Home Projects 2016

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HOME PROJECTS 2016

Owning a home requires a considerable amount of upkeep depending on how old your home is and the type of construction, whereas there seems to be a never ending need of something to repair, replace and/or upgrade!  Over the decades, I have done a good amount of home repairs myself including plumbing, carpentry, painting, electrical, heating, etc., but sometimes, certain projects requires a professional to get the job done.

We purchased our home in 1989 which was built by one of my Uncles, Cecil Ackerman aka Ackerman Construction Company around 1956 for Bruner C. Lipe and his wife, Ellen H. Lipe of which Bruner Lipe worked for Wansona Manufacturing Company, Inc.  Bruner got transferred to Statesville, NC and sold the home in 1965 to Paul and Opal Walters; Paul also worked at the Wansona plant.  Paul and Opal Walters raised their family in this home and their daughter and her husband moved into the full basement for a year or two before purchasing their own home.  Paul had the basement fixed up like an apartment with a small kitchen area, bedroom, living room, etc. and there was an existing shower and bathroom. 

GOING BACK IN TIME - 1969

We rented a large older wood frame house for about twenty (20) years of which our rent stayed the same, fifty dollars (50) a month from 1969 until we purchased our home in 1989.  We tried to purchase the old rental home when it was in much better shape but the owners Bradford and Margaret Smith did not want to sell at that time and about a year before we purchased our home, they offered to sell the place at a very reasonable offer and finance themselves but it would cost too much money to remodel and my bride definitely had enough of that ole house; cold in the winter, hot in the summer, one bathroom, not enough closets, leaking roof, etc.  There was a natural gas central heat unit in the attic but with the 12 foot plus ceilings, it did very little to get heat down to the floor level per Bradford Smith.  We never used the natural gas central heating system but used a large Seigler oil heater in the hallway in conjunction with small electric heaters.  I believe it was Earl Edwards, now deceased that installed that heating system....heat rises; don't know what they were thinking on that one with such high ceilings.  We certainly had to be tough as nails to live in that ole house as long as we did but everything worked out ok in the long run.  Bradford probably earned enough money from the rental property to pay the taxes and/or any type of home owners insurance but later years he broke even at the best.  I did nearly all the upkeep to the place and paid for most of it out of my own funds since he wasn't charging us much rent at all.  My bride and myself painted the entire exterior of the house and it would be scary to know how much tar I put on the tin roof during the twenty years we lived there.  I also used one large front room facing the porch and street as my musical instrument workshop aka mail order business from 1969 until 1978.  My Uncle Mack Coley, now deceased was the Accountant for The Little Manufacturing Company with Margaret Smith being his secretary and I am sure that had some bearing on us getting the house so reasonable; just a guesstimate at the best.  I know Uncle Mack was indirectly responsible via Jack Miller, Vice President of the NC Telephone Company for creating a job for me when I got discharged from the US Navy.  They were needing a full time electronics repair and installation employee for their fleet of two-way radios, base stations, mobile telephones and two different microwave links to Marshville, NC and Norwood, NC via the Wadesboro, NC facility.  All that old analog technology has been replaced with digital technology and the cell phones and laptop computers sent the two-way radio and mobile telephones to the graveyard.  Bradford Smith's Mother Ruby, lived next door and my bride helped keep a check on her over the years until her death.  After we left, Bradford had the house torn down and the lot is grown over now.

Below is a pix of the rental house taken in the winter of 1982:

Below pix of my bride in front of the ole house hosing down our son Billy in 1976:

The nicest feature about that ole place were the yards; e.g., fruit trees, (apple, peach and plumb) in the large back yard/field and of course our wonderful neighbors; Marvin and Beulah Hendley, Charles Smith and his Mother Ruby, my Uncle J. Mack Coley and his wife Eloise who lived across the street.  All except Eloise are now deceased....time waits for no one!  My bride aka Joyce was and is a "Baby Doll" for sure and still the love of my life!  I got a few extra heart beats just posting that pix of her.

As usual, I got seriously side tracked going back in time.....grin if you must!

