we cannot seem to get through a summer without doing some kind of home improvement!
when we first moved here in '05, we had many projects that were ongoing. the first summer project we did was put in a fence around the yard. with three boys ages 3 and under, we had to!
i cannot remember the exact years, but as the summers came and went, we took down some trees, put in a new driveway, replaced the front porch, insulated the attic, put up a new shed, took down some more trees, put in a new play area/swing set, and tilled a space for a veggie garden. whew!
this summer is no different from past summers, as far as home improvements go. we have some major projects on our plate this summer! first, we had 2 wells dug for a new geo-thermal heating/cooling system.
this left our yard a muddy mess! we have yet to seed it! the duct work is in progress, and then they can hook up the system and test it!
next, we dug out a space for our new back deck. another muddy mess! the clay in this ground is ridiculous! it took Hank and his brother Karl about 15 hours to dig 7 holes for the footings. where one hole had to go, there were about 30 rocks burried under the ground! yikes!
another hole, the clay was so heavy, the post hole digger's auger got stuck, and it took them about 2hrs to get it loose again! i cannot wait for this deck to be finished!
and the final project we had NOT planned for this summer was work on our foundation. ugh!
I bought Hank an electric jack hammer for his birthday this year, so he decided to break open the old cistern in the cellar (yes, we have a "cellar," as opposed to a "basement"). it's cold, damp & musty down there!
anyway, after opening up this old cistern, we could see that the foundation wall was starting to come apart and dirt was coming in from around some of the stones. water damage from years of water seeping in through the wall. our foundation is a few feet below our neighbor's yard. so basically, our cellar is their drain.
the house is sinking on that side, but that is not the end of it either. further down that same wall, there are two more areas where there is work needed. one area is minor "pointing" it's called, i think. but another area is very serious. it's a bowing in of the stone foundation right under our living room. the whole side of the house needs to be excavated so that the foundation can be fixed, and a proper drainage system put into place. *sigh*
sometimes, i feel like we've inherited the "money pit!" it seems like we are constantly putting money into this 130 year-old house, and it doesn't even show! there are still many inside improvements to do. but i suppose we need to address the foundation soon. and the new heating system will save us thousands of dollars in fuel cost every year...a savings we really need right now. and in five or six years, it will have paid for itself.
i just want to be done with this house. you would think after 6 years, we would be finished with renovations.
the thing is, it takes time when you are a "do-it-yourselfer," like my wonderful husband. we could have sunk a whole lot more money into this house if it weren't for his skill and talent! thank you sweetie!
i guess if we are to be in this house for the next 20 years, it will all be worth it!
so here's to another summer ... and another project!