Archives April 2020

New Stair Project

Now that all of the new flooring is done, the last phase of that project is to replace the carpeted stairs with wood stairs that match the flooring. I’m going to work with a professional carpenter on the project, since it is going to be a very complicated process to make and install custom stair treads that fit the bottom of the staircase. Here is what the current stairs look like:

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I’m going to leave the railing, spindles, and skirting in place and in the same golden oak color to match the trim. I think the overall look will be awesome, and will tie the stairs together with not only the new floors but also the new front door to create a grand entryway.

Here are a few photos of stairs similar to the look that I’m going for:

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Lake House Open for Spring

Now that winter is giving way to spring and the weather is warming up, I’ve started getting the lake house ready for summer. Last week, I went up and cleared out fallen branches and leaves from the winter, and made sure the stairs were free from damage. As always, the view was beautiful!

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The paint from last spring is all still in good shape too:

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The one thing that unfortunately was amiss was that my dock service apparently forgot to remove my dock for winter, which is not good. However, the dock appears to all still be in one piece and just needs to be reset.

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Hopefully it can be put back into the right spot soon and be fully read to go for spring. In the meantime, the boat lift is in the water at the Bayview Boat Club, and as the sun set over Lake Wisconsin it was easy to imagine being on the boat in the next few weeks!

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Spring Landscape Beginnings

After spending much of last summer working on landscaping improvements at the lake house, this summer I’ll be focused on landscaping at the main house. It’s still not warm enough to do much planting yet, so much of my work has involved ripping out certain plants that will be replaced. A lot of planters close to the house are fairly overgrown, and so I’ve spent a lot of time clearing out undergrowth.

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In addition to that, I cut down a dead tree that had died last year. Once all of the wood is cleared out, I’m going to plan a new tree in the same planter.

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Along with chopping things down and ripping things out of the ground, I’ve done a number of other small things. I removed all of the old cables from when I had satellite, and also removed some of the underground wiring for the old landscape lights and underground sprinkler system that is no longer in service.¬†Also, I poured in new dirt in certain parts of the yard that were not level after various excavation projects, primarily the front yard tree removal and the Hardin Access Pipeline.

Last, I used a combination of ratchet straps and rope to reshape one of the bushes near the garage doors of the main house. It had been damaged over the winter by the snow plows, and so I needed to give it some support to regain its shape.

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There are numerous other tasks left to do this spring and summer. Here is a partial list of the other things that I’m planning on doing:

  • Vacuum and sweep garages
  • Replace arbor vidas on edge of wall
  • Replace bark
  • Plant grass
  • Replace cut down trees
  • Plant something in former pond
  • Climbing plants along wall
  • Improve planters outside sitting room and library
  • Improve planter areas near front door
  • Improve planter areas around from walk
  • Improve planters on side of guest house
  • Reset eroded paver stones

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New Doors

One small project I’d had on my to-do list for a long time had been replacing the front door of the house. The original door had been there since before I bought the house, and was pretty simple. In addition to this door, I also took the opportunity to replace the front door of the guest house and one of the side doors in the main garage.

For the front door, I purchased the same front door that I installed at the lake house. I thought it would be a fun tie-back to the lake house, and also fit with the style of the main house, especially after the new flooring was installed.

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After installing the door, I painted the small frame around the door brown. I also painted the white panels to the right and left of the door, as well as above it, to match the taupe color of the walls.

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Since that turned out so well, I bought a third copy of the same door for the guest house. Now all three houses have the same door, which is kind of a fun inside joke.

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Last, I replaced the side door in the garage. The previous door had been kicked in at some point, presumably when the house was foreclosed on before I bought it. It was in rough shape, and so replacing it with a new door was a huge improvement.

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One challenge I encountered while installing the guest house and garage side doors was that the previous doors had hinges in non-standard positions. I had to use a router, with a door hinge kit, to cut new hinge positions in the doors.

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Once the new hinge positions were cut, it was easy to mount the new doors in the old frames.

Laundry Room Redesign Complete

A couple of weeks ago, I finished repainting the laundry room and mud room, along with replacing the art on the walls and the window treatment. It was a relatively small change, but it made a huge difference in making that part of the house look less dated. It removed the last of the cheesy 90’s decor from the house as well.

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After the painting and art was done, I replaced the sink in the laundry room with a stainless steel sink along with a new fixture.

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Finally, I added a new window treatment to complete the project.

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