Sunday, November 20, 2005


It's The Little Things

"The devil is in the details..."

Boy is he ever! I think when you begin a project like this you really start learning about what kind of a person you are. I was describing some important details to a friend of mine and he immediately commented that I'm beginning to sound a lot like Howard Hughes -- my desire for perfection knowing no bounds. So, I've discovered that I'm an obsessive-compulsive, maniacal perfectionist. Yay!

To that end, this weekend I decided to tie up so loose ends -- little annoying things that have been bugging me. I decided to prime and paint the fence on the right side of the house. I also decided to relocate the spigot much closer to the ground. I know this stuff seems insignificant, but it really ties the front of the house together and makes that side look "finished." Anyhow, here's the pic:

Oh yeah, I was a little late in taking the picture (I took it right after Turkey Day so it also has another project -- my new front light) but I'll talk about that in the next post. Also, for you fellow perfectionists out there, I do notice the concrete post anchor that needs to be removed and my questionable sprinkler system -- they will be both be fixed in due time.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Do You Like the Smurfs?

I don't either... However, the previous owners of my house must have loved the Smurfs (I feel like I need a trademark somewhere). Either that or they were colorblind. Oddly enough, the interior of my house is not a basketcase at all. In fact, it's relatively clean and original. So you have to wonder, in the summer of 2005, why did my house sit on the market for over 2 months before I bought it? To me, the answer to that question can be answered quite simply: Ugly Smurfey-Blue Trim. In all frankness, if I didn't know that this was a Cliff May house I wouldn't have even gotten out of the car due to the lack of curb appeal.


Not a day has gone by since moving in that (yes, I realize the irony of the color of my car given my position on the Smurfs) I haven't said aloud, "What were they thinking?" Common logic would dictate that I should paint my Smurfey-Blue trim white. However, this is no normal house. My research indicated that originally, all of the trim (except facia boards) was painted the same color as the house. I'm having a bit of a hard time picturing it, but given how well the rest of the house is designed, I'm going to trust the architect's original vision. At this point I think anything will look better than the present. Remember the old adage when exercising: No Pain. No Gain? I do now...

My garage was filled with 12 paint cans. You'd think that at least one of them would contain the paint for the body color of the house so I could get a brand and color name. Nope. How well does color-matching work? After unscrewing the cover to my electrical panel and a quick trip to Home Depot [Mental Note: I finally feel like I belong at Home Depot now as a homeowner. Before, as a renter, I would always see folks with faucets, plywood, and lighting fixtures. I used to wonder if they knew I was a phoney.] I returned with some matched paint and special primer. Oh yeah, I discovered the previous owners used latex paint on the body but oil-based for the trim. It was getting dark and I was quite done. My neighbor actually saw me out there and decided to help me finish. That's when you know you have good neighbors: they come help you paint your house.


Yup, 100% better.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Problem Corner

I think we all one of those little corners of our property where things aren't quite up to snuff, that little area where hardly anyone ever goes and even fewer even notice. I had a corner like that -- except mine is in my front yard. Worse still, it's right along the "path" (oh, you'll be reading more about that later) to the front door.

One of my personal beliefs is that how you greet guests to your home significantly affects how well your hosting will go. As most of you know, I work from home so I frequently have clients over to my home office. When one is in the business of working with first-time homebuyers, it's very important to inspire rather than scare. Anyhow, here's a little before of my problem area:


Your eyes to not deceive you; it's true: the previous owners decided to use broken up concrete as a tree planter box. What were they thinking? Was it too difficult to move it the extra 20 feet to the curb? Anyhow, on top of that we have an assortment of invasive plants, rocks, and an ugly fence hiding behind it all.


Overall I think it's a huge improvement. The one thing I didn't count on was how much that hose dealio was going to stick out. Unfortunately, the spigot is located toward the top so I will have to relocate that at a later date. I think that fence could really use some paint too.

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