Now that we are starting to wind down from moving ourselves and moving my brother-in-law into his house (yeah! I have my office back) we are beginning to look at the projects that we want to do around the house. We have talked about a lot of these projects here and there but now we are reaching the point that we have to define them a little more and prioritize them.
Here is a quick list of the projects that we are looking at in their respective categories in their preliminary order:
- Retaining wall in the back yard
- Brink planters in the front flowerbeds and trees
- Side yard fences separating side yards from the back yard
- Trees in the backyard
- Outdoor staircase from the second story deck to the first floor
- Outdoor shed for the garden equipment
- Window Tint on the remain windows
- Paint the formal dining room, downstairs bathroom, and my office
- Install the new curved shower rod in the downstairs bathroom
- Install the plastic pads on dining room chairs and table
- Wood storage area for wood used for wood working
- Storage cabinets and a counter on my wife’s side of the garage
- Cabinets on my side of the garage
- New workbenches
- Outdoor furniture including chairs, tables, and a bar
- Dinning Room Table and Chairs (if we don’t buy them instead)
- Entertainment Center, coffee tables, and end tables for the down and upstairs family rooms
- New bedroom furniture for our room
That is the quick list off the top of my head. I joke with people saying that I have 5 years of projects on the books already. That list makes it look like ten years. Oh well, they are fun things that will make out house nicer, more energy efficient, and more comfortable place to live. It is our 20 year house after all.
I am starting on the outdoor furniture this weekend and will update on how that comes along.
OK, so in March I was amazed at how much similar houses to what I owned in the Horsethief Canyon Area in Corona, California were priced compared to where I had seen them in the beginning of 2007 (you can see my post here - A Reality Check to the Severity of the Housing Market Crash).
As a recap here is the price fluctuation up to March of 2008 for similar houses to the 1991 built, 1439sqft, 3bdrm, 2.5 bath house that I had.
- 5/2001 - bought house for $178,000
- 5/2003 - Sold house for $252,000
- 2/2007 - similar houses (same floor plan) peak at $440,000
- 3/2008 - Similar house selling for $249,000
Today I checked the same houses, same neighborhood and they are now at $199,000. Sadly if someone bought one of these houses 3 months ago it is has already lost $50,000 in equity.
Sad, very sad.
Everyone is going green these days. When I first moved into our new house the first thing I did was to replace all of the incandescent light bulbs in our house with fluorescent light bulbs. In my other house I was able to cut my electric bill in the summer by $100 (see my post Reducing Electricity Bill with LED Lights).
Anyway, our new house has a whole lot more windows especially in the front of the house. These windows get direct sunlight in the afternoon which is usually the hottest part of the day. Both of air conditioning units would pretty much be constantly on just to maintain the temperature in the house. My youngest son and daughter’s windows also faced the front of the house and their rooms would get pretty hot in the afternoon as well.
To date I have installed the tint on all of the front facing windows except the window in my office. Even as I was putting the tint up I could feel the temperate change even though the windows were not in the direct sunlight at the time. Due to the tint being metal based it actually reflects heat in general and not just heat that comes from direct sunlight.
The implications of this are far reaching since your windows are the cause of most of your heat and cooling that escape from your house. I am speculating that the tint will also to help keep heat in the house during the winter as well which will have additional energy savings.
My estimate is that my $150 investment in tinting my front windows could pay for itself within the next 3-4 months in reducing my electricity bill. My bill for the last month was $309 so we will see what happens as the temperature goes up over the next few months. If my bill doesn’t go up I will be happy but I am fully expecting it to go down. According to Gila (the brand of tint I bought) my estimates may be a little high but we will see. You can check out their savings page here - Gila Window Tint.
I’ll keep you posted with my savings.
I have been working on things - I promise. I will admit though that it has been slow going though, a WHOLE lot slower then I anticipated. This network is a monster and things have changed since I drifted from being a daily blog poster to a monthly one.
Currently I am working on a new custom theme for this site. I really do not know what medication I was on when I put this theme up here but I wish I had more. This is probably one of the worst theme I have ever put on any of my sites. To be fair this theme is of my own creation since the original theme was quite lovely. I just like the color blue for this site but it not quite working in it’s current rendition.
In the works is a Magazine styled theme that I will be developing and releasing several versions of. The main reason that I am going with a magazine styled theme is that their are certain posts/products that I want to highlight and a traditional blog layout just doesn’t cut it. The theme has a "Featured" section at the top and will show the last 3-5 featured posts. Under that the other posts will be aggregated in 2 columns. For this site/blog the posts from this blog will be in the "Featured" section and the the posts from the rest of the network will be below that in the two columns. You can see the wire frame of the theme to the right.
I have all of the pieces done, I just need to site down and put them all together. I probably will get them working on a couple of my sites first before I package them for the masses. Also, I am going to offer a free basic version for free and then offer a couple of premium version that will be for sale. I am going to price them pretty low since I actually want to sell them (some people charge too much IMO).
Anyway, I am still alive and kicking. Work is work though and takes time.