To Do list IV

Last Updated:
09 Jan 2009 - Updated French door threshold status and added goal for bedroom closets. took credit for front yard efforts thus far.
29 Oct 2008 - updated painting and stucco work that has happened since I last looked at the list;
20 Sept 2008
20 November 2008 - Added earthquake preparedness item. Updated painting and doors.

This is the fourth numbered To Do list that I've started here on my blog. The third numbered To Do list is located back on January 13th, and as of now it has been given it's last meaningful update.

Fall is planting time for native and Mediterranean plants. Since the weather will soon shift to cooler days and longer nights of fall, it's time to reactivate my gardening projects. I'd like a larger winter vegetable garden as well. On the housing front, I need to move the projects that will give my house weather protection to the fore - the ones like sealing up the holes in the side of my bedroom, painting, and weather stripping my new doors.

Within the broader categories of garden and home improvement, the projects below are in rough priority order. But, the lure of new projects is so great that I want to move on to each before finishing the last. Therefore I try to maintain a completion status so that I keep my focus on the partly finished projects. This mostly takes the form of the bold faced "Finish what you start" mantra that's often repeated below. My sister has taken to chanting that at me when I rhapsodize about new projects.

House Improvements
  • Complete phone rewiring bonus chore. Finish what you start.
  • Repair stucco around new French door in my room. Scratch coat done 20 Sep. DONE
  • Sand, stain and varnish threshold for French door in bedroom. Threshold removed 20 Sep. DONE, BUT the threshold is cupped and won't sit flat, so I have another bonus chore to do. ALL DONE 4 Jan 2009
  • Remove old electrical panel, repair stucco damaged in the process. Remove old service entry. Repair of the stucco would be convenient at the same time as I'm doing other stucco work. 13 Sep. stucco scratch coat in place. DONE Still need to patch roof in area of old service entrance. Have metal shingle.
  • Complete electrical install at kitchen French door. All parts at hand. Really, it's embarrassing how long this has gone unfinished. Finish what you start.
  • Painting
    • Pick colors, prime, and paint some swatches on the house to evaluate the colors in preparation for a whole house paint job.DONE 10-18
    • Start with door and window trim color so that I can paint the French door frames. Started in Oct
    • Weatherize the French doors then paint
    • Prep and paint stucco. Started Oct 08
    • Skip the eaves, since that's a big prep job and not critical to weatherize now
  • Complete attic ladder install - needs foam, trim, and paint.
  • Improve my bedroom closet by widening the door, adding a light, and using a modular shelf system such as that from Elfa (at The Container Store).
  • Improve my son's bedroom closet by adding light
  • Secure large furniture in house in case of earthquake.
  • Put in more soffit vents. Attic was drawing like a boiler from existing few vents the other day.
  • Replace screen over existing gable vent where it's missing. Would be good to do this not on the hottest day of the year.
  • Garage improvements
    • Install attic vent in garage gable end. I've now painted the vent white. Need to cut a few framing members for inside the garage.
    • Install new rear wall / rear-facing door in garage.
    • Install new garage door
  • Reroute gas supply lines (to kitchen and garage) in preparation for taking my interior wall down.
  • Replace / repair computer room window.
  • Repipe house in copper. Water flow in shower is abysmal. Will need to review appropriate pipe sizing - could be undersized at present. Start by repiping only the easy stuff, saving the part about cutting into the walls for when I demo the kitchen. Use dielectric unions to couple the new copper to the old galvanized for now.
    • Don't forget new hot and cold hose spigots.
    • Install tankless water heater in attic. This could (should?) come first. Needs new power outlet in attic. Purchase in 2009 in order to get tax rebate.

Garden / Yard Improvements

  • Prune Brazilian Pepper tree - started 16 Mar 08 Finish what you start.
  • Rethink entire front yard garden for fall, 2008 - My native plants are too large and unfocused and the meadow is not living up to expectations. Partly DONE 31 Dec 2008 and earlier Dec by removing large buckwheat plus moderate changes in design. Still need better design or year-round compensating prettiness.
    • Put in at least one more sprinkler for meadow area. It may not get watered often, but I'd like it to have complete coverage.
    • Move the front yard native scheme onto the parking strip (between sidewalk and street) in a way that continues to allow car access from the curb side
      • Planning: Continue line of meadow border. DONE. Probably use festuca rubra and pavers in the center, low bushes, taller grasses, or other ground cover at the property line edge of parking strip.
  • Install patio area for bedroom French door entry.
    • Regrade back yard selectively so as not to have ponding near house. Dry creek?
    • Use custom pavers for hard surface so as to match side yard?
  • Install brick pavers in N. side yard. Shift grading to shunt drainage water away from house.
  • Demolish patio behind kitchen (demo'ed brick planter 17 Nov 2007)
    • Install new patio with California native grape arbor. (Or do I want a fruit tree arbor?)
    • Plan for electricity and music in the back yard.
    • Plan for hot water in the back yard. Outdoor shower? (see repipe)
  • Build concrete bench for front arbor area.
  • Get rid of dirt from the back yard.
  • Replace driveway
    • Even if I bid it out I still need to have a design that I'm happy with, so start there. Include in design: separate entry path, driveway adjacent planting, trellis over garage. Poured concrete or pavers or brick or some combination?

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