My New Favorite Tool

I picked up this BOSCH Pocket driver (PS21-2A ) on sale in a big box store.  Mark and I were finding that we had competing needs for the existing larger Bosch battery drill.  In looking for another drill, I stumbled upon this one.  It has dual qualities of being small and powerful.  A full size drills can be cumbersome as well as heavy for those unused to using them on a day to day basis (me). With the holiday gift season coming up, this would be a nice tool to put under the tree.  The tool is not just for lightweights like me:  its size gives it the advantage of doing heavy lifting in small places for the manly men on your list.

This drill was a godsend in removing the cabinet doors on my SR project. It has good low end torque which easily released the screws (this is cabinet hardware that was lacquered on to include the screws!) Some of the screws were so weak/corroded that the heads wrung off.  Further, a couple of them stripped out despite my best efforts to avoid that.  I was able to use the bull nose pliers to get a good grip and turn the screw out rather than resorting to other means of dispatching from the cabinets.

Bull nose pliers/nippers are also (in my view) the single best tool for removing luan staples from flooring.  This pair of tools saved me lots of heart ache on my cabinet door removal project.

The bricklayers showed up yesterday.  I have been waiting for them since August. They have been working at the place at which my husband is employed--so I've been getting progress reports on when they would be able to do the work--the schedule slipping every week. However, the bricklayer is a friend, and he does excellent work, so I was happy to wait. They will be fixing the front steps which were deteriorated and installing a brick patio at the back. 

I've had my share of angst on putting in a patio.  Here's a picture of the back of the house from when it was first purchased.
There is NO outdoor space.  I'm putting a semi-circular ~ 400 sqf brick patio centered between the garage door and the door to the den.  Why the angst?

Well, this house lends itself to an addition that would come out toward the back.  It could be one or two levels.  The benefit of a second level would be to create a much larger master bath.  Even though I put in a beautiful master bath in the existing, small space, those desiring more space would have to expand in the back.

While it is impossible to anticipate what new owners want, I work hard to stick to a simple goal of providing a turnkey home that affords the new owners the feeling of  "I love this home" v. "I hate this home and have to do x, y, z to make it inhabitable" and reducing obvious objections. 

Obvious objections are sometimes not so obvious!  The aphorism of "There is no accounting for taste" is alive and well and applies to my taste and sensibilities as well as any other.  Accordingly, to keep myself on the straight and narrow path, I opt for maximizing the current floor plan by upgrading/renewing the existing finishes with handsome materials that are beautiful, useful and durable, and soft colors that invoke an inviting sense of warmth and calmness. 

Blowing out walls and putting on additions is not in my scope of work; however, for the most part, the homes that are purchased already have a good floor plan in nice neighborhoods--but the finishes are worn and tired (if not gross in some cases) and there are some large-ticket repairs needed.  I'm not appealing to the high-end luxury buyer who wants all manner of expensive bells and whistles in a luxury, renovated home (meaning bringing it full up to contemporary standards for finishes and floor plan). Rather, I'm appealing to practical buyers who will appreciate the location, the existing layout and updated, quality finishes coupled with a reasonable price tag.  "Yes" to updated, high functioning appliances and granite countertops, new flooring, refinished hardwoods, and "No" to additions, blown out walls and expanded living area.

In this house, lack of outdoor entertaining space was an obvious objection. The selling realtor and my realtor also cited the 'landscaping' as problematic.  It wasn't so much to my eye, but then we get to the "taste" thing--and I had to relegate mine to the back seat.  (However, that relegation phase took a little while).

I elected to budget $10k for landscaping and a brick patio. So this week, that objection (and my angst about not providing it) will be overcome.  While outdoor spaces can quickly become very expensive projects, I'm trying to provide 'adequate' outdoor space befitting the home. Brick is truly a higher end choice, but I just could not find a satisfactory, less expensive alternative. Stamped concrete was one consideration, but the counsel I received was "it is not a question of if, but when, it was going to crack."  So footers, foundation and brick pavers will provide a lovely spot for outdoor gathering.

Will provide pictures when done.


Post a Comment