Sunday, June 04, 2006

To-do list (revised & expanded edition)

Here's a new version of the list of things I need (Tiers 1-8) or want (Tiers 9 and 10) to do with my new house, grouped in descending order of immediacy. Goal dates, except for those required by the insurance company, are generally pretty arbitrary - a trick I've learned from the business world.

Tier 1: Required by Insurance company to be done by end of June
- Replace rotted/broken boards on front porch. This may get taken care of next weekend.
- Remove broken window from kitchen, take to glass place for replacement. Also get 20"x20" pane of glass for garage window and replace. Must buy: ladder, preferably "Little Giant" style; glazer's putty; glazier's points (no idea what they are, but that's what the "Lowe's Complete Home Improvement and Repair" book says I need); putty knife; extra pairs of leather gloves.

Tier 2: Heavy lifting (help needed)
Goal: By June 17

- Remove heirloom items being distributed to relatives and place in "spare" side of house. This will prevent them from being damaged, and will prevent me from having to open up my house again and again and again to people who might be looking to pick up a few other items for the Antiques Roadshow. Will need some heavy lifting help here.
- Discard furniture slated to be discarded. Right now this amounts to a single couch that my grandmother inherited from my house when we redid our parlor back in 1984. It's in very bad shape. Heavy lifting help needed.
- Move other furniture. I dont want to be "living in my grandmother's house." I have to make this place my own, and that means I need to get some new furniture, even to replace furniture that's perfectly good. Well, this stuff isn't "perfectly good", and is downright uncomfortable, but it shouldn't be discarded. It will now furnish the "spare" side of the house. Heavy lifting help needed again.

Tier 3: Replace electrical service (Contractor required)
Goal: By end of June
There's no getting around this. Half the outlets don't have grounding plugs. The two-prong outlets won't accept polarizing plugs. The wiring is ancient, and the fuse box is a museum piece. (Literally. Must remember to keep it.) And most rooms only have one or two outlets.

I need to bring in someone from the outside to upgrade the electricity - yet another reason to get the heirlooms the hell out of there. The poured plaster walls themselves are antiques that I want to preserve. Where possible, we'll use existing outlet locations - but where that isn't possible, I think I'll go with surface mounted fixtures to minimize wall damage.

Tier 4: Clean and paint (help needed)
Goal: By second week of July
I'm not replacing the carpets yet - they're good enough for me. But I expect the electical work will probably produce plenty of dust, as will the painting prep work. I want to paint the front room (currently a parlor that never really worked as a parlor, slated to become a library) and the middle room (a living room, to become a living room.) Both will be slightly tinted shades of white to maximize natural light reflection - the library will be a slightly golden white, the livng room a greenish-yellowish white like the flesh of a pear or the rind of a watermelon. This will contrast well with the furniture I've got in mind for that room - I'm thinking red fabric.

The stairwell and upstairs hallway need painting, too. Neither is particularly bright or inviting right now. Still, since neither of these have any furniture, there's no rush to paint them.

Tier 5: Paint porch and fence (help needed)
Goal: July (during dry period)
May as well do both of these at once. Both need lots of sanding and scraping. The porch will probably be a saturated shade of aqua. The fence will be traditional black and silver, but may also need some spot-welding...if any of my friends with welding gear would be so inclined. Otherwise I can probably come up with some other solutions.

Tier 6: Replace front storm doors (vendor installed)
Goal: Anytime before September 1

This can really be done at any point, but I want to minize the chances of damaging them. Maybe I'll wait until I've moved in my stuff. I'm thinking of getting doors in the style of the one I got for our house...
...but in red. And minus the Christmas garland.

Tier 7: Move stuff in (help needed)
Goal: Whenever all previous items complete
There are some advantages to being a semi-compulsive shopper. I've got a kitchen table and chairs, cast-iron skillet set, a set of Revereware pots, some Pyrex bakeware, a knife set, plates, drinking glasses, wine glasses, cutlery - all purchased over ten years ago. I have a chrome rack that will become a pantry that I purchsed over a year and a half ago. A lot of this stuff has two things in common: it's heavy, and it won't fit in my Tercel.

Ditto on my books. Thousands and thousands of books. I do need to start buying bookcases - my library will be a happy jumble of mismatched cases, so I don't need to worry about getting them all from one source.

I guess I'll want to look into getting a DSL line installed at this point. I'm not too interested in the latest and greatest TV access - I don't plan on making the television the focal point of my living room, though there will be one in there, hooked to a cheap little DVD player. But the computer will be fairly important, and I may as well get DSL from the start.

Tier 8: Required by Insurance company to be done by May 31, 2007
I've covered this list previously - and actually, the only projects I haven't already mentioned in this post are painting the porch railings, painting the garage, and repairing the concrete grapevine wall and sidewalk. Most of these projects really will need to be done by late Fall 2006. I'll be needing help on them, too. I see these as "learning" projects - any fix will be an improvement, the consequences of failure are low, and they require skills that I think I and anyone who helps me will develop as we go.

Tier 9: Begin prepping gardens for Spring 2007
Goal: By December 1
Lots of contractor's paper (the brown stuff on a roll), lots of bricks, lots of compost. Let the worms do most of the work. Also, string up temporary grape trellises until more permanent replacements can be installed.

Plans for Spring planting:
- Rosebushes and daffodils in front
- Butterfly bushes on sides of porch
- Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries along North property line
- Dwarf cherries along South sidewalk in back yard
- Two vegetable gardens in back, either side of stumps
- Forsythia in front of garage
- Magnolia on South side of garage
- Lilac on North side of garage
- Additional lilacs and butterfly bushes as privacy screens

Tier 10: Spring 2007 projects
- Replace back fence
- Repair and replace grape trellises
- Install clothespoles and clothesline
- Repipe downspouts into linked barrels to serve as irrigation system

My goal was to have a backyard party before the end of this Summer. That may be overly ambitious. But I think the house will be ready to serve as host site for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas this year.


Mr. H.K. said...

Looks like a daunting list. But you have the enthusiasm to leap out of bed every morning and tackle it all...


keep us posted!

Betz said...

Jot us down for fence painting, sounds like a job for super Ricky...