Tuesday, May 30, 2006

To-do list part 1: Must do within 30 days

There are a few things my insurance company is requiring that I get taken care of within 30 days of buying the house. The list became considerably shorter between the time I initially spoke to my agent on the phone and the time that I signed the policy - the other items were bumped onto a "within one year" list.
Item 1: Repair broken boards on front porch. This shouldn't be too hard, and should be a good deal cheaper than replacing the entire porch. The problem is that these boards are tongue-and-groove, aged over 15 years by exposure to the elements (most of that time under a coat of paint). My cousin's boyfriend may be able to help here, or point me to someone who can.

Obviously there are at least two other jobs presented in this photo: re-painting the porch and front steps, and replacing the front storm doors. Both are planned for this summer, but after the porch is repaired.
Item 2: Replace broken window at lower left. This is a double-pane window in the kitchen on the side of the house I will be occupying, the outer pane apparently smashed by a ball of some sort within the past few years. (The inner pane is intact, so the kitchen isn't exposed to the weather and critters.) I really wish my aunt hadn't returned the tenants' security deposit.

Other jobs in this picture: rebuild grape arbor, replace grapevines. The arbor once stretched across the entire back of the house. There were three types of grapes: white, on the left as seen in this picture, purple, in the middle, and red "spice" grapes on the right. Only the white remain. I have to figure out how to shop for grapevines that will match a taste. I think I'll be doing some traveling to upstate New York to sample some varieties.

Note the scare-owl perched at a jaunty and improbable angle on the top left of the roof.
Item 3: replace smashed garage window on right. Again, probably a consequence of ball-playing. Again, something that probably should have been covered by the security deposit.

Other jobs: numerous. Repainting the garage is on the "within one year" list. The foundation needs - something. I hope it's repairable. I'm going to be developing a lot of masonry skills this summer, I think. There used to be a fence and gate on the left - apparently the tenants tore it out to make moving out easier. (To be fair, they might have put up the fence and gate that were there the last few years, which just presents another question: where did the original fence go?) The "bush" on the right is another purple grapevine, next to the skeleton of the arbor that once supported it. The stumps of two pine trees are visible in the foreground, right where I had been planning a garden - these were trees that my brother and sister and cousins and I used to play a game with when we and they were very young, running around them and kicking our legs over their tops. They were cut down a few years ago when they became larger than the house. I forget - do pine trees have taproots? Can I remove these stumps with brute force and leverage?


Super G said...

You must be a lot handier than me and have a good deal of free time. Keep us updated on the progress... which I'm pretty sure you'll do.

Good luck.

Super G

D.B. Echo said...

Super G, the only way you could be less handy than me is if your arms end in stumps. But I probably do have moore free time than most people in my age group. But for the three projects listed here, I plan on paying someone else to do the repairs!