Monday, July 7, 2008

On to the Outside

I finally moved to working on the outside of the house. Exiting to the outside of the house is easy since I have five outside doors, two upstairs and three downstairs. When I had a locksmith rekey all the deadbolt locks, he had a box of skeleton keys in his van. He let me dig through them until I found a key that fit almost every lock on the inside doors of the house. I went to the fabric store and found small tassels to hang from each key. It is those small details that make renovating so much fun.

My handyman poured and finished new sidewalks that wind up to the dining room and living room porches. The previous sidewalk was made of brick and with time had become uneven, a real ankle buster. I followed the same pattern and kept the winding effect. I had curbing poured on the street sides of the lawn and a automatic sprinkling system installed.

I discovered a wonderful mailbox. I drove up 10600 South in Salt Lake and admired a mailbox by the road near 13th East. By a stroke of luck I found one just like it and had two young men I knew dig the hole, pour the cement and help install it. I used a round cardboard mold made for pouring cement bases to line the hole in the ground and made a cardboard template showing where the bolts should be placed in the cement. After we poured the cement in the hole, I place the cardboard template on top of the cement and pushed the bolts into the cement where they were marked on the cardboard. After the cement hardened and the bolts were set in place, I lifted the mailbox and carefully set the base down right over the bolts. After tightening the nuts on the bolts, the mailbox was solid in place.

In the summer 2005, someone parked in front of my house to visit the Manti pageant. In the process of parking, they backed into the mailbox. The post snapped in two. Fortunately, it is made of cast aluminum, and I was able to find a shop that was skilled in welding aluminum and had it repaired. After touching up some paint, It looks as good as new.

The porch railings and posts needed a lot of work. Some of the posts were rotting while others were in good shape. I did not want to replace all of them so I found a wood craftsman who took one of the posts and turned others like them on his lathe using the original post as a pattern. I had them made out of redwood so they will last longer. I shopped around for porch railings and finally found some I liked at Crossroads Mill in Draper. The railings were surplus from the historical Cove Fort Restoration, and I bought them at a good price. Their employees have been especially helpful in aiding me in finding other moldings I needed from their stock, and the mill also turned rosettes for me. Even though I am not one of their major customers, they still gave me great service.

On the east of the house is weed patch next to the street. I have not decided whether to bring in gravel or to black top the area or look for another option for making the area tidy and still stay useful for parking. I need to get bids on each option and look at pros and cons. Any ideas anyone?

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