Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘home maintenance

Making Plans

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We are not going to the lake this weekend, but we do have Anna coming to stay at our house to take care of Delilah, Pequenita, and the chickens for a few days. Our plans are more along the lines of the stay-cation in the cities with family and friends variety. That involved a fair amount of pre-planning for my little brain last night.

We will be staying at Cyndie’s parents’ house, which facilitates my heading there directly from work this afternoon and remaining there through Sunday night to go back to work again on Monday morning. That was a lot of days to think through in advance. Makes it feel a little more like a vacation, so that’s fun.

Too bad I don’t enjoy packing for vacations. Somehow, I find a way to get over it.

I’m feeling fussy over other plans we are concurrently trying to form, having to do with needed upkeep of the logs of our home, the consideration of quotes arriving for re-doing our deck, and now our need for some assistance with wild animal control services.

Early returns indicate the costs of each are running in the neighborhood of 2-3 times the price of our desired budget. One, or more, will likely have to wait, and logic tells me it won’t be the animal control.

I’m thinking I may end up honing my [lack of] carpentry abilities and replace the deck boards myself. The logs will likely wait until next year, and we could very well end up applying the recommended two coats of wood protection ourselves to avoid the huge expense quoted yesterday.

For a person who doesn’t like making plans or even decisions, for that matter, these issues coming up all at once are a dreary burden of responsibility. It makes me long to be 5 or 6 years old again.

Those were blissful days…

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Written by johnwhays

September 5, 2019 at 6:00 am

Decked Out

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We’ve limped our deck along thus far using patches for the boards that rotted out, but it is getting to the point where the bad spots almost outnumber the good ones.

It’s time to replace them all. For us, the process starts with a search for a crew in the area who are willing to quote the job. Cyndie’s first call landed a person who lives remarkably close and seems hungry for the work. Maybe too hungry. He’s made three visits already, two of the times with a different potential “assistant” in tow to analyze the scope of our project.

He wanted to get to work right away with a verbal “rough estimate” and a willingness to start removing boards yesterday. We’ve got another quote scheduled for Friday, so we are making him wait.

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Cyndie and I took the steps of removing all the furniture and I pulled up a couple boards to reveal the condition of the joists below, hoping to make the quoting process as easy as possible for our estimators. It’s enough to almost entice me into trying to do the whole thing myself, if it weren’t for the nitty-gritty details for which I have no experience, such as what to do about the railings.

Ain’t home maintenance grand?

I’m leaning toward the extra expense of choosing composite boards for the job, specifically to reduce the amount of ongoing maintenance required. The boards that receive some shade from pine trees tend to get mossy and the boards out in the open face extreme UV abuse.

It would please me immensely if we never needed to deal with rotting boards ever again.

Of course, there’s always the other option of just selling this property and moving away to a place that doesn’t involve doing our own maintenance.

Is it too soon for us to move into a senior living retirement apartment?

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Written by johnwhays

August 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

Snow Goes

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dscn5868eThe month of March arrives with its saying about lambs and lions, but the climate confusion we have going may require we come up with a new definition for the chaos of winter’s departure. Last week’s snow is fading fast around here now.

The little snowman that Sara made on Saturday has become just a fraction of his old self in the back yard.

In a week and a half we’ll be moving clocks again to shift the days an hour forward. Will it inspire me to get anything more accomplished in the evenings after work? I don’t know.

There is plenty to be done, but my motivation has been lacking by the time I get home from the commute. Of course, yesterday it happened to be a gloomy gray day.

dscn5869eIf the sun is out and the air gets warm, I expect there will be an added spring in my step.

With the grounds wet and soft, I can turn my attention to some machine maintenance that is more than due, and there is always wood to be split.

Indoors, we have an appointment tonight for a quote on window replacements, and then I have a dishwasher door that needs the counter-balance spring mechanisms replaced.

I don’t see a day on the calendar marked for lollygagging around anywhere in the near future.

Do I need to make an appointment for that?

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Written by johnwhays

March 1, 2017 at 7:00 am

Quick Return

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It feels like spring! Seriously. A day after the snowstorm, our uncharacteristic weather has made a quick return. The clouds are gone, the sky deep blue, the sun shining bright, the air warm, and the snow, totally sticky and melting. It is something that can’t be controlled, so we just take what is delivered.

