Saturday, September 28, 2013

Window Film Lessons

One of the joys of living a home built more than 20 years ago is how energy INefficient it can be. Although the live oak trees offer lots of shade, one side of the house feels very hot in the summertime.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars replacing all the windows, we decided apply to a band-aid. BF slapped on window film to help reflect the very hot summer heat. Not only does the window film reflect sun rays, but it provides privacy too. 

The upstairs windows were custom built and feature a unique shape. Usually BF looks at these windows with appreciation and fondness. It was the opposite case when applying the film. BF learned the film wanted to stick to itself. It’s impossible to UNstick the film once it attaches it itself. I relate window film to plastic food wrap. 


Spraying the film solution helped. It encourages the film to stick to windows without wrinkling or sticking to itself. 

Some lessons learned about applying window film:

  • It doesn't matter how handy or talented you are; this is a TWO person job.
  • Use ample amounts of spray solution. The solution reduces static which helps unstick the film.
  • Be gentle. The film is very delicate and can and WILL tear very easily.
  • Remember to use a sharp blade when cutting the excess film. If you don't, you'll become very annoyed when the films starts shredding.
  • There's a learning curve. The first window may take up 30-45 minutes, but the second window will be completed within 15 minutes. Take your time.
  • If there's any doubt on whether you should install window film, do it. You'll wish you did it sooner.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meet Peter

It's been a few weeks since I have posted. I have a few good excuses, but this little guy is best reason why BF and I haven't completed any tasks.

BF and I recently welcome Peter (aka Petey, Stinky Pete, Peter McPuddle Pants, Sneaky Pete) into our home. 
We're not sure if it's an exclusive beagle trait, but he's definitely BFC (Built for Comfort).

Peter is very good-natured but extremely hyper, chews everything and wants to play with everyone. This makes Bailey, our 12-year old beagle, very grumpy. Ironically when it comes to naps, they can be friends.

He's a keeper.

Another reason why I haven't posted is due our recent trip to the Seattle Area with our friend PM. We visited my friend AN, BF's Uncle Bill and cheered on the Jaguars while they lost to the Seahawks (it's a rebuilding year).


As soon as Peter takes a nap and we move our booties off the couch, I'll start posting again.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Upcycled Wall Plates

BF had day off work during the middle of the week. As we sat on the couch to discuss the day's events...

BF, "Would you mind turning off the kitchen sink light?"
Although I thought it was strange how he asked me to stand up and walk across the room to turn off a light, I indulged him.

As I started to flip the switch, I noticed, "Oooo, you added a wall plate!"

BF, "Yup, do you like it?"
TMF, "Wait, you installed these plates on all the switches and outlets in the kitchen. Did you buy them at Lowe's?
BF, "Nope."

TMF, "Are they plastic ones you spray painted?"
BF scoffed, "Uuuh NO! They're stainless steel."
TMF (circa 1995 Clueless), "Oh, MY bad. Where did you get them?"

BF's step-grandfather, Mr. B, worked as a carpenter for Prudential in the 1970s and 1980s. During those times, the company actually had on-site carpenters who built every single desk, counter, plaque, shelf and bookcase. 

Because he grew up during the depression, Mr. B developed hoarder habits. After he passed away, BF's parents generously allowed us to take whatever looked interesting from Mr. B's estate. I came home with lots of kitchenware and miscellaneous household items. BF selected fishing supplies, tools and numerous old Prudential building paraphernalia. 

There were doorknobs, hinges and most importantly wall plates. For the longest time, I thought I would never have the outlet and light switch boxes covered. As soon as BF explained they were from Mr. B's old Prudential days, I realized the plates must have been displaced in a random box for many months. Oops.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Auger Impressions

During a weeknight dinner at home...

TMF, "Do you have what you need to build the fence?"
BF, "I have almost everything."
TMF, "Do you have an auger?"

Long pause.  BF, "Wow, I'm impressed." 

BF, "What do YOU know about augers?"
TMF, "Don't be too impressed, I don't know anything about augers. I think I heard about them on TV."
BF, "Do you know how they work?"
TMF, "Uh... how they work?"

I started guessing with a long description. There was talk of a device with a double shovel attached to a motor that digs into the ground. As I continued describing what I saw in mind, I realized how ridiculous I sounded. I eventually realized I was describing a pair of food tongs.

BF stopped me and suggested I imagine a huge screw or drill bit attached to a driver that digs into the ground. 

BF, "What I think you're picturing is a post hole digger."
TMF, "A what? Oh yeah, I guess I am. So not an auger?"
BF, "No."

He proceeded to demonstrate by using a borrowed auger in the backyard.

TMF, "Oh! So that's what an auger looks like."
BF, "It's a pretty simple machine."
TMF, "Wow, I feel pretty silly after describing what I thought an auger looks like."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sneak Peak: New Fence

Hooray! One section of the new horizontal fence is being installed.

TMF, "That first section looks great!"
BF, "It does, doesn't it?"

TMF, "You know what you're going to think every day you come home and see this fence?"
BF, "No, tell me."
TMF, "You're going to remember how brutally hot it was today and remind yourself never to do this again."

BF laughs and nods his head in agreement. July in Florida is brutal. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Undeveloped Lots

When BF and I bought the house, there was a huge empty lot across the street. We later learned it was three individual lots. The builder/developer tried sell the lots, but the economic recession changed their plans.

Two of the lots are still uncleared and offer a nice view from our front yard.

The third lot currently has a house being built on it. From the looks of it, the house should turn out very nicely. There's a FOR SALE sign posted in front of the construction site. 

I'm somewhat baffled as to why a developer would build a home before finding a buyer during these economic times. On a positive note, having such a nice new home should increase our property value. I can't complain too much. 

Would you like to purchase a brand new home deep in the heart of the Mandarin? You could be our neighbors. We're very friendly and my husband is very handy :)

Fences & Neighbors

I'm not sure when the hole in the fence first started to appear. The wood panels were old and rotted. We knew the fence needed to be replaced, but it wasn't a high priority. At one point, BF tried propping up a fallen panel with a shovel. The panel would fall over during a strong storm. It looked really tacky.

Then one day the panel broke away and it was pointless trying to salvage it. We were left with a gaping hole in the fence. While we were determining our next projects, I begged BF to fix this one area of fencing before anything else. 

As I was away one evening, BF tore down the remainder panels of the old fence. Now there's nothing. 

I feel a little exposed. Although there was nothing stopping neighbors from looking inside the backyard with the gaping hole, now there's nothing. 

The house is located on fairly busy road. I know it's probably a crazy notion in my mind, but I feel every car driving by looks at the house and judges. 

"Oh, that's THE house."

"When are they ever going to fix the fence?"

"What is going on in there?"

"Who lives in THAT house?"