Saturday, August 29, 2009

Home Improvements 2009

Our fence was showing the signs of too much weather so we decided to stain and seal it this year. It makes quite a nice improvement. The photo above shows our side of the fence but there is no point only doing one side, so we also went into the neighbor's yard and did the other side (below).

We also hired a contracting firm to build us a new garage. Expensive, but really nice. They did a great job and even matched the pattern on the stucco to the house. Now we'll have a protected place to put our car. No more scraping ice off the car windows during winter.

Last year we bought Conrad a used dresser and this year we stripped, sanded, stained and will varnish it to make it truely his own. It is made of real wood -- we think mahogany, but we're not sure -- and is looking really good. Look below to see how the stain brings out the beauty of the wood!

One panel of our dining room table was starting to peel in a few places so I decided to sand and stain only those spots and then give the whole thing a new varnish job. Here's how it looks about half-way through the job. I've got the pieces separated so that I can get in the cracks to varnish properly.

Any ideas what this stuff in the picture below is?

It's used phone books and other recycled goods that we had blown into the walls of our house so that we can stay warmer next winter. It turns out that our house had no insulation in the walls at all. The guy who came to test our house, looked into a hole he had made and then asked Arthur to take a look. He said to Arthur, "Do you see what I see? There's absolutely nothing there!"
So we hired some people to help us with that. First the guys drilled 2 cm holes into the sides of our house. (Below.) That was a loud job! Then they blew the insulation in and put a cork in the holes. After that, a stucco team came and filled the holes. Because of the stucco we have, the holes aren't really obvious. You have to really look to see them. We hope that helps us stay warmer this winter.

And what would a vacation be without some painting going on? Arthur managed to paint the dining room, living room, front entry (below), front hall and stairwell plus the upstairs bathroom. Good thing he enjoys painting!
When friends ask where we went for a family vacation, we say we stayed home and puttered. It's partly true -- we actually got more done than just puttering.