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,
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
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
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
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
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
ARCHITECTURAL OR LAMINATED ASPHALT SHINGLES
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
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
swing is back in operation, I
start on a few woodworking
projects utilizing the
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
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
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
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
Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 06-24-16.