Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Front Yard

A few months ago, the front yard looked like this. The "grass" was mostly weeds and mostly dead.

I knew I wanted it xeriscaped--something I could hit with a hose once a week and be done, but was pretty. I didn't want to pay someone to design something but I don't know anything about landscape design. I discarded a bunch of ideas before deciding on this.

I like curves
I had the grass torn out and the yard leveled. Crushed granite and mulch replaced the grass and a few low water grasses and flowering plants in shades of orange, red, and purple were installed. I had the offshoot sidewalk torn out but quickly realized I needed a walkway of some sort. A friend donated flat  stones from his beach on Lake Travis.

The grass on its way out

Baskets from Target match the porch perfectly!

Granite and mulch in, no plants yet

The side of the house is clean!

River rock borders, stone pathway, and plants

Donated boulders from the lake, blue agave from my mom, and prickly pear from a neighbor. Two red/orange lantana and a red yucca went into the corner area.

Pretty close to my drawing!

The plants are small now but they'll get larger and fill in the space.

Coming home to this makes me happy!

Monday, December 7, 2015

2015 Interior Changes (photos)

Living Room

I removed the ugly brass screen from the fireplace. To do that, I had to have a damper/flue installed to keep the Texas heat from coming down the chimney. I also had a few cracks fixed and missing bricks replaced. I still need to give it  a coat of high-heat black paint. The rug is from Gilt. The red loveseat and orange rocker are Craigslist finds. I also moved the Nate Frizell painting to the dining room and the big mirror to the living room, which is smaller and gets less light.

New art from A Person Yeah

Dining Room
The rug is from Fab. The table is from Room Service Vintage. The chairs were purchased from a masonic temple. The credenza is from Craigslist. The  window trim/sill (not in the photo) needs to be repaired.

Detail of the light box my dad built for me. The panel is NOS from the '70s.

Sewing Room
The futon is from Ikea, the rug from Gilt, the desk and hutch from Craigslist. Normally the futon is set up like a couch, not a bed.

Media Room
I replaced the couch with a sofa bed (from Club Furniture--it was the least expensive mid mod looking sofa that I could find). The rug is from Gilt. I made the matching pillows from some fabric I had sitting around. 

Hall Bath
This room has the most changes. I decided against a stained glass window (too expensive) and refinished the existing weight and pulley window. One frame was too rotted to save, so I had a local carpenter rebuild it. I added a shower conversion to the tub. I realize I don't have a photo. I'll post one later. The only thing left to do is finish stripping and painting the door and frame.

Where we last left the bathroom

door hardware before

and after
still working on it
the door frame still needs to be done

2015 Interior Changes (the list)

I have made a lot of changes to the interior. Here is the to-do list. Everything in black was done before I last posted. Everything in green has been completed since then.

Restoration/Renovation Master Plan


Repair Electrical and Install Weather Mast
Repair Roof and Flashing Around Chimney
Paint Every Room and Ceiling
Install Shoe Molding
Level Floors
Repair Crack in Drywall/Repaint
Clean Previous Owner's Crap Out of Attic

Purchase and Install Drop-Down Attic Ladder
Add roof joists for extra support
Refinish Doors/Hardware
Replace Modern Doors with Antique Panel Doors

Living Room
Reupholster Settee (sold it)
Hang Curtains in Front Window
Replace Rug

Refinish Built-In Bookcases
Hang Art
Refinish French Doors/hardware
Refinish Baseboards

Dining Room
Refinish Baseboards
Plane Door to A/C Closet Doors/Hardware
Repair Window Frame
Build Light Box
Reupholster Dining Room Chairs (sold those and purchased different ones)
Consider Purchasing Sideboard (purchased a record stand)

Hall Bath

Tear out corner cabinet
Remove tub and sink
Tear out old tile
Open wall/floor, replace pipes to sink and tub
Replace 80% of drywall on walls and ceiling
Strip and refinish medicine cabinet (in progress)
Strip, refinish and repair original sash window including broken pane and rope pulleys
Replace bottom pane with stained glass if affordable
Refinish window
Install fan in ceiling
Tile floor
Replace and patch baseboards
Replace shoe molding
Float and tape walls
Paint walls
Paint baseboards and shoe molding
Replace tub and sink
Fabricate hook and hang antique cup holder
Purchase properly sized storage cabinet (decided against it)
Hang art and towel rack
Purchase and install shower conversion
Strip and paint door, door frame, and hardware

Purchase and Hang Curtain Rod
Make and Hang Curtains
Reupholster Headboard and Bench
Replace Light Fixture/Fan
Purchase Dresser
Paint Standing Mirror

Master Bath
Purchase and Hang Medicine Cabinet
Purchase Over-Toilet Storage
Purchase and Hang Towel Rack and T.P. Holder

Tear Out Old Tile Floors and Shower
Retile Floors
Tile Shower with Antique Peacock Tiles (Purchased)
Replace Shower Walls/Door Opening with Glass
Replace Sconces with Antiques (Purchased)
Consider Replacing (or at least repainting) Vanity
Replace Showerhead
Purchase Shelves

