Home life

Forthcoming home projects

I’ve lived in my house almost two years. And during that time.. I’ve done bugger all to it. Not that I was planning to do much, but here’s the current list. In my defence, I seem to rarely have any spare time to attack some of these things.

Short term:

  • Find out what kind of bulb goes in the porch light. (One of the two bulbs blew a while back in spectacular and noisy way.)
  • Clear out the junk I have that I really don’t need, and get the rest of it into proper storage, eg make use of all those cupboards.
  • Get the computers set up properly. One of the spare ones is going back to Marita’s place, and the other is going to become a NAS server.
  • Get the shed into some kind of order so more outdoorsy stuff can be kept in it.
  • Added 19/8: Fix the peeling paint in the bathtub.

Short to medium term:

  • Find energy efficient bulbs for the few fittings left that don’t take the standard ones
  • Some kind of bench seat or something for the front porch
  • Investigate better insulation (the roof has loose insulation. Not clear if batts would be markedly better. Depends on the R-rating/thickness of the current setup).
  • Replace halogen down lights in kitchen with something more energy efficient, and ensure properly protected from insulation and fire risk.
  • Get some more powerpoints installed, and generally get the wiring looked over.
  • Then get the cabling and powerboards of all my various devices sorted out, so that almost everything can be easily turned off at the wall (off standby, saving power) at night or when going out.
  • Replace livingroom light fitting with something with a ceiling fan. (Many of the other lights appear to be original fittings, but that’s more recent.
  • Clear junk out of spare room (including creating some storage in the ceiling) and see if it can be turned into a bedroom for Jeremy. (It’s small, but he reckons he won’t mind.)

Medium to long term:

  • When hot water service dies, install solar.
  • See if there’s space for a greywater tank
  • New kitchen? Pah, whatever my sister says, I like it. Ancient oven/stove included.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

11 replies on “Forthcoming home projects”

Whew! What a great list.
How about setting yourself a target:
* all short-term cores completed by 31 August 2007
* short-medium-term by 31 December 2007
* other things (except hot water service if it’s still working) by 30 June 2008.
Good luck – you inspire us.

How old is your house? Old wiring is usually safe if it hasn’t been altered or messed around with by homeowners but it might not have enough circiuts for today’s needs. In the US. 100 amp. service is the minimum amount concidered adequate for small new homes and apartments. Insulation depends on r value and thickness to be effective. Wether it is loose fill or batts is not important. Loose fill is sometimes better because it covers the joists and fills in all of the gaps. It is an easy (but itchy) process to add more yourself.

Yeah, houses are a lot of work! We’ve been in ours about the same length of time and there’s always *something* that needs doing (but seems to be able to be put off over and over again…)

Do you have a large roof space? We put in one of those attic ladders for about $500 and it’s been great (so long as it doesn’t tend to make you hold onto junk you would otherwise toss)…

Insulation isn’t an itchy process anymore. Just use polyester batts instead of fibreglass. Fibreglass is cheaper, but not by a large enough margin to convince me to wear overalls, mask and gloves for such acrobatic work.

I believe there has been a low power use alternative developed for halogen down loads, but I don’t know the details.

Plan now for hot water service replacement as they never break down when it is convenient. If you don’t, the temptation to just replace it with the same is great.

Jed: About 75 years old. It’s obviously been upgraded over the years, but is worth checking over.

Stitch Sista: There’s probably enough space in the roof, yeah, but haven’t worked out precisely what’ll go up there.

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve seen something somewhere. Worth some research.

Josh: Building the NAS isn’t the hard bit – getting the hardware/disks ready is what I’m taking my time with!

the peeling paint in the bathtub?!?! Man, I thought my North Melbourne place was weird in it’s bathtub paint, but it looks like you got stuck with that too!

Just be careful when you “Clear out the junk …[you] really don’t need …”

I’ve moved several times in the last 15 years and in the first of those moves and the most recent one I let myself be talked into turfing a heap of docs about some (very) vintage computer systems.

*Now*, of course, that stuff would be invaluable to the folk in the Australian Computer Museum Society and also to some other groups attempting to “resurrect” those old systems as simulations on PC so their operation could at least be demonstrated, even though the actual hardware no longer exists.

I don’t say you’re into old computers, but you never know what certain things could be useful for in the long run.

Comments are closed.