Sunday, July 20, 2008

leaving well enough alone

I'm sure many a houseblogger has encountered the eternal question of leaving well enough alone. The alternative is subjecting yourself to what could potentially make your life much more difficult and will undoubtedly take longer than you anticipate. Worse yet, you could run out of steam halfway through and never get to finishing said project.. I don't think I would let the third scenario happen, but I could drag it out a very long time.

Above is a picture of my living room. There are a few things in this picture that I have on my long term to-do list. They follow in order from least to most difficult:

1. Fireplace: Seems to be in decent condition -- although I don't think it's been used in many years. We've been meaning to get it checked out & cleaned ever since we bought the place. We also need to get a new screen and tools. Maybe this year.

2. Pocket doors: These are some beautiful doors, but unfortunately for us we've never really been able to enjoy the fine craftsmanship. One door seems to have jumped the track as it is dragging on the floor. The other has a wood strip that drags along the trim casing along the top and it bends enough that we dare not open it anymore for fear of breaking it off. Moves freely though. Some realignment is in order -- I'm paranoid of screwing them up in the process though. Someday I'll get around to this.

3. Refinishing woodwork: I might have mentioned this before, but the trim in the living room and foyer have been screwed around with the most of anywhere in the house. I'm thankful it was never painted, however someone took it upon themselves to "pretty up" the original finish. You can see the mahogany-ish stain on pretty much all the trim under the ceiling. The box beams are even worse as all grain detail is pretty much obscured by the slathered on stain several shades darker. Neither of these finishes are original. In fact you can just make out the original color on the inside edge of the pocket door. If I were to refinish the wood in here, it would be the same stain as I finished the front door.

I'll probably get to the first two things in the short term, but the third one on my list intimidates me. I know if I start screwing with it I've pretty much committed myself to finishing it. I like having the interior rooms in a somewhat acceptable shape, particularly the formal rooms. So what do my readers out in cyber world think?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

backyard upgrade begins

This is something I've been putting off for far too long. I've been somewhat guilty of letting the yard go a bit in anticipation of tearing it all up anyway. I had some vacation time this week and decided now was as good a time as any to dig in. First thing was exposing the concrete slab that was being covered up by the screening. This will need to be removed before I can lay down some fresh sod. I had encountered the edge of it when planting the oak tree right next to it, so I knew I had my work cut out for me.

After a little time with a jackhammer, the concrete was busted up pretty well, although I'll probably have to revisit it since I only got the top layer off. I wanted to concentrate on the patio, so I moved to that next.

Most of my time was spent prepping the area that'll get pavers laid on. I needed to excavate as much as 6 to 8 inches in some spots in order to get the pavers at an equal height. You can see the remaining chunk of the slab is getting a much needed facelift. This is taking longer than I thought.. I think I'm going to need more material too as the new patio is going to be bigger than I initially thought. Wish me luck that I'll actually finish it this week.. at the current pace I wouldn't count on it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

bucket 'o hardware

I've been working on the door hardware for the project house for the last two months or so. A batch here, a batch there. The pieces here are ready to find their way back into their rightful place. It was fun seeing the transformation of some pretty rough looking hardware using what I like to call the stuccohouse method. Much props. :) Hopefully my hard work will be appreciated for years to come..