Sunday, July 31, 2005

Home Improvements

I bought my 1923 bungalow 2 weeks after law school began. I did it knowing I would be living in Portland for at least 3 years at that point, interests rates were low (but not as low as student loan rates!!!), and property values were rising. So far, it's been one of the smartest things I've done.

But, when I did it I knew I would have absolutely no money to make improvements, or any repairs. So, I just held my breath hoping nothing essential would break down in the interim.

Well, I have emerged relatively intact, but that's mostly because I have an incredible ability to ignore the entropy around me.

My water heater is on the fritz (and has been for 2 years now), the house is in dire need of painting, and one of my bed room windows is about to fall off the side of the house. (To my credit, I managed to fend off a carpenter ant attack, and a flooding basement during school.)

Two of these home maintenance projects will hopefully be fixed by the end of the month. My dad gave me money for new windows for graduation. Today, Herr Pretzel came over and removed the trim around the window so we could measure and order replacements. There's about 50 years worth of cob webs in there! But, the new windows should arrive within the next two weeks, and installation shouldn't be too bad. The only surprise is that the lath and plaster on the interior extends past the stud all the way to the window. The new windows won't need such a large gap because I won't need room for the gigantic weights on old double hung windows. But, instead of cutting through it all with a sawzall, Pretzel suggested we just fill the gap by installing a 2x4. I'm putting my blind faith in him that it's a good idea. Lucky for me, he is an experienced carpenter.

Meanwhile, jkf and I will be painting the exterior this week. We washed the house on Thurs, and bought the goodies we need to start tomorrow morning. I picked up the paint at MetroPaint. It was dirt cheap, because it's recycled. Hopefully it will do the job and I won't have to paint again any time soon. They recommend it for exteriors, and they had plenty of pictures of structures that have their paint, so it should be ok. I think the new Rebuilding Center was painted with it too. I've managed to live 33 years without painting anything, so tomorrow holds another adventure. Lucky for me, jkf was a professional house painter before she went to law school.

Now all I have to do is find out which one of my friends used to fix water heaters for a living.


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