Never Ending Home Projects

It seems that no matter the age of your home (unless it is brand spanking new) there is always something that needs to be repaired, fixed or upgraded.  As our home was build in the 1890’s and has not been owner occupied in decades there is a never ending list of things that need to be done.

We recently had two projects that needed attention.  First was the fence on the south side of our property (the north fence is owned by our neighbors).  We replaced 4 of the fence posts a couple of years ago but the rest of the posts and fence panels need to be replaced.  A few of the panels have fallen over and are a hazard and the others are badly damaged from the invasive vines that grow up them.  Mr. SFF already confirmed with our neighbor that it was OK to replace the fence and take down all of the vines (most of which are on his side of the fence).  His property is a 4-plex and he is not very attentive so taking the vines down might actually be good for him.

The city is very strict when it comes to getting permits so we needed to get a non-applicability permit for this project (we call it a non-permit-permit) even though we are replacing it with the same exact thing.  The non-permit permit didn’t cost anything but there was a building permit needed which costs $30.  It is really a complete pain in the butt but we follow the rules.  As we needed to wait for the permit approval the project ended up getting stretched out another couple of weeks.

2015-07-02 16.33.51
Fully detached fence panel of our dilapidated fence.
Our side of the fence.
Our side of the fence.
2015-07-02 17.12.21
Neighbor’s side of the fence. The vines are 2-3 feet deep in places.

The second project was putting gutters up on the backside of our detached 3 car garage.  The garage is not in the best shape but we are doing our best to prevent it from getting worse.  We solved our flooding problem last fall by regrading our driveway and putting in a dry well to the side of the garage (holy expensive).  Previously any time it rained more than a sprinkle the driveway and garage would flood.  Since then, Mr. SFF has started to dig out extra dirt had built up over the years around the back side of the garage.  This helped a little but rain still seemed to seep in when it rains.  It does not flood but the floor and lower part of the walls would still get a little wet which could be really bad in the future.  The next step is putting gutters on the backside roof line so that we can divert the water from splashing on the back and coming inside and into the dry well off to the side of the garage.  Mr. SFF completed the install himself, after a couple of frustrating complications, and hopefully our garage will now stay dry (and stay standing).

We waited until July to start both of these projects as there is a current 5% cash back bonus with our Discover Card running from July-Sept.  We also both cashed in some of our cash back bonus points with Discover to get a total of $200 in gift certificates for Lowes ($90 got you a $100 gift card).  There also happened to be a sale on the fence panels so there was a $40.70 dollar savings there.

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So after almost two full months (boy our summers get busy), both projects are completed.  The fence is a huge improvement and a couple of neighbors even commented about how much better it looks which makes me feel good.  I am even reusing some of the old fence panels as a backdrop for my Spartan Race spear throw practice so I don’t have to worry about damaging the new fence.

2015-08-29 15.15.50

But How Much Did This Set Us Back?

Here is a total of both of these projects:

$665.49 total
-$200 gift cards
$30 building permit
=$495.49 ($465.49 charged to Mr. SFF’s Discover which will receive a 5% cash back bonus)

Although it can be painful to spend hundreds of dollars on home maintenance we save a bunch of money by doing the work ourselves and it is worth it in the end.  Our fence is no longer a liability (or an eyesore) and our garage will hopefully fair a little better now when it rains.  Next up…repairing the roof on the garage…

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