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.
Getting our hammock hung was a very high priority.
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.
Since we don't feel the need to have a TV in the kitchen, we removed the ugly coax cable that ran there.
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.
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.
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.
Once again, we removed a non-functional satellite dish and cable from the house.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We raised the fan in the office so I wouldn't hit my head on the lights.
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.
This was the most effective and annoying project to get gold out of the house. I replaced approximately 600 gold door knobs.
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.
To improve the WiFi coverage throughout the house, I installed our router in the attic.
In another deja vu project, I installed a fake rock over the sprinkler valves in front of the house.
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.
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.
Our half-acre property is littered with trees, so I spent a couple days trimming all the dead branches out of them.
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.
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.
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.
In yet another gold removal project, we ditched four gold "boob" lights and replaced them with something better.
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.
The master bath had some ridiculous trim around the windows. It was very well attached, so it wrecked the drywall, requiring annoying repairs.
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.
In order to store my massive junk collection, we needed some storage in the garage, so we built some serious shelving.
I utilized my contacts at King City Glass to get a screw for a loose window lock.
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.
Chrissy's mom gave Hope a tiny rocking chair, but it needed a little reinforcement, so I screwed all the seat slats down.
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.
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.
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.
I swiped a lightly used stainless steel dishwasher from a remodel I was helping with and put it in our kitchen.
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.
In preparation for wet-cutting some granite, I replaced the plug on my circular saw, which was missing the ground prong.
After struggling with spice storage for years, I discovered the spice drawer and implemented it in our kitchen.
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.
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.
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.
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.