The Ten Year Plan: Year Six

In this, our seventh year at Casa Decrepit, we made a lot of progress on making the house more livable. It helped that I was actually living at home and we both had more free time thanks to a fun economy. We had a currently unbloggable event going on much of the year that kind of took us out of production mode for a while, as well as a death in the family, but we still made decent progress and we're already planning our projects for this next year.

Without further ado, our Ten Year Plan review. (If it's stricken without comment, we finished it in a previous year.)

  1. Paint exterior of house
  2. Finish living rooms
    I can safely say that we have gotten the front parlour to as done as it's going to get for the time being. Not bad.

    We started by taking down the grossly inadequate and incompetent work done by our former foundation contractor, the ugly red-faced bully who showed up on the job site drunk.
    January 3, 2009 : Why We Caulk

    I spent some time talking about how I choose colour schemes for rooms.
    January 17, 2009 : Choosing Paint Colours

    Then it was powering along on the drywall work.
    March 7, 2009 : A Dusting of White
    March 10, 2009 : Going Back to Go Forward
    March 15, 2009 : Et Tu, Drywall?
    March 16, 2009 : Mudding in the Ceiling of the Bay
    March 21, 2009 : Second Coat
    March 22, 2009 : Home Stretch

    And painting
    March 23, 2009 : Priming
    March 24, 2009 : Testing Colours
    March 25, 2009 : In Which We Move the Piano, Again
    March 25, 2009 : Fancy Paint
    March 24, 2009 : More Pink!

    We've been living with the front parlour mostly finished for much of the year, and I can safely say we love it. The aqua blue is perfect for the northern light we get there, and while the grand piano does dominate the room, we have enough room to have had our dining table in there much of the year.
  3. Foundation replacement
  4. Remove Fright Box under house, redo plumbing
  5. Redo upstairs bath and add half bath under stairs
    We wanted to do this this year, but it was not in the cards. The deciding factor was money, and the economy has been such that we did not have tons of spare money kicking around. What we did have we spent on more critical parts of the house, such as the roof.
  6. Remove chimney, replace furnace thing
  7. Install gas fireplace in living room, upstairs
    This is not exactly a high priority, and we didn't plan to do anything with it this year.
  8. Re-roof
    We'd planned to have certain events wrapped up this summer in time to do a decent re-roofing job on the back of the house. However, those events didn't wrap up, and without them being wrapped up we didn't have the money required to have somebody else do the work, so instead Noel and I studied up on roof repair and then he got up there and did the job.

    Noel applied sealant along the gap between the lower roof and the upper roof
    October 18, 2009 : Battening the Hatches
    October 20, 2009 : Flash and Goop

    Then he removed and replaced the improperly installed shingles on the bay roof
    November 30, 2009 : Fun on the Roof
    December 2, 2009 : Shipshape and Watertight

    So now we are set until we're ready to put on the second-story addition on the back, sometime in the (hopefully not too distant) distant future.
  9. Insulate crawlspace and attic
    This is actually not far from the top of the list, since it should be an easy job. It's just a pain in the butt, and involves getting covered in fiberglass strands that itch.
  10. Remove fake wooden panelling, stabilize plaster, and repaint all rooms
    As of March 28, there is no more fake wood paneling in any of the main rooms of the house (some remains in the closet under the stairs).

    It started in January, when we decided to have a ceiling-dropping party. When we drilled a hole in the hall ceiling and found good plaster under there, we expanded the scope from the dining room to include the two dropped ceilings in the entry hall and upstairs hall, as well.
    January 27, 2009 : Monday Night Fever

    In March we held the first of several construction parties and took down the ceilings. It was amazing. It was the best fun we've ever had on the house. Our friends are awesome.
    March 27, 2009 : Another Start
    March 28, 2009 : Hard Day's Work
    March 29, 2009 : It's Dark in Here

    Then it was a long slog of wallpaper removal and paint stripping, still partially in process.
    April 1, 2009 : Misuse of Household Appliances
    April 2, 2009 : The Legible House
    April 4, 2009 : Working Boy
    April 5, 2009 : While You Were Out
    May 5, 2009 : Our Lives Are Full of Scraping
    May 16, 2009 : Peeling Away

    As usual, we got a nice large collection of random junk from the ceiling (the ceilings in the back of the house are full of stuff that fell into the cracks between the floorboards in the attic).
    April 14, 2009 : Stuff From Our Ceiling

    After a brief hiatus to work on garden projects and deal with a death in the family, new chicks, and the one thing that has been occupying much of our time and financial resources for the last few years, we had another event and took down the dining room ceiling.
    October 24, 2009 : Ceiling Fall Down Go Boom

    Where we found more interesting stuff:
    October 27, 2009 : Out of the Ceiling

    Then it was a rush to get the wiring repaired and prepare to put up drywall.
    November 5, 2009 : The Smallest Changes

    Which actually went quite quickly, given the weirdness of our framing.
    November 8, 2009 : Walls Once Again

    We hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in our dining room, so the work expanded and contracted around those dates. But by the end of the year we had a dining room.
    November 30, 2009 : Fun on a Ladder
    December 20, 2009 : Three Squares
    December 22, 2009 : Nothing Like a Dinner Party to Motivate You
    December 23, 2009 : Look! White Walls!
    December 24, 2009 : Watching Paint Dry
    December 24, 2009 : We Call It a Room
    December 26, 2009 : Happy Christmas
    December 29, 2009 : Let There be Light

    We're taking some time to rest and get over winter colds before tackling the floor, then it's on to the hallway so we can strike this one off the list completely next year.
  11. Block air infiltration around various doors (as done as it can get)
  12. Replace window sashes (Moved off the 10-year plan because of logistics)
  13. Strip ugly pink paint from as much woodwork as possible
    I think this might be the first time we can actually report good news on this front. Noel began stripping paint with a heat gun and a radiant heater. It's slow going, but we are revealing more and more actual wood under the pink paint. We also stripped the pink paint out of the niche, though it still kind of looks like hell.

    May 5, 2009 : Our Lives Are Full of Scraping
    May 16, 2009 : Peeling Away
  14. Remove linoleum from floors/refinish wooden floors
    We didn't get to any of this this year because we were working on the walls. But in 2010 we will take up the dining room floor, which with luck will not be a total mess and can just be refinished with a sander and some polyurethane.
  15. Remove the concrete driveway extension into the back yard
  16. Related landscaping/gardening
  17. Repair front porch/re-rebuild front steps
  18. Repair side porch, remove steps, and turn into a conservatory
    The stairs for the side porch are going to remain, after all, but we didn't have the money to replace the crappy construction stairs put in by our incompetent foundation contractor.
  19. Draw detailed plans for the Day of Glory
    We worked out the arrangement of the back of the house this year, including a rear staircase (I prefer to have two staircases in a house like this in case of fire) that goes all the way into the basement. The detailed plans are still in progress, but the skeleton is all worked out.

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posted by ayse on 01/02/10