Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Previous Paso Pekema Projects

I was kind of feeling like we were really slacking on projects since moving into our new house, but after completing this post, I realize we've been staying pretty busy. Anyway, here's a quick recap of all the projects I can remember completing in our new house in Paso.

Disgraceful Doorknob
The handle/latch on the front door of the house wasn't secured properly, because it didn't really fit the holes in the door. We bought a new latch for Paso, but took the old one to Torrance to replace the gold unit there.

Worthless Water Softener
I'm not convinced we needed a water softener, so I got rid of it. It was also in the way of the project below. I initially just looped the water lines using a small brass nipple, but eventually I soldered in a smaller, cleaner loop.

Glamorous Garage Floor
We put an epoxy coating on our garage floor before moving in. It was quite a bit of work, but it turned out great. Here's the basic steps we followed: struggle to find the epoxy you want for a reasonable price because it can't be shipped to California, eventually find over-the-hill epoxy on ebay from questionable seller, fill a giant gap in the floor, rent a giant grinder and grind off the top layer of concrete, use an angle grinder to grind down the edges, sweep up and mop for days until the floor is clean, fill small cracks with sealant, wait one+ week to dry, turn on heater and blow into garage to keep temperature high enough, apply epoxy, sprinkle color chips, apply clear epoxy, throw away used supplies, enjoy.

Heavenly Hammock
Getting our hammock hung was a very high priority.

Light Swap
Since we loved the chandelier we put in our Torrance dining room, we decided to bring it with us. We actually swapped it with the one that was in the new house. It only seemed right, since the barrel light was made here in Paso.

Coax Cleanup
Since we don't feel the need to have a TV in the kitchen, we removed the ugly coax cable that ran there.

Gas Gremlin
Little did I know, there are different size gas lines for dryers. Of course this house and our old one were different and, according to Lowe's, they don't make convenient adapters, so the easiest and annoyingly expensive solution was to replace the whole valve.

Frustrating Faucet
This house came with a pretty absurd kitchen faucet. The two knob design is inefficient and it could barely reach the right hand sink basin. We replaced it with a much more functional unit.

Gutter Grief
The gutters and valleys on our roof were full of debris, so we did a serious cleaning. I handled the gutters but I had Chrissy clean the valleys since she is much lighter and less likely to crack roof tiles.

Dish Delete
Once again, we removed a non-functional satellite dish and cable from the house.

Delightful Doorbell
In our quest to remove all the 90s gold from the house, the first thing to go was the old doorbell.

Perfecting Porch Lights
After replacing all the porch light bulbs with LEDs, they started flickering, so I bypassed the light sensors in all four fixtures and all was well again.

Super Switch
Just like in Torrance, we got a fancy switch to control our porch lights. This one is even better because we put in our latitude and longitude so it automatically adjusts based on when the sun sets.

Accessible Attic
We built a couple shelves in the rafters of our attic to create some more convenient storage.

Crap in the Closet
We put some shelves in the closet of our "office." The space was very difficult to utilize before the shelves went in.

Warmer Water
Our water heater is in the far corner of the garage, so it took forever to get hot water in the house. We installed a recirculating pump to help. It requires a valve under a sink to function.

Functional Fan
We raised the fan in the office so I wouldn't hit my head on the lights.

Clean Clothes
Just like we did a couple times in Torrance, we installed our clothes line in the back yard.

Garage Door Insulation
Since we do lots of work in the garage, we wanted to make it a little more comfortable, so I insulated both garage doors with 1.5" foam.

Polished Knobs
This was the most effective and annoying project to get gold out of the house. I replaced approximately 600 gold door knobs.

Wicked Wagon
Now that we have a baby, it was time to put the side rails on our wagon. Unfortunately, I lost the hardware to install them, so I spent ~$40 on stainless steel hardware. I have subsequently found the original hardware; d'oh.

Wonderful WiFi
To improve the WiFi coverage throughout the house, I installed our router in the attic.

Invisible Valves
In another deja vu project, I installed a fake rock over the sprinkler valves in front of the house.

Crack Caulk
The kitchen backsplash in this house is just beadboard. It was getting destroyed behind the sink, so I applied a thick bead of caulk to slow the decay.
Before caulk.
Shorter Stools
I should have done this project years ago, but I finally shortened our bar stools from bar-height to counter-height. I even put fancy feet on them.

Tree Trimming
Our half-acre property is littered with trees, so I spent a couple days trimming all the dead branches out of them.

Funner Fan
The ceiling in our craft room is really low, so its low hanging fan was extra annoying. We replaced it with a flush-mount version to maximize headroom. The old fan was moved to Hope's room since it didn't have a fan.

