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Darkness and the Hour of the Earth...

March 30, 2008 12:34 AM

So my wife and I participated in Earth Hour last night. No big deal as we turned off all the lights and put the laptops and TVs to sleep. (Minus my daughter’s of course. We were too tired from unpacking and shuffling stuff to argue with her.) I even managed to move some things using a candle lantern for light.

Then after it was over I turned on some lights and finished more stuff. Eventually this led to me going out and working on stuff in there until just a few moments ago.

But I _did_ get something very cool accomplished - I measured the entire internal dimensions of the walls of the garage.

Why is this cool? Because I’m a geek and I have several wonderful CAD programs available to me so I can accurately plan and layout where things go and what I want to do with them. I did this at the other house as well and it worked out quite well. I’ll eventually get around to measuring all the other rooms and drawing them up in the computer as well but getting the garage done first is important to me because that means I can start to lay out things for configuring it to my needs.

Besides the mechanical stuff there are likely going to be three main areas - electronics/computers, woodworking, and metalworking. (I’m hoping to have room for a pool table but that may or may not happen.) Some of the computer stuff will go out there but I think the rest might have to go in the partial basement. The servers are already going to go down there but I’m not wild about the outside-only access of that space. Maybe in the future I can enclose that spot. It would mean extending the house out another 5 - 10 feet but it might be worth it.

*chuckle* Here’s an idea...

The partial basement is right below the library. I _could_ put in a trap door and a ladder in the corner of the library. In fact that would be a good thing as it would be the safest place for us to go if there was a tornado. (Oddly I think currently the hall closet would likely be the safest main floor place to go in the event of a tornado.) If I put the hole in the floor in the southeast corner of the library and enclose that downstairs that would be a significant improvement over what we have now which is basically nothing. Hmm...something to think about for the future...

In other news the ceiling in the garage is not as weak as I feared. I dug a little deeper into it and there are collar ties being used as the floor joists for the ceiling. And those run unbroken all the way across. So I had no problem putting a bunch of stuff up there to get it out of my way so I could work.

Now it’s getting what’s left organized...

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 1st, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
If you put all that stuff in the garage, where will you put your car? Also are you sure you want to put computer equipment in the basement? I'm concerned about flooding. Last August we had a very bad thunderstorm which got me a few inches of water in my basement when the pump ran out of battery power. I'd just hate for you to loose thousands of dollars of computer equipment.

I do think adding direct access to the garage is a great idea, especially if you're going to turn it into a work room. I'd even suggest making it wider than a hallway and use the extra space for storage. You know, a few freestanding closets a chest freezer, even some shelves. That would put a lot of value into your home.
Apr. 1st, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
The garage is a two-car garage. ( http://www.terminalcore.net/gallery ) One side will be car/motorcycle stuff while the other will be computers/electronics/misc. And we don't usually put our cars in the garage anyway.

As for flooding there was a small amount of water down there but I know why it's there. The previous owners removed all the gutter extensions and because the partial basement is below the footing level of the rest of the house and they cut out a chunk of the wall you get ground water seepage. Once I put gutter extensions (eventually to be replaced by rain barrels) that stuff will go away. Though I might put a small footer at the bottom of that hole they cut until it can all be re-poured.

Direct access to the garage would basically get rid of the back yard as the space between the detached garage and the house is way too far. If we ever decide that we don't need a yard any more or something I'll consider it.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
Ahh, I didn't know the layout of your house. It sounded good in theory. I'm in a townhome and I'm not quite ready to make permanent changes yet. I'm even hesitant about hanging pictures on the wall. I'm no handyman. Last thing I want is to start a project and change my mind half way through.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
We were in a similar situation for the last four years as we were house-sitting for some good friends.

Do you lease or rent or have you bought your townhouse? There are a lot of little things you can do that don't cost a lot of money.

I suggest watching a bunch of home improvement shows or if that's not possible you can get a lot of home improvement books from the library.

Honestly in my case I've been dreaming and planning for an eventual house for years now so I've already got a fair amount of ideas firmly in mind by now. :-)
Apr. 2nd, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
Technically I bought the townhome. But it's a 4 unit building (there are 3 other townhomes attached in a square) and there's association fee so I'm not sure how much freedom I have to make changes. I'm pretty sure the fee is for the outside of the house (landscaping, roof, etc). But I'm pretty sure I can't knock down a wall and merge the bedrooms or install a fireman's pole or hand dig a wine cellar.

My home has a small story behind it. The previous owners were an old married couple. The wife hurt her back and couldn't climb the stairs. Basically when it came up, I walked around the block and said to myself that unless the interior is unlivable then I'd make an offer. They did a nice paint job on one wall, decorations above the kitchen sink, and an angel scene in the second bedroom (light blue with white clouds and angel stickers). I repainted that room.

I'm a guy who lives alone. I'm more for being practical than looking good. I can use new blinds. I have ideas, I just don't have the energy or the courage to anything I can't undo. I have the DYI network. One day I want to make one of those Man Caves.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
Well from what I understand most associations like that only control the outside of the house and in a lot of cases you _can_ knock out an inside wall. But since you don't know you should probably ask. And don't feel shy about asking either as this is something normal that most associations have ready answers to. The worst they could say is no.

And there's nothing wrong with being practical before stylish. And there's also nothing wrong with doing both.

What kind of ideas do you have?
Apr. 3rd, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
I love my home and I intend to stay here a long time. But there may also come a time where I want to move. That means (barring outside destruction of the building like fire or termites) I'll have to sell one day. So anything I do will have to take that into account. I could knock down a wall and have one big bedroom, but that will hurt the resale value and restrict my pool of buyers. Ditto for installing cat-walks for my kitties. http://www.thecatshouse.com/ I'd love to do this but it's not practical. Not just from a resale POV but when I adopted my cats they were already declawed and I'm not 100% sure of their agility to walk along narrow paths near the ceiling.

That being said, I'd love to get to blinds in the living room (they were damaged slightly when I moved in), install a shelf about one foot below the ceiling with a railing for my Transformers, hang up some pictures and paintings that have been on the floor for years. Some of these are due to laziness and nothing else.

The BIG PROJECT is to remodel the kitchen. Right now I got a 10' hallway style kitchen with little counter space. It's a bit hard to describe without pictures. Basically I'd like to extend the kitchen into the dining room along one wall and put a pantry at the end. It would add about 6' of counter space. If done right I'm sure it will look great.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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