May 2022 - One Year Later

He is not a lover who does not love forever. -- Euripdes

Return To The Beginning --->

We Are Not 100% There Yet But We Are Working On It!

We had plans to make changes/improvements and we thought we could do everything in six months... A year later and things are still coming coming together.


We Have The Keys (May 10, 2021)

Sydney brought us the keys, we are now happy homeowners.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022

Cabinets (May 13, 2021)

The garage had several (eight) large cabinets but they were not in the proper spot to allow for me to have a shop so we had to remove them and store them outside on the driveway!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
They were perfect but they had to be relocated.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
I hired two gorillas to assist me (Zachary, Joe, and Paul)

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
We disassembled them and put them in the driveway.

Return Of The Cabinets (May 16 2021)

The closets were unwrapped in the driveway and moved back inside. Joe and Carrie came over and put them in place. We have storage!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
They were remounted on the back way and hold oodles of goodies.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Bob Z and Joe worked hard getting everything in place!

Garage Floor Coating (May 14th 2021)

I always disliked concrete floors in a garage and wanted an epoxy coating that allowed the garage to be sprayed out. So we called the coating company and the next day, the garage was transformed.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Morning Fog was the answer!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The concrete was leveled and minor cracks filled.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The epoxy was applied and allowed to "dry" for two hours.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Sprinkled with fairy dust!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Complete; ready for the closets to come back inside.

Swim Spa   (July 2021)

We decided to move Mary's Swim Spa from Bluebonnet To Valencia and that was quite a job; the neighbors had their fingers crossed that the living room would not get an unexpected swim spa delivered! We use it all the time.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Getting ready to receive the spa!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Up-a-daisy!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
An optical conclusion, we hope!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Dangling mid air over the house; what, us worry??

We use the Swim Spa almost every day either in the morning early when we get up, usually by 6:00 AM or late at night before retiring.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Many problems of the world have been solved in these waters!

Attic Fans (July 2021)

Joe came over and he installed attic fans in the garage attic as well as the house attic. They are on a thermostat and turn on after the area reaches 90 degrees. It made a difference in the temperatures we saw in the house and the garage.

In the garage, Joe and Charlie installed a thermal barrier in addition to the fans and that also made a difference.

New Hot Water Heater/Instant-On/Soft Water System (June 8, 2021)

The original was an original, it was thirty years old and on its last legs. We went with the new Noritz tank less unit with enough capacity to run two showers, the dishwasher and the washing machine at the same time.  While we were at it, we put in a soft-water machine and also made the kitchen instant-on; we get hot water 2-3 seconds after turning on the hot water; it used to take a few minutes!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022

Rain Gutters (TBD 2021)

There were no rain gutters on the house and the first time it rained we decided they were needed.  We had gutters all the way around the house and on the She and He Sheds!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022

How Much Stuff Do You Have Mary?  The She-Shed (July 2021)

After being our homes for three decades, putting everything together was a challenge.  So, we added a second shed in the back yard since we have so much room. The She-Shed came in July and it was immediately filled to the brim!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
We had plenty of room!

We named them He-Shed and She-Shed!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
One day and it was up and ready to use! Mary's needed a concrete foundation because of the expected weight!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Will it fit???

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
They looked quite nice with their little signs.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The sheds hold a lot of "stuff" and are now adjacent to the new vegetable garden!

We Fly Them High; Mary Flew Flags On Her Front Porch (September 2021)

We had to show the colors so with assistance from Colleen, we have a 40' flag pole and with the assistance from Joe and Alexa, the flags are lit every night at dusk.

We have a flag for almost every holiday and occasion because the flags can be switched out in about five minutes.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Flying the U.S. Army Flag!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Happy Easter to all!

 

OMG, Cars In The Garage?  (October 2021)

In our previous homes, we had to walk sideways to get into the cars.  In the new home, after some unpacking and arranging, we got both cars in and we can both get into the cars WITHOUT doing acrobatics.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Side by side!

There is plenty of room for a full shop with the cars in place.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Coming home from a dance!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
We put in laser guidance systems!

Shower Doors Replaced (October 2021)

The house was a "flipper" and they installed inexpensive shower doors  so we got the local glass store to come out and replace them with the latest thing, barn-door shower doors.  These puppies roll so smoothly and the wheels are four inches in diameter, they will not wear out in out lifetime.

Fireplace  ( October 24, 2021)

The fireplace was a mess so we have a mason come in and fix the fireplace with decorative stone.   We hand picked the stone which was trucked in from Idaho!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The stone was fit together like a puzzle.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
It looked pretty classy when it was done.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The gas logs are amazing; the temperature of the logs are about 750 Fahrenheit.

