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Old Feb 25th 2015, 5:28 pm   #1
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Default Home and garden projects

So, with spring just around the corner (we hope ), what projects or improvements do you have planned around your home or garden?

I have been working on "finishing" a closet off the bonus room over the garage. I will be doing a full lining of drywall, but first it means moving the insulation from the inside "wall" over to the knee wall on the other side, and roof joists, which has meant adding timber to the wall and roof joists to make room for a full 5.5"-6" of insulation.

Outside I have been felling some trees (count: 9, 65'-81' trees ) to increase the sun shining on the turf I laid last summer, and I am hoping to plant some vegetables this year for the first time in three years. As soon as we get some warmer and dry weather I will be replacing the screening on the screen porch because it is getting a bit old and has a couple of small tears.
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 9:08 pm   #2
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Just started replacing all my old X-10 stuff with new Z-wave (via Wink). Doing the inside things first and will move to the external bits (irrigation, security lighting etc.) when it warms up.

The X-10 stuff has been getting more and more erratic presumably because of all the extra noise on the power line from modern gadgets. Not fun when your thermostat suddenly plunges to 49F for no apparent reason! Also gives me the opportunity to fit one of the new fangled door locks that can be opened with a keypad or phone app.
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 10:11 pm   #3
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

I have slowly been planning to move a steel shed from one side of the back yard to the other. It will hopefully simultaneously shrink from being 10'x10' to about 5'x5'. That way hopefully less junk will get tossed in it, leaving space for just the gardening stuff it should hold.

p.s. anyone want half a shed?
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 12:45 pm   #4
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

If this 2-3 foot blanket of snow ever disappears, I've got a number of outside projects.

First and foremost is ripping up all the stupid weed fabric the owners of this house lay down to make the property look tidy for selling the house. I thought I could work with it (having never dealt with the stuff before) but I was wrong. It's awful & needs to go.

Need to attack the hillside in our back garden.... without catching poison ivy IF possible!! One eroding slope of it needs clearing of weeds & noxious vines and planting with some shrubs & plants that will hold the soil firmly & attract birds, bees, butterflies, etc.

Need to figure out how to access the septic tank. We have no bl**dy idea how/where the hatch is (if that's what you call it), though we have the map & have measured & marked the tank & field dimensions with stakes before all this snow buried everything in the world.
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 1:20 pm   #5
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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Originally Posted by WEBlue View Post
...... Need to figure out how to access the septic tank. We have no bl**dy idea how/where the hatch is (if that's what you call it), though we have the map & have measured & marked the tank & field dimensions with stakes before all this snow buried everything in the world.
The hatch shouldn't be more than a few inches below ground (6"-8"), and is almost certainly going to be found directly opposite where the main drain leaves the house. IME (5 systems that I or my in-laws own or have owned) the hatch will be no more than 10-20ft from the house. You can go around with a metal rod and push it into the ground to find the hatch (it will be about 18"x18") - that is what the septic tank companies do.
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 2:08 pm   #6
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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The hatch shouldn't be more than a few inches below ground (6"-8"), and is almost certainly going to be found directly opposite where the main drain leave the house. IME (5 systems that I or my in-laws own or have owned) the hatch will be no more than 10-20ft from the house. You can go around with a metal rod and push it into the ground to find the hatch (it will be about 18"x18") - that is what the septic tank companies do.
Thank you for this! We'll have to do some more measuring once this infernal snow leaves us....

We've done a bit of probing now & again, then this past autumn thought it would be more methodical to mark out the dimensions. By the time we got the measuring stakes pushed in, the ground was almost too hard to work.

Speaking of those markers ... some local people say you can tell where your leachfield is by the darker green grass, but I can't tell any difference in grass--it's uniformly sparse.
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 2:20 pm   #7
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Thank you for this! We'll have to do some more measuring once this infernal snow leaves us....

We've done a bit of probing now & again, then this past autumn thought it would be more methodical to mark out the dimensions. By the time we got the measuring stakes pushed in, the ground was almost too hard to work.

