Monday, January 26, 2009

Update: Marley and Farmhouse

My day, possibly my week, was made today when I checked my email and found a new comment posted to the Marley & Farmhouse entry. It appears to have been posted by the owner of the house and it gives a little more information on their history with the house and where one can find more photos.

I did a google search and found a slideshow of the house. Picture 9 shows the exterior of the house that I fell in love with while watching "Marley & Me". Look here to view the Ennis's lovely house, including the interior.

Thank you for reading my blog, Mr. Ennis!

Monday, January 19, 2009

His closet remodel

The hall between our bedroom and the master bathroom houses our closets. The ceiling in this area is low, and its has sloped walls. The closets have great square footage from the floor, but its all lost being under the eaves. I'd love to turn this into a glam dressing room, complete with shoe-display area. Something like this:

Since that would involve raising the roof, which is in no way in any budget we would ever hope to have, we have to settle for some creative thinking and being a little more strict on donating clothes that we don't need/wear/fit.

Jeff didn't have patience for planning so he jumped in. This is the before picture. The doors used to be sliding mirrored doors, which we removed shortly after we moved in so we could see the all the clothes at once. I'd like to add bi-fold doors, but Jeff doesn't agree that we need doors.

What you can't see in this photo is that the closet is about 4 feet deep, with a second hanging bar behind the first. Which enables one to hide the clothes he can't bear to part with.

Here is the after photo:

Jeff rotated the hanging bar to run along one of the walls, with a shelf above for sweaters. The other wall sports a tie rack and hooks for holding dirty jeans and hoodies.

A cube system was added to the back wall for storing t-shirts, jeans, and he might add a few baskets for socks. The raised section of floor hides the chase for the plumbing from the master bath.

Looking at these photos, we realize it would have been a good idea to paint the walls and deal with the linoleum/carpet flooring combination. But there's always another day.

Now I have to figure out what I want for my closet. Look, already a few weeks into the new year and we're already straying from the resolutions.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blurb disappointment

I just want to publicly vent for a second. When I started this blog, it was with the intention that we would document our kitchen remodel and other house projects and then on a yearly basis, I'd have all my photos and notes published into a coffee-table book. Not to sell or anything like that, just for us to have and to look through occasionally to review the progress on the house.

Imagine my dismay when I went to the other day to do just that and I found they no longer support Blogger.

I am hoping with enough time, Blogger support might come back, but in the meantime, I'm really disappointed by this.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Marley & Farmhouse

I took the big Beechnut to see "Marley & Me" and I cried. Not because of the story of the love between a dog and his family, although that was a tear jerker. I cried because I found a house that made me want to up and move. I have been searching the internets, but I can not find an image of the farmhouse that the family in the movie moves to outside of Philadelphia. Has anyone seen an image of this on the web? If so, please let me know where you found it, I want to show it to Jeff.

The stone farmhouse with a clapboard addition made me consider selling our current house and not care if there was a loss. It seemed so lovely and bucolic, even though it was barely shown in the movie. You know how a house can speak to you? That house spoke to me. It said "Come buy me, even though you probably can't afford me and you don't know where I am and its likely I'm not for sale. Plus, in all reality, I'm probably full of termites, lacking insulation, and don't even exist."

Its not a good sign to start the new year with house envy.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Now with 23% less therms!

One of my personal reasons we attacked the kitchen was that it was freezing cold in the winter. I dreaded walking in to the kitchen in early morning before going to work knowing that it was going to be a chilly 58 - 60 degrees even though the thermostat had been set at 64. So in went the Icynene insulation, a bit more than fiberglass, but I'd never forgive myself if I did not seal that room as tight as I could.

Well today was a big day for us. The heating bill arrived for December and I liked what I saw.
Dec 2008 Therms: 259
Dec 2007 Therms: 340

difference: 81 Therms or 23% less then last year.

My wife may not admit this, I've even had the heat a little higher this year to keep the baby Beech-nut warmer. Everyone gets a break on their first winter, then it's back to the program on the thermostat.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Home Resolutions

Happy New Year!
Its time to plan the projects and goals for SOABT for the new year. Since we are still paying off the kitchen, all plans for 2009 need to contribute directly to the value of our home and should have some urgency associated with it. For instance, we need to replace the rotting floor on our front entry porch before the mail man falls through it.

So, without additional hemming and hawing, here is the list of home-improvement projects/things I'd like to accomplish in 2009.

1. Refinance our mortgage. We're taking advantage of the falling interest rates to refinance. We're paying points upfront for a lower rate, but we plan to break-even in 2 years. Since we have no plans to move out of our house in the next 5 years (or ever), its a good way for us to take advantage of the chaos in the housing market. We had a 30-year fixed mortgage to begin with, now we're getting a lower rate on a new 30-year. It will save us substantial money over the long run in the event we stay in our house for 30 more years.

2. Fix the aforementioned front porch before it gets worse. This will provide a learning experience since the posts holding up the roof will also need to be replaced.

3. Research the house with the historical commission to see what the original front door looked like. We currently have a replacement that I'm positive does not resemble the original door. If I know what I'm looking for, then I have a reason to shop the salvage yards.

4. Add some molding upgrades to the dining room. The current chair rail is about 4 inches too low and my chairs leave marks on the walls. We'd also like to add some picture-frame molding to justify Jeff's purchase of a compound miter saw.

5. Reclaim the front lawn. There's got to be a way to get rid of crab grass without paying a fortune to one of those companies that spray your lawn with chemicals.

6. While we're talking about the front yard, get the dying maple tree taken down before it crashes into the house, causing a re-prioritization of resolutions.

I think 6 resolutions are enough for any year. As we all know, when planning any project, its wise to allow room for contingencies, so I'm keeping the list short in case something comes up. Plus, this leaves room for the unexpected projects that really keep things interesting.


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