Step by Step ProjectsTips from the ProsAffordable Remodel
In the autumn months, as usual for any month, what I want to do, what I must do, and what I end up doing, are not always on the same list. For me a list is vital for getting things done. There's the master list and then the daily list. The master list for November includes the yearly tasks of winterizing, preparing for spring, creating a winter projects list and planning a new adventure for my cold months leisure time.
For me, the fall is the best time to find and purchase the old house that needs renovating. In addition, to my regular workload I can spend the cold months repairing, remoldeling, and renovating the interior; when spring comes I'm ready to go outside and do the exterior improvements; by summer it's time to either rent or sell the newly improved property and enjoy the summer months. I have done this for years acheiving a tidy profit and satisfaction of accomplishment.
The must do things on my list would include winterizing the lawn equipment, checking the houses for insulation repairs, inspecting heating and plumbing systems, finishing any outdoor projects, properly storing or protecting any ongoing projects and materials, vehicle maintenance and waxing, clean and seal all exterior surfaces that need it, prepare plant shields and move some plants to their winter location, mulch the flower beds,make sure the boat has no water in the manifold and lower unit, get the camper ready for winter service, check outdoor lighting and electrical service for equipment battery maintenance, clean solar collectors, and if there is any time left after that, go to the doctor and dentist for a check-up. Experience has taught me it is less trouble and more cost effective to take care of what you have, than to repair or replace at some inconvenient time in the future.
If the lab results from the doc and dentist indicate a good heartbeat after all that work, I'm ready to convert my work truck into a luxury Lance camper and head South for a couple of weeks, usually around February. There is something to be said about a warm beach, a pretty girl in sight, and a new adventure to restore the soul from the cold.
Must-to-do this fall ( before snow falls in MN) is to replace the deck boards on 14'x40' deck along with all the railings. My plan is to use cedar floor boards and then stain and finish the deck Phase II is to install an aluminum railing system. This is my first real DIY project now that I retired.
This November I will be:
We recently moved into this house which was built in 1974.
each of the 2 bathroom need works on: grout in tile, plumbing in each bathroom, replacement of commodes and exhaust fans (which are not working as they should be) and a shower door
the kitchen also need works on: plumbing at sink (which has a smell when the cabinet is open?), flooring
My wife and I are celebrating the "empty nest syndrome" for the first time since 1976, and she is making up for lost time. We have installed a vented micro wave over the range oven, refinished our kitchen cabinets(sanded down to bare wood, then restained) and are now waiting for estimate to put tile floors down. May have a problem here, we have lineloem over press board and an unlevel floor. Any one with a solution, comments will be welcomed.
I don't know exactly what is on my husband's list but this is mine, therefore his:
1. Get up all the leaves.
2. Fill compost bin with leaves.
3. Bag the rest of the leaves.
4. Pick out all the leaves from the shrubs. Our back garden has no lawn at all. It is a long T-shaped terrace with paths winding all around through shrubberies and perennial beds. It is a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat.
5. Get up all the acorns. We can fill trash dumper after dumper with them and if we don't get them they sprout everywhere.
7. Remove dead plants from the vegetable garden, cut up for trash dumper. We can't leave any bad insects to overwinter in them. Not that we have many. The birds do a great job of eating them up.
8. Remove flowered canes from the blackberries, put in trash dumper. We don't deadhead the flowers on our property but leave the seeds for the birds.
9. Weed out the beds, especially going after tree seedlings. Our mulberry tree (for the birds) must think it is the last of its species and wants to repopulate the planet.
10. Clean off the terrace.
11. Wash the outdoor furniture and cover it for the winter.
12. Check the gas grill and get rid of any critters. Put it to bed for the winter.
13. Wash and sterilize all the bird feeders, fill them and hang them up. Keep them filled and clean. Clean the bird baths and keep them filled with fresh water. Clean out the birdhouses.
14. Clean the gutters if we have any by then. We are supposed to get new ones.
15. Clean the front porch, washing all glass, and hang the fall wreath on the front door.
16. Bring the houseplants from the back terrace into the garage, pull them from the pots and get rid of all the slugs hiding in the bottom. Prune them and clean them up. Bring them all back in for the winter.
