Ten Projects for 2010

All the pondering of last year's work is over, and it's time to turn our thoughts to what we'll get done this year. It seems to work very well for us to make a prioritized list of projects at the beginning of the year, in order to organize our thoughts and get our priorities aligned. So we did it again this year, sitting down a few days ago to talk about what we needed to get done, what we wanted to get done, and so forth.

And because Noel didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did that we had 10 projects in 2009 and I could only come up with 9 for 2010, thus totally missing a terrific title, I padded the list a bit.

1. Finish off the hallway

We need to wash the walls, repair the plaster, and paint in the hallway. This is going to be our first project of 2010, because it's the largest and the one that is a gating factor for many other jobs we want to get done. That's because Alameda now requires any permit closure to include an interior inspection of smoke alarms in all required rooms, no matter whether the work has anything to do with the interior at all. And we have some large-ish holes in the plaster in our hallway that are just asking for trouble. (Any non-code work that is uncovered must be brought up to code, and I can guarantee you that none of the original framing in this house is remotely close to code.)

Because scrubbing sucks so much, I'm going to try using a scrubbing device. Isn't that a terrific idea? It may suck, it may fall apart in a few days, but if it saves me one day of scrubbing at the walls it will be worth it.

We've also decided that when we get the walls done, we can reward ourselves by replacing the little fixed window that used to be over the front door (it's filled in with plywood now). So there's a lot of incentive to get it done.

2. Kitty room

Our new kitty is a lot more active and bouncy than our late kitty (he's 3, she was 18), so now that we have the roof repaired and there is not as much water in the attic, we want to make the little dogproof room he uses for his litter box and food area less drafty and dirty (bonus for us: cleaner kitty to play with). So we're going to put up partition walls between that space and the rest of the attic. That will also make it a little brighter in there when the light is on.

3. Fixing the walls in the back parlour

When the foundation happened... oh, you've heard this story a million times, haven't you? Well, the walls in the back parlour still need to be repaired. We figure this is a good time to get it done, which fits well with our plans to a) get one or two kittens to keep the aforementioned kitty company, for whom we will need to kitten-proof the house, and b) do something with the floors, for which we will need to move all those bookcases. When we finish repairing the walls we can go right to the floors.

So yes, we will have 2-3 cats and 2 dogs and 5 chickens. We also have about 10,000 worms, but somehow nobody thinks that is animal overload.

4. Fix up the floors

We'd planned, until we talked over our plans for the next year, to just jump right in and rip up the dining room floor next week. But getting the hallway walls done is a higher priority for us, because it's keeping us from getting an inspection on some electrical work.

When we talked about the dining room floor, though, I told Noel that what I really wanted was to rip up all the weird plywood/vinyl tile flooring in the hallway, too. And he pointed out that once you do that you might as well rent the sander for a week or two and do all the floors downstairs, even if it does mean moving two pianos into the kitchen. So that's a pretty big project that we're planning for later this year, after I've made a mess of the existing hall floors by repairing the plaster and painting the hall.

(I'd love to also attack the kitchen floors (there are two of them, one on top of the other), but I know they run under the cabinets so there's no way it's happening any time soon. I'm an idealist but not insane.)

5. Stripping paint from the woodwork

A continuing project.

6. Build that arbor in the side yard

Because the passionflower vine is growing out of control and the dogs keep knocking its little trellis over. Also because it would look awesome.

7. Finish roofing the chicken yard

We started working on this last summer and got 1/3 of the way through. Basically, we ran out of convenient materials and didn't bother with getting/producing any more. But the roof we have is so nice that I'd like to finish off the job. And maybe put some gutters on the chicken shed, to eventually run into a rain barrel or two.

8. Put an electrical panel upstairs

This is associated with the larger project of getting rid of all that scary wiring. We've been planning for a while to put in a subpanel in the upstairs hallway, or rather in the part of the former upstairs bathroom that will be a hallway. And that is associated with the next job, which is:

9. Get started on the upstairs/under stairs bathrooms

It's not a hard job, it's not necessarily too expensive (since we will be doing the trade work ourselves and we ca go cheap on fixtures). But it does require drawings to the city and a willingness to get into a really messy project (quite literally, as part of it requires tying in to the sewer connection). We're finally at the point where we're ready to take out the permits and just get this done. I guess seven years of walking the entire length of the house to go to the bathroom at night finally got to us.

The first step in this project, amusingly enough, is to order a replacement print head and band kit for my large-format printer, the disrepair of which has kept me from printing out the plans. That is the stupidest reason ever to have put off the work for a year. Please do not remind me that print service bureaux exist.

10. Finally close the foundation permit

I think I've said enough about this over the last few days, but suffice it to say that after more than five years I'm ready for that project to just be done.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

posted by ayse on 01/04/10