Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gotta have a plan!

When I decided to rehab "The House" I thought it would be best to do one room at a time starting with something that would give me a pretty big bang for the buck.  Like a lot of people that live in an older home, my laundry room is clear down in the basement and I say it like that because we all act like walking down 13 steps is going to kill us. Actually it is not walking down that is the killer it is the walking up that will do you in. Since I live on a farm I have a really cool contraption called a solar dryer (clothes line) that I religiously use during favorable weather. That means I am walking up the stairs with a clothes basket, that you can not see over, full of wet laundry and can be quite heavy. I mean it is not like you are heading down to the creek with a rock and a washboard but it is still a pain in the.......

I am moving the laundry facilities to a little sun room that sits right off the kitchen. The room has 3 windows that measure 30x58. When I was searching on line for windows I could not find and exact fit so I thought I will replace the 3 windows with 2 windows that measure 36x54 and just do a little reframing. I did not want to pay for custom windows. There is a 32" door plus a screen door that needs to be replaced. I will have to run plumbing and 220 electric to the area which should not be too bad since the basement laundry room is almost directly below the new laundry area. A new washer and dryer is also going to happen even if I have to sell plasma to make it so.

Yesterday I head off to Menards to order the windows. I printed off the info sheet that I got online so there would be no questions about what I needed then I preceded to leave it set on my desk and go to Menards without it. Not one of my brighter moments. I get to the mill works desk and tell Raymeo (no really, that is his name) what I am looking for but I forgot the all important info sheet. Raymeo tells me not to worry he will find it on the computer. I am being really nice to Raymeo (who has a faux-hawk) because I think I will be seeing alot of Raymeo in the future. He ask me a few key questions, size, color, and hard wear choice then tells me it will be $468.00 a window.

WHOA RAYMEO! WT?? NO! NO! NO!  Wait just a minute Raymeo you need to back up the bus!  I seen those windows online and the were $255.00 + Uncle Sam!

Well Raymeo, who now very scared of the crazy lady sitting across from him, gets online and finds my $ 255.00 windows that will not be here until Nov 18. He helps me pick out a nice exterior door and screen door and was fine again.  Did not get the doors because I wanted to double check the measurements.

I am sure Raymeo is referring to me as that "crazy bipolar lady"

Total cost for 2 windows- $548.25  *and no residual shopping! The ONLY thing I bought was the windows.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Decisions, decisions.

You know, somebody doesn't wake up one day and decide to do a full remodel on their house. It just don't happen like that. What happens is you live in a house and little by little there are things that you want to change. I could be something as little as the color of the wall. May be it is putting down new carpeting because, as close as your '70's shag looks like the new age frieze carpeting, it is not. It could be something as large as putting up a room addition. Nope it probably something you have thought about for a while.

Since I have been thinking about this for a while (like 3 years worth of thinking) one of the things that I have decided is I am going to try to use as much MADE IN THE USA as feasible. We all talk about how we should buy MADE IN THE USA but usually the decision boils down to money. But I believe that there are comparable products for about the same money and it just takes time to do the research. This decision also goes for tools, so my beloved Kobalt brand from Lowes may be on the chopping block for future purchases. Not sure how that is going to play out yet. Do I believe that ONE person can make a difference? Yes. Everybody in America is ONE person. Everybody, ONE person at a time, can make a difference. Just my thoughts.

Here is the windows I have decided to put in and will be ordering from Menards tomorrow:

And here is the description. Pay close attention to the last line. (I put it in bold so you can't miss it!)

36" x 54" Acclaim White Fiberglass Double Hung Window with Zo-E Insulated Glass & Pine Interior

  • 500 times more efficient than aluminum
  • Eight times stronger than vinyl
  • Stable in temperature changes
  • Clear pine interior
  • Tan Finish Hardware
  • UNIT FRAME SIZE = Rough Opening Width -1/2" & Height - 1/2"
  • Unit Size = 35.5"W x 53.5"H
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in USA
I have decided to go with the fiberglass/wood window because they are a better product than vinyl. Plus, I like the way the look and they are on sale at Menards this week! They are normally $329.99 and they are now $255.00 for a savings of $74.99!!  I am going to take out three windows and replace them with two windows. Pictures to come!

Also, my buddy turned me on to a really cool site. Check this out: Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The 3 year drip..... drip........ drip........

