Saturday, April 20, 1991

More Making a House into a Home

In addition to major projects, there are continuing efforts to make the house into a home, by personalizing it to our own needs. Most of these are small jobs, but they add up.

Sept 1987

Added a shelf in the utility room over the washing machine. This is mounted on the wall to the garage, and provides a convenient place for bleach and distilled water, and other laundry items. $44.57

August 1988

A coat rack for mounting on the wall in the front entranceway. Four brass coat hooks on a wooden board.

7 Feb 1989

Wire shelves for hanging on the inside of the pantry closet door. The shelves are only about a tin can in depth -- maybe 5 inches deep and 18 inches wide, but its 72 inches tall, so it pretty much fills up the back of the door. and provides 8 or 9 shelves, for cans and boxes.

Dec 1989

Put up a shelf in the Utility room to hang things. This is a white wire shelf with 4 hooks underneath. Originally, it was for hanging up the kids' book bags after school, but eventually it became used to hold the plastic bags from grocery stores, and dog leashes, and extension cords. $31.16

16 Dec 1989

Added a switch to the outlet in the front of the garage. We plugged the exterior Christmas lights into this outlet, so it was convenient to have it switched, so that we could easily turn the lights on and off. $10.68

Dec to Jan 1990

James Conner, my ex-wife's nephew, designed a landscaping for the big bed in the back yard, and then implemented it. He cleared all the rock from the bed, added mulch to the soil, and dirt. He modified the sprinkler system and then put in plants. The idea was two layers -- Nandina on one level and another plant on another level. With the native trees that were already there -- a couple of cedar, a Mexican Laurel, and some Shin Oaks -- above it all. Over time, the Nandina has taken over the lower levels, so now it is just Nandina below and the trees above. Linda calls it "The Jungle". It's quite dense and overgrown. The cat likes to go in it and hide away, emerging from the jungle when she wants to come in. $112.81 for dirt (6 yards of garden mix from Whittlesey Brothers), $15.52 for mulch. $207.42 for plants. $148.00 for labor.

Nov 1990 to April 1991

Built a workbench in the garage. Mounted a 2x2 on the wall with lag bolts on the sides and back walls. Then used a metal bracket to attach another 2x2 to the front, forming a horizontal frame mounted to the walls. On top of this put a 3/4 inch piece of plywood cut to fit. Made two surfaces this way, one about 20 inches from the floor and the other 36 inches. Did the same along the other wall, so that the workbench is an L-shape. In the front corner, I used a steel angle-iron piece to bolt to both sides of the L-shape, as a support, but not massive or intrusive. Most of the plywood was covered with polyurethane (2 coats), but
I also used a left-over piece of Formica counter top to cover one surface. $49.13. $18.05. $6.45. $108.26. $16.31. $20.74.

Behind the workbench, on the walls, I mounted 3/8 inch plywood sheets, so that there was a solid surface for nails, and hooks, and hangers, for holding tools and such.

This combination gives me two storage shelves -- one on the floor and one on the lower shelf, plus a nice workspace on the top shelf, with my tools and supplies hanging on the walls. Of course, over time, more and more stuff got left on top of the workbench. I've been collecting the silverware baskets out of discarded dishwashers to hold tools and such, and a headboard from a water bed sits on the top of the workbench as a shelf unit. As a result there is very little work space, but there could be, if I just cleaned it up.