Archives June 2023

Lake House Stair Reconstruction

Over the winter, a series of large sandstone and limestone boulders were dislodged from the bluff above the beach at the lake house, and they crushed the dock deck and the stairs leading down to the dock. It was pretty shocking when I first discovered it, but it shows the power of Mother Nature.

Instead of rebuilding things exactly as they were, I decided to take a different, simpler approach. Now that I keep the boat on a slip at the Bayview Boat Club, there’s less of a need for an elaborate dock and boat setup. Rather, I wanted to have more beach space for swimming, and wanted to make it easy to access. The first task was to clear the boulders, which wasn’t going to be easy. I bought a 65 pound jackhammer / breaker, and got to work breaking up the boulders into smaller chunks that I could toss into the water, far enough out from the beach that they wouldn’t disrupt swimming:

Once the boulders were gone, I was able to shovel and rake the sand to make a beautiful beach area!

My next steps are to build some simple, lightweight stairs to make it easier to get to the bottom of the beach, but easy enough to remove or rebuild if a similarly destructive event happens in a future winter. I’m also going to do some repair and reconstruction of the railing down to the water from the house, which should keep me busy the rest of the summer.

Lake House Summer 2023

Every year when spring arrives and the weather starts to warm up, there is work to be done to open the lake house for summer and get the boat in the water. This year, there were numerous downed trees to clean up on top of all the more routine tasks, but it didn’t take long to get things looking good.

With the help of my friend Bret, I was able to get the awning installed on the boat lift, and we got the boat on the slip.

It’s already been a great year on the water, and we’re just in mid-June. It should be a really fun summer!

Pool Grass

When the pool was installed last year, it was too late in the year to do much with the lawn around the pool. I just threw some quick germinating grass seed directly overtop of the fill to at least get some erosion prevention in place, and called it a day. This spring, I got to work on growing a proper lawn. First, Concrete Keith brought in a ton of top soil:

Then, I planted grass seed, covered it in hay, and set up a series of sprinklers to alternate watering and keep the grass wet through a very dry spring.

The grass slowly started to come in:

Now, it’s really starting to look like a lawn!

I also feel like I really have the hang of pool maintenance now, and have been able to keep the water nice and clear throughout the spring.

We’ve been using it a lot, and I just ordered more outdoor furniture for around the pool. Here’s to a great summer in the water!

Appliance Install

After ordering new appliances for the kitchen at the beginning of the year, they finally arrived in late spring and were ready to be installed. The new Cove dishwasher and Wolf induction range came first:

That install went without a hitch. I love both of them, and the induction top is truly life changing. The speed at which it can boil water and then immediately reduce to a simmer is incredible. It forced me to relocate some old pots and pans to the lake house kitchen, since they weren’t compatible with induction heating. I replaced them with a brand new set of All Clad:

The next appliance to arrive was the microwave, which is a Kitchenaid that matches the double wall oven. This installation was more complicated; the installers came when I was stuck in Dallas due to flight delays, and they weren’t able to do the installation because the new microwave was slightly taller than the old one and they thought that they would have had to cut tile. I was able to get them to just leave the microwave, and then I did the installation myself. Instead of cutting tile, I installed plywood on the back wall to match the depth of the plywood, and the installed the rear microwave clips overtop of the plywood and tile (still anchored into the studs). This worked very well.

The last appliance was the big kahuna, the Sub Zero refrigerator. Because I ordered it from a different vendor that doesn’t do installations, I took delivery of the fridge and parked it in the garage temporarily:

Then, I had a team of movers come and relocate the old fridge to the garage, and then install the new refrigerator and hook up the water supply lines. It took a long time, but worked with zero issues.

Once the new refrigerator was in place, I stained some maple trim to match the existing cabinetry and fill the gap between the top of the refrigerator and the crown molding:

At that point, I thought I was done, but life had other ideas. The water heater started leaking, and needed to be replaced. I took the opportunity to also replace the water softener at the same time, since it was the last appliance original to the house.

Six appliances later, I’m very happy with how everything turned out, but I’m also glad to be done with new installs for the time being.