Archives May 17, 2019

Lake House Tree Removal

In order to improve the view of the lake from the house, I’m planning on thinning out some of the smaller trees on the bluff overlooking the lake. None of the big pines will go, but some of the opportunists will go. This will also make the pathway down to the lake easier and less buggy, and will make rebuilding the stairs easier. The first step was marking trees to take down, which I did last weekend. Here are the trees marked for death:

Lake Stair Reconstruction Plan

Over the winter, some of the stairs closest to the lake were hit by falling rocks and tree branches and took a lot of damage. This has led me to make the decision to have them rebuilt this year. Here is the current state of affairs…

Finding a contractor has been a little difficult, but after talking to the guys at Deano Docks who do my dock and boat lift, I was referred to an Amish company that builds for lots of houses on Lake Wisconsin. We’re working on a plan and hope to have construction done by the end of June.

Lake House Painting

Over the past two weeks, I painted the lake house and shed, and stained both decks. It’s a massive improvement from what it looked like before! After having the house and decks power washed, I started with staining the front ramp and porch. I moved on to the back deck, and worked until I ran out of stain.

After that, I moved onto painting the red trim around the back of the house, which paired nicely with the stain color on the deck.

The next day, I picked up more stain and finished staining the deck, along with the retaining wall timbers under the deck. It took a lot of ladder work; since the house is built into a hill, the deck and the back of the house are surprisingly far off the ground.

The next day, I worked on painting the beams that run along the edge of the roof. I used the same red color that I used for the trim, which added a lot of definition to the roofline.

The next day, which turned out to be a very cold, windy, spring day, I painted the line of trim under the soffets between the roof and the brick walls. It’s a small amount of trim, but was a lot of labor due to all the taping that was required.

Last weekend, I wanted to fully finish the job. I had to paint all the window and door trim, replace some boards on the front ramp, do a lot of touch ups, and paint the shed.

With the job largely done, it was time for a celebratory prime rib!

On Sunday, I did some clean up work along with staining the mailbox post and painting the outhouse.

The end result is an amazing improvement over the original house! I’m a huge fan of how the khaki trim complements the red trim and stain, without looking as harsh or dirty as the old pure white trim.

Lake House Plumbing and Ducting Updates

Over the past few weeks, I knocked out a variety of small projects at the lake house. I brought in some professional plumbers to resolve some water pressure and drainage issues in the basement that were affecting the dish washer and downstairs kitchen sink. While there, I had them install a hose faucet, since the previous one had been removed when the pipes from the well to the house were replaced.

I also got the washer and dryer wired, hooked up to plumbing, and ducted:

Now everything is fully ready to go for summer from a plumbing, ducting, and electrical perspective!

Ring Security Camera

When all of the Lake Wisconsin flooding happened last year, I installed a security camera system at the lake house that would allow me to remotely keep tabs on the dock, boat lift, and boat. I went with an inexpensive wired security system, which worked well but broke over the winter when a tree branch hit the wiring. This spring, I wanted to find a simpler solution. After investigating a lot of options, I decided to go with a WiFi-based Camera from Ring. The first step was to install a WiFi range extender in the house to beam WiFi down to the dock. I used a Linksys range extender that had enough power to get the job done:

From there hooking up the Ring Camera was easy, and the mobile app UI is slick!