Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Milking the home improvement theme

There's lots of dust flying at the 19 Minutes homestead these days. My wife and I live in a 1925 prairie bungalow, which is - according to the experts I've interviewed for this feature - architecture-speak for "small, old house." One of the selling points to the house, as we saw it a little more than a year ago, was that it was seemingly in pretty good shape.

And it is in pretty good shape. But as with all 82-year-old houses, there are some things that need work. Unfortunately, in the case of our house, it's often hard to find these things, because they're covered in eighteen layers of paint. (Sometimes, in fact, we find the parts are constructed solely of paint.) Apparently, the standard home improvement model employed by the last several home owners was from the Paint Over It-school - a school, I'll concede, I belonged to until recently.

(Actually, as a long-time apartment renter, I belonged to a related school - the Spackle Over It-school, or more frequently, the Plug Holes in the Wall with Toothpaste-school.)

As a result, my wife, who is definitely the Tom Silva of our marriage, spends much of her free time with the heat gun, peeling the eighteen layers of paint, and the power sander, dealing with the aftermath. Mostly, I stand by with the fire extinguisher, in case we accidentally set the house on fire, which has only happened once. Her latest project has been to restore the milk delivery door (or possibly, the ice delivery door) on the side of the house to its former working condition.

She had removed the door last week, stripped the paint, repaired, the wood, and repainted it. But over the holiday weekend, we added the power sander to her arsenal. This thrilled her so much, she re-sanded the door and repainted it. I entered the picture when it came time to remount the door in the frame, which meant I could finally demonstrate my home improvement expertise, namely knowing the word "shim." But after installing the hardware, placing it in the door frame, finding out that the door wouldn't close, and reinstalling the hardware, the milk/ice/book depository door is in working condition, probably for the first time in fifty years.

To celebrate, we're considering signing up for one of the area's actual milk delivery services. They, of course, provide customers with a delivery box for milk.


Anonymous said...

Looks great, what time does the Dr. Pepper truck stop by?

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Jack son said...

They will have the capacity to give a rapid examination and will give you a gauge of what ought to be repaired, what can be rescued, and how much time will be required and what the expenses will be to take you back to a pre-fire condition.
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