Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Phew... way too long without posting!
I started working full time the first time in my life after finishing school, that doesn't leave me with much time to spare. Besides I sit in front of a computer 8 hours a day doing electrical planning, so I don't really care for more computer time in the evenings.

This fact also probably delayed the project for years since I don't have anywhere as much holiday time as I used to have during my school days (Austrian summer holidays are full nine weeks!).

Oh well... back to the topic. We plan to have some serious grading issues in the garden fixed this year. It is so uneven it's close to useless, the old stairs made of granite pavers were never built properly (spacing is absolutely unnatural to walk on) and are starting to sag BADLY, posing a tripping hazard.
Besides, one part of the garden solpes towards the house.

Last thing, the wood storage shed is falling apart and the roof pitch is way too low. Let's just say brick walls that have stinging nettles growing out of them aren't good...

Sooo... we will have a caterpillar there for all the regrading, have a retaining wall built to even out the upper section and partially rebuild the wood shed.

While we have the big machines already there we'll have the soil around the pigs stables dug out down to the foundations, insulate everything below grade and install french drains. That should get the first floor into much better shape. If we go badly overboard we might have the foundations for the addition poured while we already have the concrete equipment (given we do a concrete retaining wall).

And of course there are many small side projects... like redoing the stucco on the entire rear part of the facade (can be postponed for a few years), refinishing and installing the clawfoot tub, install a new door handle in the bathroom (the 'old' one failed after only 8 years, the grub screw that holds the inner and outer side of the handle together stripped out, so every time you try to close the door from inside you rip out the handle), painting my grandmother's bedroom (has old plaster damage from a chimney leak that was already there when we bought the place, damage was repaired but never repainted) and hallway (same reason, only the old paint was all flaking too, roughly a dozen layers of limewash) and install a new kitchen floor. The old one installed by my aunt is rustic bricks. First, they were never intended to be pavers and suck up all moisture. Second they're extremely uneven... even with generous shims the refrigerator sways from side to side and the door closes by itself.

We're torn between installing real old cut stone flooring (Kehlheimer Platten), salvaged tile (not sure if we have enough of that for all projects), salvaged oak plank flooring and new pine planks. The first would probably be the most durable and historically correct but might be a lot of work (those beasts are 30x30cm, 1'x1' and more than an inch/2.5cm thick). The tile would be easier and might be accurate too, though those tiles were far more common in the city. However, I definitely want to have enough of that for the pigsty hallway and bathroom, so I'm hesitant to use it for the kitchen. The third option would turn into a LOT of work, since the floor is pretty shot (screw holes all over, worn beyond belief) and the room is so small you can hardly use a drum sander, but a drum sander with 24 grit paper would probably be the only thing that is able to deal with that floor. Besides we got about 16m2 of that stuff (probably just enough for one upstairs room in the pigsty) and the kitchen is like 6m2, leaving us with useless leftovers.

Leaves us with the new pine... definitely the least durable and most expensive, since we need to actually buy that stuff.

I dunno... I still prefer the stone.

The easter weekend I took a few pictures that I'll try to post.