House Projects: before and after

The past few weekends have been Russell Home improvement weekends.
The goal is to finish up as many big house projects as possible before our son is born...
I call him "Our second son" or "He who can not be named" because we haven't
settled on a name yet.

The Front Yard

The first project was our front yard. We used to have two nice piles of
dirt with lots of weeds on either side of our front steps. These have been
replaced with piles of Rosette Marble rocks which I think look a lot nicer than
the dirt. Alex is a huge fan of rocks. When he came downstairs the morning
the rocks were delivered I told him we got him a present and pointed out the window.
He looked for a few seconds and then ran to the front door yelling "Out, out... ROCKS!".
Best present ever...

The before picture is a very cool shot of Christine and Alex, but it
lacks in the "Before picture" sense since it's actually a during. Also, you can't
really see how bad it looked before we started... The fact that we have several
thousand digital pictures, and not a single one shows the front of our house is
suggestive of how bad it was...

Before (actually during):

Christine & Alex installing the faux rock border.

Check out the rock pile in the bottom right... Alex and I shoveled all those


Christine & Alex on the steps in front of the house.

Those litle lamps are solar powered! They just start glowing when it gets dark.

The Attic

The next project was installing flooring in the attic. The attic was filled
with blown insulation... That stuff is great at keeping you warm, but horrible
to work in... Anyway, I purchased 6, 4' x 8', 3/4" boards and carried them up into the attic.
I did the work on a rainy day. With the sun blocked the attic only got up to about 90 degrees.

The first step was to sweep away the excess insulation, then get the boards in
position and screw them down. It got a lot easier once the first few boards went down.


I had the 4' x 8' boards cut in half so I could fit them throught he attic opening.
This pic shows the first two boards. in the bottom right you can see where I had to
cut around a bathroom seiling vent that suck up above floor level.

That is a lot of extra insulation. The pink thing is a board of insulation that
came in handy for cutting boards. Theres also some sheet rock. It came with the house.


This is a picture standing behind the stairs into the attic.
It turns out there is room for 3 more 4' x 8' boards, but that will have to wait until
it cools off again.

Heres a look from the far end of the house. I'm standing at the far
end as shown in the "before" pictures.

So thats it for now. Next I'm installing new light fixtures in our kitchen...