Back porch deck down

I am so happy with the progress on the back porch today! Here is what has been completed today. Steven has a pattern for a rail he would like to build, so he will be working on and building the rail in the upcoming weeks. Plus, after our carpenter is finished Thursday, I will pressure wash and start painting the ceilings, columns and siding under the porch. In about 3 weeks, after the boards have cured, I’m going to stain the deck. Super excited!!!!

I’m going to see if I can talk my hubby into building me one more planter for the back and, while he is at it, turning the 100+ year old cypress boards they took up, into a long bench. One can always hope, right! .

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Milling the porch boards

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So, we are ready to begin our porch work. Over the last six years, we have had several carpenters come by to look at our porch and give us a repair quote. Most of them I never heard from again. One, gave me a quote and he said he would not do it unless I let him sand and paint the porch also. I planned on sanding and painting the porch myself to save money and, besides, I like to paint. The other carpenter got a quote from a local mill for the boards, and it was a trillion dollars. I thought he was giving me a bill for the national debt. I could not believe it was so expensive to mill porch boards. Of course since they are 104 years old, no one carries the type of tongue and groove board we need.

So, my enterprising husband, decided to set up a jig and mill the boards himself. I have to say, he is a genius!

We are talking with a local carpenter who specializes in restoring old homes. If all goes well, he will replace the damaged boards beneath our columns in the next couple weeks.

I have a firm date from our roofer. He and another carpenter will be here Thanksgiving week to start the roof work and replace all the fascia boards. Very excited about that…also nervous at what they might find! That old asbestos roof has been there since the late 40s, early 50s.

In the mean time, we framed the new bathroom in the house and laid the backer board.  The plumbing is roughed in.  In the next couple days we are going to lay the floor so the plumber can come back and set the fixtures and put the vent stack in (through the roof).  Here is the oak desk I found at a flea market.  I distress painted it with Martha Stewart’s copper metallic paint and a black overlay.  I sealed the top of it.  How do you like my visualization help?  Lol.  I was trying to figure out how I wanted the sink and faucet to lay out.

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I am waiting on some of the rough in work to be complete so I can do the finishing work.  I have tons of finishing, nitpicky things to do.  Things are heating back up over here in our old house.  Stay tuned for more developments!

Andrea

Work to begin again….

So, my blog has been dormant for several months.  Yes, I know.  Instead of plying you with excuses and listing everything that has happened between now and then, I will spare you (because I hate reading other people’s excuses when they pick up their blog again) and just inform you that work is going to start up on our house August 29th!

In a nutshell, I filed to receive Louisiana Rehabilitation Tax Credits.  We have been approved and most of our work is lined up to commence and be finished by the end of the year.  August 29th, I have a foundation repair service coming to remove the rotted sill on the front corner of the house and back corner of the porch in the back.  Having these sills repaired will be the catalyst to our other rehab projects.  We could not repair the porch, columns, paint, etc., until the foundation was repaired. 

After the foundation repair, you shall see a new roof, paint and other small projects coming to fruition.  Needless to say, I am very excited!  So, forthcoming will be a post on Louisiana Rehabilitation Tax Credits how to apply and who is eligible and after that, I will be blogging and posting pictures of our progress.

Stay tuned….

The Bee Saga

If its not one thing its another….how many times have I said that opening a new post?  I was touch up painting Vivian’s room yesterday around 5:00 or so and I heard what I thought was a fly buzzing around the room.  I absently thought to myself that summer has finally arrived when a fly gets in the house and that I needed to go find the fly swatter.  I didn’t pay it much attention and kept painting.  Then, all of a sudden, it got louder and I thought I was hearing things or my ears were ringing until I looked right outside Vivian’s window.  I wish I had a picture!  It was a huge cloud of angry bees!  All I could do stare and call for Steven.  I stood there fixed when he arrived in the room and I pointed at the huge swarm outside the window.  Steven immediately went and found the phone book while I still stood and stared at the very strange phenomenon.  I am glad he was thinking!  I was transfixed watching the bees buzz.  Then they all landed on one of my new fascia boards in a big droopy group like a hive.  Steven could not find someone to come out and exterminate them, so he came back in the room and explained what happened.  He said they either lost their queen and are looking for a new place, or the queen moved and took up residence on our fascia board.

