Monthly Archives: October 2009

One of the last major updates to the exterior was the roof. From day one I wanted to redo the exterior in steel. It’s modern, durable and (sometimes) low-cost. Unfortunately, 2007 saw greatly inflated steel prices because of the temporarily-surging Chinese economy and global demand. I didn’t want to put off my siding. Because of the changes and upgrades that were already being done, parts of the house were not sufficiently weatherproof for the winter. For practical reasons I decided to go with vinyl siding. I replaced the gutters and repaired the loose shingles and hoped that it’d be […]

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I originally envisioned the outside to be finished in red vertical steel siding, with the roof in silver vertical steel — very barn-like. I got estimates from local siders and roofers and they were all coming in at over $7,000 for the siding and $5,000 for the roofing. That seemed a little steep to me for the Punxsutawney area, but part of what was driving up the price was the high cost of steel this year. I weighed my options and decided, in order to keep the project moving, I’d go with vinyl and install it myself. Also made […]

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Typical staircase, but after determining that the walls were not load-bearing, I saw a relatively easy way to open up the floor plan a little. Before and afters from the living room and top of stairs. During demolition. This was the bedroom wall which also formed a makeshift closet above the staircase cieling. The new loft-like floor plan begins to emerge. Immediately after tearing out the staircase walls, I removed a lot of the old drywall and plaster, which is why the loft area (which is going to be an office/work space) looks like a barn here. You can […]

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Photos not related to my money pit. Morning off: I blow the dust off the kayak and head for one of several nearby lakes. This particular body of water is called Keystone Lake. Keystone is 5 1/2 miles long, 850 acres and as deep as 90 ft, but there are a few shallow inlets where the water is calm enough to attract birds like the sleeping duck above. – – – Punxsutawney trestle

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The original kitchen was kind of depressing, but I didn’t have the cash or time for a full-blown redesign and new appliances. Here’s my attempt at a budget spruce-up. First step always seems to be: Tear everything out. Sent the old pilot-light stove to the scrap yard, but was able to clean and keep the fridge. The sink and cabinets are c. 1950s steel construction, durable but rusty and very dirty. Refinishing them was a project in itself. Ended up sanding and spraying them in my garage. Almost wish I’d taken them to a body shop and forked over […]

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