Drip System(s)  October 2021

Our yard is 110' deep by 90' wide meaning we have almost 10,000 square feel of backyard. Mary was watering everything and it took about two hours.

She suggested a drip system so we now have four Hunter Professional controllers, three in the back yard and one in the front.   It is smart and tied to the Internet so it will stop watering if it rains, increase the watering time of the temperature remains over 85 degrees, and we have complete control via the iPhone.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Another excellent idea thanks to Dr. Mary.

New Fruit Trees  (November 23rd 2021)

This was an experience.  We bought an orange and avocado tree complete with insurance. They were planted in the back yard and they soon died! We had them replaced and again, they died!

We called the nursery and said, "Let's try again but let's move them to the front yard!"  We got the third set planted and they are doing well!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
A planting we will go!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Mary inspects the front yard!

Electrical  (March 24th-26th, 2022)

The house was built in 1975 when electronics were unknown! We had no wall sockets in one bathroom and only two outlets in another. We needed power run to the He-Shed and She-Shed plus power for parties in the South-40.

We had five electricians here for two days adding circuits, replacing the main power panel with a 240 A  box, and many other minor things like GFIs everywhere, motion sensitive lights in the two major hallways, lighting in the attic, and weatherproof boxes for the Christmas decorations, lights in two closets, and added plugs around the periphery of the house.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
They showed up in force and stayed three days!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The garage has its own sub-panel!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
We wired up the two sheds with plugs and lighting.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The old box was a Zinsco that needed to be replaced!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The new box was set up for solar and it had a lot more room for circuits.

We had the guys put a sub-panel in the garage and in the back yard so we could add more circuitry when needed.   

Fire Pit!  (June  1st 2022)

We had a great fire pit but it was not gas;  it needed wood!  Not a great idea around a pool. So we gassed it!   The cost to under the concrete was excessive so we decided to run a flex line above the ground and put a professional cable guard over the line. It works fine and saved about $3,500 dollars.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Before!   I dug the lava rocks out by hand and learned a lesson, use gloves!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Under construction!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Success!   This puppy throws off a lot of heat!

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Morning and night!

The kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids are drawn to the fire like moths to a light.  It is fun to watch.

 

Insulation (August 2022)

The house had the original R-13 insulation which was flatter than a pancake. We had the attic emptied of all manner of items including old wiring from a Honeywell alarm system dating back 30 years. We blew in 5,000 cubic feet of R-38 insulation, pretty in pink!

We noticed the difference as the house stays at 76-78 degrees while the attic goes into the 100s!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
24" thick gives an R-38 rating.

Vegetable Garden  (Start May 2022 - November 2022)

Mary and I love to garden and vegetables are on the-top of the list so we started construction in May of 2022 and it may complete at the end of September!

See the entire garden month by month!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
We got started on the 20th of May!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
We are only using about 25% of the grass area or 12 1/2% of the yard!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Inspecting the progress in August 2022

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022

Valencia one year later

Valencia one year later

Workshop (June 18,  2021)

I always wanted a workshop but in the previous two home I lived in the garages were double and small!  Finally Casa Valencia has a full three car garage without the roof line interfering with everything.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
Joe mounts the wall cabinets!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
...and we have several closets containing parts/wires/hardware!

Mirrored Closet Doors (January 2022)

All the big closet doors in the house were solid wood, we change that to floor-to-ceiling mirrors!   We changed 14 doors from wood to mirrors and it made a fantastic difference.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
This is going to be the office; the doors are twelve feet wide!

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022
The room looks twice as big now!

Mary Has A New Heating System In The Master Bathroom

The master bathroom is quite large and often a little cool when stepping out of the shower.  Also, the mirrors would fog over!We solved this by putting in a ceiling header/fan/lighting unit. With 1500 W of heating and 150 CFM of air removal, the bathroom is quite pleasant even with two shower heads going.

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022

Whole House Fan

Joe and Zachary with the help of Colleen installed this fan in about three hours.    Since we installed the insulation we learned that it also keeps the heat in as well as out so a whole house fan was the answer.

Now, with the flick of a switch, we can exchange the air in the house in four minutes flat ans the bedrooms are super cool at night!

Valencia one year later
When it is on, it blows the leaves off the neighbors lawn!

Slide Out Drawers

We had plenty of space but the drawers were depp and it made for a lot of work to get to goodies in the back. Solution, slide out drawers!

Roll Out Drawers
They showed up and measured!

Roll Out Drawers
Colleen emptied everything!

Roll Out Drawers
The formal dining room was the staging area!

Roll Out Drawers
We spent a day and a half moving things back inside.

Roll Out Drawers
Done and it is WONDERFUL!!!

Small But Significant Changes We Have Made

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022

Improvemenets at Casa Valencia 2021-2022