Built in 1960
How it looked when I bought it in May 2000:
The stuff I've done because the previous owner was cheap or I just wanted to improve upon:
- Alarm system in the house and garage to keep out the bad guys (I also have a Concealed Weapon Permit...)
- Exterior lighting, including a 20,000 lumin, high-pressure sodium flood lamp above my driveway w/light sensor
- Illuminated dimmer switches in both bathrooms, all three bedrooms and dining room
- Illuminated switches in kitchen and garage
- Backyard light switch changed and outlet added
- Living room outlet on/off switch fixed to on and outlet replaced the switch
- Fluorescent lamps on non-dimmer circuits
- Installed grounded outlets throughout the house (I can't believe how CHEAP the previous owner was!)
- Insulated the attic and installed attic fan w/thermostat
- Insulated pipes under house
- Installed GE water filter on main water line so water is filtered before it enters the house or hot water heater (5-15 micron)
- Installed garden hose fitting at washer faucets so I can wash my car with filtered water, even in the dead of winter! Before After
- Water line to ice maker in my refridgerator/freezer
- Better kitchen faucet
- 1-way window tint on kitchen and dining room windows
- Better lock (with key) on sliding glass door
- Removed living room carpet to expose hardwood floor (entire house has original hardwood flooring)
- Surface remodeling of main bathroom (paint, towel hangers, removed shower doors & replaced w/curtain, sealed tub/shower, new wall/floor trim and hand colored by me, etc.)1 2 3 4 5
- Main bedroom painted, new light fixture
- Peep hole added to front door and house-to-garage door
- Better fluorescent lighting. Twin, 40-watt 4-foot bulbs
- 15-amp and 20-amp GFI circuits
- Garage doors sealed
- Better shelving
- Multi-level work bench with 1/4" pegboard
Other Stuff I've Done
- Kitty tunnel for my cats.
- The chimney cap I made from scratch. Keeps the rain out of the chimney. Close-up. Mounted.
- Shorten fireplace opening. Some smoke was wafting out of the fireplace because (after doing some research) my fireplace opening was too large for the flue. The 'easiest' thing for me to do was reduce the size of the opening. 'Rule-of-thumb' calculations indicated a 6-inch reduction from the top...too much for my liking. After spending much time in a dark room with a flashlight, a 6-inch board wrapped in aluminum foil, and braving the fire I was able to establish that a 4-inch reduction in height would work. For extra measure I added a 1/2-inch. Here's what the back side looks like and here it is attached. Welded 1/2-inch bolts to the 12-gage sheet metal and welded angle iron with holes drilled to the steel lintle already there. The nuts are snugged (not heavily torqued!) and the beefy split washers are compressed enough to lock them. High-temp seal and gasket cement is used to glue the wood stove gasket to the plate (both easily found at a fireplace/stove store). It works PERFECTLY -- no more smoky smells, no more burping smoke detector! Don't ask me how to make one because every fireplace is different AND either you have the tools/skills/sense to do it yourself or you don't (though I think it's fairly easy).
- Wainscoting and general redo of second bedroom (baby's room). Closet re-do.
- Audio/Video: Satellite wiring (primary and secondary) run under house and terminated at floor plate (bought at Home Depot). Floor plate also has left (black) and right (red) surround speaker inputs. The wiring runs from the floor plate, under the house to the wall that divides the kitchen from the living room, up that wall and into the attic. Left and right wires are the same length (about 20' of extra wire for the right speaker). This cleans up the living room, leaving no exposed wires in the living room and places the speakers out of the way. 10-pound universal mounts used to hold Polk Audio speakers to ceiling.
Surround speakers Close-up of right speaker Close-up of left speaker Back of TV showing floor plate Close-up of floor plate