July 20, 2015

This Effing Thermostat


This shower faucet/thermostat is the bane of my existence. We had one like this in the bathroom in the house where I grew up, and I remember hating that one, too. The trouble with this design is there is a razor thin line between boiling hot water and freezing cold. The difference between the two is millimeters, which is the worst when you are halfway asleep trying to adjust the temparature.

Whoever selected this was going based off of one criteria: cheap. The flipper who we bought the house from installed this bathroom from scratch used the following logic to select this thermostat: "I have 15 minutes to go to Pierson's and select the cheapest, easiest shower equipment, which will be fine because I will never actually shower here." It's impossible to control the water temperature and you can't tell by looking which direction it's going. When the water gets hot, it's too hot to touch to turn it back down. It's just a terrible design.

I can't believe we've lived with it for 7+ years. The way to deal with it is to start the water and wait about 5 to 10 minutes for the temperature to even out (not so great in drought times). If you get a little impatient and get in right away, get ready for a horrible shower experience that vacillates between icy cold and boiling hot.

We are finally biting the bullet and ordered a nice Grohe thermostat. It's nothing fancy, but has a clear logic of hot to cold with a nice range in between. Plus, we're getting professionals to install it. Happy birthday to me!

March 6, 2015

2015 Already?!

I can't believe the last blog post for the Manor was in December. The Master bathroom refresh is complete and the rough-edge shelves are awesome. We are enjoying the clutter-free arrangement and lighter color in the small space! There's nothing like freshly painted bathroom baseboards!


I have been thinking about our home-renovation philosophy and always having a project going. We have a master plan that involves a porch conversion, and a few more large scale landscaping projects that I'm chomping at the bit to get done. House/garden projects are my favorite creative outlet, but lately I've felt a the need to dial back the big $$$ projects. There are two reasons: the first is that it's probably foolish to spend all one's money on home improvements, and more importantly: it's also unwise to invest so much into an asset that isn't really appreciating. Comparable houses in the neighborhood are selling for way less than we bought our house.

I'm fine with being a little upside down or flat in value. We didn't buy the house as an investment really, but rather a place to live. But it seems silly to pour every spare dollar into a house that has flat (at best!) value 7 years after purchase.

Part of launching the blog was to keep track of the improvements to the property, to see how far we've come, and to loosely keep track of the time and money we've put in. And it's been a lot. The roof, kitchen, fence, front landscaping, front door, patio, insulation, security system, exterior paint - we're talking thousands of dollars over the years (not to mention the blood sweat & tears!)

Most years, we have a plan for what projects we're saving up for. For 2015, we're switching gears. We're maintaining everything, doing a little garden work, but not spending the moolah. We can continue with the upgrades that don't cost anything and keep them more in line with what the neighborhood and markets will support.

Ongoing posts will consist of less hammer and nail kind of stuff, and more posts of things like: flower arrangements (yes, I'm a sucker for those!), garden edibles, plants that I dug up from one part of the yard and replanted in another (a favorite free hobby), and hopefully clutter clearing projects.