I woke up on Sunday morning and was fixing breakfast. I looked over at the sink while I was cooking and the faucet was doing its drip...... drip...... drip....... That same scenario for the last 3 years. In that moment I decided today would be "fix the sink day" I mean after all, it has only been 3 years. What's the hurry?

I figured I had 2 options-

1. Change the faucet- (been there and done that but not a favorite and is costly)

2. Fix the broken parts- (never done that but the cost had to be better)

Faucet Valve (the culprit)

Obviously fixing it was the choice! The problem was the left handle would turn past its stopping point thus water never being totally shut off.

My faucet had shut off valves which was going to make my job so much easier.  I tore it apart and pulled out the valve stem and yep, it looks like it was broke.  I took the valve to Lowe's and found a match! YESSSS!!! This was a good start. The valves were about $7.50 a piece. I decided to replace the cold also, because it was not if, but when, it would it was going to break. Then I bought and addition $60.00 worth of "other stuff" at Lowe's. Isn't that how it always goes?

Back at home I worked feverishly, at a moderate pace on the faucet. It took me about a half hour and minimal frustration. Then I turned the faucet shut off valves on and ............. What the ??? Crap! What the ??? The hot water (left) handle was fine. ON- OFF- ON - OFF! Good. It worked fine. But the cold, which was NOT broke to begin with, was backwards. You had to turn the handle away from you to turn it on and back toward you turn of off. Now cussing I took the cold valve out which proceeded to fall apart which made me cuss all the more. I got on my Blackberry and Googled my problem but Blackberry and 45 year old eyes are a bad match. No help there. So I put the valve back together without knowing what I was doing and was going to put it back in the faucet just so I had water. After I got it in the handle worked properly. What the???? That is all I questioned it because the end result is that it worked. Evidently you have to "switch something around in the valve" to make the handle work clockwise vs counter clock wise. hummmmm

Total cost: around $15.00

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Farm Girl vs Farmhouse, a little background.

In 2008 I begin looking for some land to buy because I was tired of living in the suburbs. All I wanted to do was have a quiet existence with a few horses but I quickly realized that most 5 acre "farmettes" were out of my price range. I was not deterred and I kept looking. I also had criteria but I tell you picky and small budget do not go together!

One day me and a friend of mine were heading to town and we seen a signs that read:


Really???? Could it be???? I drove down the dead end road (one of the criteria) but I could not find it so I went back out to the highway and called the number. A nice old lady answered and give me directions (yes- I needed directions on a dead end road)

When I got there the owner gave us a tour of the place telling how her husband had died 6 months earlier died and the old farm was too much to handle. She had planned to take 10 acres of the 25 acre track and build a house down the road.

Well I was IN LOVE! The farmstead was about 125 years old with a house, an old post and beam barn, and a big garage. I knew it would come with a lot of work too because it had not well maintained for many years.

I looked at it on Sunday and I put in an offer on it on Monday, less that 24 hours from the time I saw it. Then I told my kids that we would be moving to a real farm. Within a year we had a farm with horses, alpacas, chickens, peacocks and goats. (We now raise Nigerian Dwarf goats to keep our tax ag status.They are a miniature dairy goat and I am sure you will hear more about them later.)

The plan was to tear down the house. Now it was not a bad house, I mean after all it is shelter. Basic shelter. No frill shelter. Drafty shelter. The kind of shelter that has made think, time and time again, on how our pioneer ancestors made it. Yep the house had to go.

I had big dreams about building a brand new house with all the bells and whistles. I big fine grand house! The house of all houses that would be envied by all my peers! Oh what a beautiful house that would be!

The I was at the county courthouse doing some research on "The House" and I stopped by the assessors office to ask about how much my taxes would be if I build this beautiful home. I currently pay around $1500.00 dollars in taxes and if I built the big fine house they would be $6500.00. Now I know someone had lost their ever loving mind because I was NOT going to be paying that much property tax. Hell, I don't want to pay $1500.00.

Time to get me a new plan. I have some skills and better yet  I have friends with skills. So I decided to remodel "The House" one room at a time and I also thought it would be fun to blog about it so I would have some sort of documentation if I ever get done.

This picture was taken while the previous owner was still living here.  Yes, I was stalking the house.

 Here is the old girl close up.