The New 10 Year Plan

Well, dang, you thought we were done with this garbage, didn't you? The house is done (ha ha ha) and now we are just in the move in and live your lives part of this journey, right?

The projects have changed, but we have made yet another plan to work against for the next 10 years. Shall we walk through it a little?

  1. Closet organizers
    I am putting this and a few other things here because while they are technically falling under the scope of the Big Renovation, they are things we are doing ourselves. I'll be writing more about this one as I work on it, but basically I'm going to be going through the existing closets and pulling out the sad shelf and rod setup and replacing it with an organizing system. At some point, I'm not sure when, I'd like to completely gut and overhaul both the original bedroom closets, and put in some kind of wider doors and access to the upper space (both are kind of ridiculously wide and talll with only a standard door on them, so there are depths to each side that are fairly useless). I thought about including that in this renovation but I honestly don't care enough about closet space. The closets we have are fine as long as we don't go crazy buying clothes, and we generally don't.
  2. Pantry organizers and step
    Similar to closet organizers, only more so. We need shelving for the pantries, and we need a pull-down step up to the high pantry. Another thing we will probably get done before we even move back in, but maybe not at the rate we are working on this house, right?
  3. Window coverings
    I've designed the window coverings. I know what materials are needed. I've made cut lists and chosen hardware. So now I need to buy stuff, sew it all together (right, this is the easy part, then) and install all this stuff in just about every room in the house, with a few rooms having things like roman shades that will be done by others (phew). For some reason I do not anticipate being done with this in 2018. (Ask me how sewing all those cushion covers is going, just ask.)
  4. Rework landscaping to new landscape plan
    This is a series of projects to build the landscape design we worked out with our landscape architect. I broke them out because it's a lot of work, and after the amount of work we put into the big renovation I don't really want to do all this at once.

    1. Site grading
      Before anything else, I'm going to go over the whole site with a skid loader type thing and grade down high parts, shape the landscape so it drains away from the house, and build up areas where I want some topography that is more interesting than just "gentle slope towards the street." We already have the cameras set up for this so it's literally just waiting until I can get into the back yard. Also, until winter is over because I don't feel like watching the topsoil I have lovingly built up for 15 years wash into the street the next time it rains.
    2. Front sitting area
      Under the magnolia tree in the front, we will be putting in a flattened area where we can sit and hang out on warm evenings with our neighbors. This will also result in more defined beds up there.

    3. Front pathways
      The front walk is sad old (heavily tilted) concrete, and we will be replacing it with a nice brick path that steps up to the house. Plus probably some decent handrails because steps get harder as you get older.
    4. Side pergola
      The plan also calls for some revisions to the side pergola with the passionfruit growing on it. Since we never actually finished that this seems like a good time to make the changes and finish that project. Unfortunately, Techshop recently closed its doors so we will have to come up with another way of making the pieces we want. Fortunately, in the years since we started making that pergola we have turned out finances around (turns out it helps a lot not to spend every penny you have suing an asshole for trying to ruin your life) and can afford to just buy the pieces we want rather than fabricating them.
    5. Back pathways
      This project will happen fairly soon, because we need a paved walkway to the back for disabled access (we are not required by law to have disabled access, just by having some disabled friends who will now be able to visit us at home).
    6. Back patio
      The landscape design calls for a couple of back patios. I expect we will do them when we do the next part:
    7. Greenhouse
      I have wanted a greenhouse of my own for about 30 years. Cost has kept us from putting a nice one in before this, but we should be able to afford it relatively soon. Since the greenhouse will have wiring and plumbing, we'll need permits for it anyway, so I'm going to go a bit larger than the maximum size allowed without a permit. We are allowed to cover an almost ridiculous amount of the lot with buildings and will still be well under that. Noel will be relieved to have my orchids out of the shower, and I will finally have a place to grow plants where the cats will not destroy them.
    8. Greenhouse arbor
      Next to the greenhouse we will have a covered area between the greenhouse and the chicken shed. This will be a nice shaded place where our "lawn" is right now. I am including a small lawn in this design but trying to keep it as small as possible because I'm very allergic to grass. Keeping it is mainly because I need a place where the dog and future dogs can be trained to poop that is not my planting beds. The gardeners will thank me for that.
    9. Pond
      The pond started as a pipe dream many years ago and has gone though many design iterations. With the landscape design, its final form and location has been worked out. Until I change it again. The great thing about designing on paper well in advance is that it costs nothing to change your mind.
    10. Tea house shed
      The pond will need a little equipment shed, which I decided to make in the form of a little teahouse. That will anchor the central pathway along the side, and make a little back area where the bees can be away from the main activity.
    11. New orchard
      All these plans are going to require a lot of work moving trees around in the orchard. I am actually going to remove and replace most of the trees, because there are some varieties that have turned out to not be so great in our garden. Also, several trees got severely pruned by contractors to the point where they might as well have been removed. So there's that.
    12. Street planting zone
      One of the most exciting parts of the garden is going to be reclaiming the front planting zone along the street. This is currently covered in concrete, but I called up public works and asked them if I needed a permit to remove it and they said no, I only need a permit to pave it. So we are cutting away the concrete and I will plant drought tolerant natives there. (Yes, there are drought-intolerant natives; I live on an island with abundant groundwater.)
    13. New Fern Walk
      I have not let myself think about the Fern Walk for years. It is currently under a scaffolding and covered in plastic, and Woody intends to remove the top six inches of soil after he finishes his work to remove any escaped lead dust from the site. I have some fun ideas for a kind of rainfall handling system I have thought about for years here; this area is critical to drain properly because it has downspouts from both our and our neighbor's gutters.


