Posts tagged ‘house repair’

Hiatus Time

I haven’t updated this blog in quite a while, so I thought I’d better do that. First, the big news: I moved. A lot of reasons but my grandmother turned 100 last year and I felt the need to be closer to her. With no job anymore (I’m on disability) I decided it was time to move. I finished up the remaining few details and finally the house was sold.

It wasn’t an easy decision. Buying that house on my own, with no help from anyone, had been a personal triumph for me. I had lost a previous home due to my father’s business going under and having to rebuild my credit from scratch. So it really meant a lot that I was able to make the purchase and have a roof over my head. In the end, however, family and other concerns won out.

And yes, I lost a lot of money. One thing that surprised me was how much the crash had devalued my property. Comps were misleading: I had tax values but very few recent sales to compare it to. So instead of breaking even I lost money. It’s hard to be too pessimistic when everyone else is in the same boat, though.

So, I relocated to my late mother’s hometown of Mooresville, NC, and moved in with my grandmother, over 175 miles to the west. One of her late sisters had an in-law suite built onto the house and I stayed there. Very cramped quarters but it worked for awhile. Then I found out the cute little house next door was for rent, and the lady across the street owns it. We met and spoke about it, and though she was adamant at first that no pets were allowed, I begged her to consider just my cats. She relented and I moved in exactly one year ago. There have been a few issues with the house, a tiny 786-square-foot cottage, but it is tightly built and cozy. Very well cared-for, as well. A short walk through the woods and I am at my grandmother’s house so that is a perfect situation.


So what’s next? That is a good question.

My my goal at present is to buy a house, hopefully an older one with lots of charm and character. You won’t find me in a cookie cutter subdivision. If I had unlimited funds, I’d buy a vintage Victorian mansion and spend my time sanding and refinishing it until it looks like knew. Unless someone is giving one away, I’d say that’s somewhere in the distant future, if it ever happens at all. More likely is finding an older house with a lot of character, within my budget, and making it my forever home. Because honestly, I don’t ever want to move again.

In the meantime, I will refocus the blog on various homes I see and like, and discuss them as they capture my interest. Stay tuned, and we’ll see what happens…


Home Repair on a Budget: Day Nine

Today I can breathe a bit easier: my front door has been reinstalled and the house is once again secure.  Although, I’m a little upset the work involved in reinstalling the door resulted in a whole lotta paint chipping  off.

Of course, I can only blame myself. I was in a bit of a rush, as I’m leaving town for the rest of the week to visit my grandmother so I really needed to get the house secured before I left, but the black spray paint just didn’t have enough time to thoroughly dry. Surface dry, yes, but not all the way through.

Here’s where we are…

Once I got the big surface lock installed, I noticed the paint chipped from screwdriver. It managed to flake a large, noticeable portion off a couple of places. Well, quick solution for now…

I got the rest of the screws installed (3) and then grabbed a small, cheap paintbrush. I sprayed a generous glob of black paint onto the cardboard I was using, and then dipped the paintbrush in that and then applied it to the chipped area.

Then it was time to go over all the surfaces on the lock and get them all covered.

I think it turned out fairly well, but this story isn’t quite over.

So, I got the hardware in place, the locks reinstalled, and the doorknobs secured. Then the last step: the hinges. Three very heavy, large hinges.  One of the screws broke when I removed it; these are old flathead screws with a single groove on top. I’d much prefer a Philips head screw, but there’s nothing wrong with these. Plus, they were already used and holes were reamed out for them, so back in they went.

And then it was time to move the door off the sawhorses and back to the door frame. And that’s when the trouble REALLY started. Obviously I took no pictures of this ordeal, the darn thing weighs close to a hundred pounds.  Yes I can lift a hundred pounds, quite easily, in fact. But lifting a hundred pound object and aligning it precisely to a specific point at a precise angle, and you can see the difficulty.  After more than twenty minutes of balancing and pushing and pulling and getting things to fit just so, I finally got one hinge lined up, the middle one. I’d have much preferred to get the top one first, but that came later.  More pushing and pulling and coaxing, and finally I got the bottom and lastly, the top. There is definitely some play in the hinges mounted on the doorframe, so I will have to go back and work on that. Really, the entire doorframe needs replacing. That will be a project for a later time.

Now the door is in place, deadbolt lines up, and the house is secure, but the biggest issue here is that the process of pushing and pulling really did a number on the hinges just freshly painted.

I will have to wait until I’m back to repaint, carefully masking the area to avoid overspray.

If you look closely at this photo, the bottom hinge shows a lot of white/green paint on the bottom.

Also, there is no catch on the large black lock, which also got scraped in the final door installation; I need to redo that area to better secure it. The catch is painted and ready to install, but I need to paint the doorframe first and repair the area where the catch is installed with a new block of wood behind it.

And here’s the view from straight on.

I have no idea why the cell phone cam chooses to distort colors like this, and it also shows some kind of ghost image.

Kinda freaky, when you consider last night was Halloween!

Cool, I gots a haunted house!  🙂

Next up, I will be finishing the trim work, painting the door frames, interior doors and windows.

Stay tuned!

Previous total:  $216.50

Current total: $216.50, no new purchases.

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