12/20/08: Porch mostly totalledI still have a bit of trim work to finish up on the porch (and hang one door) but for the most part the expenses are done.
What did it cost to tear down and rebuild my porch?
That's just materials. Imagine if I hadn't done all of the work myself! Average cost my research showed for having a contractor do the work was around $8000 plus the stone work.
In addition, I spent another $571 on tools this year (cordless drill, nailgun.) And another $97 fixing the electrical damage I did to the power line for my washer while reattaching a downspout. lol.
12/01/08: Working on the Dining RoomWell out of my "which project should I do next" post I've already tackled the Entertainment Center and Porch. Now I'm working on the Dining Room. That just leaves the upstairs bedroom. I know everyone voted for the bedroom first, but my daughter never could move out her stuff so I could redo the room, so it'll just have to wait until she goes off to college next year.
You may remember the before picture of the dining room:
Well I tried to remove wallpaper and paint, but the room didn't want to cooperate. Much like the upstairs bedroom I renovated back in 2005 it had seven or so layers of wallpaper and at least two layers of paint. I elected to just throw drywall up on top of it all. This time I didn't remove the trim first, and I think it was a very good decision both for time and look.
Here you can see the wallpaper layers peeled back. I've already removed the top layer or two of paper, and got down to the first layer of painted wallpaper, and behind that another layer of dark patterned wallpaper, and behind that a layer of green painted wallpaper that extended behind the trim.
We went with a rich gold color for the walls. I haven't painted the trim yet, but here it is now:
I hung 3/8" drywall directly over the wallpaper without removing the trim. Removing the trim would have taken an inordinate amount of time, not to mention probably destroyed half of it in the process. It wasn't hard to use joint compound right up to the edge of the trim, and since the trim is 7x1 boards, you don't even notice except in a few places where the wall is slightly warped and the trim isn't. Yay for old houses ;-)
09/26/08: WaMu, I Get The Last Laugh!Some of you may recall my scathing review of Washington Mutual titled "How Washington Mutual Wants To Screw You".
Looks like I get the last laugh.
06/05/08: The Old HouseMy business partner's Grandmother's house is about to be torn down to make room for a new residential development. He's invited me to "salvage" anything I can from the 6000 sqft Craftsman Bungalow...
Things like miles of solid oak trim, thousands of cedar shakes on the siding and whatever bricks I can get without dropping a chimney on my head.
Life is good.
07/10/07: Trying to Budget Home ImprovementsWhile trying to budget some home improvements I glanced at the calendar and noticed that it was getting to be July - halfway through the year.
Last year I was shocked to learn that I owed over $3000 in taxes between Federal and State. It turned out that when I asked my payroll company to "add another $15 to be taken out every check" they instead put me down for 15 dependents. I know my family is big, but what the heck? I narrowly escaped Federal underpayment penalties only because I'd received a refund the previous year, but I did have to pay State penalties. Yeah, I know I should have caught it, but my pay was a moving target at the time and I mostly just dump the darn checks in the bank and don't worry about it.
Anyway, in March I had them change withholdings to a more accurate amount. I made a mental note to check things at 1/2 year and run some test calculations.
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As luck would have it due to either an oversight on my part or thinking I'd clicked "submit" on an online payment I ended up late on my payment by less than 6 days one month. The next month I was billed a $40 late fee which I paid without worrying about it.
It wasn't until two months later that I realized they had also jacked my interest rate up from around 7% to over 22% as a result of that one late payment.
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