Saturday, December 29, 2012

DIY as Videogame Part 1

Well, we've had a couple of blog fans wonder why we haven't posted anything since October.

The three main reasons are:
1. I was burning out after 3 years of continuous refurbishng.
2. It gets colder and wetter here and that only enhances 1.
3. I wanted to 'enjoy' the house more rather than leap up and work on something.

During the past few months, I've been able to focus on researching the next steps in our ongoing DIY efforts of our home and also rekindle my passion in doing more challenging projects for 2013.

So how is DIY like a Videogame?  Like a videogame, one can "level-up" after completing some easier, simpler tasks that gives you experience and knowledge to attack something more challenging..  One can also gain "bonus points" for jobs completed successfully like a videogame. For instance, your home value increases or friends and family are "impressed" at what you can do! lol  And, well, DIY can be FUN, like a game, but also, one needs to unplug from this game from time to time or else you will start to HATE the game!  So I gave myself some mind-time do just tons of research on a few major things I plan on doing in 2013.

1. Build Carriage Doors.
We bought a brand new car and leave it overnight in our very small garage. In fact, we bought a certain kind of car so it would FIT in our garage.  It's the Chevy Spark and is a really great, inexpensive car that we are enjoying more and more.  We bought it at FH Dailey Chevrolet in San Leandro and our dealer was Chris Bruyn, who was really easy to work with.  I recommend the car and him. E-Mail
Guide to Subcompact cars
As it turns out, we can't install an automatic garage door that rolls up because of the lack of head clearance. But when one door closes, another one opens (pun intended).  A little research leads us to a pair of carriage doors that opens outward like regular doors.  It certainly would be similar in style to the 19th century carriage door (park your horse and buggy), but these can work with an automatic opener.  I found a great video that shows me how to make carriage doors and plan on doing that first in the New Year.

A few inspiration pics.

Here are some links for you that cover a wide range of garage door options.

A unique way to build carriage doors

Design your own garage door.

We are actually pretty lucky to even have an attached garage in the Victorian.  Most old homes, here in the Bay Area, either have no garage, or are detached far from the house or is just a driveway along the side.  Eventually, we will be able to just drive in and enter our house from a garage doorway.

2. Build a Master bathroom

This would be the biggest project we undertake this year, I think.  It involves many factors and would involve a few more people ie. plumber. But we are confident that we can do most of the work to make this happen and envision a nice, large walk-in shower, large wash basin and vanity and a few other nice things that will be part of our master bedroom. No more walking through the kitchen to use the toilet. The biggest factor is working with a pro to setup the main pipes and making sure everything is up to code for inspection.  After that, we will be ready to install a nice, one-piece shower that doesn't require any tiling.  Home Depot seems to have some pretty good systems.  The 3D home modeling program I use is helping me visualize where everything fits and flows with the rest of the house.

3. Stairs
In order to take advantage of having a car in the garage and have access to our laundry room, we need to put in stairs connecting upstairs with downstairs.  I feel this is something we can do by ourselves but will be a challenge because there are very few places that stairs can go in our shotgun style Victorian.  This project will probably be the most challenging yet most rewarding.

4. Built-in Bookcase and window bench.
I've always wanted to build my wife a little library and hope I can create this in the parlor.  It should also help insulate against the noise from the street. Here is my PS vision for it.

Other Planned Projects for 2013 include:
-New Gutters
-Regrading the Foundation
-Front yard curb appeal (option 1)

-New Gas Fire place and mantle
-Garden Renovation
-New Windows
-Complete Insulation throughout the House

-Solar Shingles/Panels

I think if we can complete all of these (and deal with the vicissitudes of life), then I would say it would have been a successful 2013.  Let's see how that all goes?

Part 2 is coming up titled, 'DIY and Videogame Treasure'!
Stay tuned!

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