Thursday, October 15, 2009

The First of Firsts - A Slumber Party!

Since last night was the first night we owned our first property we decided to have a simple dinner and spend the night there.

Since I had jiu jistu practice last night we didn't arrive until 8:30pm - dark and wet. We set up our sleeping bags in the living room while our water boiled for Macaroni & Cheese. Then we did, what I imagine any new home owner does the first night: we walked into each room, doubled checked the lights, heaters, cabinets/closets and basically took a mental inventory of things to be improved in the future (oh yeah, we need to buy a shower curtain bar).

Of course, improving things on a rental property is much different that your dream house. Everything we decide to do will be measured against some sort of future ROI. So, as much as I think granite counter tops are cool, we will not be installing them.

Once we finished dinner we talked a little bit about Univera and our short-term plans to grow the business. You see, if Jessi moves one more rank up, she will be earning enough that she won't need to substitute teach if she doesn't want to. Since we woke up at 5am to get back to our apartment so Jessi could get ready for school, this is our next big priority after we do the initial improvements. :)

Speaking of improvements, here's our plan: On Friday we're going to deep clean the entire interior - I don't actually know what this means, but Jessi seems to know what she's talking about. Then, sometime on Saturday we'll prep the interior for painting. I imagine this will involve lots more scrubbing and minor touch-ups, we're not going to dive into any major improvements yet. Then Sunday through whenever, we'll be painting.

Then we'll focus on the exterior, while moving our stuff in at the same time, of course. One of the major issues with this property was water under the house. From crawling under it, it's clear that water was at one time at least 12" deep - not great. So, we've fixed all the damage under the house and now we'll be focusing on preventing water from getting under the house in the first place.

Normally, this would be a deal killer for most people. It almost was for us. Thankfully, my dad was able to come up and check the property out and provide his insights. He's an underground contractor, so dealing with water, especially underground, is something he's excellent at.

First, the drain under the house shares the same main outlet as the other rain gutters on the property. We believe this is causing back pressure on the drain under the house. So, not only is the drain under the house not working (ie not draining), water is actually flowing back into the crawl space. Therefore, we'll be installing a back flow prevention valve to at least stop water from flowing the wrong direction. Could this cause an issue with the other rain gutters? We'll see, and we have a plan if it does.

Finally, we need to re-grade the front and backyard. Currently, the backyard's slope is relatively flat. It's not bad, but it also means that water isn't running away from the property. We're going to add a little more slope in the backyard to get the water a little further away. The front yard has a similar situation so we'll be re-shaping that as well. All the roof's gutters have already been fixed, so that'll help too.

Then we'll just sit back and watch. If we need to, there's more we can do, with each solution getting more and more creative. Installing a sump pump is actually 3 or 4 on the list of "try this next".

Clearly we have lots to do in the short-term. Personally, I'm excited for all the new toys... err... tools we get to buy for our projects.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! I'm excited to see the before and after pictures!