Gut Wrenching Gutter Repair

Today our neighbor was getting their gutters cleaned. No, that sentence wasn’t meant inappropriately. They had a company cleaning their roof and debris from the gutters.

I had wandered outside taking out some garbage as one of the workers approached me. He asked if it was okay to use our deck to lean towards the neighbors roof. I said sure and we got to talking about the cost of doing my home. He quoted me around $300, but he already took a look when he was next door and said my gutters were fine.

I appreciated his honesty. He could’ve easily told me a price and I’d have not known any better. But since he was there, I asked if I could give him some cash to fix my one downspout. He agreed, and fifteen minutes later, my gutter was fixed.

Watching him climb the ladder that was leaning towards my house made me queasy. It was money well spent having someone else do it. Now the next set of rainfall which happens has a place to drain to.

I’m not afraid of heights, I’m afraid of falling.

What I Won’t Miss When We Move

I will miss this house once we leave. I have enjoyed the peace and tranquillity that our country living has garnered us over the years. But there are some things that I am ready to say farewell to. First and foremost are the trees.

Not because I don’t like trees. It’s more the dead branches and the dead trees that I won’t miss.

This tree has been dead since long before our time owning this house. It has been home to a variety of birds over the years, so that’s been nice. But at some point this tree really needs to be taken down. It is far too close to the house. It is only one of many that are too close now.

This tree is above the cable and power line that runs to our home. I circled a dead branch that has been precariously hanging for a couple of years now. It’s larger than most people’s Christmas trees. One day it will come down. I have been waiting and watching for it every wind storm.

Besides the trees, I’m looking forward to different plumbing. We have constantly replaced and repaired pipes and joints throughout the home on a regular basis. By regular- it’s about every three months that something has gone wrong. I’m really hoping we get a couple of years or more with no leaks in our next house. To the point that I may forget how to do plumbing repairs.

I know I don’t usually write about the negative. I’m trying to mental check with myself that we have made the right decision to sell. Financially I think it will be good in the long run. Emotionally will be challenging at first, but we will make the next place as loving a home as this place was.

Hopefully with less frustration.

2021: Day 2

Yesterday was a washout to begin the year. So today my wife and I woke up early and began our journey into the New Year. There are plans in motion to fix all the little issues in our home. We started the day at my favorite place- The Home Depot.

Walking into the store for the stuff I need was exhilarating. Maybe it was not that enthusiastic. But we went in with a list and a plan to maximize our shopping and minimize the wandering. This trip was just for some basics to repair a few things around the house- not full renos. Since I had worked at this particular Home Depot many lifetimes ago, I knew exactly where to find everything I needed.

My wife was happy that we powered through the shopping. All that’s left now is to complete the repairs and get into the new year with fewer worries than before. I actually got everything done inside the home before dinner.

I feel more accomplished day 2 of 2021. I need more days like this. Hopefully it happens.

Getting Chipped Off

Over the past month or so my windshield has been getting abused. I don’t much care for it.

It’s very frustrating to be driving down the highway and hear that loud PING as a projectile leaves its mark on your car’s glass. I had three separate small ones all appear at various spots within a few days of each other. Every time I get in my car I think, “I should get that looked at and repaired”. But I never do.

Then this morning as I drove home from work- a massive attack occurred. I was even able to witness the projectile as it flew at my car. It was a dull grey image barreling directly at my line of sight. It wasn’t until it hit my window and scared me that I mentally zoned back in. Now there is a large crescent moon chip in the center of my windshield. The diameter of the damaged area is larger than a quarter- this is definitely a fifty cent piece sized chunk.

So I guess I’m glad I didn’t get the other three chips repaired. It would feel like a waste of time. On my next day off- I’ll be looking to get something done about it. Until then, I’ll just have to do my best to not focus on it… Good Luck Joe– it’s right at eye level. I better not buy a new vehicle like I did years ago when I got our minivan windshield replaced. Even though our Pathfinder was a great SUV and much better than a minivan. I still love my 2016 Nissan Rogue, so just a new windshield shall do.

Vacuums

I take for granted that we have a built-in vacuum. With a dog that sheds excessively we need to clean up about two to three times every week. That being said, in the dozen or so years we’ve been living here- we give that centralized vacuum a workout. But it only does suction- there is no motorized head spinning to dig up the deep down dirt. Which is fine for the hardwood floors and tile.

The other biggest problem we have is the location of the canister and motor. It’s in the room where our hot water tank and furnace are. So it’s very warm. Which causes the vacuum to overheat. We can usually vacuum most of the downstairs before it shuts off. In the end, the upstairs gets neglected. And that’s where we have the most carpet.

I have an old vacuum that was left behind by my mother years ago. It’s been through a lot, including a duct taped hose in order for it to work. Recently the band on the motorized head snapped, so it was pretty useless for getting the ground in dirt and threads from my wife’s studio. Of course it was when I wanted to do the carpets in the rest of our house that it crapped out.

So today I went to a store that’s been in Langley since, forever (or 1965 according to their website). The ladies in Big Gary’s Vacuums were extremely helpful and fun to talk with. They helped me get a new band and we talked about how people have no idea that Sears closed down ages ago. (That’s where the Kenmore brand vacuums were from). Anyways, $12 later and some shared memories about the Sears Wish Book, I have a working motorized head on an old vacuum.