Since we couldn’t get anyone out last night, we went on to church.  Coming home, we looked up to see if they were still there, an lo and behold, this big cluster of bees were still sitting on the fascia board.  This morning, I woke up to clanging and a clatter.  The exterminator had arrived and Steven was out there watching.  When all the bees were cleared, a hole was discovered.  They had already created a hole in my NEW fascia board where the flashing met.  ARGH!  Why couldn’t they go chew on one of the rotted boards so we could replace it??  NO….they had to go and make a hole in my NEW fascia board where we had a sill replaced, along with the siding, fascia and flashing.

So, I have yet to go survey the damage.  I am too disgusted to even think about it.  Steven will have to cover it up with some ugly piece of wood for now so no other pests will get in it.  I might be able to talk him into painting it white before he puts it up so at least it will match until we replace the fascia board again….sigh….

I am so glad that it happened this week than when we were on vacation.  If it happened while we were on vacation, we would have come back to honey dripping through the roof…oh yuck…it would have been awful and the damage extensive.  I am so thankful that we noticed it!  I am so glad that I was standing there and saw them swarm. Otherwise, we may not have noticed for a while as we don’t usually go out to that side of the house.  So, there is a silver lining in everything. 

I am going to go pour another cup of coffee and go survey the damage.

Andrea

***The exterminator came out and POOF they were gone…what was I worried about anyway?

Easter Pictures 2011

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This is definitely one of the best times to have an old house…iron fences, columns and nice backgrounds galore for pictures.

Vivian took all of the pictures of me and Steven.  She did a great job.  She is going to be a great little photographer when she grows up. 🙂  She is reading this as I type it…hehe

Happy Easter!

KJV: Matthew 28:5-6

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

All is right again….

You might remember my post about suffering a shock from receiving a $4,700 utility bill which, thankfully, turned out to be a clerical error.  This  month I suffered an equal shock by receiving a $110 utility bill which was NOT a clerical error!  Thank God!  Such extremes!  Hehe….

The $110 utility bill is not very surprising.  My house has ceilings of 13 feet, and heat rises, so in early spring, my house is pleasant as the natural design of the house keeps things pretty cool.  It is in the winter when I pay through the nose.  Hopefully, upcoming improvements, which includes an insulation project and solar panels (still investigating a good firm), will help lower the heating bills in the winter.

Happy Friday everyone!

Andrea

New Kitchen Lights and the Butler’s Pantry

Five new lights and a piece of lumber sure can make a gal happy!  I have had the ugliest kitchen in the entire world for the last four years.  I don’t know what I hated the most…the awful floor, or the bank of cabinets that only collected junk.  We started ripping out the kitchen back during Thanksgiving, finished most of the laundry room addition and laid the floor, but we did not install lights or fully sheetrock and finish the laundry room. 

I received a text from a carpenter friend who had a few weeks before his next job and wanted to know if I needed any odd jobs done.  I had a whole list!  But, I settled on sheetrocking the laundry room, completely rewiring the kitchen and installing new lights, as well as finish the butler’s pantry.  He finished installing my lights and putting together the butler’s pantry today.  I am going to caulk, trim and paint the butler’s pantry myself.  Next week, he will sheetrock inside and out the laundry room and install a cabinet over my refrigerator.  Here are the pictures of what he has done so far.  I am sooooo excited!  If anyone is not impressed, you need to click here and see what the kitchen looked like when we moved in!  Watch the slideshow…it is quite entertaining.

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For the butler’s pantry, click here to see where it was and what it looked like.  We moved it back into its original location.  Now, this is what it looks like before caulk, trim and some pretty being added:

Well, people, I am excited!  Since Steven is now technically a GE employee and that means appliance discounts!!!  We have been shopping for a GE stainless steel, hidden control dishwasher.  I have been waiting on the white one to die, but it just has not given up the ghost.  To make ourselves feel better, we are telling ourselves that we can store the white one until we buy and redo another rent house.  We can use it there *wink*.  hehe…  My refrigerator and stove are stainless, so I would really like a dishwasher to match.

We have a lot of finishing work to do…baseboard, trim, quarter round, sheetrock, new dishwasher, painting the kitchen cabinets, etc. but I feel good!  We are moving right along!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Andrea