Replace Kitchen Cabinets, Countertops and Backsplash
Remove soffit above kitchen window
Vent stove 
Refinish Hoosier Cabinet
Purchase Vintage Refrigerator
High Heat Paint Stove Grill
Refinish Window Trim/Ledge
Purchase Curtain for Window

Media Room
Plane Door to Closet so it Closes
Replace Big Desk with Something Smaller
Hang Remaining Art

Replace couch with sofa bed

Sewing Room
Hang Vintage Light Fixture (Purchased)
Plane Closet Door so it Closes
Purchase futon

Laundry Room
Plane Door to Water Heater Closet so it Closes
Add Seating/Shoe Storage Unit Next to Door
Install Shoe Molding

Paint Boards
Install Shoe Molding


Replace All Iron and Galvanized Pipes with Insulated PVC

Remove All Old Gas Lines Not in Use
Add Insulation Below Floors
Replace Skirting
Paint House
Replace Missing Piece of Trim

Purchase Screens for Windows
Label Breaker Box Switches
Replace Rotted Porch Rails

Remove Overgrown Tree Lifting Porch
Remove Dead Trees from Side Yard
Remove Cracked and Crumbling Concrete Paths
Xeriscape Front Yard

Plant Climbing Rose Bushes Next to Gate Posts
Install Gate Pin in Ground
Level Back Yard
Remove Concrete Pieces from Back Yard
Replace Fence

Paint Side of Shed
Landscape Back Yard
Install Sprinkler System (installed artificial turf instead)
Build Raised Planters with Limestone (decided against it)
Replace Rotted Rails on Back Deck
Replace Rotten Boards on Deck and Wash the Rest
Replace Driveway (Pea Gravel?)

2015 Changes

Holy crap! It's been almost two years since I have posted anything here. That doesn't mean I haven't made any changes to the house--far from it! I will attempt to get caught up. My last post shows some early stages of the house painting. Here are some photos during that process as well as the after photos. I went with salsa for the porch instead of the dark salmon.

top to bottom, original color, primer, new color

rotted sided next to the A/C unit
new siding

the old mailbox
the new (old) mailbox and house numers

the porch when first painted

it's mellowed a bit

Friday, March 14, 2014

House Painting

I am finally getting the house painted! Yeah! Remember these colors I picked out ages ago?

Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue and Dark Salmon

The house will be Palladian Blue, the trim white and the concrete porch (and perhaps a few other small accents), Dark Salmon.

The ancient alligatoring paint will be removed with an infrared device. The work began yesterday. Under the blue, there was yellow, under the yellow, white. The porch had been many, many colors over the years including grey, white, teal (teal?), but under it all, the original stained concrete is...dark salmon. Weird good.

The original porch color

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Deck and Labeled Breaker Box

The back deck is done. It just needs to be decorated. P did a great job of mixing the new and old wood. It’s striped and looks intentional (and pretty cool). Once it seasons, I’ll stain it to match the two-tone gate. 

I had tall posts installed at the corners so that someday I can put a roof on it and screen it in (&*^#@! mosquitos!).

New supports, old stairs

The deck looks so good, it draws attention to the dismal state of my back yard. 

Someday it will be leveled and sprinklers will be installed. That’s the only way I’ll keep anything alive back there. I think I’ll build a small raised kitchen garden on the left and either paint a (peacock) mural on the shed or put up a trellis to block the view from the house. Add a winding path, climbing rose bush near the gate and a small grassy area and I will be happy.  But I think I had better fix the cracks in the drywall inside the house first.

Yup. It's a breaker box. Exciting, no?
 On the 4th of July, N came over and together we labeled the breaker box. You can tell from the floor plan that the outlets and light switches were added over time. We started by turning on all the lights, flipping a breaker switch and walking around to see what lights went out. We quickly learned it was much more efficient to stand next to the outlet (with a lamp plugged in) and flip each breaker switch until the light went out, then move onto the next outlet or light switch. A lamp plugged into the outlet worked much better than the current detector. We were getting false positives. Apparently there’s leftover juice in the outlet after the breaker switch is flipped—enough to light up the detector, but not enough to light a lamp.

Cute, yet useless helper

Directly below the breaker box. Um...I think maybe I should fix this...and paint my house,

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Skirting and the Back Deck Part 1

So I never posted about the skirting. After the house was leveled I had the floors insulated and the skirting replaced as intended.

Much better than this.

Trench dug and mesh up

3 coats plus placeholder for vent

In order to reskirt the back of the house, my back deck had to be partially disassembled. It was going to cost about $200 to have it reassembled. No problem.

The back deck was in pretty sad condition. It was saggy, missing a lot of pickets, the rail wasn't regulation height and was twisted and warped.
Sad, saggy deck
Apparently, unbeknownst to me, it was also in imminent danger of collapse. Once disassembled, it was clear that whoever built it was completely clueless. Most of the posts didn't even touch the ground and some were spaced four feet apart. There were no posts at all at the corners next to the house and the entire deck on that side was "supported" by the three nails attaching it to the house. My $200 turned into a $3,000 problem.  I had the whole thing rebuilt salvaging as much of the wood as possible.

Notice the post stops at the deck surface level. Nothing supporting this corner at all.

Nothing supporting this corner either. Just those 3 nails holding everything up.
What the heck is going on here?