Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jeff Dickson

Friday, October 29, 2010

underway yet again!

It has been some time since I posted here.  The reason is that it has been too HOT to do anything!  So, there has been nothing to post...
But's the latest on our house remodel.
We plan to fully remodel the upstairs, as you most likely are aware.  And, with mortgage interest rates being so low, we would love to refinance once it is done.  Yet, to do that, we needed to get some other stuff fixed up, one of those things being the hall bathroom.  It has been non-used for a while now, and it was ugly.  So, I gave Inga a budget of $75-$100 to put a facelift on it and get it to where it could be used.
We got a gallon of oil based paint (because you can't oil base over latex), some latex paint for the drywall, some caulk, and some basic accessories.  Karen came down, and they went to work.  The bathroom is now an attractive green, the tub is all shiny, the ugly and unlevel shower doors are gone and replaced with a very attractive curtain, there are new towel racks, the cabinets are painted, and the shower wall was painted.  Then they caulked the tub and put some trim around it (because the tub is unlevel and left a gap).  Oh, and then they threw down some very inexpensive peel and stick flooring.  It looks like an entirely new bathroom!  It is our goal to remodel it totally after the upstairs is finished, hence the small budget.
Then they decided it would be a great idea to paint outside.  I can't argue there - it is badly peeling and faded.  But, before that, we needed to have the underpinning replaced...
So, I found a guy to do that with Hardisiding for a very reasonable price, and it looks very good!  
Now for the painting....
Inga and Karen insisted on them doing it - the scraping, sanding, puttying, caulking, and painting.  I told them repeatedly there were nuts.  But, they weren't having it any other way.  So, Karen trotted down here last week.  And they went to work.  And they worked.  And they worked.  And they worked.  FOUR days of scraping.  They were not 1/2 way done, and they were worn out.  Finally, Inga cried UNCLE and let me call some help in.  The first guy we got was horrendous.  Of the 8 hours, he worked about 4.  I fired him.  I called around Thursday and found 2 more guys.  They showed up Friday and WORKED!  They showed up Saturday and WORKED!  After Saturday, the house was almost all prepped.   Karen had to leave Monday, and Inga had to return to work.  So, the fellows came back, with a 3rd hand, and worked some more.  the house was FINALLY ready to prime!
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - the man sprayed and sprayed and sprayed.  The wood soaked and drank and guzzled the primer.  But, here it is on Friday, and the house is all painted!  It looks really good - pictures coming tomorrow when I have some daylight.  All that is left is for him to re install the gutters and we will be done!  YAY!  I could say those 4 little words - but I don't think I have to...
By the way, you may be asking "Jeff, what was your role in all this painting?"  Let me answer that - I HATE to paint.  HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE DESPISE HATE painting.  I made it clear that I would have NO part in the abomination.  I would not participate.  I would watch my little son and let them work.  I did just exactly that.  And I enjoyed myself.
So, what is next?  I need to install the outdoor water heater, and get the upstairs floor in.  It may take a little, however, since I have 2 big school projects to work on, and I have a weekend of being on call coming up.  But, we are making progress...

PS....I gotta say it....I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!
(ah, I feel so much better)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It has arrived!

My tankless water heater arrived via FedEx yesterday. Now I just need someone to arrive to install it! Oh - never mind, apparently I am that someone!
IESI finally removed my dumpster, 4 days after they said they would. But, it is gone, the ruts are there, and now we can continue our work!

Jeffrey N Dickson

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Video Tour

I recorded a short (1:49) video of the upstairs to show what we are working with.  The video went a little blurry at the end, but you can still see what is going on. Just click below to see the tour.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The bill arrives

I am fairly certain this will come as a surprise to many, particularly the mayor of Terrell, Mr Hal Richards.

Jeffrey N Dickson

Monday, April 5, 2010


At last!  I called this afternoon, and the full dumpster gets carted off tomorrow!  I had hoped to get it filled sooner, but, as with all construction jobs, I ran over.  But, it is full now, and they are coming to haul it off!  YAY!!!
I still have a little demo work to do, mainly some baseboards, a little more drywall, and a tad bit of flooring.  I also have to remove the old attic fan, but the largest part of the demo project is FINISHED!
I get to go to the doctor in the morning for a tetanus shot.  I drove a 50+ year old nail into my leg as I was attempting to break a piece of drywall.  Didn't see that nail in it!  YOWCH!!!!  The picture of the small puncture wound is on the Picasa Album.  No worries, it isn't real gross.  Wish I had taken a photo of the nail sticking out of my leg, though.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Working on it!

Neighbor Eddie came over today to help out. We cleared the upstairs of the old trunk, all the old doors, and the lumber that we will be salvaging. We got more of the flooring ripped up and knocked out some more walls. I started on the bathroom, and the pictures here tell what horrors I found in there. We are fortunate the house has not burned down. It brings new meaning to the prayer I have heard a million times: "Lord, please protect us from the unseen dangers."
We got the old toilet and the really old sink out, but still need to get the less old one out. We also have to work our way to underneath the house and get the old water lines out - we capped them for now, since there are no valves.
My arms are about to fall off, I have blood blisters all over my hands, and I am generally exhausted. It's a wrap for today; it will be there for next time.

Jeffrey N Dickson

Old wiring

This is an old wiring splice. Found it 1" from water heater flue pipe. No box. They don't make 'em like they used to! THANK GOODNESS!

Jeffrey N Dickson

Lovin' what I find!

Are you SURE your old house is built safe? This water heater flue pipe was in a small cavity upstairs. Notice the burnt wood around it? Double wall pipe needs a 1" clearance. This had about 1/2", if that!

Jeffrey N Dickson