Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hit the deck!

We pressure washed the deck, removed the old gross wood on the deck, sanded it, and I meticulously oiled the wood with Brazilian rose wood oil. It's gorgeous. I love the smell. The neighbors took our cues and they're doing their deck now, too!
Below are photos of late-night work.

You can see the pretty happy wood now!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

More work!

Dryrot removal. We ended up having to remove the entire windowsill. We replaced it, primer and painted it. Same went for the bedroom window and the diningroom window.


We're waiting for a new sash to be built to replace the rotted one. I've already prime and painted all of the parts in anticipation of it's arrival.
I've also began to scrape all the old paint off the sills and prime & painted those as well.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh Mary!

On the super cool lady, Kristen.

Shaded hands, face and veil.

Location:12th St,Oakland,United States

Monday, July 11, 2011

Virgin Mary

Part one.

Still need to finish shading the face and the veil.

Location:Sacred Tattoo, Oakland, CA

Monday, July 4, 2011

Break through

Okay, so, I managed to remove the dryrotten window sill. As I said, Nothing pretty, and I'll have some patch repairing to do inside.

The main reason this window was so problematic is that it's a fixed window. Not meant to open or close. So I had to chip out the sill from under the window. After I lost my patience after TWO HOURS I forced it out. Then pulled the remainder out from the inside.
It obviously was changed out years later, as there are still weights left behind from the old window.

Friday, July 1, 2011


A tree I found on my dog walk yesterday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dryrot repair and vacation

Being a homeowner sounds so wierd for me. The many years of my life rolling by, living paycheck to paycheck, and thinking to myself, wow, owning a home would never happen to me.
Well, since the hubby and I pulled it together- we're so excited to work on the little projects that make it our own.
To add to the gumption of wood working and dryrot repair, I finally hooked up the stereo.
I must say, when you're trying to extract your first ever wood windowsill to replace it- it's easy to get a little scared and anxiety ridden. Any expert you ask usually they'll say- "just take a saw and a chisel and cut the bugger out of there." well, there is NOTHING eloquent or nice and neat about ANY demolition work. You just gotta put on your protective gear and take the sawzall and sledgehammer and have a day at it.
The past four weeks of my day job(s) have been very busy, long days, and working 12-14 hour days. This week is the first week taking a few actual full days off.
Those days are allocated for windowsills.
The permit is ready for the stairs repair, so we're just waiting on our contractor to come do the work.
I'm excited to get the work done so we can take a vacation. We're thinking about going North in an RV to see more coastline and visit friends and family.

The window sills on my list.

Did I mention how in love we are with our home? We're so stoked!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ah, cement!!!

This morning the cement truck was here.

I can't wait to draw in the finished cement out in front!

The soil under the house was really soft. The old foundation that was there was improperly capped, and during demo- it fell away with a slight tap of a crowbar.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Almost done! After the permit inspector gave us the green light for the concrete to get poured, I finished up setting the replacement tile in the shower.

I'm aware the tile doesn't match completely, but it was the fifth place I stopped at looking for a replacement tile.

It's actually the exact tile that is on the floor, so, it matches enough for me. :)
I also finished caulking the bathroom shower, sink, and some trim.

Last night I repaired the chip in the kitchen sink with an epoxy repair kit.
Jeremy has been kicking ass. He grated along the side if the house after removing the wood,

began fixing the shelf under the sink, and today he's fixing the wood trim around the garage door.

Our pumber came in, replaced the wax seal on the upstairs toilet, and shimmed it; solving the water problem.

Downstairs, he replaced the toilet after learning that the leak wasn't caused from the wax ring; but from the toilet actually being cracked! He GAVE us a dual flush toilet! Yes! It was a sample he didn't need. Rad! Woohoo!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother may I?

Today I went back to the Permit Center in the City if Oakland. I spent five-hundred some-odd-dollars on a permit that encompasses all water damage and dry rot repairs inside and outside the house. Another permit for the electical to install a $5 switch in our breaker panel (which the permit cost over a hundred and fifty dollars for.) Lastly, the plumbing repairs permit for leaks and toilets.
I wasn't happy with the whole transaction because the lady behind the desk did NOT read my fix-it list thouroughly enough, then, after I paid at the window, I returned to pick up my sign-off permit card- to discover the woman took off to get coffee!!!!! So, after she realized she'd forgotten about me, she had to print my card twice. By now I knew I was over my meter time and was going to get a parking ticket...and when I ran up to my car, the meter maid was just about to start my ticket. I said, "Hi, sorry. The lady at the permit center forgot me and went on her coffee break- that's why I'm late." I showed her my reciept, and she was nice enough to not give me a $55 parking ticket after I'd just spent so much for permits. Let the love shine on her! :)

After over-doing it and forcing myself to take a week off from grout raking and removal duty, I went back at it after two chiropactic visits, one acupuncture visit, and two highly productive deep tissue massages. Today I've begun isolating the broken tile in the shower for removal. Our HUD inspector is due for a visit Friday to help with our Draw Request.
Now I need to schedule a plumbing permit inspection. Argh!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Shoring digging and twiddling our thumbs

While we wait for the city to inspect the rebar for the foundation and piers, they've been jacking up the house so it's back to it's original state.

These were taken before they began digging to put the rebar into place for the concrete pour.
They're also digging for the piers down the center of the house all the way back.
We've been trying to research why the foundation was so screwed. Our number one answer was water. Back in the 1930's people didn't make French drains around their newly built homes. Most oridinary people don't understand how or why water gets so intrusive under their house; making it musty above ground, and wet in the crawlspace. In addition, most people never bother to look under their house on a regular basis. Regardless, the steps we make to avoid future water intrusion, will improve and extend the life of the rest of the house.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crooked girl in a crooked house

I injured my shoulder from overdoing it painting, grouting, and sleeping on it wrong. So, yesterday I visited our Chiropractor. He said I'm all twisted up and crooked. So, I'll be doing additional things to remain relaxed during the crucial period of our foundation getting redone.
Below, is the work that was finished up yesterday.

As you can see, the floor will need to be fixed or replaced.

The view from outside...

Today, they're scheduled to remove the old foundadtion. I'll be running errands, and leaving my dog at a friend's house.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our house before us.

I went to locate any permits that may have been issued in the past ten years for our house's past repairs and renovations. I'm waiting to hear back from the city.

Thanks to technology, I can keep a photographic record of the work we're doing to the house.

Looking down the hill of the North side of the house, you can see someone put in railroad toes to keep erosion down. Now they're rotted out termite-y tripping hazards. We're to remove them, and properly bank the earth do water will roll away from the house.

Above right is where we found a large nest of ground bees. We made them move out. I haven't seen them in about a week.

The elephant tubing will be buried once we get to making proper drainage around the house.

Looking uphill on the south side of the house were to do the same. In addition to replacing rotted wood under the deck. With some sweat and digging, we're going to make a French drain along this side if the house.

Finally, this week I will be regrouting the shower/tub surround as well as refreshing the grout on the floor tiles.

Being strong and handy has it's benefits.