  5. Graywater percolation area
    This is related to the front seating area because it needs to be done first, but basically we need to hook up the graywater outlet to a percolation area. This is not the way I originally designed it; apparently literally nobody ever reads the plans ever. But it is what it is and I will work with that. The magnolia is going to get a lot of water, basically.
  6. Rework irrigation system
    During the renovation work, we had to cut off the installed irrigation system. I had been intending to make some major revisions to the system going forward, but now they have to happen because otherwise the garden will just be a swamp. Noel and I are still in conversation about how this is going to work and where the parts are going to go, but right now I am thinking that when we do build the greenhouse we can stick some pieces of the irrigation system on the back side of it.
  7. Renovate chicken shed and yard
    The chicken shed never got completely finished, and there have been some issues with the siding we used, so we have plans to do a major remodel on the house and also the yard fence. I want to figure out some way to easily clean the raccoon poop off the roof, because that's just gross right now. In the meantime, the trumpet vine that will not die has come back with a vengeance. Also: time for more chickens.
  8. Put moisture slab in crawlspace
    This is pretty simple: I want to dig out some of the soil in the crawlspace and put down a concrete slab with a moisture barrier. This will remove a major source of moisture on the underside of the house, and also give us a clean storage area. At the same time I'll put some kind of covering over the floor insulation so we don't stick our faces in it every time we go down there. Not that we need so much storage space when we are no longer hoarding pieces of trim and wood for future projects, but I anticipate us stuffing all kinds of random things there for our heirs to deal with later. Sorry, kids!
  9. Basement work room cabinets
    At some point we want to put some cabinets in the basement for storing tools, and basically make a better workroom down there. With no more Techshop, we no longer have the option of having a workspace we can drive to. So some of that is going to have to be in the basement, and the larger, messier bits will be at the hangar where we keep Noel's plane projects in Somona.
  10. Gas fireplaces for front parlour and dining room
    When we made the plans for this renovation, I took as much out of this project as possible. Including the actual gas fireplaces. So the place where they will be installed is there, and at some point we will install the appliances and put on decorative surrounds. That can wait until we recover from this fun.
  11. Murphy bed and cabinets for front bedroom
    Likewise, at some point we want to fit out the front bedroom to have some built in cabinets with storage and a murphy bed. That doesn't need to happen right away, so it's a future project.
  12. Metal front decorative fence and pergola
    I'd put this in with landscaping, but it's kind of its own thing. I'm going to have a metalworker make a wrought iron decorative fence for the top of the little retaining wall and an integrated pergola for the rose. Another thing that can wait until we are ready, or at least until the wood pergola we have there falls apart.
  13. Solar panels
    I'm not sure when we will do it, but this is one thing I'd like to add, at least a solar water heater and ideally also PV panels.

So that's another 10 Year Plan. We may not get to it all in the next 10 years, but it will give us a guiding set of rules for working on the house.

posted by ayse on 01/02/18

8 Comments

I can't find a link to your original 10-year plan. Do you still have that post? That would have been around the time I started reading you and I'd love to see how what sort of dents you've made, or not, in it.

Watch out for that raccoon latrine. It harbors an extremely dangerous parasite called Baylisascaris that can infect the brain disable or kill perfectly healthy adult dogs, cats, AND HUMANS

You can Google it for safety tips in cleanup.

I love this post. It looks like the next 10 years are going to be as fun (for me) as the first 10!

Our original Ten Year Plan started here: http://www.casadecrepit.com/archives/000056.html

And finished here: http://www.casadecrepit.com/archives/002357.html

Gayle, thanks for the information. I guess we are going to be propane torching the chicken house roof this spring.

Thanks for those links! You actually did really well! I can't imagine how much longer the "big" reno would have taken if you hadn't had those changes in your life that made it possible. I think that if you'd kept up at the original pace, you'd be somewhere around year 30 right now. ;) Here's to hoping 2018 is the year you move back in!

Oh, gosh, if we'd stayed on the track we were on at the beginning, the big renovation would be a dream we'd just be holding onto. The ability to forecast where you will be in ten years is basically not a thing (even though everybody likes to pretend it is), so we always knew things would be different. The only question was whether they would be worse or better. We got lucky because they got better.

I had my own persona. 10-year plan for about the same period and followed a similar trajectory in that where I ended up was beyond what I could have imagined at the start of the journey. I think a 10-year plan is great to keep you inching forward, but don't even let it keep you from inching forward if opportunity strikes!

Now, here's to hoping this is the year you move back in!

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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