Cleaning & maintenance is just part of owning & living in a house #669

#669 in a series of true experiences in real estate

My mind is on my own home and garden at the moment. I seem to be hurrying now that fall has begun to, so to speak, “get the crops in.” My list of maintenance items grows daily. Last week I discovered a loose wooden step in my front stairs, called our carpenter friend to come see. It was worse than I had thought, rotted through, one board had to be replaced.

Today I’m worrying over cracks in the shower tile which seem to have grown. It is old tile and at some point it will all need to be redone but it’s a big project, fairly costly, and would require thought and material selection, not to mention scheduling a good tile person. I think I’ll have the tile cleaned and resealed.

I’ve been working on pruning in the garden, cutting off the old blooms, raking leaves before tons more fall and need picking up, too, and everytime I’m out there, I think again that the oak trees have grown enormously and really must be cut back, especially from the house roof. This job, done by a professional tree crew, is about the same cost as a newly tiled shower, and again, would need to be scheduled ahead. I add Big Pruning to my list.

Costco already has their Christmas merchandise out, always seem too early, it isn’t even Halloween yet. But seeing Christmas wrappings reminds me that Christmas will be here before very long and I would like my house to look tidy and clean. On the list: Call the upholstery cleaning man to wash my couch. And to help with cold leaking through 4 sets of my old French doors, soon we will be hanging curtains on them. First though, the curtains must be settled on We’ve sorted through our numerous options but haven’t quite settled on which to buy.

For the last 20 years I’ve kept most of the doors bare, in part because I couldn’t decide what to put on them, but mostly because I like bare glass. I did have blinds hung on the doors at the front of the house, actually got them down a few days ago, washed them on the patio and got them back up. We even cleaned the glass in the process and it is so much better. There were a lot of cobwebs.

I made a date with the chimney sweep today. It’s his busy season but he will come before long. Cost is $185 to do the sweeping. And this morning the repairman arrived to fix some minor problems with my treasured old gas stove. Cost $95. Worth it, although I still need 2 small metal rollers for the broiler so that when we open the broiler drawer, it stays level. The repairman does not know where to find such an old part.

Fencing and steps in the garden are other considerations. Wood rots, especially wood that is exposed to the elements. The wooden steps that rise through my upslope garden and the back fence, perhaps 60 feet in width, need work. Our carpenter regularly bolsters the steps, added a few new supports very recently, but the back fence is leaning considerably. Probably if the posts were replaced, and if the fence were pulled back upright, it would last another 20 years.

I must talk to the fence man about this. I do not want to replace the entire fence. Not only would it be very costly, I have many plants growing there (probably holding it up now) plus water pipes attached with hose faucets. It would take some doing to remove and replace them. Better by far if work is confined to posts. Should probably attend to this before it starts raining.

Furnace filter time, too. Which is smoke detector battery replacement time. Rain gutters will be filling with leaves that I will want to remove before long. But probably I’ll let window cleaning go until spring.

I am very glad to own my own house. I love my house, find it quite beautiful every day, but the thing with houses is that they get dirty, parts break and wear out. It’s just part of owning and living in a house.

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