I spent part of Saturday planning out my projects for the next six months, along with budget and a bit of Dad guidance. Here’s my tentative plan for the next few months:
1) Fence. Must do this soon, before the ground hardens. I’ve done quite a bit of research (including the need for a permit!), taken tons of measurements, and am just about ready to go. Except, of course, for a few nagging questions. Like, what do I do with the old fence? And what happens to all the junk my neighbor has propped up against my back fence? Those will be answered soon.
2) Windows. I’ve been window shopping lately, learning as much as I can about replacement windows. I spent a couple good hours at Home Depot learning from their window expert and have read countless websites. In the interest of time, sanity and proper insulation, I will be hiring a company to do this project – their estimates will determine how many I replace now versus next year. I’ve got three contractors identified for bids; I hope to have them all out within the next few days.
3) Replace cracked window panes. Related to replacing windows, I’ve got two cracked panes on my porch. Replacing them will take a bit of research, but I should be able to handle it myself.
4) Finish caulking the porch roof. I started this with half a tube of leftover caulk, so I might as well finish it. A little extra insulation never hurt anyone.
5) Light-a-palooza. I have a couple u-g-l-y light fixtures that continue to annoy me. The next time that Home Depot/Lowe’s/Menards has a great lighting sale, I’m going to bite the bullet and replace a couple of the most egregious – like the Hollywood Barbie light bar in the downstairs bathroom and the naked bulb in the stairwell.
6) Dining room floor. My floor has been uneven since I first looked at the house – the joys of 110 years of history – but the dining room has always been the most noticable and disconcerting. My home inspector said it stemmed from a cracked floor joist that must have occured when a previous owner installed ductwork in the basement. The inspector and another contractor concurred that the floor isn’t sinking – it’s moved as far as it will – but it’s always been a bit unsettling. Regardless, I plan on ripping up the otherwise nice hardwood floor and pouring a leveling compound, then laying a new subfloor and some sort of flooring. I may also replace the support beams in the basement to make them all uniform and get rid of the potentially-scary shims.
I had about two thirds of a tube of caulk left after I finished the last of the door sealing yesterday. It was the first time I had used this particular brand, which meant that after I snipped the top and loaded it into the gun, I struggled and tried to get the goop flowing, to no avail. Instead, I ended up rupturing the bottom of it, not realizing that this brand also has an internal foil seal to break. Oops. Regardless, the result was that I couldn’t just plug the top and save the rest for a rainy day. Rather, I had to use it or lose it.
Since I’ve had a couple minor (and one major) leaks in the porch ceiling this summer, I’ve been meaning to replace a couple rotten boards and seal the gaps in the whole ceiling. I took the leftover caulk as the perfect opportunity to start sealing some of the gaps between the beadboard. Up on my ladder, I could reach things just fine, but I found myself realizing that Michelangelo was on to something when he lay on his back to paint the Sistine Chapel. In the hour or so that I was working, I did maybe a fifth of the porch ceiling, since I had to keep moving the ladder. At moments I would reach too far directly behind my head and momentarily feel a bit dizzy. Eek.
But I didn’t realize the true extent of my work until this morning, when I woke up with aching triceps. Who knew that caulking the ceiling would be such a great workout? I’ve got least four or five more workouts ahead of me before winter sets in.