The First Month

People keep saying that once you own a home you’ll always have something to do. Despite my best efforts, I haven’t proven them wrong yet. Here is the first of I’m sure to be many, many posts about the adventures of home ownership.

The First Month
I suppose the best place to start would be here:

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I’ve certainly been keeping busy. Our game plan was to not setup any rooms (major ones anyway) until they were painted first. This involved telling the moving team to put stuff in staging rooms while the correct rooms were prepared. The largest drawback to this is everything destined for the living and dining rooms ended up on the second floor. As if that wasn’t enough to do, the bathrooms were so new that there was no caulking in the shower, nor hardware on the walls for towels or toilet paper. We moved from room to room, doing as much as possible the first round so that it would just be done. I painted the dining room the night we moved in and then setup the table, as well as the computers. The next day we attacked the living room, and the next our bedroom. Eventually hallway colors were determined and artwork went up on the walls.

Our house had some odd inconsistencies when we moved in, most noticeably the coax wires coming out of the walls in many rooms for cable TV. These wires were obnoxious and not something we’re likely to ever use, but that’s no reason to trash perfectly good wiring. What didn’t make any sense to me was that in two of the guest rooms they were wired into outlets and not just wires springing out of the wall. The first chance I had, I went to the hardware store and got what I needed in order to turn all the annoying wires into proper wall-mounted outlets.

This process went fairly well with one minor exception. Behind the TV the wire was coming out directly below an electrical outlet. I made sure I knew where the wire was and was very cautious around it. However the saw didn’t like the wooden paneling that much, and got stuck. I failed to dislodge it gracefully, and immediately saw a large spark, the smell of burning paper, and the power went out. Jackpot. I managed to pull enough of the wire out to see that I had punctured the insulation but all the wires themselves were undamaged, so I re-insulated the wires and restored the power, after I finished working on the coax outlet.

With the essentials covered I devoted my attention to the Ethernet wires running all over the first floor. Whoever wired the house recently was kind enough to put CAT5E in most of the rooms and not attach jacks, so we could use what was clearly setup for phone lines as Ethernet. I enlisted my dad’s aid to help me run wires and installed the existing wiring into the patch panel. It took a couple days to finish, but there’s nothing like getting the wires off the floor to make you feel like you’ve returned to civilization.

With the interior adequate for now, I turned my attention outdoors. My goal was to get rid of as much unwanted plants on the property as possible, and I surprised myself at how quickly that went. The old enclosed “garden space” of ages past was demolished and cleared out save for the oak and maple trees it contained. Next I destroyed all the tall weeds and tossed garbage and construction debris, and suddenly we had a yard. All that was left to do was buy some trees for the front. After they arrived, we put them where they needed to go and after calling dig safe (new property means I have NO IDEA where any utilities are hiding) I panted everything despite stupidly hot temperatures for May.

This ends the story for now, but the next installment will come. At this rate, right before Half-Life 3.

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