All those events that I can remember
I've been lucky to have led a very adventurous life full of surprises. It has helped that my memory was assisted by a trusty journal that recorded many of the events.
In the beginning.
The condition of the house when we bought it, was tired !
It didn’t have A/C.
The roof was old.
The heating needed replacing.
The bathrooms were ancient.
The lovely wood floors were covered in plywood for some reason.
It’s been around 20 years since we purchased this older home in Weston. (Built around 1906) on a corner lot.
We spent the first few years working on the inside, we still have a few things to do. You find more as you uncover areas long forgotten.
It’s a good idea to keep a little of your budget back for the unexpected – 10% is a good figure.
What we have done Inside.
We rebuilt the bathroom, by opening up the old dining room, then closing the doorway to the kitchen.
Next, we split the family room in two forming a new dining room and a bedroom.
The kitchen became larger by closing off the old entrance to the old dining room.
The new dining room received a much more robust flooring. We laid terracotta tiles on a durarock sheet bed.
The downstairs bedroom was recarpeted.
The Office had an extra room added for a half bathroom. We formed an office with a rest room from the old bedroom.
We began collecting old pieces of furniture for each room.
The living room.
The Dining Room
The Dining Room
We spent some time collecting antique furniture.
We laid a terracotta floor over over a durarock sheet base for the dining room.
Next, we installed French windows and had a rear entrance way to the new garden deck.
The work took around three days, and wasn’t that disruptive
Reinstalling insulation was something to remember to do, as was resetting heating and cooling vents, and power outlets.
Once completed we redocarated the inside and added a deck outside, which we stained green
We started with white but quickly changed to a cheerful yellow. Which blended nicely with the green wooden ground level deck, which we kept 2 inches away from the house.
Then we started on the garden.
The plan was to create seven individual small intense gardens that you walked through.
Planting a mixed Hornbeam and Beech hedge provided privacy, reduced a/c and heating bills
Hedges need annual pruning
I’ve found that staining decks green, works really well.
I’ve found that benjamin moores wood stain works great, recoat every three years
The work is never really finished but we are slowly making progress – well that was until we returned to our passion of sailing.
So now we sail during the summer and ‘tinker’ with the house, in the colder months of the year.
Roofing – replaced around 5 years ago
We replaced the three layers of shingles with a ply base then membrane and finally new shingles. It was all completed in three days.
Windows – replaced around 5 years ago
We replaced all the main sash windows with georgian style double glazed windows, they took around two hours each to replace and made an enormous difference to the appearance of the house and significantly reduced our heating bills.
The aluminium siding was cleaned and repainted using an epoxy based white paint. This took rather longer than planned.
Electrical – renewed around 20 years ago
We upgraded the master fuse box to two hundred amps. Relacing 95% of the wiring in all areas where we replaced the plaster with sheetrock, using at least 65 sheets of sheet rock.
Bathroom – replaced around 20 years ago
We removed the old bathroom, took down the walls and built a much larger bathroom, with double walk in shower and jacuzzi, walk in wardrobe and laundry room.
Deck – Constructed around 10 years ago
We wanted a wooden deck, not raised. So we used concrete base blocks and ran rafters across to form a grid to screw treated wooden planks on. By slightly moving the center joint we were able to create a broken joint that visually looks better than a straight line.
Once completed we stained the wood with an outside Benjamin Moore green wood stain – its time to recoat the stain.
Hedge approximately 20 years old. – needs a yearly pruning.
Probably the most effective addition outside is the hedge.
The hedge reduces significantly how hot the inside becomes – around 20 degrees cooler during the summer,. So much so that we have only used the A/C for a few days over the past few years.
During the winter months the leaves of the hornbeam hedge remain , reducing the effects of the cold winter wind.
Painting the aluminium siding white, using a a two part epoxy base system from Sherwin Williams took a little extra time. However I think the overall effect was beneficial.
Tankless water heater. recently replaced original 20 year old one,
The first one a Bosch lasted twenty years, it reduced our hot water creating gas use to less than $12 on average per month over that period.
Then one morning the water feed to it exploded – they think the pressure exceeded 750lbs. It sure was lucky to be in a small town, the city engineer had the water off inside 15 mins, the oak floor got wet, but there was no other damage.
We bought a Rinnai replacement (cost exactly double the first one) it is just as efficient. There is a way to had an additional radiator, which we may do in future for keeping the bathroom warm when having a Jacuzzi.
Wood burning Fire upgraded to a 2021 sealed unit complete with stainless flue.
We recently changed our home insert as it clearly wasn’t up to code.
Our new one has its own stainless steel flue, meets the 2021 code.
Only a 65000 btu heater
Its not quite as hot burning as the previous one, but it produces sufficient heat to reduce our furnace heating to particularly cold days. It doesn’t burn as much wood as the earlier model.
The wood has to be dry and no longer than 18 inches.
Changing out the humongous old one took some ingenuity as it must have weight at least 350lbs maybe more.
Range number two.
The first one lasted twenty years, when a mouse chomped on something electrical inside, the resultant ‘bang’ persuaded us to replace the unit, well and the small issue of the oven no longer working.
Living in a small town, which used to suffer power outages often, it seemed wise to select a gas range.
Today the more efficient conductive electrical ranges are more environmentally friendly, but we would still choose gas as it gives an alternative should the power be cut.
Fridge Freezer number two
The first one died after about 18 years along with the dryer.
(we will continue to update this article)
Trees are an attractive addition to any landscape, they provide shade and balance to a garden.
They do have a few requirements :
Leaves need to be attended to, they are great for composting shrub beds, chop them up with a rotary mower and they are easy to move and place
They also need trimming – best to use an expert
Sometimes they drop limbs.
and then some hedge trimming – usually a hand job twice a year, this time a little more intense work.