Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Furious flurry of activity before winter

We've been working on a hodge podge of projects quickly in preparation for winter. Sadly, I don't think we'll be able to finish all that we'd like to do before then. (particularly considering the forecast in Chicago for Thursday is for SNOW flurries!) This weekend was quite busy as a result.

Our first priority is finishing up the paint removal of the radiators as well as priming, painting, and reinstalling them. We've made great progress but are feeling pressed for time particularly when we can't decide on a color to paint them. The first one, we painted "aluminum" but it is Tin Man aluminum. (very shiny-stands out-more obvious in person). We bought a whole bunch of other colors Saturday and tested them out Sunday, but still are not both happy. Monday, Glenn went on the hunt for a stainless color in hopes that it will be less obtrusive then the "aluminum" Of course, all this paint color deciding is made more complicated by the fact that there's a Chicago ordinance that noone could sell spray paint within the city borders. Therefore, we must trek out to the suburbs any time we change our mind. Right now, the front runner color options are "aluminum", "stainless", sort of a charcoal gray (to mimic the cast iron color), or white. We had thought about painting them the color of the walls, but then wondered if we sold the place or rented out our unit whether that would be a turn off. (having to paint a green radiator would be a pain)

But, on a more exciting note, in connection with the radiator project, we got our hoist up and running. (the photos show the hoist in action). The dangling radiator is the next one for me to pressure wash, sandblast, prime and paint.

Although installing radiators is an obvious thing to do before the entrance of winter, we also rushed Sunday to paint our concrete fence. Outside of the cosmetic benefits, the paint will protect the fence from splitting or breaking apart. It really is a unique addition to our house, and we are trying to preserve it. It's actually the second time we've had to paint it since we bought the place. (always frustrating when in the midst of a renovation you have to go back and do something over again!). The family who owned the house before us were in concrete, so the fence definitely connects us to our house's history. (oh, and the family that owned the house before us owned it for 80 years so the fence is fairly old) The other concrete fences that used to be on the street are long since gone.

Now, our short list of projects before winter (and you'll see why I just need to give up)
Sand, prime and paint the back deck
Finish garage (add trim, paint trim, install windows, add new door to alley, prep garage side closest to alley for painting, prime, paint, Do a second coat of paint on the garage)
Repair concrete cracks throughout
Add mulch to garden
Caulk exterior holes (ie. around hose bibs)
Paint the fence piping

All of the above will really depend on weather. If it is cold and/or rainy, we can't do any of the painting. (or really the caulking) Once the radiators go in I'll feel much better-they're the most important!

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