Every place I've ever lived has been designed for that "average American family," with lots of bedrooms, living room, dining room, family room, etc. The problem was that I was a single person, not an average family. I needed space, but for hobbies, not people. And because I'm over 6'2", bending over to use sinks designed for children was a constant frustration. Over the years, I collected a list of things I would change if I could have my dream house. As I approached retirement, I realized time was running out for that house; it was now or never.

Dreams are not always perfect, however. I could never afford my dream house, a spacious Southern California home overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But I could afford a modest ranch house, with a 20-mile drive to the beach. It was a very long way from perfect, but it had potential.

This blog documents the process of turning that small average house into something that matches my lifestyle. It will be as close to my dream house as I can make it. I'm doing all the work myself to stretch my resources. By not hiring contractors, I can afford high quality materials, and I'll know the job is always done right. The remodeling will be my primary avocation for a few years, even as I try to fit in my writing and other hobbies.

It promises to be an interesting journey, and a challenging one!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Workshop — Part 3

Work on the workshop windows/electrical is done (except for outside painting).  I won't finish the room until most of the rest of the house has been completed, because it's going to be a hobby room (building instruments, etc.), and getting the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedroom done takes precedence over hobbies.  When that time comes, I will be installing a new floor (interlocking textured plastic tiles), work bench, and storage. 

Since my part 2 post, I continued applying stucco in the outside, and drywall on the inside.  In the photo, there is one section of wall without drywall, waiting for the 6" exhaust vent to be installed, which could not be done until the stucco was complete.

And here that is, with the last batch of stucco still wet.  I inserted a circular foam plug in the wall where the exhaust vent would go, and stuccoed around that so as not to have to cut a hole through the stucco when it dried. 

This is a closeup of the vent on the outside.

Once that was in, the last piece of drywall went on, joint compound applied and sanded (not my favorite thing), and the wall painted.  At that point, the electrical receptacles could be installed and cover plates attached, and that circuit switched on.  For the last year (?) I have relied on a 50' heavy-duty extension cord run from the home theater for power in the workshop, so this was a nice event.  Six new 120 volt (and one 240 volt) 20-amp receptacles.

After that, the window was trimmed out, nail holes spackled, and that painted.  Here's a halfway "before" photo and two "afters."

I now have a rough schedule for future work, based largely on seasonal temperatures: 

1) kitchen cabinets - October,
2) new water supply system - November - January,
3) master bathroom - December - March, and
4) new heat pump and ducting - April. 

Various other smaller projects will be done along the way. 

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