On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fences Make Good Neighbors (We Sure Hope So!)

Despite the initial set backs and the extreme heat, our chain link fence was completed last Friday.  LD is quite happy with the fence, and I must admit that despite my initial doubts about installing chain link fence I am too.   It blends into the background much better than what I expected, and makes the backyard feel like a park.

We really love where we live, and wanted to maintain the open feel of the property which is why we decided to go with black vinyl chain link.  Unfortunately, part of the southern property lines borders another subdivision and we have had issues with trespassing (ATV riding, teenagers shooting at birds, dumping of yard waste) in the wooded portion of our lot.  We were not convinced that a 42" chain link fence would be enough to stop the issues we had been having, so we decided to build a privacy fence along that boundary.  We paid our contractor to dig the holes, and decided to try and tackle the privacy fence on our own.

Brush Dumping
ATV Riding
Last Saturday we rented a trailer and loaded it up at the local Home Depot with twenty-five 4 x 4 posts.  We also picked up approximately 200 lbs of gravel.  After setting four posts, however, we decided it was way too hot and headed to the movies.  Thinking we would continue in the evening once it cooled down.  Well we came out of the movie and the thermometer had actually gone up!

We were fortunate to get a break from the oppressive heat this Saturday and we took full advantage of it.  After three runs to Home Depot for concrete (our cars could only handle so much weight), we managed to set all twenty-five posts.  It took 37 bags of 50 lb Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix = 1,850 lbs!  Needless to say, we were both exhausted at the end of the day but very pleased with our work.  We will have to rent a trailer to purchase the railings, and hope to get started on those next weekend.

Our dogs will have to wait a bit longer before they can finally have the freedom to roam around in the backyard.  They have waited three years, so a few more weeks will not hurt.

Morgan celebrated her 13th birthday last week with her MOTF-1 USAR  friends.

Morgan, Katy, Phoenix (first three on the right).  BTW-each dog has a plate of birthday cake in front of them!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Can't Wait for July to be Over!

July has been fraught with frustrations and setbacks.  The first of which includes hiring a surveyor to determine and certify the property boundaries.  It was supposed to be done back on June 24th.  Well it was finally completed on July 13th.  Apparently not only are our property boundaries old, but the City completed a stormwater project that moved the entire road out of its original alignment.  So all the measures from the original platt map were no longer consistent.  So it took multiple visits from the surveyor, and help from my neighbor with his property survey back in 1999.

Our AC unit decided to take a vacay for the second time this year. This time I decided to call A.B. May on the recommendation of a neighbor.   Unfortunately, the storm that rolled through the area last Tuesday night knocked out our power.  So A.B. May was not able to check our AC until the power was restored.  Our power did not get restored until late on Wednesday, so we had to wait until Thursday.  The food in our refrigerator, however, did not fare so well and most of it had to be thrown out.  I was glad that I had been too busy to go grocery shopping.

Next-the utilities lines locator contractor.  Well, the first time he came out, he didn't finish all the line locations because he claimed that the survey had to be completed, and there were too many bushes.  The second time he came out, all the different colored spray paint made it look a little more complete

Today was supposed to be the first day of putting in our new fence.  LD cleared all the vegetation, bushes, trees, etc along the property boundaries and was very ready to get started.  So on the very first hole---BAM!!  The auger ripped apart a gas line!!

A call to the Kansas Gas Service brought out a multitude of trucks and vehicles.  Turns out the utilities lines locator neglected to search the area near the house!  LD thought it was weird that there were no flags or spray paint near the house on the east side.  Well KGS claims that they don't search for or locate minor gas lines!  REALLY!!!!  Which also meant they were not going to repair it either.  KGS disconnected that particular gas line (which went out to the original gas lamp and a line to a grill), and capped off the pipe inside the house.

Not knowing how long the utility line locator would take to search for any additional lines they neglected to find the first time around, our fence contractor moved on to another job.  He is supposed to come back tomorrow.  Can anything else go wrong?  My fingers are crossed.  Hopefully by the end of the week we'll have a fence.