Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Well, it's been a month or so since I've left The House, but I've been so busy making money (which is nice) that it seems like a week. My latest plans revolve around building a Big New House, and that will perforce involve masonry, now that I know how great masonry is. So when I ran across this video of a man laying a whole lot of 12-inch block, I thought of you. Enjoy!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I still have so many projects photodocumented that I want to write about, and hopefully now that we live in a place where my wife is unassailed by Level 5 culture shock and my children have public transit for all their back-and-forthing needs, I'll actually have some time to write about them. I probably have so much backlog that I will have bought a fixer-upper here in Hungary before I run out. I'm going to insert them into the post stream around the dates they were actually written, but I'll also put current-dated references to them for the home audience.
In the meantime, I've put The House on the market for $40,000. As I tell people, either I'll get to keep it, or I'll have enough money that I won't care. I think it won't sell this year, but we'll see. With an office view like this, suddenly The House is less attractive to me, and I remember, you know, how much I always loved Europe to start with. But if it doesn't sell, then in the fall or maybe next spring, I'll head over for a few intensive weeks of work - sort of a work camp of one.
My next post will be a full to-do list of everything remaining to be done in The House (at least those that have been dignified with to-do points), just for historical reasons and in preparation for any such work camp binge. But in the meantime, my bank account is running on fumes and I really have to pay attention to invoicing and additional work. (Without significant distractions! It's like heaven!)
Friday, December 9, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Still haven't found the time to post pictures of the ditch project, but we've got it most of the way out to the street and - key - getting the water away from the foundation and basement. Quite successfully! Only one problem; one of the neighbors (one of the good ones who fixes houses instead of being the problem) came by and noted that the city doesn't actually allow you to route water onto the street.
This pipe effort was already due to the fact that the city doesn't allow you to use existing drainpipe (that drains into the sewers). Which is entirely understandable, as the city's sewer system is roughly the same age as the house itself, and a combined sewer, and during heavy rains, combined sewers are not a good thing. And they overflow into the Whitewater River anyway, and frankly, there's just too much E. coli there nowadays.
We can't just drain the water into the yard, because there simply isn't enough yard. So it's time, boys and girls, to explore the concept of the dry well. And you know, a small one with a plastic barrel is really not too hard. And as the ground still hasn't frozen, well, next week I'm going to put in a dry well down towards the street. There will still be an overflow into the street, but it will only be an issue in really heavy rain, and that's not a problem; the dry well will still buffer the flow.
Friday, November 18, 2011
So the kids cleaned up the big house (well, did some cleaning) and decorated for Halloween. Part of that effort was to put a lamp down in the parlor and stack all the book boxes against the walls. And then we found the most fascinating cabinet-or-whatever (actually it might be the head of a bed, I can't tell) in the alley out back, and it fits oddly perfectly above the fireplace there, as you see here.
And right above the parlor is my office, and I have purchased my ventless heater, so I can route some gas to this fireplace, too - I just need a heater to put there. There are some gas logs, but I don't imagine they're going to do much.
Actually, I'm pretty sure this is the way this house was designed anyway - point heat where you actually needed it, with lots of gas fires. It's certainly the way the Robinson house on 15th was designed, the in-laws of E.B.Swayne, who built my house.
The only problem is that there are no parlor doors. So I need some parlor doors, clearly, and I'm not sure how to solve that quickly and easily; I'd really kind of like to have a heated library this winter. I'm going to go ahead and put a proper gas stove there, and it will certainly make a huge difference, but it's still going to be drafty. Pictured to the left is an example I found on Google; I think maybe it demonstrates my oddity that I look at this picture and marvel at the salvageability of the house pictured, but still - it does illustrate how parlor doors work.
Longer-term plans, by the way: we will be leaving for Europe for at least a year this spring/early summer, and we will put The House on the market - but our compromise is that we'll put it on the market for $40K. As it's tremendously unlikely to sell at that price, that means it's win-win for me - either I get to keep my house until I'm emotionally ready to move on (which means I'll have another interesting house somewhere else), or I have a large enough profit from it that I'll still feel good about myself.