vacant for a while. If it had a bigger yard for my dogs, I would love to set up shop in here. It's a little small, but cute as hell.

This victorian-esque apartment building has been in shambles since we bought the house. It's been tied up in forclosure proceedings for a while after the city had it condemned and shut down. Every time someone would come visit us, they would say "oh this is a beautiful house, I love... what the!?!" in reference to the building which is more or less across the street. I'm sure it's seen better days. Me, my wife and brother and law were all betting whether someone would just tear it down or actually try and revive it. Luckily it seems, someone has the stones to do the latter. There have been workers all over this building this week, cleaning it up and working on the roof. Very positive. :)

This is another neat victorian two houses down from me. The roof looks like hell and the original wraparound porch has long since been removed, but I think it's still pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

random thoughts

It's been a little quiet here at El Paso Foursquare lately, but I am still trying to get things done. I'm still working on the dining room windows, slowly but surely. I'm passed the scraping and sanding phase and have moved on to the actual repair phase. The de-rot stuff has been applied and the liquid wood is doing its thing. The windows definitely feel a heck of a lot stronger with this stuff on. I'm not sure how the damn things didn't manage to just fall apart, being so fragile and all. Sorry I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll squeeze some out when I get the wood epox prepped and sanded. So it looks like the end is in sight for these windows, I'm pretty excited.

On a side note, I was walking through my neighborhood and seeing some of the wonderful homes we have in sunset heights and thinking I really need to get some pictures up. I'll put that on my to-do list. But it also got me to thinking.. Our house was in pretty good shape when we bought it, being a recent house flip. So while it was definitely livable and there are a few things here and there that definitely need attention (like my exterior windows), most of the grunt work has already been done. From here on out, it's going to be mostly cosmetic. Of course when we eventually get to gutting the kitchen and bath it'll be some major work, but it won't be absolutely necessary. I see other house blogs that are pretty extreme with what they have to work with. And so sometimes I feel a little like I took the easy way out.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my house. But I see some homes in the neighborhood that are in serious disrepair and wonder why nobody does anything to breathe new life into them. I wish I could be that hardcore and take a complete craphole and transform it to be the beautiful treasure it could be. We have a few of these around this neighborhood. Maybe someday I'll be ready to pass the torch on this house and move on to another that desperately needs some love.