17. In the front yard, rake up all the pine straw and use it to mulch the flower beds.
The week before Thanksgiving:
18. Polish all the silver, including flatware, bowls, wine coolers, etc.
19. Clean up the dining room and begin to decorate. Buy a perfect small pumpkin and some gourds for the arrangement on the sideboard.
20. Plan the menu.
21. Buy what groceries can be bought early.
22. One of two days before the big dinner, buy all the fresh produce. Set the table for dinner.
23. Clean house.
24. After Thanksgiving, collapse and rest for a few days.
25. First Sunday of Advent put the candles in all the windows.
26. Begin to decorate for Christmas, little by little.
27. Scrape the old caulk off the TV room windows and recaulk and paint.
28. Pull the carpeting off the stairs. It came loose at the bottom when the front hall was updated with a ceramic tile floor. Paint the risers.
29. Remove the wallpaper from the stairwell.
30. Replace the upstairs doors with stain grade six panel doors. Then paint them.
31. Get the chair railing from the garage and paint it. Put it up in the bedrooms. Ditto the crown moulding and put it in the master bedroom. The chair railing and crown moulding were taken down when we remodeled the family room into a huge dining room and repaced it.
32. Touch up my husband's messy paint jobs in the front hall and kitchen.
33. Repaint the door jam in the downstairs loo. I just scrubbed the filth of many young hands from it and took the paint right off.
34. Seal the tile floors in the kitchen, front hall and downstairs loo.
35. Finish insulating the attic over the dining room.
36. Put up the ceiling fan in the TV room.
37. Replace the faulty electrical outlets in my bedroom.
This is a start. I know I'll think of a lot more to do.
Our half bath needs to become a full bath and still house Bramble's and Beatrice's litter box :eek:, in our 1952 Cape. Thing is the half bath and the adjoining laundry room are built between the house and the garage so the walls are made from cinder blocks that have been coated in a skim coat of horribly applied cement/concrete that's most likely held together by layers of the glossy, icky-pink paint that coat the walls! I have simply no idea how to begin....does one remove the lumpy coating of cement:rolleyes: and then apply cement board or................? Help!:confused:
My November to do list will expand into maybe November 2012?! Where does the time go for these projects? The windows need caulked and repainted, the garage needs to be finished painting...started 2007!:( the chimney is in need of repair and dry lock, the cellar door looks horrible!!!:eek: It is old wood, not nice old wood, crappy! The front door is ugly!!! repainting would be nice, the pond area is in need of some good upkeep, the weeds even grow despite the roundup!:confused: Agh....let's see that was outside, the interior is all painted and in need of touch up---new colors, it is a bland gray, yuk! The woodwork needs some touch up here and there thanks to the cats...not bad, just a few places and of course the cellar project, that is another whole paragraph (at least) it is an ongong try to fix it up to be comfortable to work in with the woodworking tools (toys) and the painting of the walls was started last year 2008 and never finished...good ideas, not carrying thru with everything :o...after allllll these are done, I will be happy and content in my little domain!:):rolleyes:
Autumn is my favorite time of year to decorate for the upcoming holidays. I love to gather cattails, colorful leaves such as the bright sugar maples, pumpkins of all colors and sizes, gourds and squashes of all sorts. I scatter them throughout the house with a few dried sunflowers and such. For Halloween I get out all my collectible ornaments that were either created by me, or purchased from my cohorts at American Holiday Artists, a fabulous holiday art group. Right after Halloweenis all put away I really go all out to add the extra touches that bring warmth and the colors of the Thanksgiving holiday into our home. We have a steadfast rule that Christmas doesn't come out until after Thanksgiving as we really are grateful for the blessings we have.
I've already started gathering my decor items as a friend cut a very nice bunch of cattails for me before we headed back to Utah for the school year. So while I have floors that need jacked up and stabilized in our Oregon home, and lots of remodel work to finish, our Utah apartment will become our home away from home as we get ready for the wonderful season to come.
Visit my local nursery and choose the perfect 'October Glory' maple tree for my yard...and plant it.