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The back yard is filled with evidence of visitors sledding and building snow sculptures. The snow is sliding off the metal roof of the shop.

I may look into a metal roof for the house when our shingles reach the end of their life. I would prefer to have the snow slide off the roof without my needing to pull it down using a rake on a very long pole handle.

I got a little tired toward the end of my efforts of pulling down snow from the roof on Saturday. On the last section, I hung the rake on the lip of the eave, just like I had done all the way around the rest of the house. But I let go of the handle with a careless lack of attention to detail.

It swung away from me with a little too much momentum. As I watched a fraction of a second last much longer than that in my mind, but quicker than my body could react to, the rake lost contact with the roof.

Why couldn’t it just fall harmlessly to the ground beside the house?

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Written by johnwhays

February 27, 2017 at 7:00 am

It’ll Do

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I have seen perfection. This is not it. I have witnessed the results of master craftsmanship next door at the lake place. First you flawlessly prepare the logs, then you apply coat after coat of tung oil to get a beautiful finish that will protect your logs from the elements.dscn5172e

I don’t have it in me.

Currently distracted with trying to do the necessary lumberjack work around here, tend to the all-too-frequent lawn mowing requirements, manage the unending supply of manure to be composted, fix fences, maintain trails, replace the ATV winch, cut the over growing pastures, rake the round pen, fill in the growing ravines in the paddocks, and work the day-job, I have elected to try getting away with doing an almost embarrassingly perfunctory job of patching the most needy bad spots on the house and shop garage.

If I actually execute this plan, it will be a big accomplishment of overcoming my perfectionistic tendencies.

Yesterday after work I ran a little test to see if putting the least amount of effort toward the task will produce a passable result. We have the advantage of already having plenty of cans of stain that were left by the previous owners, but I have no idea about the shelf life of this stuff, so the advantage comes without providing much in the way of confidence.

dscn5173eI followed up on a tip to use compressed air to help remove the old flaking finish, but quickly found my tank isn’t designed for the task. The pressure drops rather quickly, greatly reducing the effectiveness. After testing a few other methods, I settled on doing a rather superficial job of surface cleaning.

I was excited to find a stirring apparatus stored with the stain that I can connect to my drill for thoroughly mixing the product. The one half-filled can I opened looked fine to my untrained eye, so after a good stir, I dipped in a brush and started painting the stuff on the siding.

It may not look ideal and it probably isn’t going to provide maximum protection, but it is better than doing nothing at all, which was the option we went with last fall.

All things considered, I’m hopeful this effort will suffice for getting through another winter, at the very least.

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Written by johnwhays

September 15, 2016 at 6:00 am

Uncharacteristic Wetness

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Over and over, day after day, waves of precipitation have been dumping rain on top of the rain from the day before. Even though we might get a couple of dry days every so often between the waves, it hasn’t been enough time for the ground to drain.

This isn’t the kind of weather we usually get at this time of year. In my lifetime, the middle of summer would be when lawns started to turn brown and required watering. As fall arrived, the creek beds and swamps would all be dry.

That doesn’t seem to be happening anymore. Last year, I was surprised that I had to keep mowing the lawn just as frequently in the fall as I did in the spring. Now it is happening again, although this year it is even worse. I can’t keep up with mowing the fast-growing grass because the rain has been too persistent.

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The wetness this year has led to the dermatitis our horses are dealing with, and yesterday I noticed the excessive moisture is starting to show up on the house and garage. The step to the front door of our house stayed wet along the seam and was showing signs of moss growth. The stones along the base of the garage are turning green with algae.

It feels like the climate is changing.

I wonder if anyone is looking into the possibility.

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Written by johnwhays

September 10, 2016 at 6:00 am

Home Invasion

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I am now thrust from the bliss of the bike trip into the harsh reality of home ownership and maintenance. I came home to this scene Wednesday:

DSCN4892eSome pesky critter is building a cathedral in my home and he/she/it is removing a LOT of insulating material in the process. I shudder to think what the space looks like in there.

DSCN4893eWe didn’t bother looking any further than the gaping hole located above the pile of pieces, which we immediately filled with a combination of some of the stuffing from the pile below, a couple of wads of steel wool, a section of screen mesh, and plenty of caulk.

I hope the residents were not at home when we sealed the entrance.

This kind of thing helps me to miss being on the bike trip even more than I already was.

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Written by johnwhays

July 1, 2016 at 6:00 am