Archives: Practical

This should be an image of a nice pergola, not text.

WHILE work on the cottage is temporarily stalled waiting for permits, etc… I thought I’d show a little back yard project I started shortly before we took on this extreme rehab. Our current back yard is pleasant enough. But unlike our front yard which is shaded by two mature trees, there’s only a tall pine in the back which provides little cover from the afternoon sun because of where it sits on the lot. The space is a little small for a second tree and I’m too old to wait for one to grow anyway, but I’ve always imagined […]

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This should be a lovely picture of wooden roof trusses.

IF you read the previous post you know that the garage was in pretty bad shape. My goal was to reuse the frame and pad. After making some decisions on the exterior, I also determined to leave the original redwood siding. It’s in bad shape, but I’m going to sheet the whole garage in a board and batten style, leaving the redwood siding underneath. More on that later. The roof was in terrible shape, the rolled asphalt had served about three times longer than it was ever meant to. The planks were rotting and couldn’t be reused and I […]

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This should be a cute drawing of a leaning cat.

WHEN our wayward cat takes a dump it’s a prolonged affair. I know most cats are fastidious but Cosey’s burial rituals would make the builders of Giza blush. Her large plastic box shakes and echoes with banging, digging and scratching. The sounds of construction will stop for just a second only to resume with renewed ferocity. Having scraped every Trader Joe’s pine pellet into a near-perfect pyramid she emerges, City of the Dead complete. How does she collect every granule to the center and exit the box leaving the gravity-defying mound unperturbed? It’s a mystery. But I will share […]

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This should be a small photo of Monty Python's Holy Grail.

Roll away your trash today. Early trash collectors WE had to dispose of a few tons of concrete and drywall to get our project started. Sheryl had informed me that Pasadena only allowed certain haulers to work in the city. This came as a surprise to me because Pasadena is usually so easy-going about those things. It’s hard to tell in text, but that was sarcasm. In actuality if they had the inspectors to spare, I think Pasadena would tell you that your piss is the wrong shade of yellow and doesn’t match the Batchelder tile above the toilet; […]

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This should be a photo of a little red wheelbarrow.

WE’VE been tied up getting elevations and site plans drawn, taking measurements and reading books. I’ll actually do a post in the next week about the books that Sheryl and I have found the most useful and inspirational in this first step of our little home-building journey. But wanted to keep posting, so here’s one about trucks, wheelbarrows, roll-offs and a dude who will take your scrap metal away for free. If you’re pressed for time, you can probably skip this one, but don’t go crying if someone at a party asks you where to get the cheapest wheelbarrow […]

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