australia, ocean

Detours off Britta Blvd

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Eight Months of Effort
australia, ocean
Since it's been awhile since I've posted remodeling progress, let's recap now that I'm just starting my ninth month of living at Brittahytta. All work has been performed by me, myself & I unless otherwise noted:

minor electrical outlet upgrades (electrician)
roof resealed (roofing company)
chimney crack & firebox repaired (chimney specialists)
kitchen skylight replaced (contractor)
new kitchen faucet & disposal (Dad)
louvre door to cover open hall shelves (Dad)
shaved linen closet doors to close properly (Dad)
bathroom plumbing chaos (plumber under home warranty)
made matching pillows for new gold silk living room curtains
upgraded piano area wall sconce & bedroom wall sconce
upgraded hallway wall sconce
upgraded dining chandelier
acquired free bookcase & patio fridge
upgraded front entry sconce
removed fake wood paneling on living room wall, but solid wood underneath! *sigh*
repaired wall water damage in hall bathroom - drywall patch, new baseboard
textured & painted both bathrooms
upgraded mirrors on both medicine cabinets & reinstalled recessed into drywall anchored to studs
upgraded both bathroom light fixtures
upgraded toilet roll holders & towel bars for both bathrooms
tore down, rebuilt & painted front porch wall
pressure-washed all the sparkly covering off both patios
removed solid wood paneling from living room wall leaving bare studs
removed existing torn screen around patio (included removing ugly metal patio roof shingles)
painted screen structure to match house color
put up pet-resistant screening around entire patio
made canvas dropcloth curtains for screened patio

As for the garden, not as much work has happened there until recently, but notable events:

planted raspberries & blackberries
dug out the entire weirdo palm thingy at fence in backyard
planted lilac seedling
planted mint (yummy!)
planted nandina & daisy transplants from parents
assembled arbor for side gate into backyard
(2nd arbor kit is waiting for assembly into a larger bench patio unit to match)
cracked out about half of side concrete walkway to eventually replace with brick (thanks for the help Cyd!)
replaced the slats on my garden park bench - new clear douglas fir with mahogany stain
cut down liquid amber tree in front yard (Dad)
cut down small palm tree in front side yard (Dad)

All that while having 3 big parties (housewarming party, Mardi Gras, and 4th of July) and a few smaller get-togethers, plus having my grandmother & parents stay the weekend of our big choir concert...whew! I keep thinking I must not have done much since there is so much more still to do, but looking at the list, that's not that shabby knowing I've also still been working a solid 40+hrs/week the whole time! ;)

Now since the last update, here's the new house progress:

I started my faux wood beam treatment by painting the beams with leftover hall bathroom tan that will also be the darker shading color for the stone wall effect. I had already tried stripping the beams in another room, but it was stained a deep burgundy before being painted white, so even getting past the white I still can't get past the burgundy to any real wood color...hence a paint treatment to bring out the texture in the wood again...

Tan beams in living room vs. still-white beams in kitchen

I have started the stain overlay of the faux wood treatment that picks up the wood grain & texture, but nowhere yet finished...I need better daylight but I thought the drywall should go up first vs. trying to store it while I stained the beams...

Stain overlay in flash looks pinkier than in person

Stain overlay in daylight

I acquired 3 full sheets of drywall in the family truck (thanks Robin for the extra arms!) & finally enclosed the open wall where the solid wood paneling was...just tonight finished the last long cut, then taped & put on the first coat of mud ...since this wall & the rest of the living room will be textured like the bathrooms, then painted to be stone blocks, I have a LONG way to go here too...

Drywall is up in living room!

New garden progress basically all this weekend to now:

I acquired 70 free new clay bricks - perfect for testing patio & walkway layout! That confirmed that I wanted to use clay brick vs. fancier pavers...I think it will really look nice when it's finally finished, especially with the curves...

Brick walkway test under arbor

My dad & I had started troubleshooting the broken sprinkler system when he visited last, and most of the heads were buried & we had already found some broken parts. Now from careful & logical digging I have found about half the sprinkler lines (rear sprinklers were listed as broken on the inspection), but still at least one more section to trace.

Backyard archeology - don't the white pipes look like dinosaur bones on a dig site? ;)

Wait - I even found a real dinosaur!

After copious months of planning & sketching, I finally laid out an extra garden hose, marked with some spare spray paint, then dug out the edge of the walkway & new open patio in back. Of course I have to dig out all the rest now, which will take a long time, but once I know where all the sprinkler lines are, I'll know where I'm safe just to hack away at the ground vs. being careful...

Patio edge dug out so far

I'm almost tempted to set up my videocamera, since it has got to be a riot seeing me balancing with both feet on the shovel like a pogo stick, weaving around this way & that trying to dig into the hard ground...what surprised me was that my butt muscles were sore from all that pole action! haha...I have LOTS more digging still to do...and I'm still sore from digging 2 days ago, which is why I took a break tonight & only finished the drywall...those full sheets of drywall are quite awkward & heavy to move around all by yourself, but I did it! :)

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

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Excellent work, Britta!

So, about why you haven't had any dates in the past 9 months...*hem, hem*

Thanks...but hey, I have gone out with friends lots of times since I've lived here too, including meeting some new people...if I had met anyone promising, project schedules can be adjusted just like they have been adjusted to see various movies with friends, attend impromptu BBQs, etc...but if I don't have plans anyway, I'd better be doing a project vs. just sitting on the couch watching TV... ;)

Of course, of course. You just have to make dating a project. ;-)

i cannot WAIT to see it all in person next month!! :-D

Sometimes I think you may have your own Time Turner!

I sure wish I had a Time Turner! I'm still frantically digging out back right now, taking a quick breather since my arms are already turning to jelly, and my house isn't clean enough yet for my parents to stay this will all get done by Wednesday evening when I still have to work every day will be a minor miracle!

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