Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Not-So-Fun List for 2011

I gave you all a taste of what we'd like to do to our house this year in the way of redecorating here. However, there is always that "other" list hanging around.  The required maintenance issues on the inside or outside of the house that you keep putting off, but really need to get taken care of. 

We have one of those lists, and honestly there are some things that we really need to take care of in the next year or two.

1. Window Repair.  Our house has about 90% of the original, 90-year old wood windows.  We have two windows where the bottom sash is completely falling apart. 

Photo Credit: Here
This isn't our window, but it's a similar problem.  To speak technically, the mortise and tenon at the side rail are coming apart.  Leaving a big gap.  We have had the windows covered in plastic for two seasons now.  It's time for us to deal with them. 

We have essentially two options.  Replace them with new windows (they are wide windows, so we aren't even sure we could get operable windows that wide) or to have the bottom sash rebuilt.  This is the option that we will look at first.  I'm assuming that this could run us $300-$500 per window! Ouch.  We have another window that needs to have the balances, well balanced, and a 4th window with a broken sash cord.  In total, this repair could run us $1200. 

2. Garage Repair.  Our garage is cladded with T-111.  The frame of the garage is in great shape, but the siding has seen better days in certain areas.  Some areas of the T-111 need to be replaced, a leaky gutter needs to be replaced & the entire garage could use a new coat of paint.  This isn't a huge repair, but it's a repair none-the-less.  If funds run short this year, this project might be put off until next year.  It won't be an expensive repair, I have estimated it at around $200-$250.

3. Electrical box upgrade.  We have two very old electrical boxes.  They need to be consolidated and updated.  A ground wire is technically run over to our water pipe, but putting in a permanent ground would be nice as well.  This fix is around $700-$800 for the new box & possible service upgrade. 

Photo Credit: Here

Again, this is not our box, but it's similar to the "newer" one of the two.

This is the only immediate concern, but old knob & tube wiring concerns me.  As we become more "electronic" families, and we start plugging more and more things in, we could start overloading these old circuits.  We found out this holiday season that there are two outlets in our living room and two outlets in our bedroom that are all on the same circuit.  There are two outlets in the basement directly below them.  What are the odds that they are on the same circuit?  This is where we have our computer/printer/scanner plugged in.  We have our room heater, and right now Christmas tree plugged in - and that's just on the first floor. 

I do NOT want to overload these circuits often, there is always a chance that you could cause a fire in your wall and not know about it.  This means we might have to start thinking about rewiring some areas.

There is no light on the garage or in the back yard at all.  With an un-attached garage, it makes a trip to the garage in the dark scary & sometimes dangerous (hello black ice, I'm talking to you).  We'd like to put a motion sensored light on the garage at the very least.  Also, there are no exterior outlets on our house.  No ability to have Christmas lights or patio lights outside.  All in all, this could be a $2500 fix if we include all of the things we want done to the house.

4. Driveway Resurfacing.  We have an asphalt driveway.  It runs up to the side of our house.  Unfortunately, this and the soft earth under it cause cracking in the driveway.  Our city is super strict about this, so we will probably have to resurface soon.  This will probably be put off until next year, and will probably only set us back $200, so it's not one of the more daunting tasks.

So I will keep dreaming of all the wonderful things that we want to do inside, meanwhile, our tax returns will probably be used to fix some of the bigger, outstanding issues.  Ah, home ownership, the joys and the bummers.

What do you have on your "not-so-fun" list?

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