Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Tool

Due to the extremely strong winds we have had this week we were forced indoors. We were pleased that all of our tree trimming resulted in very few downed branches. Actually, I have picked up just a handful of large twigs when in the past, a storm like that would have left behind a two hour job of picking up and cutting up dead branches.

Unfortunately during our tree trimming this summer we encountered two large broken branches that we could not reach. We were sure that they would have fallen by now because they are just dangling there, moving with the slightest breeze. But even the windstorm of the century could not budge them. I guess next spring I will have to hire a tree trimmer with a cherry picker to remove them.

In the meantime, I've been busy stripping the paint off the french doors and matching storm doors that we purchased just before Christmas of last year. R spent this week working on the windows.

Some of the windows were missing one or both of the hook and eyes that keep the storm windows tight in the opening or missing sash locks. Another storm window needed to be removed because one of the bottom corners was rotted and needed repairing. That storm window was of course in a second story window and the wind was blowing a steady 35 mph with gusts that would almost knock you down.

This predicament reminded us of an episode of Two and a Half Men where Charlie's satellite dish needs repositioning and he says "I'll call 'the guy' to do that on Monday." Alan then replies that you don't need to call 'the guy' and that he can do it. Of course it is all down hill after that. Whenever Alan tried explaining how he came to be in a neck brace, he was always met with "why didn't you call 'the guy'?"

I say that little phrase a lot around 'The Gear' and R always replies "I am 'the guy' ". Long story short.....he didn't fall, the window is fixed, and his bird can still fly (you have to view the video clip to understand about the bird). If R's bird couldn't fly, he couldn't drive!

Oh that's right.....the new tool. Well, as I have mentioned in previous posts, we need to trim down the width of the window jambs in the sun room so that we can trim them out to match the rest of the house. The windows in the front of the sun room required new jambs because they were rotted but these windows have jambs in perfect condition. So we are trying a new oscillating saw or in this case it is called a multifunction tool.These tools range in price from affordable to down right stupid expensive. We have no idea exactly how many times we will use this tool or whether this tool will even work for the reason we purchased I went with the next to to least expensive. I could have save 10 bucks but that one came without any attachments which when priced out came to around 25 bucks. I could have spent 10 more dollars and bought the same one with a carrying case.

Price? $59.99 at Harbor Freight. The tool comes with two different cutting blades, scraper, sanding attachment, and replacement brushes for the electric motor. This tool also came in a pneumatic version which I believe R would have preferred but I figured we would probably use this tool inside the house and the air compressor is sooooo loud so the electric version won.Keep your fingers crossed that this tool does the job for which it was purchased. I am getting antsy to finish shingling the north side of the sun room plus snow flakes will soon be here. Brrr.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sun Room Windows Reinstalled

Today we reinstalled the windows in the front of the sun room. Those particular windows were in dire straits when we bought the house. Many layers of paint were essentially holding the casement windows together.

I began repairing the casement windows once they were removed from the openings. Moisture had rotted the bottoms of most of them and all were loose at all their joints. Thanks to epoxy and Gorilla glue they were made whole again.

The window panes were also removed so that I could remove the old harden glazing compound. It was a real pain to reinstall the panes....pardon the pun. I decided to wait until the windows were reinstalled to glaze them because I did not want to lean over them to do the glazing. It is much easier to stand in front of the window and look straight on than leaned over them looking down. Makes my neck hurt just to think about it.
These are the hinges we installed on the sun room windows.
The sun is finally shining on this Sunday's sun room project! Time to clean those windows.
Windows are washed and ready for glazing. Notice the difference between this after photo and...
the before photo? In the before photo the casement windows were not trimmed out to match the windows in the rest of the house. This also draws attention to the fact that they installed a smaller window on the left side instead of placing the smaller window in the middle.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Acorn Reproduction HL Hinges

We finally got around to installing a few of the Acorn reproduction HL hinges that I purchased last year, then misplaced, and then found again. I chose these hinges after seeing them in the Cary Grant/Myrna Loy film Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House.

Next on the agenda is adding sill extensions and cutting back the window and door jambs so that they may be trimmed out to match the rest of the house.

I also need to pick up some replacement window panes for the remaining 6 panes that are cracked in the living room and dining room. R dropped off the dimensions yesterday at our local Ace Hardware.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rebates at Ace Hardware

I thought I would pass along these rebates currently available this month at Ace Hardware.

You can receive a $3.99 rebate on one bottle of Gumout Fuel Stabilizer . After rebate it is FREE! Limit of one rebate.

Peak Antifreeze is also available for a rebate of $5.00 a gallon. This makes the final price 99 cents a gallon after the rebate. Limit of two rebates.

Gumout Fuel Stabilizer is perfect for winterizing your lawnmower, gas weed whacker, or for that matter any gasoline powered device that will sit unused over the winter or in the case of us here in Michigan.....the loooonnnngggg winter.

Now is a good time to check your antifreeze to make sure it is still giving you the protection you need against freezing. Nothing worse than having a week of zero or sub zero temperatures and finding out that your antifreeze is not up to par.

While you are at Ace buying your fuel stabilizer or antifreeze make sure you sign up for Ace Rewards. When you get home register your card online and this will allow you to request your rebate online. This not only saves you time but it also saves you a stamp.

