Ten Projects for 2009

I think the idea of putting together a list of ten projects to get done in the coming year really helped us focus last year, so we're going to do it again. Some of these projects may look familiar to those who read the report on last year's projects, because they are actually last year's projects that we didn't get to, but you know, we do have other things going on in addition to the house. In roughly the order we want to do them in:

1. Finish the Parlours

We got started on this right before the holidays, and our plan is to just Get It Done this year. We figured we'd start with the front and move to the back, just to keep the chaos under control. The front parlour was not hard to clear out because we were mostly using it as a storage space. Since the back parlour is the library, this will involve moving a LOT of books, so I'm not exactly looking forward to it, but the other choice is to never finish the parlours ever.

To finish these rooms, we have to remove the damaged taping, redo it, repair the cracks in the drywall, and repaint. We also will be fixing the floors and using flowable floor filler to fill the gaps, then maybe painting them. Noel also wants to do some of the trim in those rooms, to make them look more finished. This is certainly workable, though it may not happen at the same time as the rest of the work.

2. Electricity and water to the shed

A relatively simple project will involve trenching out to the shed (yet again with the trenching!) to put in an irrigation circuit and some wiring (currently the electrical service out there is by an extension cord run along the side fence, and net connectivity is wireless and unreliable). (Yes, we do need net connectivity in our chicken house. We are nerds.) This is pretty much just waiting on me trimming back the Cecile Brunner rose so Noel can dig without being eaten alive.

3. Dining Room

We want to get together a work party to help us take down the fake wood paneling in the dining room (can you believe somebody has offered to take it off our hands?), and also to help us bust down the lowered ceiling in there. It's entirely possible that there will be more than one lowered ceiling. At any rate, we're thinking that might be nice to do in February. Wanna join us?

4. Upstairs subpanel

We need a subpanel upstairs. Right now we have a very dicey fuse box in the front bedroom closet, and the wiring is just frightening in many places. As we've repaired stuff we've removed what we can from there, but running wires from the basement is unweildy, so the time has come. This subpanel will go in the hallway we're creating out of half of our bathroom. It's part of our bathroom remodel project.

5. Bathrooms

Will this be the year for the bathrooms? I hope so. We want to add a bathroom under the stairs, and slice the upstairs bathroom into a hallway (into the attic for now) and a smaller full bathroom. Much of the work we can do ourselves, and while we will be sort of splashing out on some fixtures, we will mostly be doing this on the cheap, including not doing the tile work we want to do when we really get around to it. Given that this is a project that was on last year's list and never even got close to getting started, don't hold your breath.

6. Greenhouse and anti-dog fences

We'd really like to get a premanufactured greenhouse and put it in the back yard, in the place of the metal shed (which a friend has already asked to inherit). The greenhouse would be a lot of work, requiring us to do cast concrete walls and assemble a kit, but it is workable.

The anti-dog fencing is so that we can actually eat some of the many many vegetables we grow in the garden, instead of growing dog snacks. I think that's really just a matter of a weekend of assembly.

7. Finish the siding

This project is dependent on some other factors I can't discuss right now, but we have every reason to believe that those factors will be concluded sometime this year. The good news is, prices have fallen, and we might be able to do the siding for less than we expected. The bad news is, it's still incredibly expensive to have somebody re-create the original siding. We're planning to hire the firm that did our front steps, Coyle Home Remodel, to do the work.

8. Side stairs

The first, and probably the easiest, of the last of the foundation projects. To close the permit on our foundation, we need to have legal stairs at the back and side doors, siding on the house, and electrical plans for the basement. Side stairs will get us partway there. If we have the money to do the siding, we will likely have the money to have the same folks do the side stairs.

9. Deck

The deck is our answer to legal stairs for the back door. This is a good thing, because we wanted a deck, anyway, and we think we can build it ourselves without too much trouble. It'll likely be cheaper to build an entire deck ourselves than to hire somebody to build a set of stairs that we would just eventually remove to make room for a deck, anyway.

10. Close out the permit for the foundation

This is probably a pie-in-the-sky project. We need the stairs for side and back, siding, electrical plans, and possibly some other work to close out the permit. But we'd both like it to be over. If the things holding up the siding get resolved, we are likely to be able to do this in 2009. Otherwise, well: not.

That's a nice full plate for the next year, don't you think?

posted by ayse on 12/29/08