Monday, April 20, 2015

Home Improvement Projects

Even if I don't own a place, I'm going to improve it so I am happiest living there.  The first two things I needed to get done was the path so I could park my motorcycle around back, and fencing the back yard.

The path project was first.  It took three trips to Home Depot buying paving stones.  My van could only hold so much weight at once and I wasn't sure how much I needed.  I completed this project right after moving and while I was starting couch to 5k.  Loading the stones on the cart, pushing the cart to the register, unloading the stones and putting them in my car, then unloading them at home and carrying them to the correct spot made my body sore and unhappy.  But if I didn't do it, it wouldn't get done.  And in the end it got done.

The center section is original

Done!  And Muffin Approved. 
Added paving stones on both sides so my feet are able to touch the ground.

Added the 2 rows of bricks to fill in the dirt planter between the path and cement area.

Next was the fence.  For this project I was willing to pay professionals.  Until I got quotes that is.  The first company wanted $1200 and the second $850.  That was for approx 90 feet of wire fencing with t posts, which are just pounded into the ground, not cemented.  For that cost I figured my unhappy body was good for another project.  My friend K had come by to drop off my final load of stuff from the old house.  I had the movers skip the outside stuff (jumps, teeter, etc) and some things from the garage.  Gah- move stuff to move!  When she was checking out the place, she suggested I attach the fence directly to the treeline.  That saved me money on buying posts and also the work of pounding the posts in.  We have a heavy duty fence pounder at work that I borrowed.  It was so heavy I needed 2 hands just to lift it.  I used a ladder to get it high enough to get over the top of the posts.  I went back to Home Depot and loaded up on fencing materials.

It turns out the trees are so rotted the nails wouldn't hold.  Luckily the ivy vines growing on the trees provided nice solid places to anchor the fence.  Almost too solid.  I think ivy vines may be the hardest wood known to man.  I bent more nails than I pounded it.  Also luckily it turns out the rotted trees are actually tall stumps so I don't have to worry about them falling on my house.

With more achcy bones and muscles, lots of sweat and dirt, my fence is now up.  It isn't very professional, but it gets the job done.  It only cost me $100 in materials.

Just starting.  The gate and lattice was already up.  The rolled wire wanted badly to squish/ pinch my fingers by rolling as I moved it, but I was (usually) too smart for it.

Fence all the way down the tree line.  This time Pie was the inspector.  Inspector Pie.

Done- just as the sun went down.  

The other projects I had done was replacing the toilet seat (eww!) putting up a new ceiling fan (old one only had one speed and the light had to be on with the fan) and new doorknobs.  The old ones (both upstairs and in the storage area) were so beat up that you couldn't lock the lock on the handle and you had to use the deadbolt.  Which is a pain when leaving because you have to use your key to lock the door.  And even then the deadbolts were all messed up and didn't lock and unlock easily.  I had one of the guys from work do these jobs and I paid him with Chick-fil-A and the Nutrisystem meals I don't like.

So now everything is ready to go and nothing else needs to be done.  As I was writing these blogs today I was watching online TV on my TV (instead of my laptop as usual) courtesy of my new Fire TV stick.  Basically it grabs the wireless signal and displays on the TV so I can use my computer and still watch Netflix or Amazon TV.  I finished 2 episodes of Castle and now I'm playing music on it.  I get free music since I have Amazon Prime.  Free 2 day shipping on eligible items and lots of free movies, TV and now music.

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