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am Ken. I live in the boonies. When you live in the boonies, you get bored. Yeah, I've got cable, fast internet access, plans for world domination, blah, blah, blah, but I need a project every now and then to keep me going. I program computers for a living so I can't take on designing the next billion-dollar one-man game as a project like everybody else on the internet. So I work on my home.
This site will showcase my home projects. Think of it as Ken and the art of home maintenance. This site, like my house, will be under major construction for a while.
One of my first projects, when I had just moved into my house in 1997, was to remove the "train room." The dude who had lived there before me had really been into model trains and had filled one room with a big train set. When he moved out he had left a lot of his train world behind because it was too big to cart out of the house. So in one room I had trees, tunnels, mountains, and lakes sitting on a huge ugly table. You know, it was like the outdoors except it was inside my house. I mean, there was sky for wallpaper complete with clouds, no kidding. And honestly, I live in the boonies so there is no shortage of trees or anything. If he had built something harder to come by, like a city with a subway system surrounded by skyscrapers and cabs and crackhouses, it might have lasted longer. Anyway, I had to Kenovate that room first so I could use it for something but that room is still called the "Train Room."
Back in 1997 when I bought the house, this is what it looked like. It was surrounded by trees, tall foliage, and monsters. I mean, kids would come by all the time and try to eat my house. It looked like the train room on a large scale out there! I knew I had to do something. I then spent a lot of time learning the basic stuff like replacing light switches, sink plumbing,etc. Not to mention saving money for what laid ahead! My first test of skill was semi-finishing my basement in the Winter of 1998. Nothing to brag about, all I did was drywall it and add some switched lighting. I also dabbled with flooring by putting in hardwood floors in my family room and parquet flooring in my train room.
In the Summer of 2000, I got my first taste of outdoor work by replacing the gray wooden shutters there were aging with new black ones. I also replaced both wooden front doors with new red metal ones. I then replaced my the glass sliding door on the back of the house. I didn't realize it at the time but the entire wall that the slider was resting on was completely eaten away by carpenter ants and the only thing holding it up were the side screws. I talk about this more during my deck discussion in the Summer of 2002 since that is when I went to rip the old deck off and found lots of dust and angry ants.
My first real major project was to remove the trees which began in the Summer of 2001. I knew I would need help for this one, so I called an old priest and a young priest. They told me to call a tree-removal professional. Up until then, it's the only project I've gotten any help for. To see what the house looked like after the orcs were finished, check out the Tree Removal Project. After the trees were gone, I had an excavator dump 300 cubic yards of fill in the back yard to level off the land along with the old stone wall that was in the front of the house. Next, I spread loads of loam for a lawn and bought a lawn mower. Believe it or not, I never owned one up until this point! Anyways, after the topsoil was leveled out, I designed and installed a sprinkler system and planted the grass seed. I also installed an access door up into my attic since I wasn't able to get up into it.
In the Spring of 2002, I replaced all of the windows on the second story. In the Summer of 2002, I built a new deck. I also upgraded the house electrical to 100 amp service and replaced my fuse box with a breaker box. In Winter of 2002, I Kenovated the family room and the train room. I also installed a utility sink in my basement.
In the Spring of 2003, I removed forsythia scrubs which lose their leaves in the fall\winter and put in a hedge of evergreens in my backyard which will grow much taller.
In the Summer of 2003, I built my Three season porch on top of the deck of built previously and since my deck's wood was seasoned, I stained it gray. I also replaced my well's water holding tank in the Fall since it was no longer holding pressure.
For the Summer of 2004, I just had my roof replaced and skylights installed . My roof was leaking and it's been looking shabby since I moved in anyways.
For the Spring of 2006, I started a one year long project with Front Deck \ Garage\ Farmer's Porch\ Walkway. This one started off simple enough but it just kept growing since it made sense to redo the walkway, steps and a roof over the garage I put in.
In the Winter of 2007, during a 2 day power outage, I had a Partition fire in my living room's masonry fireplace. Check out the other work I had done which included adding a master bathroom and three dormers.
In the Summer/Fall of 2007, I began tree removal part 2. I removed more trees and moved my driveway over at the same time.
* Latest picture May 2010 *
In June 2008 I finished my kitchen kenovation.
In May 2011 - I just finished adding a knee wall into my master bedroom next to my built in dressers. Here is a glimpse of what it looks like in the Updated section. On May 11, 2011, I hung the raised panel doors my brother Robert made me out of oak. I also put in a new closet in the master bathroom here
Last Project: August 2011 - I worked on my front walkway by adding retaining walls and also did some landscaping.
Here is a montage of milestone pictures if you want to see my progress since I bought the place.
I recommend home owners to read through as many financial planing resources as possible to learn about the different ways you can finance your kitchen, bathroom or any house projects and budget your home improvement loans to make sure that your project will come to success.
** Stay tuned to see what my next big project will be! Don't forget to also browse or sign my guestbook! **
Copyright © 2012 Kenneth Meier. All rights reserved.