Ten Projects for 2008

I'll be doing our annual review of the Ten Year Plan (summary: not great, but I did write my thesis this year) in the coming week, but this week I've been working on some slightly more forward-thinking stuff. We've got a series of projects we'd like/hope to get done this year, and I've been doing research and planning for them. Some projects require serious architectural drawings, and some just require a bit of logistics. Here they are, in no particular order:

Project 1: Accordion Room

The Accordion Room, where we were working before Christmas, is slightly stalled due to having been stuffed full of musical instruments for our holiday party. In the next day or so we'll move those back out and I can get back to removing wallpaper paste and then repairing plaster. In the mean time, I've been working on paint ideas, some of which have come out a bit too cutesy. This should be done in the next two weeks.

When the room is done and painted, we will move a bed and some other furniture in there and have a nice guest bedroom, if a small one.

Project 2: Operation Bathroom Restoration

We disconnected our upstairs bathroom during the foundation work, and we really, really want it back (with three adults full-time in the house, even one extra toilet would be nice). I'm working on some drawings so we can get a permit, and also trying to see what it will take to talk the city into letting me use PEX for the water supply so I don't have to tear out a wall. At the same time, we'd put in the bathroom under the stairs, which would give us three (THREE!!!) functional toilets, and two showers.

(I have another fantasy in which we move the washer and dryer into the downstairs bathroom where the shower is now, and then we can put in an interior staircase to the basement. We'll see where that goes. There's usually not a backup at the shower, so it could work.)

Right now, this project is in the drawing stage. I have to read some of the California Plumbing Code (which is the UPC with some modifications) and since I do not have my own copy of that I need to wait until a library is open. When the drawings are good for this, they will also be ready to start working on our major remodel drawings. I think we can do this project, but it will take a huge hunk of time.

Project 3: Major Remodel Drawings

This has been at the end of the Ten-Year Plan, sort of nebulous. But this summer I worked out how I want the floor plan to work, modulo one little problem at the back of the house where I want to do some fiddling. With floor plans, I can do measurements and make my elevations, sections, and site plan, many of which will be required for the bathroom work for Project 2, anyway.

The more work I can do early on for the Major Remodel, the better off we are when we get ready to get permits and go through a Major Design Review. That's somewhere down the road (after the end of the Ten Year Plan), but I'm all about being prepared. On the other hand, this is not going to be eating up a lot of time, and is the sort of thing we can let slide as required by other projects.

Project 4: Chickens in the Garden

I've been planning chickens for a while in my plan for Compost Domination. This winter we're going to build the chicken enclosure and the chicken house, and then in March or so we get the chickens. That should eat up much of the winter. It's not optional: I'm ready to have nice fresh eggs.

Project 5: Bees in the Garden

This is a little less pressing. I'll be getting some bees maybe next year (erm, 2009, that is), but definitely after we've done the roof, because the current roof is open to the outside and removing a swarm of bees from the attic is not my idea of loads of fun. In the meantime, I'm going to be building equipment for them this winter (I like the look, but bees are not terribly fond of fresh wood and a nice new coat of paint in their home, so aging the equipment a year before housing bees in it works nicely for both of us). I'll also need to build a more secure back fence in our garden because the one belonging to the neighbor could fall in at any minute, and that would be disaster with bees right there.

Project 6: New Roof

There's not much planning to do on this. But we'd like a new roof. This one is from 1962 and shows its age. This is waiting not for planning or anything like that, but for us to have the money it is going to take (as re-roofing will meaning rebuilding the structure of the roof) and to find the right sort of roofer to do the job. After the burning we got on the foundation, we are understandably reluctant to undertake another major project, but every year the urgency increases.

Project 7: Reopening the Pantry

One of our pantries was illegally turned into a bathroom by the previous owners. We removed the bathroom, and removed the door that connected it to the library (back parlour), but we have not yet reopened it to the kitchen. We should really do that, as the storage space would be nice. When we do, we'll move the refrigerator in there, and in its space build a countertop/set of shelves much like the coffee machine counter my friend Bob and I built several years ago. It'd be nice to have the workspace.

Noel thinks this is the work of a couple of weekends, but I think it's at least a month or more. On the other hand, I can't see why we should not be able to do this this year.

Project 8: Assorted Food Plans

I've ordered four more apple trees for the garden this winter, and in the spring I plan to get some more blueberries (the dogs and I managed to kill the first three) and maybe cadge some raspberry cuttings off a friend, and move around roses and so forth until I have room to grow some serious foodstuffs out back. With the irrigation in place and functioning (and now that we have the water tank, this can even be free), it should be a good summer in the garden.

Project 9: A Deck

This is unsure at this point. Noel thinks we can do it fairly easily now that I'm home. I bought a book on deck building this week, and I can draw up some plans, but if we do decide to do the bathroom thing, that may eat up all our time, assuming I'm actually working all year.

Needs drawings and material research.

Project 10: More Paneling

We might be able to work out a deal to move the tech startup that has been in my dining room out of there. If that happens, the last of the paneling will be coming down, and we will be entirely paneling-free. This takes no planning, but we might be getting a dumpster if it does happen.

That sounds like a year full of house work, doesn't it? And after two years of very little progress (preceded by one year of unmitigated horror), that looks pretty nice to me. We'll review our progress on these projects in about a year and see how well-founded the optimism really was.

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posted by ayse on 12/30/07

4 Comments

That's quite the full dance card for this year, but I really look forward to seeing what you get through. And chickens!

I'm pretty sure the city is now ok with pex tubing, so that will hopefully be a very easy battle for you.. on the other hand, they require a plumbing diagram *for the entire house* before you touch any part of the supply or drain lines :/

But all that would be sooo worth the not having to wait in agony until someone gets out of the bathroom!

And if you need any deck books, we've got 'em.. and if you find you miss your paneling you can go visit my folks! :D

happy 2008!

I went down to the city on Tuesday and they were quite firm about NOT allowing PEX. Even though the building code allows it. They didn't make us give them a plumbing diagram for the re-do of the plumbing when we did the foundation, but perhaps that whole thing was such a mess they just threw up their hands in despair.

BTW, nice tarp.

I talked to the plan check engineer and the head building inspector in late Dec. and they said that AL was ratifying the new codes that allow PEX for water supply piping and that after jan 2nd it would be okay. I hope that I'm right and you just talked to someone with their head up their butt as I really, really want to use PEX.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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