I am loving it!  Rain has halted work at times, but whenever the sun comes out, Matt and Rob make fast progress.  I think it looks great.  I can’t wait for it to be finished, just in time to enjoy all summer.


Why wait until a current project is finished, start 3 more!

While Matt has been working tirelessly on the fence with Robert, and somehow finding time here and there to build some raised garden beds and do some other landscaping work, I have been researching and preparing to begin some other major projects this summer.  I spent a lot of my spare time last week and the weekend researching replacement windows, picking Robert’s brain about installation (which we are currently planning to tackle ourselves) and other details, and measuring our rough openings.  Soon we’ll order custom windows for our almost 60-year-old house.  Goodbye single paned aluminum, hello Energy Star and (hopefully) maintenance-free vinyl.  I considered wood, but after doing some research and conferring with our real estate agent, decided vinyl was more suited to the level of our house.  Higher quality materials don’t pay when they’re disproportionate to the overall value of a home.  I also wanted casement windows, which is what we have now, but Matt worried he’d walk into them around the house.  So we’re probably going with sliders, which I like second best because they leave a lot of viewing space when open or closed.  We almost bought them from Lowes to take advantage of a 20% off sale on custom orders, but the ones we were considering were rated “poor” by Consumer Report in wind resistance.  Back to the drawing board.  The good news is that if/once we are customers of the local natural gas company, they offer rebates on energy efficient windows and exterior insulation (if professionally installed - is it worth it? - maybe).  I also need to continue moving on the whole natural gas / new furnace / tankless water heater decision-making process.  Decisions, decisions.  Oh yeah, I have all the supplies to install the light/fan combo in the bathroom, and would like to get that done soon.


The fence is happening

Our back yard is one of our favorite features of our house.  It’s a place for us to play, relax, garden, and chat with the neighbors.  We’ve been planning on putting up a nice, secure fence.  It will give us privacy and block views of the foundations of our neighbors’ houses while replacing it with a nice view of plants growing up the sides and on a trellis on top.  It will give us a secure place for future additions to the family (possible order of new family members over the next few years: dog 1, dog 2, child 1, chickens 1-3, child 2).  Over the last few weeks, Matt has been planning, buying materials, and digging holes.  Yesterday, our very skilled and incredibly generous neighbor, Robert, worked all day with Matt to carefully set the fence posts and rails.  I’m so excited to see the progress! 

This is what the back yard looked like a few weeks ago:

Here’s what it looked like two days ago:

Here’s what it looked like yesterday:

[Don’t worry, these posts weren’t set yet; they were just dropped into the holes and were later plumbed and the holes filled with concrete or gravel.]

Matt will fill you in on the details of planning and building the fence.  He’s pretty busy these days with the fence project, school, and work.