home improvements

10 lessons learned from rewiring our house

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 12/10/2011 - 12:22

A big part of the reason I haven't blogged here since March is that around that time I took on the project of rewiring our 1920 house (replacing the old knob & tube wiring with modern nonmetallic cable that meets code), and it's consumed much of my spare time ever since.  It looks like I'll finally finish the wiring part of the project later today, and then it'll just be a question of patching holes, etc.

Water Management

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 04/27/2009 - 08:47

We didn't notice when we bought the house that the entire back yard slopes toward the house.  Nor that several of the neighbors' yards are higher than ours.  The result is that during a heavy rainstorm, like the one last night, the neighborhood's water wants to get into our foundation.

Giant gopher, or Possibly Sandworm, Burrows Through Emporia lawn

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 10/06/2008 - 18:13

It's really amazing how much damage four men and a backhoe can do in a day, even if that's not their intent.

We had expected that the new sewer line would be put in by Ditch Witch, but no, it was so deep (7-9 feet) that a man had to fit fully down in the trench, which meant a full-size backhoe had to maneuver in our back yard.  The clay -- and our subsoil is nothing but 100% clay -- was piled all over the yard and sidewalk, and then the rain started, and now there is slippery, sticky mud on everything. 

The basement is clean!

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 09/19/2008 - 10:10

The cleaner came yesterday and sanitized the basement from floor to windows with steam and microbicide.  Then he brought in a small army of dehumidifiers and fans -- enough to make the electric meter spin faster than I'd ever seen it -- and in a matter of hours the humidity was down to 50% again, where our own dehumidifier could take over.  Now the basement smells fresh and clean.  We have to resist the urge to put all kinds of stuff down there -- the floor will still get wet during heavy rains.  But it's a big step, and very satisfying, and our insurance paid for it!  :-)