Pretty Patio
We bought a new (used) patio set while we were camping in southern California. The table got strapped to the roof of our camper. Chrissy re-covered all the cushions that came with the set.

Best Buffet
We also bought a buffet in So-Cal. It replaced a hand-me-down buffet that didn't work in the new house. The buffet rode in the camper along with the patio chairs and cushions.

Little Light
In yet another gold removal project, we ditched four gold "boob" lights and replaced them with something better.

Laughable Lighting
We replaced the giant, gaudy foyer light and the ceiling fan in the living room. Not only did they look terrible, they produced virtually no light.

Endless Interior Painting
After agonizing over colors, we painted most of the interior of the house, banishing as much of the buttercream as we could. Luckily, my dad and uncle helped with this, because it was a big project. Most of the ceilings were painted the wall color, so we had to paint them too. We even had to repaint the vents.

Tasteless Trim
The master bath had some ridiculous trim around the windows. It was very well attached, so it wrecked the drywall, requiring annoying repairs.

Stainless Stove
We found a stainless steel stove on the sidewalk, so we snagged it and replaced the white apartment-grade unit that came with the house.

Glorious Garage
In order to store my massive junk collection, we needed some storage in the garage, so we built some serious shelving.

Loose Lock
I utilized my contacts at King City Glass to get a screw for a loose window lock.

Spa Spot
After much deliberation, we decided where our hot tub should go, so we prepared the spot and got the tub in place. Now I just need to wire it up.

Pekema Path
There's a nice pedestrian path at the bottom of the hill behind our house, but it was difficult to access, especially with a stroller or wagon, so I cut a sweet path, complete with switchbacks, all the way down.

Path Protection
We "adopted" the pedestrian path mentioned above, which means we get to pick up litter along it.

Rickety Rocker
Chrissy's mom gave Hope a tiny rocking chair, but it needed a little reinforcement, so I screwed all the seat slats down.

Tall Table
Once the garage was clear enough, I moved the Miata inside. It took up a lot of space, so I built a table to straddle the car and reclaim some of my lost space.

Crazy Creek
We wanted to beautify the area beside our new path, as well as improve the flow from a couple drains, so we installed a bunch of rocks to form a creek bed. Loading/unloading rocks by hand is no fun.

Camo Fence
I painted all the posts in our back yard chain link fence in camouflage colors so it would blend in better.

Grass is Gone
We took advantage of a city and state rebate to remove grass and re-landscape our front and side yard. Loading/unloading even more rocks was even less fun.
I managed to destroy an indestructible shovel.

Decent Dishwasher
I swiped a lightly used stainless steel dishwasher from a remodel I was helping with and put it in our kitchen.

Super Swing
The park right by our house doesn't have swings, so I hung one from our big pine tree. The ropes supporting it are ridiculously long, so Hope gets some serious pendulum action.

Brick Border Bummer
We removed the tacky scalloped brick boarder around a planter in our back yard.

Gorgeous Garage Doors
In an attempt to tone down the salmon/peach/pink exterior color of our house, we painted the garage doors white. It was a big improvement.

Saw Safety
In preparation for wet-cutting some granite, I replaced the plug on my circular saw, which was missing the ground prong.

Super Spices
After struggling with spice storage for years, I discovered the spice drawer and implemented it in our kitchen.

Perfecting Piano Bars
We completed our second piano bar, which is much more complex than the first one. It includes a custom granite top, cabinets, and wine rack, along with a wine glass hanger and color changing LED lighting.

Valve Victory
One of our sprinkler valves leaked, so I tried to cheap out and bought a replacement on eBay. Its threads were stripped out, so I got a refund. I decided to try and use it anyway, so I crammed a metal pipe in and went from there. So far, it's working.

Pekema Potions
Chrissy has started making lotion/body butter, body wash, and deodorant for us. They are pretty great and don't have any questionable chemicals in them.

Living in a Barn
After lots of procrastination, we installed barn doors between our master bedroom and bathroom. We bought old doors from the Habitat ReStore and spent way too much time stripping, sanding, lengthening, and staining them. This picture really doesn't do them justice. They look amazing in person, and they are much more functional than the old doors, which blocked the light switches in the bathroom when open.

Terrific Toilets
This is another project I procrastinated on. I bought dual flush valves for every bathroom right after moving, but didn't install them until recently. I also replaced the shut-off valves on the walls because they were an old, leak-prone style. This project proved to me that having more bathrooms is not always a good thing.

That concludes our 50+ house projects. Stay tuned to for the upcoming catch-up post on truck projects.

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