October 18, 2012

Simple Additions.

Things have been a little crazy around here the past couple of weeks. A lot of early mornings and just general running around. Our little man was sick last night because he's always getting into something. Not sure what he ate but his tongue was a little swollen, he was drooling, puffy face and just looked terrible. Nothing a little Benadryl didn't help him with though. That is like our life line around here with him - he is constantly having an allergic reaction to something. It seems to be a weekly thing his not feeling good, poor guy.

Moving on - we've been trying to get the outside of the house all 'buttoned up' and ready for winter. Where we live its wide open fields and the snow is terrible. Literally, you could drive down the road 5 minutes and its a whole other world. Drifts happen by the minute - its just cray cray in winter.

The side of our house gets seriously slammed so that includes our chimney and our side door. It has been driving us crazy lately because just to unlock the door was a chore. All the elements hit this side so the lock on our door which we've already replaced once would get wrecked after a couple of months. I've literally broken a key trying to get it into the lock - its a nightmare.

We decided the only way and the best way to remedy that would be a storm door. So Mr.B got on that sucker. If you've ever installed a storm door you go to the store - you pick out the one you want - and its like a 1 inch box and you think Yes this is going to be so easy. It's really not though that box holds a million parts and pieces.

Storm door with grids

The parts and pieces didn't scare Mr.B though we've been down the storm door road before for our front door. It is such a big improvement. Our side door definitely doesn't offer a perfect seal - so this little beauty really makes the mudroom feel more sealed.

We choose this door for a couple of reasons. 1 it has the grids which we have throughout our whole house so it works for continuity. 2 it has a half screen so you can put the glass lower and the screen higher and that was important for us. We have a German Shepard we call Beluga Whale and he would probably rip through that sucker. 

Storm door with grids

Another thing that we needed to get fixed up around here was our chimney. The first year we lived here we used our wood stove but I've mentioned a couple times how we purchased a coal stove this year to supplement our heat. The first year we had it cleaned and the guy told us we needed to do some repairs to the flues and the outside. We said - Yup OK and that was that. 2 years later it needed more repairs.

Sometimes you just can't DIY everything. We asked around and called a lot of places but there aren't a lot of chimney repair guys most guys are masons but don't touch chimneys. We think we might have got hosed on the price but you live and ya learn!

Here's how it was looking after they just patched some of the cracks that were starting to form in between the grout. The top needed the most repair - it needed a couple of blocks replaced and we are adding some caps so we don't get any unwanted critters.


It's pretty tall and we get high winds so this project seems to be never ending because  no day is a good day to be that high up on a ladder. They are just about done and we are very happy for that - they get there early and we have to move the cars and then they leave 2 minutes later because of the 'weather conditions' and then they next day its the same thing but they stay for 2 hours. We are kind of over if you didn't get that.

A couple of the flues were completely gone - and some were pretty wrecked like this one. It'll be nice to have a chimney that is like brand new after all is said and done. We aren't masons or chimney repair guys but now after we know what this is costing us and seen what they have done - we realize we might have been able to tackle this ourselves. 

Broken Flue

This past weekend I washed all the exterior windows with an awesome squeegee and scrub brush we have and cut back some plantings and picked up some of the leaves around and in the garden beds. Last year we kind of just left everything and it just looked crappy so this year we decided to tackle it.

We are pretty much finished with everything being sealed and repaired. We added our storm door, getting the chimney fixed, got gutters put on, reinstalled, repainted and resealed our bilco doors.....doesn't a house list just go on and on.

Here's a little sneak peek of a project we worked on this week that I'll hopefully be able to finish up this weekend. We are so excited with some of the things that have been going on inside the house and I can't wait to show you!!

Maxi the doxi on our finished table.

What are you doing around your house to get ready for the change in season?
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