Speaking of those markers ... some local people say you can tell where your leachfield is by the darker green grass, but I can't tell any difference in grass--it's uniformly sparse.
The leachfields that I am familiar with are usually marked by slight linear depressions (three parallel line is common, but not universal, in NC), but with poor or no grass they can be hard to discern without those depressions. The leachfield lines can be most noticeable during times of drought, when the moisture has the most differential impact.
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 4:24 pm   #8
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

Once the 3ft of snow has gone, and the resulting lake has melted and (hopefully) drained, we will be left with a house surrounded by a patch of ground... Mainly sand, we think. No vegetation whatever, some freshly dug, but not landscaped in, drainage channels and a small swamp leading down to the river.

The contractor who built the house (and the one next door) is on the hook for "landscaping and planting", but I have no clue what that actually means. (Not that I care much honestly, I want grass robust enough for dogs to run on, but I'm not looking for a golf course).

Once that is sorted out, then the rear all needs to be fenced (for the dogs). I need to drop in some sort of hard standing (actually, gravel bed will probably do) for an outbuilding/shed and then a patio/BBQ

We really are starting from scratch. It looks like the moon out there.

[Edit] Oh, and Mrs. N. would like a greenhouse and some raised beds.
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 4:28 pm   #9
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

Sorry all you folks are having to wait for all the snow to melt.
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 4:47 pm   #10
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

Once the snow has gone - dig out the septic, install new baffles..cant wait for that.

Then build wood store/shed and split and stack the remaining half an oak tree sat under the snow somewhere right now.

Pull the boat out and prep for summer
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 5:08 pm   #11
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....... The contractor who built the house (and the one next door) is on the hook for "landscaping and planting", but I have no clue what that actually means. .....
Till and seed the yard and cover it in straw, then plant two holly bushes, one at each of the front corners of the house, "to anchor it".
Quote:
(Not that I care much honestly, I want grass robust enough for dogs to run on, but I'm not looking for a golf course). .....
Actually, golf course grass is probably exactly what you need, as it is likely hard wearing and slow growing. See if you can find out what the local course put on their fairways and then make sure that that is what your builder sows.
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 5:17 pm   #12
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

Have finished all the weeding/trimming/cleaning up from winter, so want to get some mulch down in the next week or so, before the weeds come back!

Am planning to get a raised bed or 2 built for veggies, but that has been on the drawing board since 2011 (I have the email flagged)

Want to install a flower bed to the left of the house, but that will have to wait till the ducks that are currently nesting there have moved on..

Want to install a firepit behind the garage, but that's on a back-burner as not convinced we'll actually use it much..

Inside, I need to get some decorating sorted out. We have color patches all over the walls, and think we hae decided what we want, but not 100%. I want to get someone in to do the high ceiling stuff, but will probably do the lower level stuff myself. Unless anyone in this area has a good (and cheap) contractor they can recommend?

At some point I want to get a sink installed in the laundry room, and convert the dogs area to a more efficient "mud room" - not that we have a lot of mud, but just need somewhere for the kids to dump all their gear as the current system has, err, drawbacks!
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 5:25 pm   #13
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

On reflection, what I need is a "Yard "Party".

I can invite you all and you can each bring some of your yard and put it in mine.
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Old Feb 26th 2015, 5:37 pm   #14
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On reflection, what I need is a "Yard "Party".

I can invite you all and you can each bring some of your yard and put it in mine.
Be careful about sending that invitation south of the Mason-Dixon line!

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Old Feb 26th 2015, 5:53 pm   #15
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Be careful about sending that invitation south of the Mason-Dixon line!

http://neighborshame.com/wp-content/...-Around-It.jpg
We were riding out in the country last weekend - my son counted 19 trucks in the area around one house - from what we could see, only one of them appeared to be roadworthy (well, it had 4 tires!) and more than half appeared to be missing an engine! They were all very color coordinated though - apparently rust brown is the new black
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