On friday, I spoke to the property management company that will be looking after our house while we are gone. Back in January, I contacted them and told them about our situation. Regarding the house, I said "there are a lot of really nice things about the house, but there's no getting around the fact that it's an old farmhouse." I said we wanted to make some improvements before anyone looked at it. The man told me to contact him in May or thereabouts when we had the place in shape to rent. Friday, I made an appointment for two weeks hence.
I work better under a deadline. We have actually made fairly solid progress, but there is so much more yet to do. Here are some photos of projects which are currently underway.
Every photo in the deck series below shows a totally different part of the deck. There is no overlap: in fact, altogether, these four photos show only about 60% of the deck. It goes on. Mother of God, it goes on. I have no idea why anyone would want to build such an enormous deck in the first place. It must have cost a king's ransom in treated wood. The photo following (front deck) and the one below (backyard deck) show parts of the deck after pressure washing but before staining.
The next two photos show the parts of the deck that have been stained. Behr Redwood number 502, $152 per five gallon bucket. Two buckets down, one (I think) to go. The entire railing has been stained, and about half the decking. Then we still have to do the planter boxes on the outside, which you can see below the rhododendron (lovely, isn't it?).
So far, between Homero, Phil, Rowan and myself, the deck has absorbed some 40 or so man hours. We might be more than half done now. We are praying for a stretch of nice weather, but none in sight. I feel like a sea captain in the days of exploration... "day 36... no land in sight... running out of supplies..."
The playroom. I cleaned it up and then Phil tore out the old carpet. That ugly yellow stuff is the carpet pad, which I think we will reuse. The new carpet I bought (cheapest avaialable indoor/outdoor option at Lowe's) is in a giant roll in the foreground. The playroom is also enormous - I guess the builders of this farmhouse - the grandparents of the people we bought from - really liked their elbow room. The playroom measure 33 by 22 feet, with a big bite taken out of one corner. It's nearly 700 square feet. That's a lot of carpet. Maybe this time we can keep the chickens out of the playroom so they don't crap on the new carpet.
Rowan and Phil washing the walls. Wall-washing and trim-scrubbing are NOT part of my regular housewifely routine. The high traffic areas were looking exceedingly grungy. I decided we needed to do some spot painting. Luckily, we have a gallon of the original blue paint leftover from five years ago. All I had to do is buy a quart of semi-gloss white and a couple of small brushes.
Phil, by the way, has been a Godsend. He deserves his own post, but I can't give him one because my husband has this weird Mexican Macho trip where he resents any other male doing any work in his house. He barely tolerates Phil helping out, even though he concedes that Phil is an excellent worker. Homero would be jealous and annoyed if I gave Phil his own post, so all I can do is say here, at the end of this post where Homero will likely never read it, that Phil ROCKS.