Thursday, June 5, 2008

Goodbye Project 1, Hello Project 2

This week marks the end of one project and the beginning of another. Today I'll mail off the paperwork to the Historical Society to close out our project for the electrical and the sewer work we did. I'm not anticipating any issues in closing out this project. We did little to change the look of the house, except to add some light switches and electrical outlets. And we re-used some of the existing lights that were in the attic.

Some time ago, I asked if folks thought it was tacky to list the cost of things on the blog and answers tended towards "It might be, but we're curious anyway". So if your sensibilities are going to be offended then navigate away now. To rewire 90% of a 2,100 square foot house, add numerous outlets, increase service to 200 amp, bury the overhead electrical and to just generally bring it up to modern code, was just under $13,000. The sewer project, which included replacing all of the existing cast iron pipe in the basement, installing two new drains, installing a laundry sink and replacing about 30 feet of exterior lateral pipe to the main sewer line was just under $7,000. The total for all of it was $19,600. I originally estimated $16,000, so I wasn't too far off, only 20%.

The cool part is that once the project is approved, we'll get a tax credit of $4,900 that we can apply against our state taxes. I don't expect to be paying much in state taxes for a few years.

I'll be mailing off an application for the next project tomorrow. It's a request for approval to redo the roof and gutters on the main roof and to tuckpoint the brick. I'm a little anxious about this one. I think I can make a good case that the work needs to be done. What I'm concerned about is whether or not they'll accept my shingle choice. It's a diamond shaped asphalt shingle I found out on the west coast. Even if they don't approve the re-roofing job, I think they would still approve the gutter and tuckpointing portion. We'll just have to wait and see.

We also had a bit of good news a few weeks ago. We've always been concerned about lead paint in the house, so when our youngest daughter had the option of getting a lead test at her one year checkup, we opted for it. Her lead levels came back fine. I'd be surprised if there was no lead paint in the house, but I think that the majority of the walls in the house were painted with calcimine paint right up until it changed hands in 1979. If so, that would be great news for us. I know that as I've been slowly peeling the paint off the bathroom walls, there are only three layers of paint in there - blue calcimine, pink latex from the late 70's or early 80's and then white.

Work on the house has now shifted to outside work with the advent of summer. I've been trimming buckthorn left, right and center. Every week there is a pile of buckthorn on our curb for the street department to chip and take away. While our neighbors to the south don't seem to find buckthorn a problem, our neighbors to the north seem thrilled that somebody is finally cleaning it up. One of our neighbors even came over on Tuesday and helped me cut some of it down and haul it to the curb. And he's willing to take out some box elder trees that are leaning over our lot, right where I want to put a garden. Last weekend we planted six tomato plants; a Brandywine, a Mr. Stripey, a Beefy Boy, two cherry tomatoes and one other that escapes my memory. So far they seem to be doing well.

My parents are coming this weekend for a local, small town festival, and we always seem to get a lot done when they are here, so I'm looking forward to another productive weekend. It will be fun too, as we check out the local festival. If there's anything extra cool there, I'm sure that Ms. Huis will blog about it.


Pusher said...

Nice choice on the shingles. That's a pretty good job of replicating a classic look with asphalt.

I want an update this August on the Mr. Stripeys! They sound so cool, but we don't go the heirloom route because the one year we tried, our yield was next to nothing.

Mr. Kluges said...

We had pink lady's and Mr. Stripey at our house in Minnesota. The flavor was great, but the yields were low. This year is just an experiment. We'll try in earnest next year.

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