Kitchen/Bathroom Progress, Bocce Ball, and Awning Removal

The kitchen is coming along! The new windows are in, and all rough inspections (plumbing, framing, and electrical) are behind us (finally!).  The new windows and doors are also installed in both the kitchen and bathroom.  As of today, the walls are dry walled and mud/taped and tomorrow will be textured. Also happening tomorrow is the furnace and ducting installation which will begin the central heat and air project. When we bought the house the only heat source it had was a broken gas radiator that was in the basement. We are having central heat and air put in.  In other words, the temperature will be just right as we count our few remaining pennies to buy rice.

Overall, things are looking great!

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The new sliding window and single glass door that leads from the kitchen to the backyard. The drywall is also shown here.

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This is a look to the right of the picture above. It is before drywall, but shows the sweet new window that will be above the sink.

On to the backyard update. It’s funny how unrealistic my expectations can still be.  Laurel and I had a week off from work as Thanksgiving break made its welcome arrival.  We had a whole week, so I figured that the bocce ball court would get finished, as well as some other projects- comically naive! We did get a lot of work done- only because we had still more help from Laurel’s parents. The projects we aimed to actually tackle were painting the front door, FRAMING the bocce ball court, removing the awnings over the windows, and buying hardware, toilets, and tile.  These reasonable missions were accomplished over the week break.

The bocce ball court project was an intense one that was clearly much more involved than I imagined. Luckily, Gerry is very knowledgeable about things of this nature, and was able to guide my ideas and get them into practice.  We started by digging, and boy did we dig! Patch came over to help with this part as well, which was great!

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The pictures make our day of work look silly, but it was a lot of dirt that we moved.  We should’ve just rented a Bobcat. Anyway, with the digging phase mostly done, it was on to setting the posts that would become both the edge of the bocce ball court and a retaining wall for the planter along the fence. We also used concrete to set these pressure treated 4×4’s. It should be noted as well that I swung a pick ax directly through an irrigation line that we set weeks ago. Just more time spent to replace it with a coupling!

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After we set the posts, now on third day of bocce court construction, we began building the frame. We first found where we wanted the surface to be once finished, and worked back from there to find the bottom of the court.  We then bolted the pressure treated board onto the middle post.  Then, we made sure it was level all way down as we bolted to the posts.IMG_5727IMG_5728

We then did about the same thing on the other side, but used pressure treated 2×4’s as stakes instead of cement.  We also leveled across the court all way down to be sure the sides matched.  Finally, the ends got 4×4’s so they can take the brunt of the rolling bocce balls. Currently the court looks like this:

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The next steps are to fill it with a layer of base rock, tamp it down, and then with fines or crushed granite and tamp it again so that the surface is hard packed. There are a few other finishing touches, but we’re well on our way!

While I was working on this with Gerry, Laurel and Charlene did everything else on our list.  They painted the front door, and shopped till they dropped for a medicine cabinet, vanity light, dining room table light, toilets, and tile.  They got a ton done, but I only have pictures of the front door: (Also, note that the awnings are gone!).

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Things are looking good, and we can’t wait to move in!

-Todd

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