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Posts Tagged ‘Renovations’

Renovations

The past few weeks we have been undergoing renovations at my house. The building , constructed in 1966 is solid. I helped build some of it myself, the unskilled labor parts. I knew everything was sound and therefore a good risk for spending money that will be recouped when I sell. The project is to complete a totally unfinished basement and then put in a set of stairs from the upstairs so that we no longer have to go outside to enter the nether regions of the house.

Permit acquisition was the first hurdle. I discovered that I am currently living in an illegal dwelling, well at least as far as the health authorities are concerned. Being a rural property we do not have municipal water or sewer.  Our septic facilities consist of a tank and field buried out back. I know they are there because I dug the hole and laid the tiles by hand. At 15, I had a strong back and a weak mind… Dad took advantage of this to save a few dollars. Unfortunately, the health people had no record of my achievements, so as far as they were concerned for the last 47 years the crap has been flowing unrestricted around here. So, what’s another few thousand dollars between me and the government? A new system will be installed in the spring and I won’t be digging it this time.

Otherwise things have been going smoothly, if you don’t count the minor mishap on the back step leading into the basement. This step is a two stair affair which leads into a patio area surrounding the rear entrance. I constructed it to ease the approach rather than shuffling down a steep incline as we had before. I put in a concrete retaining wall and fastened metal risers to the wall with five-eights inch stainless steel lag bolts. My contractor is a very robust young fellow, six foot nine with a physique like Thor. One or two of his trips down this stair and one of the bolts sheered off! Can you imagine how much torque is involved to accomplish that? He fixed it up by doubling the amount and strength of steel; now I can drive a backhoe onto that step.

The noise around here has been astounding to say the least. The other day a jack hammer was digging a trench for new drains to the bathroom. My old dog joined me at the bottom of the property about a hundred yards away. The pained look on his face was priceless as we hunkered down, while Thor wielded the eighty pound machine like an electric weed eater.

Dust dust everywhere, I went out and bought a gross of cheap furnace filters to weather the storm before reinstalling my ‘approved’ imported model which would have gone under in the first day. The upstairs looks like Mount St. Helens erupted in the basement. Even the old dog, a black lab, turned a couple of shades of grey.

Needless to say, my writing has suffered during the onslaught. It wasn’t just the no heat except for a couple of space heaters during the coldest week of the year, or the no water because electricity was cut off for an afternoon while circuits were restrung. My creative muse fled with the chaos emanating below my writing chair. Thankfully I have the weekends without construction and nothing overly pressing on the agenda at the moment.

Memo to self… thank God I didn’t commit to the novel in a month competition.

Thanks for reading my blog.

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