ARCHITECTURAL OR LAMINATED ASPHALT SHINGLES INSTALLATION

Our first home project for 2016 was getting a new roof installed and decided to continue with asphalt shingles but use the architectural or laminated shingles instead of the three tab type.  When we purchased the home, there were two existing layers of three tab asphalt shingles on the roof and a few years later we had the original attached very low pitch carport torn down and replaced with a straight A frame roof line carport.  Those shingles lasted a good 20 plus years and were dirty looking from the black algae and mildew accumulation on part of the roof and there were a couple small leaks during a heavy three day soaking rain.  My bride and myself saw several new architectural asphalt shingle roof installations close by we liked and contacted one of the owners who gave me the person that contracted the job being Paul Houser and got a quote/bid from him which was reasonable.  The home owner highly recommend Paul and was very pleased with the performance of the installation job.  There was some prior debate and discussion over putting on a metal roof but after viewing many internet reviews and talking with others, decided to stay with the asphalt shingles.  At our age, the new roof should last us until we enter heaven or go out in the rapture, whichever one comes first!

I knew Paul's Houser's Father and Mother, Paul, Sr., and Shirley Houser who worked for the NC Telephone Company when I did back in 1968 thru 1975.  My bride and myself baby sat Paul, Jr. and his sister way back when, whereas Paul Jr. is now 45 years old and was in the same grade in school as our oldest daughter Laura.

Paul aka PJ and his crew of four (4) men showed up sometime around 11ish on March 18th and the shingles were delivered and it didn't take long before all five of them went into action.  Since there was only one layer of shingles on our roof, my bride and myself elected to have them place the new shingles on top of the old ones since they were still laying flat and none of them had blown off during the 20 plus years they were there.  There are two ventilator turbines in the roof along with a large gable vent at each end of the house, therefore by the shingles lasting as long as they have, there has to be adequate ventilation in the attic.   Many older homes such as ours do not have lower soffit vents installed in the soffit and the area between the the rafters that rest on the wall top plate are not open, but are closed between the rafters rendering soffit vents useless since no air flow could get into the attic from the soffit vents unless you remove or open the wood barrier installed between the rafters to access the soffit.  Older Ranch-style homes with a low roof pitch like ours has about 3 feet of soffit overhang on the front and rear and about 18 inches to 2 feet on the gable ends, usually the rafter space width.  There is an attic fan installed mid-way in a hallway where we can pull air in from the outside with the sliding door to the deck open using the screen door which lowers the house temperature along with cooling the attic in the late afternoon/evening before running the central AC unit 24/7.

Below pix of the installation crew taken around 11:24 getting started:

Click on the below thumbnail pixs for a larger screen view:

Paul Houser and his crew made excellent progress on the install and worked until around 4:30 P.M. and below is a pix of what they got done in just a few hours:

Paul and one helper came back on Saturday and worked for an hour, maybe? and there was a light rain on Saturday evening and Sunday.

FINISHED PRODUCT

Paul and two of his crew; Red and his son finished up the job Monday afternoon and the place was clean as a whistle when they left.  My check book was considerably lighter after they left for sure and I am very pleased with the job they did and of course the real acid test will be when we have a heavy rain and no leaks.  The existing heavy gauge galvanized flashing was in good condition and they spray painted it black which blended in nicely with the colors of the architectural shingles and applied sealant where needed.  Paul also cleaned out the gutters which I normally do a couple times a year and that was a big help too!

Below pix of the "finished product" 

Below is a pix showing the elevation drop of the terrain from a different angle:

My second home project for 2016 is having the indoor/outdoor carpet on the front concrete porch and brick steps replaced and Paul is coming back next week to do that job for us.  I could do the work myself but since I have no experience in that area, will leave it to the pros.  I don't think I would have any trouble cutting and gluing the carpet down but better to be safe than sorry.  Sometimes, saving a few bucks can cost you more bucks in the long run......grin if you must!  Murphy's Law (If anything can go wrong, it will) never sleeps.  I like what Clint Eastwood said in one of his movies Magnum Force, "A man's got to know his limitations."  I plan to purchase some cast iron/wood bench furniture for the small porch and other things to give some curb appeal, however we rarely utilize the porch for sitting, etc., but our hanging yard swing gets a good workout each year when the weather is conducive.   

PORCH CARPET INSTALLED ON 04-07-16

A couple of Paul Houser's crew came by yesterday and dropped off the indoor/outdoor carpet I had picked out at Lowe's in Rockingham, NC.

