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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/1/2015

With the Winter 2015 plans in mind and looking back to the 2014 Summer plans, I will again limit myself this year to only a handful of very specific goals:

  1. Upgrade/consolidate/extend the drains - The unending rains that made up the month of May (we had 13 3/4" of the stuff here at Tanglewood) did a heck of a number on the roads. It also made it more obvious that there are some areas around Tanglewood where the ground drains that exist aren't sufficient, and where I need to work on adding more drainage.

    Overall the plan is to add a double line of socked drainpipe along both edges of the road from property line to property line, some 1,000 feet in all of pipe. I plan to add a catchall at the top to snag water coming down the hill from my neighbor and another down at the bottom to catch and divert all of the water there down into the creek. I'll be extending the foundation drains down to these larger road drains, adding a couple of new stretches of foundation drain around the apartment edge, and extending the couple of gutters I've let just dump down to this network as well.

    I'll need to get approximately 2,000 feet of drainpipe for all of this, and since our unfortunate time-wasting experiment in adding sock to pipe I've decided it's only already socked pipe for me. Of course it'll take time for me to accumulate all of this pipe and I'm honestly not 100% sure where it's going to go yet, but at least there's a plan.

  2. Install a new front door - This one evolved mostly out of a pair of frustrations, one of which I place at Builder Dale's feet and the other at the lovely Colleen's.

    Back when we were building Tanglewood I had noted that I clearly wanted a double-door for the entryway. Nothing more was said until the time came to pick out doors and at that point we were very rushed--we had to get them picked so they could be ordered so they could be there before winter closed in. At that point I mentioned the double door option again but received blank-bordering-on-incredulous stares from both Builder Dale and Colleen. I made it clear that my primary concern was getting the elk antler chandelier into the house (at that time it was sitting n Wyrdhaven's garage) and both Builder Dale and Colleen assured me it would fit. After all, the new single door was 48" wide--I could bring anything through that!

    Turned out no, no you couldn't...That chandelier wouldn't fit at all.

    In part this was also traceable to Colleen, though she meant well. She knew that if the chandelier were sitting in a corner of the living room when the inspection was done they'd have a problem with that. Besides she was positive it would fit through a 48" door so we didn't bring it in when we had the chance; it stayed at Wyrdhaven until the summer of 2011.

    So after we tried gamely a couple of times to take it in through both the front door and the patio door, I decided there was only one answer--put in a new door. And that of course let me to research various double doors that would befit Tanglewood, and eventually I came up with this beauty. Yes it's expensive and yes I never dreamed I'd spend that much on a door, but if I have to rip out the old one anyway I'm going to put in what I want--and this is it.

    It should be done at the end of the month, then it gets shipped up here (I'm having it delivered). After that it's a matter of removing the old door (that will be messy), getting this puppy in, and staining it as desired. And of course WHILE there's a big honking hole in my house, that chandelier is (finally!) coming in.

  3. Finish tearing down the old shed - With all the snow during the winter and the rain the first part of this year I accomplished nearly nothing on this over the colder months, but I'm going to make up for it shortly. I estimate it'll take me about a week to knock down the old shed down to its piers, probably longer to haul up the lumber I can reuse. But it's time.

  4. Go on a tear replacing CFLs with LEDs around the house - I was slowed down on this because I was having such a hard time locating some of the more oddball (two different track light formats) shapes but now those are done and I can focus on replacing the "regular" lights. Nine have been upgraded from CFL to LED so far, and I've made a list of Every. Single. Light. at Tanglewood (255 of them by the way) so I can start working my way through them. The primary focus of the summer will be to replace the "regular" bulbs around the house; I'll get to the can lights last I think..

So there's the list--four things that need doing, one of which is both larger and more work (the drains) than I've ever dealt with before. It's also arguably more critical if we're going to continue with this wet weather (as it appears we will for some time yet). One (the shed) will be immensely satisfying since it'll involve much sledgehammer work, while the bulbs will be the thing I do every so often when new shipment comes in. The new door I plan to throw 100% of my time against once it arrives since I don't want a big honking hole in the house any longer than I have to.

Gonna be a fun summer!

Steven in Colorado

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