All I need to do now is find a hose for my old shop vac. This was another Sears purchase two decades ago. I’m pretty sure I’ll find what I need on Amazon! They sell everything. They’re the ones who helped kill the brick and mortar big box stores, the least they could do is sell some parts for me.

Tanks A Lot

Yesterday I mentioned how on Facebook it reminds me of my Yearly Bad Day in the memories section. It seems that the universe likes to throw curve balls at me every year around this time. Only this year was off by a day. Must’ve been a leap year of evil or something.

Last week I blogged about my Budget Friendly Kitchen Reno. Today I planned on finishing it up in order to clean the downstairs. In between coats of paint I decided to check on a slow leak we had coming from our pressure tank that helps pump the water into our home from the well. We had a plumber come out to fix it about two weeks ago. Only there was more than one leak- as I had discovered after he left. So I went behind the tank and checked the leak.

I figured out that I could fix it on my own. So I sent my wife to Home Depot for a part. While she was out, I turned off the pump and drained the water from the house. I proceeded to cut the pipe. Only I didn’t quite have all of the pressure out of the system. 40PSI Of water “BOOFED” at me as the knife cut through the pipe.

Soaked with ice cold water I scrambled to get some towels. My wife came home and I replaced the part easy as pie. Turned the water back on and a few minutes later I crouched down to check on my handiwork. Of course, I noticed a small leak still coming out. As I twisted the pipe to try and wedge it in a bit tighter, “BOOF” a different part exploded- this time with the pump on- our laundry room flooded. 20 times more ice cold water covered me.

I lost my shit!

I ran to shut off the pump. And returned to the tank to see what happened. And then a second piece snapped off. Soaked and angry, I had to go to the Home Depot and spend $20 to fix it. I came back home and my kids and wife had cleared out the laundry room giving me some space to repair the pipe again for the third time.

Five minutes later, everything is fixed and working. Now there are no leaks.

Just an angry Joe trying to catch up on his day.

Plumbing

I love my home.  It’s an original custom built brick house from the early 1970’s.  It has a lot of character and I couldn’t imagine living anyplace else.  But with its uniqueness comes its flaws.  Most notably- the plumbing.

I hate plumbing.  Always have.  I hated doing it in my last house.  We had issues with the water to the home there as well as drainage issues.  But I hate doing plumbing here.  Hate.  Hate.  Hate.


Every couple of months, we spring a leak.  After the first couple times of having to rush out and pick up repair pieces- I now have a collection of clamps, pipes, and adhesives for the next leak.  Most of the leaks occur at the joints because of the corrosion caused from our well water.

About three years into owning this home, our pump stopped working.  So we installed a new one only to find the pipe from the well to the house had collapsed. Almost a week without running water… we resorted to heading over to the in laws and I was showering at work.  Pipe fixed.  Pump works.  But our driveway got ripped up to do this.

Broke because of plumbing repairs.


A year after that- our holding tank in the house couldn’t keep the pressure.  So we had a new one installed.  Yay!  Flowing water once more.  Two years later- our hot water tank died.  My favorite part about that?  We had to buy a smaller hot water tank because a standard sized one would not fit in the place where the old one stood.  Plus something about “building codes”…

As I said- since then there are constant leaks popping up every few months.  We also have a toilet that needs plunging every couple of weeks.  The little quirks of the plumbing make me want to pack up and move.

Adding insult to injury-  we also have radiant hot water being used to heat our home.  Besides the occasional relay/switch stopping from working, we haven’t run into any major issues… yet.

Leaks and plumbing are my nemesis.  I could never be a plumber by trade.  If I could live without water I would.  Except to shower.  I like showering.

Repair or replace it

We have owned our Honda Element new since 2003.  It’s the only car we’ve ever bought brand new. It’s been through a lot with our family and watched us grow.  It’s been a part of our family for 13 years this month in fact.  As wonderful as it is to buy a new car off the lot, we would never do it again.  Over $35,000 spent once it was paid off.  The vehicle may be worth $2,500 for trade in value now.


I love the car.  We have put nearly 265,000km on it with the only major repair being a new clutch.  But repairs are about to start costing more than its value.  All of the wear & tear, nicks & scratches have come from the use & abuse we have put it through.  The Element has endured rather well.  This vehicle is a great commuter car for a tall guy like me.  It’s a 5 speed manual transmission with a four cylinder engine.  It’s fun to drive and has a bit of pep to it.  The repairs are mostly cosmetic and I should get them done at some point anyways.


Cracked taillight from when I backed into a pole.  D’oh.


Cracked windshield from years of highway driving.


Muffler held together with wire.


My oldest is only a couple of years away from getting her license so I think we will keep this mini SUV for her to use when the time comes.  I don’t think we will ever get rid of the car.  It should last us for many more years. 


 If Honda still made the Element, I would consider buying another one for myself.  It’s hard for me to find a new vehicle for myself since I haven’t driven a car since 2003 and SUVs aren’t exactly the most fuel efficient vehicles out there. We ditched our minvan five years ago for a Nissan Pathfinder (another fantastic vehicle btw) and I don’t think we could justify buying another large truck or SUV at this time.

Hopefully within a couple of years, a “new to me” vehicle will grace my driveway.  But until then, I should probably get the oil changed regularly and fill the tires with air as needed.