Paul and three of his four man crew showed up in the afternoon and it didn't take long before they had the old worn out ugly green carpet removed from the porch and steps.  It took a good while to scrap up all the glue residue and a top coat of paint that was on the concrete slab before the carpet was installed and that had to be 30 or 40 years ago since we have been here since 1989 and the carpet was worn some then.

Click on the below thumbnail pixs taken for a larger screen view as they progressed:

Below completed job after the adhesive cured:

There is a huge difference between the first thumbnail pix above.  I am very pleased with the job that Paul Houser and his crew did.  Now, to replace the old porch furniture that was given away of which part of it went to the landfill.  After watching those four men work, I am glad I didn't attempt that job myself!

ADDING PORCH DECOR UPDATE

Below updated pix with a few items added to the porch decor and waiting on a white metal script initials monogram cut-out from Rolling Road Cutting Co. of Hartsville, SC for the back wall which will be centered over the cast iron/wood bench and thinking about something for the small right wall behind the hanging fern of which the fern might overpower a wreath or something.....will have to give it a try and see.

NOTE:  I have been picking the brain of my Bride, Jennifer Johnson and my Sister SusieQ for some decorating ideas of which some of those ideas are implemented above.

I added a geranium with a spice plant in the center on the small table in front of the door not used.

The plant decor with the blue container pops out pretty good.  I know, I lost some man points on this one....grin if you must!

ADDITIONAL PROJECTS ON THE TO DO LIST

My third home project for 2016 will be staining the rear deck which I have done many times in the past and when it gets very hot, will tackle that job.  Sounds like working harder not smarter but the stain soaks into the treated wood much better around July and August.

There are several annual continual yard projects; e.g., aerating the packed red clay lawn, spreading fertilizer and grass seeds and the fight to keep dandelions at bay.  Last year was a very wet season early on and the lawn tractor and weed trimmer got a good workout as did yours truly!

I am currently refurbishing our porch aka yard swing and got a partial coat of Marine Spar Varnish applied this afternoon and will get the other side tomorrow afternoon.  I plan to apply two or three coats and lightly sand with 320 grit aluminum oxide sandpaper between coats after allowing to dry at least 24 hours.  Last year, I applied the finish outdoors but it is better to do it indoors to keep the varnish from drying too quickly as long as you have adequate ventilation.    

After our swing is back in operation, I will start on a few woodworking projects utilizing the dovetail joint fastening system which has a learning curve to it, however I will use a dovetail fixture and router versus cutting them by hand. 

I decided to give up Spring wild turkey hunting starting last year since that takes a good amount of time I could be devoting to something more productive, however I plan to hunt deer with the ole bow and arrow as long as I am physically able to do so.  It gets harder each year to drag a deer out of the woods and I am not talking about large deer either.  My friends around my age with four wheelers have a similar problem loading the deer onto the back of their four wheeler for transport and putting up large 20' ladder type tree platforms.  That 50 pound salt/mineral block seems to weight 100 pounds now.....grin if you must!

I believe that the year on my birth certificate is inversely proportional with my common sense factor; the farther back the year of birth, the larger the common sense factor, depending on how you form the equation.......grin if you must!  Anyway, for some of us, age and maturity has a way of increasing our common sense factor.  Leaving on a spiritual note:

ROMANS 8:31  “What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?”

I am thankful for each and every day that the Lord allows!

In closing, "Two Of The Greatest Ships That Ever Sailed; Friendship and Fellowship." 

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 03-22-16 and updated on 03-23-16, 04-21-16 and 04-24-16.

FRONT PORCH FINAL TOUCH

Below is pix of the steel white monogram I received from Buddy Woodham, Rolling Road Cutting Co. LLC, 3205 North Center Road, Hartsville, SC 29530; Telephones:  843-230-5767, 843-616-0280 and 843-339-9487:

Close-up of the monogram:

Several have asked what the monogram cost and it was 50 bucks which included 10 dollars shipping and well worth every penny!

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 05-09-16.

My bride added an annual potted plant with various flowers in it of which the Canna Lilies flowers are very attractive and colorful.  I will probably add some artificial flowers when cold weather arrives to keep some color pop going. 

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 06-24-16.

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