Make sure you show the cashier your Ace Rewards card every time you make a purchase. This will help you rack up points towards a $5.00 Ace coupon towards a purchase of $5.00 or more.

1,000 free bonus points on your first purchase
10 points for every $1 you spend
$5 Reward for every 2,500 points earned
Members-only coupons

I can always find something I need at Ace. My fall back item is Ace's grass and weed killer. This works just as well as Round Up and it is also cheaper.

FYI Paint is also on rebate. See this month's available rebate list here. Click on rebates at the bottom of the page.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Curbside Treasure

R picked up several curbside treasures this morning while he was running errands. The first little curbside treasure is a wicker plant stand.
The plant stand is in good condition and should look great with the other wicker I have picked up over the years. The blue wicker chairs were bought from a friend who was downsizing and the wicker stool was another curbside treasure. All the pieces will get a fresh coat of paint probably white but I really like that pale green that is already on the plant stand.
R's other find is a set of plastic saw horses. You can never have enough saw horses when you are stripping doors and windows.
One of the saw horses needs a slight repair but it is nothing that a little epoxy and a small brace can't fix......especially when the price was FREE!!!!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Storing Items for Winter

Just three weeks ago it was 90+ degrees and now we are looking at a hard frost any day. In an attempt to stay ahead of the cold weather we have been slowly putting away items for the winter.

Today we stored the garden hoses except for one short section. With our yard being large and the fact that we have flower and shrub beds encircling most of the perimeter requires us to use a lot of length of garden hose. When it comes time to put all that garden hose in storage it's a real chore. In the past we have put it off until cold weather. This makes it a real pain because the garden hose is stiff and doesn't want to coil neatly and more important who wants to deal with cold water when it's 38 degrees outside.

So today with the sun shining and the black asphalt warm we laid out the garden hoses to drain and warm up. Once the remaining water was drained and then blown out of the hose (R has enough lung capacity to do the job) we coiled the garden hose in manageable lengths and wrapped a piece of duct tape around it to keep the hose from uncoiling.

We then worked on the rocks around the roses by the driveway. We have that project complete except for a 2 foot section. We are lacking in the correct size rocks to finish the project. Tomorrow I will scour the yard for rocks and stones and hopefully that project can then be removed from the list.Today I also bought the remaining paint needed for my chain link project but I doubt if I will be able to finish it unless the weather warms up. The reason I bought the paint today was that it is on rebate at Ace Hardware this month for $5.00 off each gallon. If I wait until spring the price will probably increase and there will not be a rebate.

R might be done with his asphalt repairs for the year. He needed another pail of the trowel able patching compound but Home Depot says they have put it away for the year. R says he's going to try another Home Depot AND if that doesn't pan out....he'll try Lowe's.The ash and walnut trees have already lost all their leaves so we decided to use the leaf blower to remove the majority of leaf debris from the rocks in front of the house. I have also cut back most of my perennials so that spring clean up will go faster and I have less chance of breaking a young plant in the spring.

The cement bird baths will need draining but that is a job for R and G. My days of lifting and turning over a 50+ pound bird bath top are long gone. Next year they are due for fresh paint which I will do before the tops are flipped back over.

Tomorrow's agenda is buy a large plantation gold maple for the side yard where we cut down a dead ash tree. I am hoping that the yellow/gold leaves will contrast nicely with the dark gray paint on the body of the house.

After the tree planting we will need to mow the entire yard. I might lower the deck a notch since the lawn seems to be growing at hyper speed right now. Plus we need to harvest the remaining pears.Sunday's agenda is to work on the sun room doors and maybe start cutting down the jambs so that they can be trimmed out correctly like we did on the front of the sun room. So many things to do and quickly becoming so little time left before it snows.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Whittling down the list......

We have been making progress on our list. Time is running out for outdoor projects so we are trying to make the most of every day left.

Let's look at the current list.

Start removing the remaining old cedar shingles off the FRONT of the house. We gave up on stripping because it was a slow process and in the end the shingles were still old and brittle. A significant portion of the front has already been replaced so it seemed logical to have all new shingles. Plus in the end....reshingling is easier and more pleasant than stripping paint off cedar shingles. NOT YET STARTED but now have all the shingles removed from the bottom half of the north end.

Continue with the fence painting. The weather has been so hot that the paint would dry before I could brush it out. Only have 1/3 of the chain link left to paint. Fence is looking great or at least as good as chain link can possibly look. Need to buy another gallon of paint.

Continue with the edging of the lilac border. COMPLETED

Continue with the brush removal along the fence line. COMPLETED

Sand the trim on the front of the house. NOT COMPLETED

Spray Round Up on vegetation along the back fence row. Scratch's too windy. I used Round Up on the front and side yard, still need to do the back.

Finish mulching around the Catalpa tree. COMPLETED

Remove rocks around roses and lay down landscaping fabric and put rocks back. This was R's idea and I would hate to ruin his fun so maybe I will let him enjoy this task. Removed rocks and laid down landscaping fabric. We returned 2/3 of the rocks to the bed before my back said "STOP!".Strip paint off the trim on the north side of the sun room. COMPLETED Stripped and ready to sand. Lower part not top portion, that will be completed next year.
The weather forecast for this weekend is favorable for sanding, glazing, and painting. My money is on...........mowing the lawn.