Spring Home Projects

Spring maintenance or maintenance of any season is critical for the preservation and upkeep of your homes; but, let’s be honest, it’s not as fun as project planning. So, I ask, what are your short term and long term plans for your home?

In our bungalow, we have a long list of projects and plans, but some take priority over others. I know we are not alone when I say one thing needs repair immediately after something else. For starters, the original cast iron waste pipe from the second floor bathroom is leaking. Of course, it is our only bathroom and the leak is somewhere that we cannot see. Until we get to that project (sooner rather than later) we have a makeshift catch basin below the pipe in the basement to prevent the leaking water from damaging our brand new post-flood furnace. It’s a good Yankee fix for now. Anyone have suggestions for cast iron replacement and/or repair? This also speeds up our bathroom renovations. Who has experience with reglazing a cast iron clawfoot tub?

We need to rebuild the back porch steps, as the previous steps were washed down the river by Tropical Storm Irene. We have high hopes of removing our asphalt driveway and replacing it with concrete. Our projects could go on and on: electric upgrade, the kitchen ceiling, window sash repair, and more. But, it’s a labor of love when you live in a historic house. Taking care of the house is like taking care of part of the family (even though plumbing is not our first choice of tasks. I’d rather paint!).

If you have advice or stories to share, please do. It’s good project weather. Open your windows and bond with your house!

5 thoughts on “Spring Home Projects

  1. home, garden, life says:

    Never ever use pressure treated lumber. It is a royal pain on many levels. Go the extra money on the steps and use cedar, Ipe or mahogany if it is sustainable in your area. Forget teak too. Concrete drives are questionable, and there is permeable asphalt. Guess one must weigh the enbironmental impacts on all levels when renovating. Spell check appears to be missing in this box, so apoligies for typos. D.

  2. jane says:

    agree about pt lumber. also look at Trex – made from recycled soda bottles.

    The embodied energy in the existing asphalt would make me consider other options since it is there and works. Is the problem the appearance?

    Get many opinions before you reglaze the tub – I do not know of any reglazing that stood up over 5 years,, but I haven’t had a client wanting to reglaze in the last 5 years.

    If you cannot see the break in the cast iron waste pipe, the problem may be someplace else – something dripping on the pipe and running down to the basement. I have uncovered (in remodeling jobs) cracked cast iron waste pipes that worked anyway – stuff just went on down past the split! Cast iron pipes can sometimes be repaired with rubber sleeves and metal bands. Ask a good plumber who likes old houses to come look.

    • Kaitlin says:

      Hi Jane,

      thanks for the tips on the cast iron pipes. I think we’re going to have to replace the entire thing. I’m afraid of where else it is leaking that I cannot see! But, we’ll investigate first. We already had another part of that same pipeline crack in tremendous fashion. We had to replace it. Funny thing is: it was pre-Irene, so we thought a cracked pipe creating puddles in the basement was bad. Little did we know it would soon flood completely. Ha! Perspective.

      I’ll have to look into the the tub more. The interior finish is so worn that it’s starting to get porous and therefore impossible to clean completely.

      Re: asphalt, it’s the paving surface I absolutely despise, though it is uneven and broken, too. But, mostly, yes, it’s the appearance. I can’t stand it.

  3. Sarah N says:

    Pay someone to re-glaze your tub! I did one in an apartment last year (also really not ever getting clean) – on a budget I bought the kit from Lowe’s. You have to make sure it’s going to be the right temperature, and humidity to start – every drip is noticeable, and it didn’t come out shiny like the original ones. That being said – it was a lot better than when I started and the girl who moved in after me LOVED it. Probably a good thing she didn’t have to clean it like I did. Ouch!

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